Alternatives to Virgin Media Broadband (100 Mbps or higher)

I use Virgin Media broadband and am generally happy with it. But prices are creeping up and I’d like to see what other options I have.

It’s easy to identify alternative providers with sub 100 Mbps download speeds, but not so easy to identify alternatives at this speed or higher. I’m aware the alternatives are likely to have patchy coverage and may not be available in my area, but who even are the alternatives?

Vodafone

1 Like

You’d need FTTP in your area.

The back haul providers are tiny. But there are hundreds of smaller ISPs that build services on top of them. At least one of the backhaul providers will need to have both your exchange and your cabinet ready and available for new FTTP installs though.

You can check this here for smaller local FTTP providers:

https://availability.samknows.com/broadband/exchange_search

If none of those are available, check openreach here:

If that’s not available either, you’re out of luck unless you’re willing to sacrifice a little speed. If it is, then your options are aplenty. Only the big guys will haggle on price though, but some of the smaller ones are often fairer with pricing. You could always try that with Virgin, your odds of success won’t be too great if you’re in an area where they have a monopoly on speeds higher than 80. But go in armed with a quote for the cheapest 80 FTTC and ask them to match it with the caveat you’ll leave if you don’t.

It’s a game of postcode lottery I’m afraid. Both for the price you pay and the services you have available.

4 Likes

Thanks for that.
I’ll explore properly later, but looks useful.

3 Likes

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/broadband-and-tv/haggle-with-virgin-existing-customer-tips

Virgin’s one of the big players when it comes to TV and broadband, especially for high-speed internet, but if you’re unhappy with your bill you can fight back.

If you want a better deal, this guide takes you through how to haggle to cut costs.

2 Likes

Speak to Virgin Media retentions team.
I got 100mb for £20 a month, 18 month contract. Unbeatable.

3 Likes

Sky was always fairness for us. 125/25 FTTP, was 31pm though I think.

We now have Virgin media 350/30

2 Likes

Virgin always try the bullshit price increases but haggling is pretty easy.

We’re paying £21 for 350Mb. Don’t think any other provider comes close in terms of price.

4 Likes

You can also check https://www.bidb.uk/ to see which providers operate in your postcode area.

This allows you to know “where to look” before going to individual provider websites.

If there is 5G in the area, mobile broadband may even be a very viable option.

5 Likes

That’s a very useful resource! Bookmarked it. Thanks for sharing that.

2 Likes

The credit has to go to ispreview.co.uk which is where I first read about it!

It also uses the one.network API so you can see network-related roadworks in your area too (useful if you are tracking FTTP network build progress).

3 Likes

This website is full of tech related information around mobile and fixed line broadband. Learned many things, mostly around mobile :nerd_face:

1 Like

Currently with Zen but looking at these newcomers:

2 Likes

They look decent but are only available via Openreach’s FTTP network, it seems.

I’m with them, no issues at all.

2 Likes

Unless you’re having issues with Zen, or really need to save that fiver (Though Zen will never put your price up, but Cuckoo make no similar commitment) I’d probably stick with them. They’re generally the better ISP.

Cuckoo are a decent option, but they don’t really bring anything new to the game besides their Monzo-esque marketing fluff and branding. I’ve suggested them before on these parts, because I suspect Monzo fans will love what they see. They also go about providing the service the right way for the most part (though from what I’ve heard recently are another with a tendency to blame everyone else for problems and accept no accountability), but Zen do too. Most ISPs are great until something goes wrong. Then they all seemingly fall down, and Zen are among the cheaper few exceptions to that rule for the most part.

Perhaps something that matters a little more, and goes beyond branding: Zen is a b-corp. so is IDNET but are more expensive (unless you opt for SoGEA, but BTOR engineers still don’t understand the deployment of this and will happily disconnect you thinking it’s a dead line when they install broadband for one of your neighbours), though very very good.

Do they do IPv6 yet? Be careful when checking if you use iCloud private relay, as that will give you ipv6 even if your isp still only supplies ipv4.

If not, that would be a significant downgrade from Zen.

2 Likes

To be honest, the easiest way to see what maximum speeds you can get is first to just go to the BT (retail - not Openreach) website.

If BT have expanded FTTP in your area, they’ll show up there with speeds of up to 1Gb.

If they have launched it, they you know it’s then worth looking at other’s who use Openreach FTTP to get the best deal. If they haven’t, then you’re looking at those specialist ISP’s only who are investing in their own physical infrastructure (the Samknows link above will tell you that).

Also, it still looks like for ‘the big players’ (Virgin/Sky/BT/EE/Vodafone) the best way to cut costs is to bundle things up - so does your Mobile phone company do broadband and do they discount if you get both through them? Or TV and broadband with Sky, Virgin or BT?

As you’re with Virgin now - are you with o2 for mobile? If not, you may find a deal there to bring costs down if you switch?

As a complete alternative, has anyone had any experience with ‘5G Broadband’ services. I noticed Three are claiming up to 1Gb on their 5G home broadband service. That seems very optimistic? If that’s actually true - that’s probably the best deal around atm at £11 pm for 6 months, then £22 pm for the rest of the contract, no upfront costs with unlimited data?

2 Likes

This is based on ideal location.

You’d need to be relatively close to one of their poles of wonder.

Wish they’d hurry up and expand 5G more here as O2 shows I get 5G on my phone but it’s only 4G. Confirmed by switching off 5G. Doesn’t say I’m in a coverage area either which is also odd, though those can take months to update.

1 Like

Thanks Tom, really useful advice. Great community we have here. :+1::sunglasses:

2 Likes

Virgin Media are very easy to bargain with, I squeeze all the pennies I can out of them especially when their customer service is subpar.

Do you want to move away from VM or would you stay if you get could faster for the similar price you are on now?

1 Like