First Utility Buyers Guide
Can I get First Utility Broadband?
First Utility Broadband is available in all areas covered by BT telephone exchanges.
The service runs on a combination of TalkTalk's low cost network and the Openreach network. It's available to well over 90% of UK premises, and the features and price are the same whether you're in an urban or rural area.
What packages are available?
First Utility offer one standard and two fibre broadband packages, each with a fixed price, no connection fee and line rental included.
The three broadband deals available to you are:
- UltraFirst Broadband - totally unlimited ultrafast fibre broadband with speeds up to 76Mb, on an 18 month contract
- SuperFirst Broadband - totally unlimited fibre broadband with speeds up to 38Mb, on an 18 month contract
- First Broadband - totally unlimited standard (ADSL) broadband with speeds up to 17Mb, on an 18 month contract
None of these deals include calls, so you'll only pay for what you use. If you make a lot of landline calls you can add a package as an optional extra. There are two to choose from - Evening and Weekend Calls, and Anytime Calls. You can also get a lower price on all of these broadband packages if you're already a First Utility energy customer.
Which package should I choose?
All three packages can be described as "no-frills". This means your choice is simply down to what speed you need.
The First Broadband package, with speeds up to 17Mb, is best for smaller or less demanding households. Typical usage would include web, email and social media, and perhaps a single user watching Netflix or iPlayer.
Real world broadband speeds are almost always slower than the advertised maximum speed. Speeds differ from one property to another based on the distance from the nearest telephone exchange (for standard broadband) or street cabinet (for fibre). If you are a long way from your nearest exchange then the speeds you can get with standard broadband may be too slow for reliable TV streaming in HD. In this case you might want to consider looking at a fibre option even if you regard yourself as being a less demanding user.
SuperFirst Broadband is the mid-range deal for larger households where you may have two or more people streaming movies or downloading large files at the same time. If you need even more speed beyond that, the up to 76Mb UltraFirst package is the one you should consider.
Points to consider before you choose
- Are you a First Utility energy customer?
- How far are you from your nearest telephone exchange?
- What do you use the internet for? Mostly browsing and social media, or lots of streaming, gaming and downloading?
- How many people will be using your internet connection at the same time?
- Are you happy to commit to an 18 month contract?
- Would you prefer to get your broadband, phone and TV from the same company?
What do I get when I sign up?
It's important to know exactly what you're getting when you sign up with a broadband provider. This enables you to factor in the cost of any extras you may need to buy.
- Free wireless router - All broadband customers get a free N-rated wireless router
- Free UK based customer support - Free support is available by phone between 8am and 8pm on weekdays, and 9am to 4pm on Saturdays
- Line rental and pay as you go calls - Line rental is included in the price, and you only pay for the calls you make. You can add an optional calls package from as little as £3 per month if you need it
What are the benefits of First Utility Broadband?
These are the reasons why it's worth considering signing up for First Utility Broadband
- Competitive pricing - First Utility's prices are competitive. This is especially true of their standard broadband package, which ranks among the cheapest on the market
- Line rental included - Line rental is included in the price, so you know exactly what you're paying when you sign up
- No end of contract price rises - There will be no unpleasant shocks when your contract ends, as the monthly price will not be increased
- Cheaper price for existing customers - You can get a personalised quote if you're already a First Utility energy customer. This may be cheaper, although the price may also rise if you subsequently switch to a different energy supplier
- No setup fees - There are no setup fees or other up front costs
- UK based support - Customer support is free, available by telephone, and based in the UK
What are the drawbacks of First Utility Broadband?
No company is perfect. What factors should you be aware of that count against First Utility?
- No short contracts - The only option available is an 18 month contract, which is not great if you need something shorter or don't want to commit long term
- No standalone broadband option - There's no option to take broadband on its own, as line rental is required for all deals
- Support hours are limited - First Utility's customer service is well regarded, but its availability is limited. If your internet goes down on Saturday evening you'll have to wait until Monday morning to speak to someone
- Minimal extras - First Utility offers a no-frills service. You can add a calls package, but you'll need to buy TV services from a separate company. The free router is quite basic, and there are no other extras
- A new and unknown quantity - Although well established in the energy market, First Utility is new to broadband. The lack of a reputation (good or bad) makes it an unknown quantity, which may be a concern given the absence of short contracts