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With so many UK providers offering multiple options, it can be really difficult to choose a broadband package that suits your requirements. Here are the main factors to consider when buying a home broadband solution.

Average Broadband Download Speed

Up until recently, broadband providers were able to just advertise their ‘Up to’ speed. However, recent regulation now means that they have to show the ‘Average speed’.

The average speed is defined as being the speed that at least 50% of customers get during peak time. The UK government communications regulator, Ofcom, defines peak time as being between the hour of 8pm – 10pm.

Despite the change, the actual speed that you will get will of course depend on a number of factors including:

The type of connection e.g. cable or fibre
How far your home is from the telephone exchange box
The area you live in
The time of day you are using the connection
Generally speaking, the faster the average speed, the more expensive the package will cost. Deciding on what speed you need is determined by what you are using it for.
If you just want to surf the internet and get the odd email then a standard broadband connection may suffice. On the other hand, if you are going to stream music and movies, play online gaming or have a family that uses multiple devices at the same time, then a much faster fibre connection is required.

You can always upgrade your broadband connection if you find it’s too slow but you may incur addition costs if you do this whilst in the middle of your contract period.

Type of Broadband Package

Broadband providers generally offer three types of package:

Broadband only
Broadband and phone
Broadband and phone with TV
As you generally require a phone connection to have broadband, there are only a few that will offer broadband only. When you compare broadband, you’ll find that most packages will automatically include a Wi-Fi router, line rental and some kind of call rate package.
A number of suppliers will also offer a TV bundle on top of the broadband and phone connection. This TV package can vary greatly among providers but usually involves some or all of the following:

The supply of a box that can record multiple hours of TV
The ability for the box to rewind and pause live TV
The ability to watch Freeview channels
The option to subscribe to premium channels such as Sky Sports, BT Sport or movies
The ability to watch catch-up TV and On-Demand programmes
Broadband contract length
Once you sign up to a broadband package, you will have a cooling off period during which time you can cancel. However, if you decide you no longer want the package or wish to switch to a new provider, then you may incur penalty fee charges for cancelling early.

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