Home » Help » Is buying a new home the quickest way to full fibre broadband?

Is buying a new home the quickest way to full fibre broadband?

Is buying a new home the quickest way to full fibre broadband?

Friday, 5 April, 2019

There are two main ways to get broadband in your home – along telephone cables installed by Openreach, or via underground fibre optic cables.

In many urban areas, ambitious new brands like Hyperoptic and CityFibre are installing ultrafast (yet subterranean) broadband infrastructure.

Virgin Media is accessible from the majority of UK homes, using a combination of proprietary infrastructure and legacy cabling inherited from Telewest and ntl.

Cable broadband is generally faster than phone line services, which are often throttled by the presence of sluggish copper cabling between local exchanges and private homes.

However, installing broadband in existing neighbourhoods incurs considerable costs.

Pavements are expensive to dig up, cables are hard to install around water and sewage pipes, and many newly-cabled residents may be quite happy with existing broadband provision.

Something old, something new…

For these reasons, cable companies often focus new investment on on estates which are under construction, rather than pre-populated with potential NIMBYs.

By working in tandem with developers, they can install subterranean cable networks quite cheaply, and without needing roadwork permits from the council.

When homeowners move in, they’ll often want to set up a broadband contract, making this a perfect time to attract new customers.

This virtuous circle explains why over 60 per cent of new homes built in the UK are pre-cabled with full fibre broadband.

This percentage has doubled since 2016, reflecting the enthusiasm among cable providers for installing broadband in new homes.

It also means buyers of new-build properties enjoy some of the UK’s fastest connections.

Watch your speed

According to research conducted throughout 2018, 52 per cent of new-build homes in the UK were equipped with Fibre to the Premises broadband from Openreach.

Another nine per cent had a different form of FTTP connection, such as Virgin Media’s cable.

As less than half of homes in Yorkshire and north-east England enjoy full fibre connectivity, broadband in new homes may represent a shortcut onto the information superhighway.

However, there are one or two caveats.

Firstly, your choice of supplier may be limited if the cabling isn’t installed by Openreach – which is suitable for any provider to access.

You’ll also have to run down your existing contract, since broadband firms make transferring accounts easy. They won’t cancel an existing contract because of an impending house move.

Finally, cabled broadband in new homes isn’t a guarantee of ultrafast speeds.

While two thirds of new properties have connections capable of supporting download speeds of over 100Mbps, one in eight still achieves average speeds below 30Mbps.

Housebuilders may not be entirely forthcoming about likely speeds, so investigate line speeds in surrounding streets or adjacent postcodes using online search tools.

This will indicate prospective speeds for broadband in new homes which are still to be constructed or occupied.

Neil Cumins author picture


Neil is our resident tech expert. He's written guides on loads of broadband head-scratchers and is determined to solve all your technology problems!

News What's the story?

Keep up with the latest developments in UK broadband.

The biggest malware threats of 2020…so far

It’s been a year few of us will forget in a hurry, and we're only halfway through.

The biggest malware threats of 2020…so farThe biggest malware threats of 2020…so far Read more

Instagram could become the main news source for young people.

Reuters finds changes in the way younger users consume the news.

Read more

BT launches second line service

BT launches second broadband home line service for the new crop of home workers.

Read more

Best broadband areas for online gaming in the UK.

Read more

Help Learn with us

Make the most of the internet with our broadband library.

How to check if your broadband is down

It might seem obvious that an outage has occurred, but there are easy ways to check if your broadband is down, or whether the problem is more localised

How to check if your broadband is downHow to check if your broadband is down Read more

A guide to Big Tech alternatives.

It seems like we’re reliant on a small group of companies, are there alternatives?

Read more

Quick tips for boosting home broadband speed

Boosting speed can transform activities like streaming, gaming and accessing cloud storage

Read more

What’s the difference between hardware, firmware and software?

Read more