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25th August 2020

How to install fibre broadband

Max Beckett
Max Beckett

Broadband expert

Can I get broadband installation in my area?

Fibre-optic broadband installations are available to most people in the UK.

Openreach, the leading company in charge of building and maintaining the UK’s broadband network, estimates that 96% of the UK can get superfast broadband speeds of more around 24Mbps.

You can check out what broadband packages are available in your area here.

How do I get fibre-optic broadband in my home?

As most fibre connections are FTTC (fibre-to-the-cabinet) you won’t need an engineer to visit your home because your connection will still use your home phone line to connect to the street cabinet.

However, you will need a home engineer visit if you are switching to FTTP (fibre-to the-premises) broadband. This is the fastest broadband internet you can get and means that a fibre-optic cable runs directly from the broadband exchange to your property. If your home has never had a fibre connection before, an engineer may need to visit to install the right equipment.

Once your home has the correct socket, all you have to do is plug in the new router and wait for the fibre service to go live.

How can I switch broadband?

Improved regulations set by Ofcom make switching broadband providers much easier than ever before. 

All you need to do is check what type of broadband is available in your area — decide whether to switch or start a new contract with what you already have, and then contact the provider. When switching broadband and looking at broadband installation you need to be aware of the network used by the providers.

If both providers are on the Openreach network (like BT, Sky, Plusnet, EE or TalkTalk), the process is straightforward, and they will be able to do all of the work for you. However, you might have to factor in more time if you’re switching to a provider that uses a different network, like Virgin Media or any FTTP supplier.

Can I get a fast broadband installation?

Getting a quick broadband installation can depend on a lot of different factors. For instance, you might be getting a broadband installation for the first time, switching suppliers or moving house – but on average the fibre broadband installation process should take around two weeks. 

Moving house and broadband installation

It’s a stressful experience moving home at the best of times, so the last thing you need is more hassle getting connected to the internet. So, to avoid being without a broadband connection for longer than you need, there are a few simple things you can do to ensure you will be able to stream, log on and catch up with friends before you have even finished unpacking!

Follow these three steps for broadband installation.

1. Check availability 

Check your new postcode to find out which broadband installation is available for you. While superfast fibre broadband is available to 96% of UK premises, you can still check to see if you have access to certain packages here.

2. Compare broadband packages 

There are a lot of broadband options out there, but you need to decide which package best suits your needs. For example, do you need to have ultrafast broadband speeds over 100Mbps? Do you want to bundle TV in with your broadband and landline? And for that matter, do you actually need a landline?

3. Contact the provider and consider timing

Once you’ve chosen the broadband deal that’s right for you, simply click through the steps to contact your new provider to tell them you want to switch. The process is then handled entirely by your new provider from this point on.

They will cancel your contract with your old provider and set up the new start date for your contract. Currently, the exception to this rule is when switching to providers on their own cable networks, the most common being Virgin Media.

Who can I get fibre optic broadband from?

All of the major broadband providers offer fibre broadband deals, as well as many that you may not have heard of as they specialise in fibre broadband.

Here are the main providers you will be able to compare to find the cheapest fibre broadband:

  • BT

Plusnet provider's landing pageBT provider's landing pageTalkTalk provider's landing pageVirgin provider's landing pageVodafone provider's landing pageSky provider's landing pageEE provider's landing pageNOW TV provider's landing page

How can I avoid broadband installation delays? 

Everyone of course wants a fast broadband installation, and there are a number of things you can do to ensure that the process runs as smoothly and quickly as possible.

  • Check if you have a landline. Having a new landline installed could delay your connection.

  • If you live in rented accommodation remember to get written permission for fibre broadband installation from your landlord or housing agent.

  • Some flats can make it more difficult to have a broadband installation. If your flat is rented, check with the landlord first. And some flats might have broadband already, but you will need to check your tenancy agreement to see what can and can’t be fitted. 

  • If you have a self-build or new build property, installation could be delayed if you don’t have a postcode for your property.

How does the fibre broadband installation process work?

  • First, you need to sign up with a provider. Once done you will get a rough time frame for your installation. Your provider will then confirm the exact date and time.

  • An engineer will arrive on the specified date and tell you they are working on the connection. They will talk to you about where the connection will need to enter your house and then, when ready, will need to access your house to install a box on the wall, connecting your house to the network. 

  • The engineer will check the connection, and perhaps provide a modem or router, which may also be tested. Some providers will send you the router before the visit.

  • At the end, the engineer will get you to sign for the work. Make sure you check that everything is working correctly before you sign.

Can I get free broadband installation?

While nothing is actually free, there are broadband packages with nothing to pay upfront. That means a free connection, free installation and a free router or other equipment. All you will need to do is pay the fixed-term monthly bills for your broadband service.

To find out what broadband deals are out there with free installation and/or free set-up, you can follow these steps.

  • Use our postcode checker to find out if free installation is available in your area.

  • Choose a deal you want and sign up with the provider.

  • Be aware that, regardless of upfront costs, most broadband providers will perform a credit check on new customers. check here for details 

What is broadband with no upfront cost?

The first step for finding deals with no upfront cost is to enter your postcode here. This will show you the range of deals that are available. Providers vary, but there are some that offer packages with nothing to pay upfront, while others will have no set-up charge for a limited period as part of a special offer.

Offering no upfront costs is a tool that providers use to make their deals more attractive ahead of their competitors’. Upfront costs can include the cost of installation but also things like postage and packaging for your broadband router.

Broadband with no setup fees

Broadband with free setup means you don’t have to pay anything when signing up for the service. This is not always a huge saving, but it can often be found alongside other freebies to make a deal even better value.

Broadband and TV packages 

Whether you have a passion for watching sports and movies or streaming online content on Netflix, Amazon Prime and NOW TV, combining your broadband and TV into a single package could save you a lot of money each year. 

There are lots of different types of TV services that can be put into your TV and broadband bundle. Some will have higher set-up costs and monthly fees but offer hundreds of channels, while you can also opt for fewer channels with a lower monthly cost.

In most cases, TV providers will charge you for an engineer and to cover equipment. There are cases where you can get broadband and TV packages with free installation while other providers will offer limited periods where they will not charge a fee to set up pay TV. For these packages you sign a contract for between 12 to 18 months and you will have to stay with that service provider for this length of time at least. The service provider will also charge you line rental, which will be included in the overall cost of the service.

If you want broadband but don’t want a package

If you want a phone and broadband line but don’t want to take out a package with a provider, you will have to pay for the cost of installing the line. 

First, contact your chosen provider and make arrangements for a new line installation, you will pay a fee and then be visited by an engineer for installation.

Frequently asked questions

This is possible but unless you are confident in your abilities or already have experience doing so, we would recommend you use an expert.

When your broadband line is connected to your home, that is known as the installation cost. Set-up costs, while they can also include installation, might also include things such as the cost of a router and other upfront fees.

It depends on the deal you have but most service providers will charge between £20 and £80 for getting you up and running. It is best to check with providers for the latest deals. 

Most broadband services need a phone line to operate and you will be charged if they have to install one. Some providers may waive the installation fee.