How to get superfast broadband
The Connecting Cambridgeshire programme is rolling out superfast broadband to areas that are not being covered by commercial providers.
Close to three quarters of homes and businesses that could not get it before have already switched to fibre-based broadband, which is much faster and more reliable – for work, learning or leisure.
But it’s not automatic – you need to upgrade to a faster broadband package with your chosen Internet Service Provider to enjoy the benefits.
Recent research by Ofcom shows that customers may be paying more than they need to on existing broadband contracts, so it’s worth checking if you can switch to a better deal.
Here’s what you need to do:
Check if superfast broadband is available
Use our postcode checker to see if superfast broadband is already available in your postcode area, or if there are plans to provide it in follow-on phases of the rollout.
If you don’t live in Cambridgeshire, use the links below to neighbouring counties’ broadband programmes to check if you can get superfast.
- Superfast Essex: www.superfastessex.org/get-connected/get-superfast-broadband/
- Bucks and Herts – Connected Counties: www.connectedcounties.org/
- OnLincolnshire: www.onlincolnshire.org/
- Better Broadband for Suffolk: betterbroadbandsuffolk.com/can-you-connect
- Better Broadband for Norfolk www.norfolk.gov.uk/what-we-do-and-how-we-work/campaigns/digital-connectivity/better-broadband-for-norfolk/can-i-get-fast-broadband
- Superfast Northamptonshire www.superfastnorthamptonshire.net/when-and-where/Pages/get-connected.aspx
If you are covered commercially you can check the main providers’ websites;
- Virgin Media
- Air Broadband
- County Broadband
- Cambridge Fibre (Cambridge area only)
- Gigaclear (Peterborough area only)
- CityFibre (Cambridge and Peterborough)
- Open Fibre Network
You can also use the Openreach Postcode Checker to see the progress of the fibre rollout in your area and the technology used. If you see there is a “waiting list” for the cabinet you are connected, it means the cabinet is full due to high demand, so you won’t be able to order until additional capacity has been installed.
Register your contact details here so we can update you when fibre broadband is available to order in your area.
Check if you can upgrade or switch to get fibre broadband
Ask your current Internet Service Provider (ISP) if you can upgrade to a fibre broadband package within your existing contract, or shop around for the best deal using independent broadband comparison sites.
You can choose to switch broadband providers to upgrade to fibre if you’re not tied into a contract. It’s best to check a range of ISPs as not all offer fibre services in every area.
Shop around for the best fibre broadband package for your needs, and perhaps ask your neighbours who they use. Try a few comparison websites as they may not list every available ISP and may offer different deals.
The programme is using a range of solutions including Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) and Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) technology. You can choose the fibre services package and speeds you need, regardless of the technology. Visit our Fibre Broadband Technologies page for more information.
Connecting Cambridgeshire cannot advise on the best broadband package for you, or which Internet Service Provider (ISP) you should sign up with.
Ofcom’s independent website has lots of useful tips to help you decide what speed you need and how to get the best deal. How to get more from your broadband – Ofcom.
Which? has produced a useful guide to the benefits of fibre broadband and also regularly reviews the best broadband deals.
Order a fibre package and get connected.
Once you’ve ordered, your Internet Service Provider will arrange the connection and send you a router, and inform you when it is live with superfast broadband.
Installing Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) is more complex as it involves engineers making appointments to bring the fibre connection to the property. Find out more in our FAQs.
Look at your options
There are a number of options if you can’t get superfast broadband yet or are looking for higher speeds.
Some areas are harder to reach, however a fourth phase of the broadband rollout is underway to bring superfast broadband to as many places as possible – using the latest Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) technology to address gaps in connectivity.
Some premises may be too far away from the fibre cabinet they are served by to receive superfast speeds, or may be directly connected to the Exchange on copper lines, which are more complex to upgrade to fibre broadband.
If you live in a block of flats, it may be that Openreach requires permission to complete the connection. Take a look at our “Fibre Broadband for Flats” page for more information.
The data for the postcode checker will be updated regularly as the fibre broadband rollout progresses, so look out for changes in the status of your postcode area.
Businesses and residents groups in rural areas where there is demand for higher speeds via full fibre can also help themselves through the Government’s Gigabit Voucher Scheme for eligible premises to install the gigabit-capable fibre broadband, which is faster and more reliable. The scheme is currently on pause for premises in Cambridgeshire, as we are one of the first areas to benefit from Project Gigabit – the government’s national mission to deliver lightning-fast, reliable broadband for everyone in the UK. If for any reason your premise is not included in the intervention area you will be able to apply for a gigabit broadband voucher sometime next year, after the procurement has been announced.
Households and businesses with broadband speeds below 10mbps can also request decent connections under the Government’s Universal Services Obligation (USO).
There may be other interim solutions to get better broadband speeds sooner using alternative technologies such as satellite and wireless. Find out more on Other Technologies page.
If you’ve done all these checks and believe you should be able to get fibre broadband, but are unable to upgrade, contact us and we will be happy to help.