Gigabit broadband: Can you get 1Gb?

Last updated: 04 June 2023   By Samantha Smith

Gigabit broadband is so far available to over 73% of the UK, and on target to offer nationwide coverage by 2030.

For customers, there's now a wide range of 1Gb broadband deals to choose from, all with varying pricing and different premium features on offer.

1Gb broadband deals often come with the latest WiFi 6 broadband routers, including whole home mesh systems, and free WiFi guarantees to ensure customers are getting the gigabit speeds they're paying for.

While Virgin Media offer the fastest broadband with 1.13Gb per second download speeds on average, gigabit deals are also now available from BT, TalkTalk, Sky, Plusnet, Vodafone, and smaller networks like Hyperoptic and Community Fibre.

broadband router with ethernet
Credit: kasarp studio/Shutterstock.com

Can you get gigabit broadband?

Gigabit broadband is now the Government's over-arching target for future proofing the UK's broadband access, and the current aim is to reach 99% coverage by 2030.

So far, it's reported over 21.9 million homes can now access gigabit-capable broadband, over 73% of the UK, as of early 2023. There's also an increasing number of households who have the choice of at least two full fibre networks.

While coverage is being rapidly expanded by a number of different network operators, including Openreach and Virgin Media, not everyone can get gigabit speeds just yet.

To find out if 1Gb broadband is available in your area, use the postcode search below to see the fastest broadband deals available to you.


How much does 1Gb broadband cost?

Gigabit broadband is currently priced between £40 and £60 per month, although some providers have deals for as little as £25.

To see the latest pricing and special offers for gigabit broadband in your area use our full fibre broadband search, where you can search by postcode and then filter the deals by any personal preferences you have.

These are the four cheapest 1Gb deals available at the time of writing, but note that availability by area does vary, so it's worth using the postcode tool above, or on our main comparison page.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Full Fibre 900 900Mb average £59.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Reduced price for 24 months (Ends 06/06/2024)
Full Fibre 900 900Mb average £44.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Save over £17/mth + No setup fee + Exclusive offers and discounts for Plusnet customers (Ends 29/05/2024)
Gig1 Fibre Broadband 1.13Gb average £41 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Reduced price: £41 per month + No setup fee (was £35)
Full Fibre 900 944Mb average £44.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Money off for 18 months

Plusnet are the latest provider to start offering a gigabit broadband deal, and theirs is one of the most competitively priced packages available nationwide.

Virgin Media's Gig1 deal is also currently on offer, as this plan usually costs £60 per month.

While these are the current cheapest 1Gb deals, as we look at below, there are differences between exactly what each provider offers with their gigafast broadband packages. Some of these variations, like the included router for example, can make tangible differences to the end user experience, and so are worthwhile considering.


Which provider is best for gigabit broadband?

Nearly every major broadband provider now offers a gigafast broadband package, but there are differences between them.

Average download speed, upload speed and router all differ between gigabit packages. Some providers include their Wi-Fi guarantee for free on their fastest plans, while others are still chargeable extras.

All gigabit broadband is provided on full fibre lines, which means any phone line where available will be a digital voice line. However, some providers offer data-only lines with their full fibre packages so customers can't add a home phone at all.

Here's are the details of the main gigabit broadband deals:

Price Download speed Upload speed Router WiFi guarantee Phone line
£59.99 900Mb 110Mb WiFi 5 & Mesh Optional (£5 - £12) Optional
£44.99 900Mb 115Mb WiFi 5 & Mesh No No
£41 1.13Gb 104Mb WiFi 6 & Mesh Included (20Mb) Optional
£44.99 944Mb 112Mb WiFi 5 No No
£46 910Mb 105Mb / 910Mb WiFi 5 & Mesh Optional Included
£49 944Mb 110Mb 2 x WiFi 6 & Mesh No No
£41 900Mb 90Mb WiFi 5 & Mesh Included Included

Virgin Media offer the fastest average download speed on their Gig1 package, and this has been backed-up by independent research carried out by Ofcom in 2022. They include the latest WiFi 6 router, and their WiFi Max guarantee is free for Gig1 customers, so they'll get mesh extenders included if they need them.

TalkTalk and Vodafone also offer above par gigabit deals, especially when customers upgrade to Vodafone's Pro II package. Both providers offer a WiFi 6 capable router, and also include their Wi-Fi guarantees and mesh extenders where necessary. TalkTalk Full Fibre 900 is a data-only line, yet Vodafone customers get a phone line included with the option to upgrade to inclusive calls.

Lastly, where Hyperoptic and Community Fibre are available, these independent networks offer some of the lowest price gigabit broadband in the UK. Availability is limited however, with Community Fibre focusing solely on London, and Hyperoptic limited to 64 towns and cities.

Overall, while gigabit broadband is a premium product right now, our top choices are Virgin Media, TalkTalk, and Vodafone Pro II. For anyone living in a Hyperoptic or Community Fibre enabled area, these are also great choices for the lowest prices.


What is gigabit broadband?

Gigabit broadband offers gigafast download speeds, with gigabit meaning 1000Mb (megabits), and 1000Mb equating to 1Gb, or 1 gigabit.

Broadband speeds are based on how much data is sent each second, which is why speeds can often be written as '1Gb per second', or '1Gbps'. So, a gigabit broadband package is capable of sending 1 gigabit of data every second, or 1,000Mb per second.

To put that into perspective, superfast fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) broadband plans which cover 97% of the UK offer speeds up to around 70Mb. Gigabit broadband therefore can download data almost 15 times faster than the fastest FTTC packages.

And while most people who've already made the switch to full fibre broadband are on 100Mb plans, gigafast deals are still ten times faster than these entry-level full fibre connections.

Speed variations

Because gigabit broadband is currently the top-tier, or fastest connection, full fibre broadband can often deliver, there are some variations in terms of actual speed experienced by the end user.

Openreach fibre to the premises (FTTP) for example, provides 1Gb broadband on its network, yet the real-world average download speeds for this connection start at 900Mb.

Because Virgin Media operate a totally separate network to Openreach, with different cabling and technologies, their gigabit broadband plan, Gig1, offers average peak-time download speeds to end users of 1.13Gb per second.

CityFibre's gigabit network seems to fall in the middle of these two, with TalkTalk and Vodafone, who resell both Openreach and CityFibre, listing higher average download speeds at peak-times on their gigabit package, 944Mb and 910Mb respectively, than resellers who provide connections on Openreach's network alone.

Community Fibre also performs better than Openreach FTTP on their gigabit broadband plan, offering at least 50% of their customers average download speeds of 920Mb at peak times.

Overall then, while we talk about gigabit broadband offering 1Gb connections, actual end user experience on these plans varies from 900Mb to just over 1Gb.


What can 1Gb broadband do?

1Gb broadband is more than 15 times faster than the UK's average download speed of 65.3Mb.

While actual broadband connections will be limited by what the router can support, gigabit broadband could theoretically support 100 devices all streaming connecting to the Internet at 10Mb each.

In addition to the capacity to support multiple devices at once, gigabit broadband can also download large files a lot quicker than superfast, or even ultrafast broadband.

Here are some examples of how quickly a gigabit broadband connection could download different file types, in comparison to superfast and ultrafast alternatives.

Gigabit broadband (1Gb) Ultrafast broadband (300Mb) Superfast broadband (60Mb)
100 x 12MP photos (600MB) 5 seconds 16 seconds 2 minutes
HD Movie (6GB) 51 seconds 3 minutes 15 minutes
Ultra HD Movie (15GB) 2 minutes 7 minutes 36 minutes
PS5 FIFA 23 (50GB) 7 minutes 24 minutes 2 hours
Xbox Series X Assassin's Creed Valhalla (104GB) 15 minutes 50 minutes 4 hours 10 minutes
PS5 Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War (220GB) 32 minutes 1 hour 45 minutes 8 hours 45 minutes

As file sizes get bigger, the difference in speed to download for gigabit broadband compared to the UK's current average of around 60Mb is vast.

In terms of the number of people who can use a gigabit broadband connection at once, the table below shows minimum speed requirements for different online activities, and how many devices could theoretically be supported by a gigabit connection.

Minimum speed required (down / up) Number of devices supported by 1Gb broadband
Online streaming in 1080p HD 5Mb 200
Online streaming in 4K UHD 30Mb 33
Video calling in 1080p HD 3Mb / 4Mb 250*
Online gaming on the PS5 5Mb / 5Mb 200*
Online gaming on Xbox Series X 3Mb / 0.5Mb 333

*Based on symmetrical upload speeds, so many gigabit broadband packages will be much less than this as those with asymmetrical speeds usually have much slower upload speeds.

It's interesting to note that some activities, like video calling and online gaming, are actually more limited by the available upload speed, than the download speed. This is one reason why providers offering symmetrical speeds like Hyperoptic and Community Fibre are so popular.

In the real world however, it will be less than this, due to among other factors, what the wireless router can support, as well as these calculations being based on absolute minimums.

Overall however you can see how much capacity gigabit broadband has and how its main benefits lie in the ability for multiple people to get online at the same time without affecting each other.


How does gigabit broadband work?

Gigabit broadband is achieved by installing a fibre optic cable directly into a customer's home, so unlike fibre to the cabinet connections, there is no deterioration from a change in cabling to cover the final distance or connection to a customer's home.

This is why 1Gb broadband deals are often called fibre to the premises, or fibre to the home, connections.

Using Openreach as an example, they install the fibre optic cable directly into a modem installed inside a customer's home called a ONT box. From this box, an Ethernet cable is used to connect to a wireless router via its Ethernet WAN (wide area network) port, for example this could be the BT Home Hub.

At this stage customers can then choose to connect their devices to the router over the wireless network, but to really experience the 1Gb broadband speeds it's suggested customers should make use of the Gigabit LAN ports for the fastest connection.

Wireless gigabit broadband

Routers supplied with gigabit broadband deals will come with two to four gigabit LAN ports, which can be used to connect the router directly to a TV, gaming console, or computer with an ethernet cable. These gigabit ports will support the full 1Gb data transfer speeds, as well as improve on data response times with lower latency rates.

Some of the better gigabit broadband packages come with the latest WiFi 6 mesh routers, which can deliver speeds of up to around 920Mb in the real-world tests. WiFi 6 offers a notable upgrade over WiFi 5 that's found in the majority of provider-supplier routers. It offers faster throughput speeds utilising multiple channels, as well as up to 75% lower latency rates with more efficient data encoding and handling.

In fact, Intel even said WiFi 6 helps to bring wired and wireless connections closer and to bridge the gap for the first time. For anyone who knows how patchy wi-fi signals can be around a home, that's a big statement.

Looking for a gigabit broadband package that offers the latest WiFi 6 mesh router is worthwhile then, as some may still offer older WiFi 5 routers which won't allow customers to experience the best possible speeds over their wireless network.

One final note regarding WiFi 6 however, is that for the fastest speeds, the connecting device (e.g. the smartphone, tablet, laptop, or computer) also needs to support the WiFi 6 protocol. For any TV addicts, both Sky Glass and Sky Stream Puck support WiFi 6. In comparison, Virgin Media Stream box only supports WiFi 5.

Benefits

The biggest benefit of gigabit broadband is the increased capacity it offers, rather than the experience of gigafast speeds for any one particular activity.

In terms of raw speed, customers on a 1Gb broadband connection would be able to download a two-hour film in HD (6GB) in around 30 seconds, or a 100GB PS5 game in 15 minutes. However, the differences experienced on our daily Internet activities when multiple devices are connected are likely to be more noticeable.

Benefits of gigabit broadband include:

  • Improved quality when multiple devices are online at the same time
  • Higher quality video streaming
  • Higher quality video calls
  • Improved gaming experiences

For most households the headline 1Gb speed won't be the big draw because there are few instances where these speeds are absolutely necessary.

Yet, being able to stream HD in one room at the same time as cloud gaming in another, without any loss of quality or response time, is where gigabit broadband finds its place.

Drawbacks

There are a couple of drawbacks to gigabit broadband, or full fibre broadband in general.

These include:

  • Some providers offer data-only lines without a home phone at all
  • Where a phone line is offered, it's a digital line that will stop working in the event of a power cut without a battery backup.
  • Gigabit speed benefits will often be lost over wireless networks to some degree, with most providers specifying average download speeds are only available over a wired connection.
  • Pricing is fairly high, around the £50 to £60 per month mark, and providers are more focused on moving customers to full fibre than necessarily the top speeds. As a result, Ofcom aren't regulating gigabit pricing just yet because customers can choose slower speeds.

Phone lines

The rollout of full fibre broadband coincides with the planned closure of the copper telephone network. Unlike the phone line network however, full fibre broadband doesn't have its own power supply, so it will stop working during a power cut.

This means customers who've switched to full fibre will need to rely on either their mobile phones during a power cut, or they'll need to invest in a battery backup to keep their digital voice line connected instead.

Because of this limitation, many gigabit providers offer data-only lines, with no option to even add a digital voice line. Data-only full fibre is also cheaper on the wholesale level, so it helps to keep prices down to not offer a voice line as well.

Overall, if a phone line is important to you, look out for full fibre providers like BT, Sky, Vodafone, and Virgin Media who either include a phone line, or at least give customers the choice of adding one.

Wireless speeds

Because gigabit broadband is so fast, wireless technology is still playing catch-up to some extent. While it's true the latest WiFi 6 protocol should be able to support gigabit speeds, it's unlikely to achieve the maximum potential of the connection in comparison to a wired connection.

Providers often include in their terms and conditions that top speeds are only available via ethernet cabled connections, and the advertised average download speed is also based on a wired connection.

Community Fibre for example, even specify an "expected WiFi speed" alongside their gigabit broadband package, which is 400-650Mb, a fair jump down from the average download speed of 920Mb. This is despite offering an advanced WiFi 6 mesh router with their plan.

Overall, as we covered at the top of the page, customers need a good router to get the best gigabit broadband experience, so it's a good idea to look out specifically for providers that offer WiFi 6 and mesh supporting routers.

In addition, some even go one step further, like Virgin Media and Vodafone Pro, and include their WiFi guarantees for free for their gigafast customers. This is a very worthwhile perk for gigabit customers because it includes free mesh extenders to properly boost the wireless network throughout the home.

Pricing

Lastly, because the industry focus is set on achieving coverage of gigabit-capable broadband and moving customers onto full fibre, Ofcom is only regulating entry-level full fibre pricing. This means providers, including Openreach wholesale, can set gigabit broadband pricing however they want.

In addition, so far, take-up of gigabit broadband is currently low. Ofcom's latest Connected Nations report revealed only 7% of customers in a full fibre enabled area had taken a 1Gb package, with the majority of households signing up to an entry-level 100Mb plan.

All in all, these factors combine to mean pricing on gigabit broadband just isn't competitive at the moment, and so it's very much a premium product with a premium price tag.

While Openreach are reducing wholesale prices of their full fibre broadband, which will come into effect in 2023, it's likely to be a while before any real pricing competition reaches the gigafast packages.


How fast is 1Gb broadband?

The real-world speed of a 1Gb broadband connection will vary between providers and full fibre networks. However, theoretically 1Gb offers 1 gigabit per second data transfer. So, in effect, a 1Gb connection should download 100GB of data in around 15 minutes.

That's pretty fast when you consider the average UK home broadband speed which is just under 60Mb, would take around 3 hours 58 minutes to download the same amount of data.

Due to advertising regulations that were bought in back in 2017, broadband providers can only advertise broadband speeds that at least 50% of their customers actually receive during the busiest times of the day, for broadband this is 8pm to 10pm.

In effect then, we have a fairly good indication of how fast 1Gb broadband is simply by looking at the advertised speeds of various gigafast packages because we now know this is what the majority of customers on that package are actually getting.

Here are four of the fastest 1Gb broadband deals available:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Gig1 Fibre Broadband 1.13Gb average £41 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Reduced price: £41 per month + No setup fee (was £35)
Full Fibre 900 944Mb average £44.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Money off for 18 months
Full Fibre 900 944Mb average £49 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Free setup and P&P
1Gbps Fibre Broadband 920Mb average £26 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Installed in 48 hours + Free setup

As you can see, there are some variations in the top speeds with the major difference between these providers being the network they use. TalkTalk and Vodafone for example both use CityFibre as well as Openreach to deliver their gigabit broadband.

Virgin Media operate their own independent network, which they finished upgrading to gigabit broadband speeds at the end of 2021. As a result, they're now the most widely available gigabit broadband provider, and fastest broadband in the UK.

To back up the advertised headline broadband speeds we can also look at independent research by Ofcom into real-world speeds experienced by customers.

In their most recent report they included Virgin Media's Gig1 package for the first time, and reported an average peak time download speed of 1,127.67Mb across a panel base of 100 customers.

Average download speed peak time Maximum download speed peak time Minimum download speed peak time
Virgin Media Gig1 1,127.67Mb 1,134.53Mb 1,122.23Mb

The maximum download speed for the package over a 24-hour period was 1,145.11Mb, up slightly on the previous report of 1,139.83Mb, and 1,134.53Mb at peak times. The minimum peak time download speed was 1,122.23Mb per second.

In Ofcom's previous report, where Gig1 was first included, they reported an average download speed at peak times of 1,134.83Mb, so the speed has dropped slightly in the latest research.

Overall however, Ofcom's independent research found even the minimum download speed experienced by Virgin Media's Gig1 customers on average was in excess of 1.1Gb per second.

Upload speeds

With faster download speeds you would also expect faster upload speeds, but for gigabit broadband that entirely depends on the network and the choice of the provider to how they limit uploads.

Here are the five fastest average upload speeds of gigabit packages:

Upload speed (average) Download speed (average)
Community Fibre 920Mb 920Mb
Hyperoptic 900Mb 900Mb
Vodafone 910Mb / 105Mb* 910Mb
Plusnet 115Mb 900Mb
Shell Energy 112Mb 944Mb

*Vodafone upload speeds vary depending on whether a customer joins via the Openreach FTTP network (105Mb), or CityFibre network (910Mb).

Virgin Media are notable in that their upload speeds are much slower in comparison to other gigabit-capable networks including Openreach FTTP. Their Gig1 package offers upload speeds of just 104Mb, despite having the fastest download speeds of 1.13Gb.

Some of the smaller independent networks, like Hyperoptic and Community Fibre, stand out for offering symmetrical uploads, which means their upload speeds are as fast as their headline download speeds.

While most online activity involves downloading data, upload speeds might be noticeable for online gamers, high definition video calls, and for people who upload files for example when working on shared projects in the cloud.


Who offers 1Gb broadband?

Over the last year we've seen an influx of Openreach resellers launching their full fibre and gigabit broadband deals, as well as the increased expansion of various independent networks.

While we summarised the gigafast packages on offer at the top of this page, we'll look at each provider in more detail here.

The notable exceptions to this list are budget providers NOW Broadband. However, they are owned by Sky, who does offer a gigabit broadband deal.

BT

BT and Openreach are both part of the BT Group of companies, and so BT gigabit broadband is provided on the Openreach FTTP network.

This means BT Full Fibre 900 is available to over 10 million premises at the time of writing.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Full Fibre 900 900Mb average £59.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Reduced price for 24 months (Ends 06/06/2024)

BT Full Fibre 900 comes with the BT Smart Hub 2 router, it's a WiFi 5 router so it's not the most advance protocol, but it does support mesh, so it can be extended as part of BT's Complete WiFi service. The BT Smart Hub 2 has four gigabit LAN ports for wired connections.

Customers can choose to add a digital voice line, as well as upgrade to the Complete WiFi add-on for a guaranteed wireless connection throughout their home.

Community Fibre

Community Fibre have their own independent full fibre network that covers nearly all of the boroughs in London. They don't have any presence outside of London however.

They offer a gigabit broadband package with average download speeds of 920Mb.

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

Community Fibre's gigabit broadband package comes with the Linksys Velop Tri-band mesh router which supports WiFi 6 and has an additional 5GHz channel. It also offers 4 gigabit LAN ports for wired connections.

Their gigabit plan is currently one of the cheapest available at just £25 per month. Customers can choose to add a digital voice line, as well as access mesh WiFi extenders through their 'WiFi in every room' add-on.

EE

EE is a subsidiary of BT and only offer home broadband over the Openreach network. As such, their gigabit broadband deal is available to the same 10 million premises as BT.

EE Fibre Max Gigabit comes with the EE Smart Hub, a similar device to BT's Smart Hub 2. Like BT's Smart Hub 2 it only supports WiFi 5, but it does offer mesh and extenders are available through their WiFi guarantee, but this costs extra. It has four gigabit LAN ports for wired connections.

EE home broadband is most attractive to existing EE pay monthly mobile customers who'll get a 10% discount off the monthly price along with extra data on their mobile plan.

Gigaclear

Focusing on rural areas specifically, Gigaclear operate their own independent full fibre network. Their Hyperfast 900 package offers average download speeds of 830Mb.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Hyperfast 900 830Mb average £49 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Save over 60% + Free setup + Free Smart WiFi Node (worth £108)

Gigaclear's average download speed is fairly low for gigafast broadband, yet they do offer symmetrical upload speeds to match the 830Mb.

Availability is more limited, with coverage in rural areas such as Devon, Somerset, West Oxfordshire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Berkshire, Essex, Northamptonshire and Wiltshire.

Hyperoptic

Hyperoptic's independent network focuses on bringing full fibre broadband to buildings like flats and apartment blocks, rather than individual houses. As a result, they're primarily found in urban towns and cities such as London, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff, and Bristol.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Hyperfast (24 months) 900Mb average £36 £19 24 months

Hyperoptic's Hyperfast broadband package offers average download speeds of 900Mb and symmetrical upload speeds. Customers will receive a WiFi 6 router that also supports mesh, but the WiFi guarantee and mesh extenders will cost extra.

Customers can choose to upgrade to a digital home phone line, which comes with free evening & weekend calls.

KCOM

KCOM have been expanding their Lightstream network beyond their traditional area of Hull, providing full fibre broadband to areas in East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

Their Full Fibre 900 package offers average download speeds of 900Mb, with average upload speeds of 180Mb.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Full Fibre 900 900Mb average Free
for 3 mths,
then £44.99
£24.99 24 months
offer Offer: 3 months free (Ends 03/06/2024)

Plusnet

Plusnet have been the most recent provider to start offering gigabit-capable broadband, having previously only released full fibre plans up to 500Mb.

However, their Full Fibre 900 gigabit plan is now one of the best priced deals available:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Full Fibre 900 900Mb average £44.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Save over £17/mth + No setup fee + Exclusive offers and discounts for Plusnet customers (Ends 29/05/2024)

Available on the Openreach network, Plusnet gigabit broadband covers over 10 million premises, and offers average download speeds of 900Mb per second.

Plusnet remain a budget choice however, with the low pricing meaning customers will miss out on the latest WiFi technology and won't have the option to add a voice line.

Shell Energy Broadband

Shell Energy use TalkTalk's wholesale network to provide their full fibre broadband, which means it's also available in both Openreach FTTP and CityFibre enabled areas, passing around 12.5 million premises.

Shell Energy Full Fibre 900 offers average download speeds of 944Mb.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Full Fibre 900 944Mb average £44.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Money off for 18 months

Shell Energy Broadband is a low-cost provider with competitive pricing. Gigabit broadband customers don't get any frills however, with the package coming with a WiFi 5 router and no option for mesh extenders, or a phone line.

TalkTalk

TalkTalk offer full fibre broadband over both Openreach FTTP and CityFibre networks, so they have slightly better coverage than BT, Sky, and Plusnet.

TalkTalk's Full Fibre 900 package offers the second fastest average download speeds at 944Mb, beaten only by Virgin Media.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Full Fibre 900 944Mb average £49 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Free setup and P&P

For a low-cost provider TalkTalk offer a premium gigabit broadband package, with customers receiving two Amazon eero Pro 6 routers which support both WiFi 6 and mesh. However, TalkTalk only provide a data-only line, so there's no way to add a home phone.

Overall, TalkTalk are one of our top choices for gigabit broadband.

Virgin Media

Virgin Media currently have the widest availability for gigabit-capable broadband, passing over 16.1 million premises.

Their Gig1 package also offers the fastest average download speeds, achieving 1.13Gb at peak times.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Gig1 Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 1.13Gb average £58 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35)

Virgin Media's Gig1 package comes with their latest Hub 5 router, which supports WiFi 6 and mesh, and their WiFi Max guarantee is included for free. WiFi Max promises minimum download speeds of 20Mb in every room. They also include a phone line with free calls at the weekends to UK landlines.

Overall, Virgin Media was one of our favourite providers for gigafast speeds.

Vodafone

Like TalkTalk, Vodafone offer full fibre broadband over both the Openreach FTTP and CityFibre networks, however their footprints don't match up entirely so it's possible customers may be able to get gigabit broadband from Vodafone but not TalkTalk, or vice versa, so it's always worth checking.

Vodafone offer two gigabit broadband plans, but we're highlighting their Pro option because we feel this comes with the added extras that will enable customers to really benefit from gigafast speeds.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Full Fibre 910 + Super WiFi 6 910Mb average £46 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Power Hub with WiFi 6 + Super WiFi 6 Booster + Automatic 4G Broadband Back-Up + £3 off for Vodafone pay monthly customers + Up to £100 of your leaving fees covered when switching to Vodafone Broadband

Vodafone Pro II Full Fibre 900 offers customers the latest WiFi 6E router with mesh, and includes their WiFi guarantee and mesh extenders for free, and also comes with a phone line as standard too.

While customers can save a little more with their standard Vodafone Full Fibre 900 package, the Pro upgrade is particularly worthwhile at the gigabit broadband tier.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is gigabit broadband?

Gigabit broadband offers 1Gb per second download speeds. This means 1Gb of data can be downloaded each second, in other words, a 200GB file, which is more than most PS5 games, could be downloaded in just 28 minutes.

1Gb is also the equivalent of 1,000Mb. Broadband providers must advertise download speeds that at least 50% of their customers actually receive at peak times. As such, gigabit broadband is often seen listed with 900Mb average download speeds, as this is the real-world speed gigabit broadband customers actually experience.

How much does 1Gb broadband cost?

1Gb broadband packages vary between around £40 and £60 per month, although there are deals available with full fibre providers for as little as £25 per month in London.

Ofcom have so far decided to leave gigabit broadband pricing without regulation, both because customers can choose to move to full fibre on slower packages, and also to help providers with the infrastructure costs of installing gigabit broadband around the UK. It may be some time then before we see pricing on gigabit broadband becoming more competitive.

Where is gigabit broadband available?

Gigabit-capable broadband is currently available to over 73% of the UK, and is on target to cover 99% of the UK by 2030.

So far, the gigabit rollout has largely been thanks to Virgin Media upgrading their entire fibre network to gigabit-capable broadband speeds, which covers 55% of the UK.

Openreach has also reached 10 million premises so far as well, and is on target to cover 25 million premises by the end of 2026.

Use our postcode checker to find out if gigabit broadband is available in your area.

Is 1Gb broadband good for gaming?

Online gaming doesn't need gigafast speeds for users to get a good experience, with factors like latency affecting gameplay more than download speed.

However, 1Gb broadband can allow gamers to download large game files much quicker, with a really big PS5 game like Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War taking just 32 minutes to download.

1Gb broadband is also really good where multiple gamers want to play together at the same time from the same connection, as it's the capacity that gigabit broadband offers which is its major benefit.

Is 1Gb broadband worth getting?

1Gb broadband is worth getting for people living in large households where multiple occupants want to use the Internet at the same time. For example, if someone wants to stream Ultra HD TV in the lounge, while another household member downloads Call of Duty for the PS5 upstairs, while other members stream sport on their mobile, or make a video call over zoom.

All of these activities are possible to do at the same time on 1Gb broadband without causing problems like buffering, lags, or dropped connections. Overall then, 1Gb broadband is definitely worthwhile for Internet heavy households where lots of people want to get online at the same time.


Summary: Is 1Gb broadband worth it?

Gigabit-capable broadband is already set to be the standard connection, with Government targets aiming to reach 99% of the UK by 2030.

Network providers like Virgin Media and Openreach are already fast on their way to providing gigabit coverage across the UK too. While Virgin Media currently has the widest gigabit coverage, Openreach is already planning to overtake them by the end of 2026.

This means in the next few years the majority of households across the UK will have a choice between various gigabit broadband deals, and hopefully pricing may start to come down too.

At the moment, there's little incentive for 1Gb deals to be priced competitively as provider's main concerns are on migrating customers to full fibre whether that's at 100Mb or 1Gb. As such, Ofcom isn't even regulating gigabit pricing yet.

Ofcom's Connected Nations report found of those with full fibre available only 7% took out gigafast deals, while the majority of households signed up to the entry-level 100Mb plans, suggesting demand for gigafast broadband just isn't there yet.

However, the ability to carry out multiple online activities at once, across multiple devices, without the connection suffering from any buffering or lags, is where gigabit broadband offers the most benefit to customers.

While gigabit broadband has its place and many larger households with multiple occupants may find the increased cost of 1Gb worth paying for, most people can make the switch to full fibre on an ultrafast broadband deal at a lower cost.

Comments

Benoni Mario
5 December 2022

Using free internet on geogle services

David Jenkins
21 April 2021

They should get rid of terms like superfast and ultrafast. They are confusing and meaningless. Also, offering 900mb/s is strange, why not just go with 1GB?

Matt
12 August 2019

openreach uses copper and virgin media uses coaxial.
and what is coaxial made of again? oh that's right ... copper.
and I wonder if 1Gbit will be 100mbit at 5pm like my 350mbit turns into 100mbit as soon as the kids get home from school.

Which broadband deals are available in your area?

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