Sky vs Virgin Media vs BT: which fibre broadband provider is best?

We take a look at some of the most popular providers to see which comes out top for superfast fibre (30Mbps or above) and ultrafast fibre (300Mbps or above). And we’ll see which one’s best value too.

Which provider is best for superfast fibre?

Superfast fibre is widely available and is easily fast enough for all but the busiest households.

But which provider to choose? Read on as we take a look at how they compare.

BT superfast broadband

Opt for superfast broadband from BT and your choices include Fibre Essential (average speeds of 36Mbps), Fibre 1 (50Mbps) and Fibre 2 (67Mbps).

All of which offer fairly standard fibre speeds at fairly standard prices.

BT also offers a package called Ultrafast Fibre 100, which despite its name has an average speed of 145Mbps that means it’s technically classified as a superfast broadband package.

BT’s superfast runs on the Openreach network, which covers 32 million households.

So there’s an excellent chance you’ll be able to get BT’s packages at your address.

Online exclusive Fibre 1
New customers only Offer ends 16/09/2021
Online exclusive Fibre 2
New customers only Offer ends 16/09/2021

*Average speeds are based on the download speeds of at least 50% of customers at peak time(8pm to 10pm). Speed can be affected by a range of technical and environmental factors. The speed you receive where you live may be lower than that listed above. You can check the estimated speed to your property prior to purchasing.

Sky superfast broadband

Sky’s superfast packages are dubbed ‘Superfast’ and, rather confusingly, ‘Ultrafast’. They’ll get you speeds of 59Mbps and 145Mbps respectively.

Both of which are ample for busy households and work out broadly comparable to BT when it comes to price.

Like BT, Sky uses Openreach network. Which means Sky superfast broadband packages are very widely available and you can get them in the same locations.

*Average speeds are based on the download speeds of at least 50% of customers at peak time(8pm to 10pm). Speed can be affected by a range of technical and environmental factors. The speed you receive where you live may be lower than that listed above. You can check the estimated speed to your property prior to purchasing.

Virgin Media superfast broadband

Virgin Media’s superfast packages are M100 (average speeds of 108Mbps) and M200 (average speeds of 213Mbps).

In terms of price, Virgin Media generally gets you faster speeds for the same sort of outlay as BT and Sky.

The catch is that Virgin Media superfast package are not as widely available and are only on offer to 15 million homes across the UK, mostly in towns and cities.

*Average speeds are based on the download speeds of at least 50% of customers at peak time(8pm to 10pm). Speed can be affected by a range of technical and environmental factors. The speed you receive where you live may be lower than that listed above. You can check the estimated speed to your property prior to purchasing.

Verdict

Virgin Media is our top pick here, with speedy superfast broadband that comes in at keen prices.

But with the caveat that it’s significantly less widely available than a superfast service from BT or Sky.

Which provider is best for ultrafast fibre?

Ultrafast fibre isn't available everywhere but gets you among the very best speeds. Here we run the rule over full fibre ultrafast packages from BT, Sky and Virgin Media to help you make an informed decision...

BT ultrafast broadband

BT Ultrafast Fibre 300 and BT Ultrafast Fibre 900 provide average speeds of 300Mbps and 900Mbps respectively. Expect to pay between £50-£60 (figures correct as of June 2020).

BT ultrafast is supplied via BT’s nascent full-fibre network, which means availability is very limited compared to superfast broadband. And is mostly restricted to large, urban areas.

Sky ultrafast broadband

At the time of writing Sky does not offer a service that meets the 300Mbps speed threshold require to qualify as ‘ultrafast’.

Although Sky’s top-of-the-range package is branded as ‘ultrafast’, its top speed is 145Mbps.

Virgin Media ultrafast broadband

Virgin Media’s ultrafast broadband packages include M350 (average speeds of 362Mbps), M500 (average speeds of 516Mbps) and the top-of-the-range Gig1 service with lightning quick average speeds of 1130Mbps.

The good thing about Virgin Media ultrafast packages is that they’re more widely available than ultrafast services from BT, which are only offer to a small number of city dwellers.

Conversely, as long as you’re in an area where Virgin Media operates, you’ll be able to get ultrafast Virgin Media broadband.

Verdict

Virgin Media wins out here, with speedier ultrafast packages than BT and at prices that undercut its main rival. And they’re more widely available too.

Which fibre broadband is cheapest?

If you’re looking to get the most for your money, Virgin Media is our pick.

Despite the perception that it’s a high-end provider, its packages typically offer faster speeds for comparable monthly price as BT and other fibre providers.

Can I get superfast and ultrafast broadband in my area?

The best way to see what broadband packages and speeds are on offer at your address is to use our availability checker.

Just tell us your postcode and we’ll do the rest.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the difference between ultrafast and superfast fibre?

Officially superfast fibre is defined as a broadband that gets you a speed of above 30Mbps. Ultrafast fibre is classified as a service with a speed of 300Mbps or higher.

Which type of fibre broadband do I need?

For almost all households, particularly smaller family homes, a superfast fibre package will easily be fast enough.

However, if you want the best service around, or you live in a very busy multiple occupancy home, ultrafast is well worth a look.

Especially so, given that you’ll be able to spread the cost of the high-end service with your housemates.