Broadband FAQs

Want to find out more about choosing the best broadband deals? If you have a question please use the index below:

  • What is broadband?
    Broadband is designed to give you fast access to the internet. Packages are much faster than old dial up connections. This means you can download large files (such as video and music files).
  • What speed is broadband?
    The speed of your internet connection determines how much data you can send or receive. The faster your connection, the more you can do at once. The speed is determined by where you live and the type of connection you have.
  • Can I get broadband where I live?
    The provider you’re with and where you live are the two main factors determining broadband availability. Urban areas are more likely to have coverage than rural locations.
  • Why should I get broadband?
    Broadband enables you to surf the internet and send and receive information swiftly. With a broadband connection you can surf the internet without tying up your phone line. Broadband also allows you to view videos online and send/download photos, images, movies and sound files.
  • How do I get a broadband comparison?
    You can use our broadband comparison service to compare broadband deals that are right for you. From there, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) will guide you towards signing up to a contract. Most broadband contract lengths are either 12, 18 or 24 months in duration.
  • Can my provider raise its charges during my contract?
    Yes, but Ofcom* warns that when notifying customers of tariff increases, ISPs must make the terms and conditions ‘generally transparent and fair’.
  • What kind of tariffs are there?
    Broadband packages come in different forms and sizes, from ADSL broadband to cable broadband and 3G and 4G mobile broadband. Most broadband deals are available on a monthly subscription fee, over a certain number of months with variable download limits. Tariffs may be bundled in with extras such as phone calls and TV.
  • How do I switch my tariff?
    If you decide to switch tariffs, Ofcom* advises the best way is to phone or write to your broadband provider. Check your terms and conditions to see whether your contract has expired. If you have been with your broadband provider for longer than 24 months, you will probably be out of contract. When you switch package or provider, you will need to obtain a MAC code. This is an alpha-numeric code, unique to you, which provides information about your internet connection.
  • How do I switch broadband provider?
    Ofcom* advises that you should phone or write a letter to your ISP if you want to change to a different provider. You must operate within the terms of your existing broadband contract. You should ask them for your MAC code. Make sure you do not cancel your contract when you receive this, as it may take two weeks before you are connected with your new broadband provider.
  • What should I do if I have difficulty paying my bills?
    Sometimes your personal finances can change unexpectedly. If you’re having difficulty paying your bill, Ofcom advises that you should discuss this with your ISP.
  • What if I disagree with my broadband bill?
    Ofcom* recommends that you should send your ISP a copy of your broadband bill, highlighting the relevant charges and the reasons why they are being disputed. If this fails to resolve your dispute, you should follow its formal complaints procedure. If your dispute is still unresolved, you can raise the matter with the relevant Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme.
*Ofcom is the UK communications regulator. For more information, advice and how to complain, visit the Consumer Section of the Ofcom website or call 0300 123 3333 or 020 7981 3040. Lines are open Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm. For Textphone: 020 7981 3043.