Blog: Announcements

Regular Broadband-related news and comment from the team.

All posts labeled Announcements: site-related announcements and information.

Ofcom Logo reaccredited by Ofcom!

Posted by Fiona Conner on in NewsAnnouncements

We're very pleased to announce that has been reaccredited by Ofcom! We've been accredited by Ofcom since 2010, and undergo regular independent audits every 18 months to ensure that our comparison service meets their rigorous standards.

Lindsey Fussell, Director of Ofcom's Consumer and External Relations Group, had this to say on the subject:

"Price comparison services like play an important role in helping people to choose a provider, by offering helpful information on services and costs. Ofcom's accreditation scheme means people can be confident that the information they've received is accurate, clear and up to date."

We take pride in the fact that we make every effort to ensure that the information we supply is accurate and up to date and presented clearly to users of our site. This means you can be confident you're getting the best service when you use our postcode checker to find the broadband deal that works for you.

Our CEO, Edd Dawson, had this to say in response to the news.

"It's fantastic to yet again be re-accredited by Ofcom. The broadband market is complex and diverse, our aim is to make it simple for consumers to find and switch to the best deal for them. Being part of the accreditation scheme is key to demonstrating that we are impartial, open and honest with our recommendations."

We look forward to continuing to provide users of our site with a service that they can trust well into the future.


Broadband Rewards Explained

Unwrapping the mystery of free gifts and rewards that come with broadband deals

Posted on in FeaturesAnnouncementsOffersBT

It's becoming common these days for broadband providers to entice customers into buying a broadband package by offering tempting rewards, such as gift cards, shopping vouchers, bill credit and cashback, and even shiny tech like tablets, Amazon devices and TVs. All the big name providers do it and some rewards, such as BT's current offer with a choice of tech and a reward card on top, may seem too good to pass up on.

But such offers may not be the best deal for you, even if they look really good at first glance. Before you rush to take advantage of a deal with rewards, you need to stop and ask yourself a few important questions, including:

  • What exactly are all these different rewards and how do they work?
  • Will these reward deals still save you money on your broadband contract?
  • Is the reward on offer something you already want or even need?
  • Could you spend less by getting a cheaper broadband deal and buying the reward yourself?
  • How do you get your rewards - are you automatically given them or do you need to claim them yourself?

We've got a brand new page in our Help section all about broadband rewards for you that gives you the answers to these questions and more, so when you decide to buy a broadband deal with a reward, you'll know how much money you'll really be saving, exactly what you're getting and how to get it.

Armed with all that information, you're all set to find the best deal with rewards for your needs - use our postcode checker to find out what's available in your area right now!

Read our Broadband Rewards Explained help page.


Best TV Deals

How to get the cheapest deals on all the TV channels you want

Posted by Andy Betts on in FeaturesAnnouncements

We're living in a golden age of TV. There's never been so many incredible shows to watch, and never so many different services to watch them on.

There's a bewlidering array of choices, and it presents you with a bit of a problem. Sign up to just a few channels and you might not able to get all the programmes you want; sign up for them all and you'll end up paying a fortune.

So what's the best way to make sure you don't miss all the unmissable new shows? Do you need Sky or can you stream instead? Should you pick Netflix or NOW TV? And what's the cheapest way to watch live Premier League football?

In the search to get all the channels you want, it's so easy end up with a lot more than you actually need. That's a waste - and completely unnecessary.

Our new in-depth guide to getting the best value TV services cuts through all the confusion. Whether you want boxsets, live sports or the hottest new movies, we'll tell you how to get it for the best possible price.

We'll show you:

  • The best way to catch prestige shows like House of Cards, The Crown and Game of Thrones, and how to find great deals on streaming services.
  • How you can save up to £100 a year on Premier League football by streaming with NOW TV instead of getting it direct from Sky.
  • How to put your old Sky dish and box to work and get access to 150+ free satellite channels.
  • Where to find the most - and the cheapest - HD movies, TV and sports.
  • How to get the best deals on broadband and TV bundles.

And this is only the start. The sheer range of TV options available to us all today is as vast as it is exciting. If you're still trying to figure out which services are right for you, and how you can spend the least amount of money to get them, check out our TV guide now.

Once you've decided what you need, take at the look at the latest TV and broadband bundles, or make sure your internet speed is ready for streaming with our top ultrafast fibre broadband deals.

Read our guide to getting the best TV services at the lowest prices.




Our enhanced broadband Speed Test tool shows how fast your internet really is

Posted by Andy Betts on in FeaturesNewsAnnouncements

Is your broadband up to speed? Is it delivering what you hoped for when you first signed up? Or should you be switching to a faster provider? Our newly enhanced broadband Speed Test tool has all the answers.

Already used by over 400,000 people every month, the Speed Test service is the quickest and best way to get the true picture of how your internet is performing. This completely free tool now boasts upgraded features that make it better than ever.

With the Speed Test you can:

  • test your download and upload speeds
  • compare your results to the best speeds available in your street
  • save and view your entire test history, using our new Facebook integration feature

Having access to your test history enables you to judge the performance of your broadband over time, and also to identify any patterns or trends in the speeds. It isn't uncommon for internet speeds to drop during peak hours as more people go online. By running the test on different days, and at different times of day, you can quickly spot any problems. Our results page also highlights faster services available in your area. If you're ready to switch providers, or upgrade to fibre broadband, you'll know what your best options are.

In addition, you can carry out speed tests on various devices in different parts of your house. If you're experiencing slowdown in particular rooms, it may be because the Wi-Fi signal is being blocked or does not reach far enough. If you find that you're having this problem, we've got a guide that can help.

We also collate all the results to determine the industry's best and worst performing providers. We update our performance chart every month so you can clearly see which companies are worth your business, and which should be avoided.

To carry out a Speed Test, just click here.

Test your broadband speed today

Getting started with our broadband Speed Test couldn't be simpler. It takes just a couple of clicks, and the whole process lasts barely 20 seconds. It runs from within any web browser, and it works on your phone, too. You can use it to test both Wi-Fi and 4G speeds.

Visit the Speed Test page (1). Enter your postcode if you want to compare your results to other services in your area (or you can leave it blank if you prefer). Now just click Start Test.

The entire process lasts about 10 to 20 seconds (2). It's a good idea to carry out the test when you aren't using the internet for anything else, so pause any downloads, and disconnect videogames and streaming services until it has finished.

Once done, you'll see your results page (3). The first screen shows your upload and download speeds, compared to those achieved from other providers in the same postcode.

To see the rest of your results, all plotted on a similar chart (4), click Login with Facebook to see your full history, then follow the onscreen instructions. With regular tests you'll be able to build up a complete picture of how your broadband is performing, whether it is meeting expectations, and whether you'd be better off switching to a new provider.

If you do decide to switch, our Buyers' Guide provides an Ofcom-approved comparison of all the standard and fibre broadband offers available to you right now. It's constantly updated, and completely independent. You can be confident that we will always point you toward the deal that's right for you.

Comments's all-in prices

Our revamped comparison tables make it easier than ever to find the best broadband for you

Posted by Andy Betts on in NewsAnnouncements

Finding the cheapest broadband deal is now easier than ever thanks to our new price comparison tables.

Our revamped listings help to bring much needed clarity to broadband pricing. They now show exactly how much a package will cost you each month, as well as the total amount you'd pay in the first year. In addition, we clearly outline any upfront costs you'd need to pay for things like equipment or installation - the exact kind of things that so often get hidden in the small print.

Broadband pricing has often been complicated and confusing. Our enhanced comparison tables bring greater consistency to the way different providers' offers are presented. By default, packages are sorted by the first year cost - which includes any setup fees - so you'll be able to see exactly how much you would pay in the first 12 months of any deal.

Greater clarity in pricing

Back in May, the Advertising Standards Authority teamed up with Ofcom to announce new rules designed to make it simpler for consumers to compare broadband packages and gave providers until the end of October to comply. It said that product listings needed to stop separating broadband and line rental charges, and give greater prominence to contract length and up-front costs.

We fully support the new guidelines at Our purpose is to help you find the best broadband deal at the best price, and we've long argued that greater consistency and clarity was needed in the way that deals were advertised.

With the rules now in effect, we've overhauled the way we present pricing information to you. These are the main changes you'll find:

  • Full monthly cost - All packages now show the total price you will pay each month, even if the provider is still separating out broadband and line rental charges. You'll always be able to compare like-for-like.
  • Full first-year cost - Find out how much a package will cost you in the first year, once introductory offers have been accounted for, and including any additional upfront costs you may need to pay. If you'll receive promotional cashback or account credit during the year, this is deducted from the total. (Vouchers and other rewards aren't included.)
  • Upfront cost - Say goodbye to hidden fees. Any extras like setup, equipment, or delivery charges are now shown as a single all-in total beneath the monthly price. (If you need a new telephone line, additional prices may apply, see More Info or click Go to site.) We also have a dedicated page, where you can compare broadband deals with no upfront costs.
  • Broadband-only deals - Those packages that are sold as broadband-only but still require a phone line - so you need to shop around and pay someone else for separate line rental - are now either shown on their own Broadband-Only tab for the associated provider, or are clearly marked as needing separate line rental.
  • More info - Hit the More info button to get a full breakdown on each package. This includes the all-in price and how this compares to what's advertised (in cases where the provider still presents differently), along with details of telephone line requirements and what else you get with the package.

Ready to switch broadband providers? Use our postcode checker to find out which deals are available in your area.


National Average Speeds March 2016

Average mobile broadband speeds rising in 2016 while fixed line home broadband speeds coast at late 2015 levels

Posted by Edd Dawson on in NewsAnnouncementsEE MobileEEHyperopticVodafoneThreeSkyVirgin MediaBTPost Office

Each month hundreds of thousands of broadband customers test their speeds with our broadband speed test. Since the end of 2015 there's been little change in average speeds from home broadband with average download speeds for March 2016 coming in at 20.41Mb and average upload speeds at 3.73Mb.

However, our test also supports users testing on tablets and smartphones, meaning we can report on mobile broadband speeds from 4G and 3G networks. While home broadband has been stable, mobile broadband average download speed has risen by a full 2Mb since December and upload speed by 1.6Mb, the average mobile broadband speeds for March 2016 were 15.31Mb download and 3.71Mb upload.

When the big mobile broadband and home broadband providers' average speeds compete on the same table, it's only Virgin Media's DOCSIS 3 cable broadband that outperforms mobile broadband, clocking in 46.95Mb, with upload speeds at 5.9Mb. 4GEE is ahead of BT Broadband with download speeds clocking in at 18.71Mb, faster than BT by 1.07Mb. 4GEE and Vodafone mobile broadband sit in overall 2nd and 4th places beating all home big broadband providers' averages bar Virgin Media, with Vodafone's 16.26Mb average mobile download speed only 1.38Mb behind BT.

Of the home broadband providers Post Office Broadband still has the UK's slowest broadband speed overall with only 4.38Mb average downloads and 1.67Mb average uploads, well below the average speeds expected for copper phoneline broadband. Three tested with the slowest mobile broadband at 12.09Mb downloads, but this still beat home broadband offerings from Sky and EE.

When the supplementary broadband providers table (see page 4 of the report) is included we can see that fibre to the building provider Hyperoptic tested as the fastest broadband overall with 91.7Mb average downloads and 77.3Mb uploads.

Read more Broadband Speed Test Results for March 2016


National Average Speeds December 2015

Average fixed line download speeds remain stable over December 2015, average mobile broadband speeds see minor increase

Posted on in NewsAnnouncementsEE MobileHyperopticVodafoneTalkTalkThreeO2Virgin MediaBTPost OfficePlusnet

December 2015 saw average download speeds for fixed line providers recorded by users of our broadband speed test remain stable in comparison to the results from November, coming in at 20.56Mb. Average upload speeds saw a 0.15Mb drop to 3.68Mb.

Of the big 5 home broadband providers, Virgin Media remained in first place but their average download speeds appear to have levelled out since rolling out their 200Mb service, remaining stable at 46.57Mb, with upload speeds at 5.66Mb. BT Broadband retain second place with average download and upload speeds steady at 17.58Mb and 4.42Mb respectively. TalkTalk move up to third place, with download speeds stable at 12.8Mb and upload speeds dropping by 0.21Mb to 1.86Mb. Plusnet drop into fourth place, dropping by 0.59Mb to 12.6Mb for average download speeds with a 0.39Mb decrease to 2.85Mb for average upload speeds. Finally, Sky remain in fifth place with a 1.1Mb fall in download speeds to 10.92Mb, while their upload speeds decreased by 0.41Mb to 2.47Mb.

Results from users testing with mobile-enabled devices including phones and tablets suggests that mobile broadband speeds saw an overall rise since November. Taking mobile broadband separately from home broadband, EE Mobile retain first place, with download speeds increasing by 1.1Mb to 17.55Mb and upload speeds holding at 3.87Mb. Vodafone are in second place, seeing download speeds fall slightly by 0.19Mb to 13.76Mb and upload speeds steady at 2.82Mb. O2 are in third place with download speeds at 11.78Mb - a respectable 1.4Mb increase over last month - and upload speeds at 2.53Mb. Three are still in fourth place, with average download speeds of 9.84Mb and upload speeds of 2.56Mb.

When mobile broadband and home broadband average speeds compete on the same table, 4GEE is head-to-head with BT's second place with a difference of only 0.03Mb. 4GEE and Vodafone mobile broadband sit in overall 3rd and 4th places beating all home broadband providers' averages bar Virgin Media and BT. This suggests that 4G broadband may have higher uptake levels relative to 3G compared to uptake of the fastest possible fibre broadband products relative to cheaper options.

This month's supplementary broadband providers table (see page 4 of the report) found Post Office Broadband had the UK's slowest broadband speed overall with only 2.55Mb average downloads and only 0.33Mb average uploads. Hyperoptic was fastest overall with 102.1Mb average downloads and 92.13Mb uploads.

Read more Broadband Speed Test Results for December 2015


National Average Speeds October 2015

Average download speeds increase over October 2015, Virgin Media see gains with 200Mb rollout

Posted on in NewsAnnouncementsEE MobileVodafoneTalkTalkThreeO2SkyVirgin MediaBTPlusnet

October 2015 saw average download speeds for fixed line providers recorded by users of our broadband speed test rise by 2.76Mb in comparison to the results from September, coming in at 21.88Mb. Average upload speeds saw a 0.4Mb increase to 4.65Mb.

Virgin Media's average download speeds rose by 6.31Mb to 48.66Mb, with upload speeds also improving to 6.64Mb. Virgin have recently begun rolling out their 200Mb service for new and existing customers, which accounts for the significant increase in download speeds.

BT Broadband retain second place with average download speeds increasing by 1.32Mb to 18.84Mb, and upload speeds increasing by 0.45Mb to 5.59Mb. Plusnet hold third place, remaining stable at 15.09Mb for average download speeds with only a 0.33Mb decrease to 4.25Mb for average upload speeds. TalkTalk stay in fourth place, with download speeds at 12.89Mb and upload speeds at 2.32Mb. Finally, Sky are in fifth place with a 0.87Mb rise in download speeds, putting them at 12.76Mb, while their upload speeds increased by 0.38Mb to 3.64Mb.

With the recent improvements to our speed test, we're now able to record results from mobile users on their phones and tablets. EE Mobile are in first place, with download speeds averaging at 17.81Mb and upload speeds at 5.36Mb. Vodafone are in second place, with download speeds at 12.95Mb and upload speeds at 3.79Mb. O2 are in third place with download and upload speeds at 11.03Mb and 3.81Mb respectively. This leaves Three in fourth place, with average download speeds of 9.03Mb and upload speeds of 3.45Mb.

Read more Broadband Speed Test Results for October 2015


National Average Speeds March 2015

Minor drops in download speeds for majority of ISPs during March 2015

Posted on in NewsAnnouncementsTalkTalkSkyVirgin MediaBTPlusnet

March 2015 saw average download speeds recorded by users of our Broadband Speed Test drop slightly by 0.32Mb in comparison to the results from February, coming in at 21.11Mb. Average upload speeds remained stable at 4.22Mb.

Virgin Media's average download speeds dropped by a further 1.29Mb to 39.69Mb, with upload speeds remaining stable at 5.34Mb. BT Broadband hold second place with average download and upload speeds remaining stable at 19.85Mb and 5.81Mb. Plusnet remain in third place, with download speeds taking a 1.15Mb hit down to 14.59Mb with a 0.29Mb increase to 5.08Mb for average upload speeds. TalkTalk stay in fourth place, with download speeds increasing by 0.78Mb to 14.26Mb and upload speeds holding stable at 1.76Mb. Finally, Sky are in fifth place with a 0.57Mb decrease to download speeds, putting them at 12.8Mb, with upload speeds falling slightly to 3.24Mb.

Read more Broadband Speed Test Results for March 2015



The process for switching broadband providers is changing in June

Posted on in AnnouncementsNews

While Internet Service Providers try to make switching broadband as easy and smooth as possible, the current system has become outdated and complicates matters for many customers. Originally, MAC migration codes were designed to standardise the process for all broadband switches, but they don't apply when you're also moving your line rental and phone service to the new provider. These days most providers now have their own equipment in your local telephone exchange, and most require you to take their telephone services bundled in with your broadband, so MAC codes aren't needed. Once you've switched to one of these providers the system to switch back changes again. It can get quite confusing and frustrating trying to switch between providers.

Sometimes, due to differences in technology and systems being used, you may find you have to cancel your entire service with one provider before you can switch to a new one with someone else. This is known as 'cease and reprovide', and can result in downtime and unexpected extra charges for both disconnection and new line activation, as well as possibly causing you to lose your telephone number in the process. The threat of losing your phone number can lead people to feel trapped with their current provider. Putting up with high prices or poor service may be seen as a better option than the stress and inconvenience of changing phone numbers.

The good news is that Ofcom have announced new regulations which are due to come into effect late June of this year, which will mean that all home broaband providers will be switching to the new Gaining Provider Led system. This will greatly simplify the process for customers, improving consistency across providers and making the process easier regardless of the type of broadband service you've chosen. From the 20th of June, customers will only have to contact the supplier they want to switch to, they will no longer need to ask their existing provider for a MAC code. Once this is done, the old provider will be required to provide a letter as a formal notification of the service ending, informing the customer of any final charges (such as for broadband usage or phone calls not yet paid for) that may apply.

The new system should also mean that the majority of people switching broadband and phone should be able to do so without losing their number, and all services should be transferred at the same time to ensure a minimal loss of service. As long as the service will be provided over the same telephone line, you shouldn't have to worry about these. However, if you're moving from, for example, a Virgin Media cable broadband service with a totally independent cable telephone line to a service that runs over BT telephone lines, you will still need to cease this cable service and ask for your new provider to either activate your old BT line or install a new one. In this case, every effort should still be taken to ensure you get to keep your phone number.

This new system won't come into force until the 20th of June, but is something that you need to be aware of if you're planning to switch providers. Ofcom provide a guide to the process of switching broadband providers which will be kept up to date as the new regulations comeinto force.