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Would you pay extra for super-fast fibre optic broadband?

Fibre optics

If you’re looking for faster internet speeds, fibre optic could be the way to go. However, this can cost a pretty penny over your everyday ADSL connection. Would you pay extra for fibre, and if so, how much?

A fibre optic broadband contract would cost you roughly £200 more than ADSL (which runs on slower copper wires) over an 18 month period. But that doesn’t mean the speeds can’t tempt you. With ADSL you can get speeds of up to 13 megabit-per-second, but if you opt for Virgin Media’s fibre optic broadband, the theoretical top download speed is a crazy 120Mb/s.

There are also some good deals out there, with our sister blog Which? Tech Daily finding that you could save as much as £100 over an 18 month contract by switching fibre deals.

Check out Which? Tech’s handy table comparing ADSL and fibre broadband deals.

We can’t get fibre optic broadband

Of course, before we move on with this debate, it’s worth hitting this head on – not everyone can get fibre optic broadband! Here’s a comment from Simon on Tech Daily:

‘Wrong planet, chaps. Down here in West Devon we get 1.6Mb/s if it’s sunny and there’s currently no fibre option.’

Noel’s in the same boat:

‘We do not have fibre optic available and we cannot get more than 1Mb through an old copper wire ADSL system! Live in Ness Wirral. Desperate to increase but when asking for cable install date, nobody seems to know?’

Paying the price for fibre

For those who can get fibre broadband to their property, is it worth paying the extra £200 or so? Paul thinks it is:

‘I have just upgraded from Eclipse 8Mb/s ADSL to the Fiber2 Home unlimited and the difference is astounding. What used to take many days or weeks over Eclipse ADSL takes minutes.’

Brian also thinks it’s worth the extra cost:

‘I had TalkTalk’s Super Fiber broadband installed on 24 Jan 2014. I immediately got 74.5Mb/s using cable and using Wi-Fi I get 50 Mb/s on a laptop. Yes, it will cost me a little more, but after fighting for over five years at least I get a stable signal that I can use on three Computers and a Sonos radio system.’

And Simon told us on Facebook that he was lucky to get fibre for free:

‘Haggled with Sky and got fibre at no extra cost. Have gone from 5Mb/s to 30Mb/s. If you download (and  more importantly, upload) a lot, it does speed things up a great deal but for general browsing I wouldn’t pay the extra.’

Would you pay extra for fibre optic broadband? If so, by how much?

Comments
Member

Would you pay extra for fibre optic broadband?

Nope, in-fact I have just moved from ADSL (Plusnet) to Network Three mobile broadband (unlimited data including teetering).

For me it’s all down to cost, I am saving around £10 a month from moving to mobile broadband and I can do the same as what i did before….apart from I can no longer stream on ITVPlayer due to mobile broadband being slow. But I can live without ITVPlayer.

Member

Lee – How do you do software updates on your computer to keep it up-to-date and protected against malware using mobile broadband? I find mobile broadband on the Three network very useful but it would be expensive for me to use it for anything that involves a lot of data.

Member

I always keep my HTC mobile plugged into my laptop via the USB lead and connected to the internet 24/7. Every few days the internet will go massively slow for maybe 30mins, but after I will get a message saying updates have been installed, then the speed is fine again. I also do avast scans etc myself weekly as normal.

I must admit, it’s not perfect. But as a money saver the savings I am making makes up or the little annoying update/speed things. Also as I have unlimited and am connected 24.7 they have started to slow me down 6.00pm – 11.00pm. But as I do most of my work overnight it does not bother me at all as the speeds seem to be faster overnight.

Member

Thanks Lee. If your phone package offers unlimited data download there is not a cost implication.

Member

No problem wavechange. I was in two minds about moving to Three as all I have heard is bad stuff about them. But as Three are the only mobile company to offer unlimited I gave it a chance and t worked (thank god).

Member
PeterM says:
26 February 2014

For info… a few web sites (such as ‘ISP review .co.uk’) mention badly kept secret that the One Plan at £20 is very likely to have a 2 GB limit on traffic used via tethering, for new customers from March.

Exact date unknown but it may mean someone wanting to have 4G speeds, and “unlimited” traffic (1000 GB is a very generous limit each month), will have to get a move on to order a SIM before the new terms and conditions are in effect. Best to go into a store for anyone wanting the One Plan 12 month SIM only deal as it is at the moment with unlimited tethering.

I was lucky and got it at £15/month in late January before the price rise.

Member

I don’t pay £20 so that might be another tariff. I pay less than that. Also I did get a phone call from the Network Three press office a few days ago due to be blogging about them / tweeting etc. I asked about this as the rumor comes and goes all the time. They have confirmed as i have a contract the T&C’s wont change, even come November 2014 when my contract is up she said as I am already a customer my new contract would have unlimited tethering too if i want it.

Member
PeterM says:
26 February 2014

It’s the same plan as you have, but the monthly price went up at the end of January from £15, which was their charge during the second half of 2013. Monthly price went down from £25 in July last year, but with the new “no price increases during the fixed term of a contract” rule from OFCOM, it looks as if they decided they would simply push up the price for all NEW contracts from 30-01-2014.

The change from “unlimited tethering” to one where the quantity of data is severely restricted is just about to hit NEW customers.

I felt it was worth pointing out for other readers NOW, so if they had seen your comment and were considering a change to Three, they’d at least get the deal now before it disappears (and for all I know, might never return at this price level, in the future).

Sometimes when a firm provides a deal that’s very good for consumers, they later backtrack if their profits are too low (ie if not costing them money, then they may only just be breaking even and the product is seen as being ‘too generous’ to customers).

At the £15 price, for unlimited data, with tethering, and offering 4G service whenever that serves a customer in the future, it was a really superb deal.

Bumping the cost up and then restricting the data allowance (for tethering only), seem to be two quite significant changes in quick succession, and only those who knew what was available at £15 last year, and had previously been £25, will know what the new customers are going to be missing, even though it now costs £20 for the 12 month SIM Only ‘One Plan’.

Member