Community Fibre Review

Last updated: 16 January 2024   By Dr Lucy Brown, Editor

Community Fibre offer dedicated full fibre broadband to households and communities across London.

Community Fibre offer some of the most affordable broadband prices alongside the reliability of a full fibre connection.

Price:

Gold star Gold star Gold star Gold star Gold star

Speed:

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Reliability:

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Customer Service:

Gold star Gold star Gold star Gold star Gold star

Community Fibre offer up to gigabit download speeds, and are one of the fastest in the UK. Prices are also very reasonable, with the provider offering one of the cheapest and most affordable gigabit packages in the market.

The provider's customer service record puts them at the top of the rankings for trust, and a range of fair contract terms make Community Fibre a responsible provider too.

Community Fibre is available to over 1.3 million homes across 31 boroughs in London.


At a glance

Price From £17.99
Setup cost Up to £14.95
Minimum term 12 or 24 months
Out of contract price +£2
Annual price increase CPI + 2.9% in April
Download speed 75Mb, 150Mb, 500Mb, 920Mb
Upload speed 75Mb, 150Mb, 500Mb, 920Mb
Usage allowance Unlimited
Router Linksys Velop
WiFi guarantee Premium WiFi: 35Mbps
Parental controls Linksys app with device priority
Home phone £10 (inc. UK anytime calls)
TV Optional: Netgem 4K
pros Pros cons Cons
Some of the cheapest and most affordable full fibre broadband in London International calls not supported on the home phone
Fast, symmetrical and reliable full fibre to the premises network, with dedicated engineers TV add-on is a plus, but has limited options to expand and no access to Sky content
Excellent customer service record, with 94% of reviewers rating them 5 out of 5 WiFi guarantee only available on 1Gbps and faster plans
Accessible support for people struggling with affordability, their social broadband tariff is available to anyone on their network Availability limited to London

Special offers

Offer Terms

1Gbps Community Fibre broadband just £26 per month for 24 months.

24 month minimum term. No setup fee. £30/mth after 24 months. Prices rise by CPI + 2.9% from April 2025.


150Mb Community Fibre broadband just £18.99 per month for 24 months.

24 month minimum term. No setup fee. £22.99/mth after 24 months. Prices rise by CPI + 2.9% from April 2025.


Who is Community Fibre best for?

Owing to their ultrafast broadband speeds and cheap prices, Community Fibre are a solid choice for households who want either the fastest broadband they can get, or for those on a budget wanting to save the most money.

As they're only available in London, households will need to be located in the capital, in one of the 31 London boroughs currently served by their network.

Families and sharers living in larger homes will benefit from Community Fibre's full fibre connection, which can support more devices connected at once without slowing down.

Here's who can benefit from Community Fibre broadband:

  • Large homes with multiple occupants who may be sharing the same connection
  • People who work from home who need a reliable and fast connection
  • Gamers and content creators who need fast upload speeds
  • Homes on a budget, Community Fibre offer some of the most affordable prices in London

Community Fibre manage to satisfy both ends of the broadband market, providing fast and reliable full fibre connections, whilst also offering the cheapest prices for those on a budget.

Check availability and see Community Fibre's latest prices.


What does Community Fibre broadband offer?

Community Fibre offer a range of broadband packages based on the symmetrical download and upload speed of the plan.

Customers can choose from:

  • 75Mbps down/up
  • 150Mbps down/up
  • 500Mbps down/up
  • 920Mbps down/up

Symmetrical download and upload speeds mean customers can send data to the Internet as quickly as they can receive it. This is most noticeable for people who may be working from home, making high definition video calls, uploading created content, and online gaming.

Alongside various broadband speeds, customers can also choose from two main contract lengths: 12-months or 24-months, with the longer-term packages costing less.

Here are the current prices for new customers signing up for a 24-month deal:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
75Mb Fibre Broadband 75Mb average £20 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Installed in 48 hours + Free setup
150Mb Fibre Broadband 150Mb average £18.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Installed in 48 hours + Free setup
500Mb Fibre Broadband 500Mb average £23 £9.95 24 months
offer Offer: Installed in 48 hours
1Gbps Fibre Broadband 920Mb average £26 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Installed in 48 hours + Free setup

As you can see, the longer 24-month deals are cheaper in comparison to the 12-month options:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
75Mb Fibre Broadband: 12 months 75Mb average £26 Free 12 months
offer Offer: Installed in 48 hours + Free setup
150Mb Fibre Broadband: 12 months 150Mb average £26 Free 12 months
offer Offer: Installed in 48 hours + Free setup
500Mb Fibre Broadband: 12 months 500Mb average £29 £14.95 12 months
offer Offer: Installed in 48 hours
1Gbps Fibre Broadband: 12 months 920Mb average £32 £14.95 12 months
offer Offer: Installed in 48 hours

It's worth noting that Community Fibre reserve the right to increase prices each year by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) + 2.9%, which is based on inflation. These increases also affect customers within a minimum term, however, new customers currently signing up will receive fixed prices for 2024, with any increases delayed until 2025.

At the end of the contract period prices will increase by no more than £2 per month, which makes Community Fibre one of the fairest providers for out of contract prices. At this point however, customers will then be free to re-contract or switch to another provider as a new customer.

All Community Fibre broadband packages come with the option to add a home phone line and also a Netgem 4K TV service. Each of these add-ons cost an extra £10 per month, which we look at in more detail below.

Lastly, the provider introduced a 60-day satisfaction guarantee in May 2023, which gives customers nearly two months to try out their service without committing to the full contract.

If a customer cancels within the first 60-days, they'll be free to leave their contract without penalty, but will be charged for the service they've used.

Overall, it's a nice step up from the usual 14-day cooling off period which doesn't give customers much time to assess the performance of the connection.

Affordable broadband option

Community Fibre, like most providers now, offer a social broadband tariff called Essential.

The Essential tariff offers average download speeds of 35Mbps, and costs just £12.50 per month - making it one of the cheapest social tariffs in the UK.

Most notably however, Community Fibre make Essential available to anyone who needs it, so unlike most other social tariffs, customers don't need to be in receipt of certain means-tested benefits to be eligible.

This means, any household living within a Community Fibre enabled area, whether a new or existing customer, can get fixed line broadband for just £12.50 per month. It's a fairly unique offer and helped Community Fibre win our Digital Inclusion award in 2023.

Community Fibre recently boosted the speed of this tariff from 20Mbps to 35Mbps in September 2023 after Ofcom raised concerns that it wasn't fast enough, finding 62% of eligible households feel they need superfast connections of at least 30Mbps.

It had previously been slower however, with Community Fibre increasing the speed from 10Mbps to 20Mbps in early 2023.

There is clearly some balance between price and speed for those who're struggling to stay connected, however, it's pleasing to see Community Fibre's Essential tariff is now superfast.

Read more about social broadband tariff options and Essential from Community Fibre.


How does Community Fibre compare?

Community Fibre are one of the cheapest broadband providers in London, with prices starting from as little as £17.99 per month for 150Mbps download speeds.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
150Mb Fibre Broadband 150Mb average £18.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Installed in 48 hours + Free setup
Full Fibre 145 145Mb average £27.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Save over £12/mth + No setup fee + Exclusive offers and discounts for Plusnet customers
Superfast (24 months) 158Mb average £30 £19 24 months
M125 Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 132Mb average £34 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35)

As you can see, Community Fibre's 150Mb broadband package is noticeably cheaper than equivalent deals from Virgin Media, Hyperoptic and even budget provider Plusnet.

In fact, even Community Fibre's 1Gb broadband plan on a 24-month contract is cheaper than the above deals at just £25 per month with free setup.

Cheapest gigabit broadband

Community Fibre's fastest broadband package offers 920Mbps average download and upload speeds, and is currently the cheapest gigabit broadband package at just £25 per month.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
1Gbps Fibre Broadband 920Mb average £26 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Installed in 48 hours + Free setup
Hyperfast (24 months) 900Mb average £36 £19 24 months
Gigafast Broadband 900Mb average £41 £5 18 months
offer Offer: WiFi Max just £3/mth + (£5 refundable setup fee for new customers if applicable)
Gig1 Fibre Broadband 1.13Gb average £41 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Reduced price: £41 per month + No setup fee (was £35)

While Virgin Media's Gig1 package is currently on offer at just £45, Community Fibre are still cheaper with their 1Gb plan costing just £25 per month.

Hyperoptic are also more expensive for gigabit broadband than Community Fibre, and BT Openreach providers such as Sky, Plusnet and TalkTalk are also priced higher.

Aside from price it's worth noting Community Fibre offer symmetrical download and upload speeds, whereas providers including Virgin Media and BT Openreach network resellers like Plusnet and Sky don't, and instead offer slower upload speeds.

Out of contract prices are also likely to be cheaper with Community Fibre, with the provider capping them at just £2 more per month. However, customers should also be sent end of contract notifications to let them know when they're eligible to recontract or switch away.

For more on the differences between these providers, see our guides to Community Fibre vs Virgin Media, Community Fibre vs Hyperoptic, and Community Fibre vs Sky.


Broadband speeds

Community Fibre offer a range of broadband speeds from 75Mbps up to 920Mbps, and even 3Gbps options are available.

Because Community Fibre operate a fibre to the premises (FTTP) network, also sometimes known as fibre to the home (FTTH), customers receive a full fibre line all the way into their homes.

Full fibre lines not only lead to faster speeds, but also improved performance and reliability. It's one of the reasons why the Government has targets to extend full fibre coverage nationwide by 2030.

Broadband providers are only allowed to advertise download speeds which at least 50% of their customers actually experience during peak times when the network is busiest. So the given speeds below are a good indication of what you can expect from Community Fibre broadband.

Download speed (average)
75Mb Fibre Broadband 75Mbps
150Mb Fibre Broadband 150Mbps
500Mb Fibre Broadband 500Mbps
920Mb Fibre Broadband 920Mbps

Upload speeds

Unlike many other full fibre broadband providers including Virgin Media and BT, Community Fibre offer symmetrical upload speeds on their fibre broadband packages.

Symmetrical upload speeds allow customers to send data to the Internet as fast as they receive it, which can be beneficial for certain activities such as working from home on shared projects, content creation, high definition video calling, and online gaming.

Here are the upload speeds of Community Fibre's packages in comparison to those of Virgin Media and BT.

Provider Package Download speed Upload speed
Community Fibre 150Mb Fibre Broadband 150 Mbps 150 Mbps
Virgin Media M125 132 Mbps 20 Mbps
BT Full Fibre 100 150 Mbps 30 Mbps
Community Fibre 500Mb Fibre Broadband 500 Mbps 500 Mbps
Virgin Media M350 362 Mbps 36 Mbps
Community Fibre 1Gb Fibre Broadband 920 Mbps 920 Mbps
Virgin Media Gig1 1130 Mbps 104 Mbps
BT Full Fibre 900 900 Mbps 110 Mbps

As you can see, while BT's upload speeds outperform Virgin Media, Community Fibre's ability to offer symmetrical speeds offers a big jump in performance.

Reliability

Research carried out by Ofcom has shown full fibre broadband lines like those used by Community Fibre offer a much more reliable service in comparison to older technologies including fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and even Virgin Media's coaxial cable network.

In addition, for customers who want the most reliable service, Community Fibre offer a Premium WiFi add-on on their fastest plans, which guarantees wireless speeds of 35Mbps, making it one of the best WiFi guarantees in the market.

Premium WiFi is only available as a separate package on the 1Gbps and 3Gbps broadband download speed options, but effectively costs just an extra £5 per month plus a £14.95 setup fee, so it offers good value for money.

Customers who take it will get additional Linksys Mesh routers to help extend their wireless network, and Community Fibre guarantee minimum download speeds over wireless of 35Mbps in up to 12 main rooms across three floors, including 5 bedrooms.

If the guarantee isn't achieved, Community Fibre will refund 3 months' broadband subscription, but there's no option to cancel the contract early, so customers will be tied in for the full 24 months.


Community Fibre broadband router

All Community Fibre broadband packages come with a free Linksys Velop WiFi router. Customers choosing faster broadband speeds are supported with more advance routers that can deliver a faster wireless experience.

linksys velop intelligent mesh router

Customers who sign up for the 75Mbps speed plan will receive a dual-band WiFi 5 Linksys Velop router, while customers choosing speeds of 150Mb get a dual-band WiFi 6 Linksys router.

Community Fibre customers who take their fastest gigabit package will get a WiFi 6 tri-band router, which supports the newer wireless protocol for the fastest speeds on new devices.

The additional band on the tri-band router also helps support more simultaneous connections from a larger number of devices accessing the Internet at the same time.

The Linksys Velop Tri-Band router is so impressive that it made the top three in our list of the best routers offered to customers by UK broadband providers.

Customers taking the 3Gb package will receive a Technicolor WiFi 6 router to handle the increased speeds.

Linksys app

All customers will be able to download the Linksys app onto compatible iOS or Android devices. The app allows the home wireless network to be monitored remotely, and offers parental controls as well as a separate guest access feature.

The Linksys app can also prioritise individual devices that may need more speed at specific times, for example if someone is working from home, or during an important gaming session.

Overall the Linksys Velop routers provided with Community Fibre broadband are a cut above most standard routers offered by broadband providers.


Adding calls to Community Fibre

Community Fibre broadband deals generally come without a phone line as this review has covered. Yet customers can choose to add a digital voice line if they wish.

For an extra £10 per month, broadband plans can be upgraded to include a home phone line with unlimited calls to UK landlines and mobiles at any time.

The VoIP voice line works in a similar fashion to BT's Digital Voice rollout, where the audio is sent and received over the full fibre line rather than the old copper telephone network.

It's possible for customers to choose to keep their existing home telephone number and the plan includes the following services in the monthly cost:

  • Unlimited calls to UK landlines and mobiles
  • 1471
  • 1571 voicemail
  • Voicemail to email
  • Call waiting
  • Call forwarding
  • Call barring

One thing to note is the phone line service from Community Fibre is unable to support international calls and calls to premium numbers.


Netgem 4K TV

Community Fibre broadband customers can also choose to add a pay TV service to their plan through a partnership deal with Netgem.

netgem tv 4k box

The Netgem TV add-on costs an extra £10 per month and includes:

  • 225+ live channels, including an extra 125 HD channels on top of Freeview
  • More than 40 apps, including TikTok, BBC iPlayer, ITVX, Channel 4 and My5
  • 100,000 hours of on-demand content
  • 4K TV box with Alexa included (worth £149)
  • Option to pause and rewind live TV
  • Option to pay to add TNT Sports, Rakuten TV, Britbox and Hayu

Netgem's TV services aren't exclusive to Community Fibre and other providers have contracts with them too, including TalkTalk TV. However, it's a nice extra option that will appeal to some Community Fibre customers.

Find out more about the TV service in our review of Netgem TV.


Availability in London

Community Fibre is currently available to over 1.3 million homes in London, which makes them the capital city's largest dedicated provider.

While they aren't available to every home yet, they are active in 31 London boroughs, with only the final borough of Havering currently left out.

Community Fibre added around 200,000 homes to its network throughout 2022 and is aiming to reach 2.2 million premises by the end of 2024. However, they recently announced they would be pausing any further expansion after existing builds had completed to focus on service delivery.

Here's how their coverage looks as of early 2024:

community fibre coverage january 2024

It's possible to see from the map above that while Community Fibre have expanded across various London boroughs, not every house will be connected to the network. However, they could change in the near future.

Community Fibre is available in the following areas of London:

  • Barking and Dagenham
  • Barnet
  • Bexley
  • Brent
  • Bromley
  • Camden
  • City of London
  • Croydon
  • Ealing
  • Enfield
  • Greenwich
  • Hackney
  • Hammersmith & Fulham
  • Haringey
  • Harrow
  • Hillingdon
  • Hounslow
  • Islington
  • Kensington and Chelsea
  • Kingston upon Thames
  • Lambeth
  • Lewisham
  • Merton
  • Newham
  • Redbridge
  • Richmond upon Thames
  • Southwark
  • Sutton
  • Tower Hamlets
  • Waltham Forest
  • Wandsworth
  • Westminster

Finally, in terms of availability, it's worth noting there is plenty of overlap between Community Fibre, Hyperoptic, Virgin Media, and BT Openreach across London.

This means a lot of customers will have plenty of choice, and those that don't are likely to be reached soon as all of these providers are competitively expanding their full fibre networks.


Contract terms

Broadband contracts are generally becoming fairer overall thanks to work by Ofcom the industry regulator.

In addition, we can point out some contract terms of Community Fibre that seem particularly fair or unfair.

In September 2022, Community Fibre announced they would be limiting out of contract price rises to just £2 above the introductory price. It can be common to see out of contract price rises sometimes even double, so this is a very fair move for customers who might forget or simply not want to recontract for another lengthy period once their minimum term ends.

In May 2021, Community Fibre launched their affordable social broadband tariff Essential. At the time the package offered 10Mb download speeds for £10 per month, and was available to customers on a range of means-tested benefits.

While the package now costs £12.50 per month, it's still one of the cheapest available and it's also had a speed boost to 35Mbps, while eligibility criteria is no longer required from applicants, making it the most accessible social broadband tariff in the UK. That said, it has recently been criticised by Ofcom for not being fast enough, with the regulator aiming for all social tariffs to offer speeds of at least 30Mb.

Finally, mid-contract price rises have become increasingly popular to implement amongst broadband and mobile providers over recent years. Unfortunately, we also saw Community Fibre implement an annual price rise of Consumer Price Index (CPI) + 2.9% in late 2021, when previously they had offered fixed prices.

While the additional 2.9% figure is lower than most other providers, including BT who add on 3.9%, it's still above inflation and means existing customers will see their prices rise in April 2024.

One plus point however, is that customers who take out a package between January and April are not subject to the annual price rise in the April of the same year.

New customers to Community Fibre can now also benefit from a 60-day satisfaction guarantee, which means they'll now get much longer than the usual 14-day cooling off period to try out the service without being tied down to a minimum term and early leaving charges.


Customer service

While Community Fibre currently have too small of a market share to feature in Ofcom's reports, we do know they're the number one rated UK broadband provider on Trustpilot.

Community Fibre's Trustscore is 4.7 out of 5, rating them excellent from over 36,000 reviewers. 94% of reviewers rated them 5 out of 5 meaning they're Excellent, and a further 2% rate them as Great. Only 3% say they're a Bad provider.

Plenty of the reviews focus on how helpful the customer service team and engineers are, and as an independent network that's one positive for Community Fibre as they directly employ all of their own support staff and network engineers.

Looking at a few of the negative reviews shows some dissatisfaction from genuine grievances, but they are very much in the minority.

Community Fibre have responded to 99% of their negative reviews, and typically respond within less than 24 hours.

In addition, to cater to London's diverse population, Community Fibre say their customer service team speak 19 languages between them, including French, German, Romanian, and Hindi.

It's also worth highlighting the work Community Fibre do to help their customers in the areas where they are active.

We awarded them the Community Contribution and Digital Inclusion awards at the Choose Broadband Awards 2023 thanks to their initiatives including connecting more than 450 community centres to their network for free and running training sessions for local residents.

They were also runners-up in the Innovation category for their partnership with Lifemote that uses AI to detect faults and issues before customers notice them, improving the overall customer experience.

Community Fibre has also received multiple awards from ISPA in recent years.


Verdict: Is Community Fibre worth it?

Community Fibre is a rapidly growing dedicated London broadband provider who offer some of the best prices on a reliable full fibre connection.

For customers who can get it then, it's an easy choice due to the low prices, fair contract terms, and reliability and speed of their independent full fibre to the premises network.

While so far, they only pass just over 1.3 million homes, making them an increasingly available option for people living in London.

Overall in our review of Community Fibre we found several reasons to choose the provider:

  • Fast broadband speeds with reliable full fibre connections
  • Excellent customer service record with dedicated network engineers
  • Symmetrical download and upload speeds yet unmatched by either Virgin Media or BT Openreach full fibre broadband
  • Quality mesh-support Linksys routers, with advanced WiFi 6 and tri-band channels for the faster packages
  • Fair contract terms with limited out of contract price increases and a 60-day satisfaction guarantee to try out their service
  • Support for people struggling with affordability issues with their Essential package available to anyone who needs it

The few downsides to Community Fibre broadband include:

  • No way to make international calls on the home phone service
  • The optional TV service is a plus, but it's basic in comparison to Sky and Virgin Media and can't easily be expanded to some premium services like Sky Cinema or Sky Sports
  • Like most providers, Community Fibre implemented annual price rises based on inflation in late 2021. While the increases are less than some providers like BT, they're still above inflation.

For people living in London who have Community Fibre available to them, it's an excellent choice as a broadband package for the speeds, reliability and price of the service.

Overall, it's easy to recommend Community Fibre as a good broadband choice in this review, especially for people looking for best value for money on a reliable fibre to the home network.

Comments

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