italk Broadband Review

Last updated: 30 January 2024   By Dr Lucy Brown, Editor

italk offer a no-frills broadband service with nationwide availability, but top speeds are only 220Mbps.

italk are a small Openreach reseller, but prices are fairly high and extra features are lacking.

Price:

Gold star Gold star Gold star

Speed:

Gold star Gold star Gold star

Reliability:

Gold star Gold star Gold star Gold star

Customer Service:

Gold star Gold star Gold star Gold star

italk telecom is a broadband provider based in Brighton & Hove, who offer deals on a nationwide basis through the Openreach fibre to the cabinet and fibre to the premises networks.

Availability then is 97% of UK homes, and customers can choose deals from 35Mbps or 40Mbps up to 220Mbps dependent on location.

The straightforward approach will suit some, but they lack the faster speeds and latest technology of their larger rivals.

wireless broadband router

At a glance

Price From £25.99
Setup cost £18.95
Minimum term 24 months
Out of contract price From £35.99
Annual price increase No mid-contract price hikes
Broadband connection Copper, part-fibre, full fibre
Download speeds 35Mb, 63Mb, 40Mb, 80Mb, 220Mb
Upload speeds 9Mb, 18Mb, 10Mb, 20Mb, 30Mb
Router Zyxel wireless router
Wireless guarantee Not available
Parental controls Not available
Home phone Part-fibre deals only
Anytime calls £7/mth (excludes mobiles)

Latest offers

Offer Terms

italk Full Fibre broadband from just £25.99 a month

24 month contract. £18.95 setup fee. No price increase at any point during your contract.


Our review of italk broadband

Pros Cons
UK-based call centre support Prices are more expensive than with rival providers
Excellent ratings on Trustpilot Basic wireless router
Low cost international calls for just £1.50/mth Call plans don't include UK mobiles

Verdict: Is italk broadband any good?

italk broadband offer some competitively priced full fibre connections where Openreach fibre to the premises network has been rolled out.

They're a relatively small, but locally based company with a commitment to offer UK-based customer support from their base in Brighton & Hove in the South East of England.

While their offering is somewhat simple and straightforward, there's a lack of the more useful features found with bigger providers such as good parental control software or WiFi guarantees.

It's also the case, especially within areas yet to be reached by full fibre, that italk broadband prices are more expensive than with rival providers including Plusnet, Vodafone, and Sky, who would also be available in the same areas.

Overall, italk will suit smaller households looking for a basic broadband deal who want the commitment of UK-based support from a local provider. However, those on a budget will find cheaper deals elsewhere.


italk broadband packages

Summary: italk offer a selection of part-fibre and full fibre broadband packages, although speed options top out at 220Mbps.

italk offer broadband over the Openreach network of part-fibre and full fibre lines, so services are available across most homes in the UK.

For those who have been reached by full fibre broadband, which is currently over 12.5 million premises, they can choose from the following deals:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Full Fibre 50 40Mb average £25.99 £18.95 24 months
offer Offer: Save £10/mth (was £35.99)
Full Fibre 100 80Mb average £30.99 £18.95 24 months
offer Offer: Save £10/mth (was £40.99)
Full Fibre 250 220Mb average £39.99 £18.95 24 months
offer Offer: Save £10/mth (was £49.99)

All the Simply Fibre 50, Simply Fibre 100, Full Fibre 50 and Full Fibre 100 packages are listed as being provided over full fibre broadband. They also share similar average download speeds and cost the same monthly.

So, it's not entirely clear why italk have chosen to list all these deals without giving much explanation as to any actual differences between them. While its likely there is slightly different technology used to provide the packages, it's confusing because we couldn't find any real variations between them.

Those looking for ultrafast and even gigabit-capable speeds will also be disappointed as the fastest italk broadband package is only 220Mbps. While this will be suitable for most households, most providers now offer packages up to 900Mbps or 1Gbps.

People living in areas where full fibre broadband has yet to reach them can still get a broadband deal from italk, with two part-fibre deals available:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Fast Fibre 35Mb average £37.39 £12.95 24 months
Superfast Fibre 63Mb average £42.39 £12.95 24 months

Minimum term contracts on these packages are again 24 months, but customers will get a home phone included and the choice to add inclusive call plans, which we look at below.

Italk say that won't rise prices for customers in-contract and this applies whichever broadband package a customer chooses or can get.

The router provided with the copper and part-fibre packages is more basic than that given to customers who take full fibre broadband, and is likely to be most suited to those in smaller homes where not too many devices are trying to connect.

Overall, italk offer customers a selection of deals, but those who want the fastest speeds or cheapest prices may find better deals from providers including Plusnet and Sky.


Home phone plans

Summary: italk offer a home phone service, but its only available in areas that can't yet get full fibre broadband.

Italk aren't the only broadband provider to ditch the home phone on their full fibre plans, with Plusnet and TalkTalk taking a similar approach.

This means only those who live in areas where Openreach full fibre broadband has yet to roll out will be able to receive a home phone service from italk with their broadband plan.

For those who can though, they can choose from one of the following inclusive call plans, which are competitively priced, but don't cover calls to UK mobiles so that's also something to bear in mind.

Call plan Includes Monthly price
Evening & Weekend Calls to UK landlines 6pm to 6am and all weekend £2
Anytime Calls to UK landlines at any time £7
International 3p per minute landline calls to 21 designated countries (+ 25p connection fee) £1.50

It's possible to take the International call plan with either the off-peak or anytime plans. Customers should remember to hang up and redial before 60 minutes to avoid charges on the free call plans.

Calls to UK mobiles aren't included in any of the call plans, and all calls will cost 20p per minute plus a 25p connection charge. Out of allowance calls to UK landlines are also charged at 20p per minute.

Overall, call plan prices with italk are competitive but only if customers don't need to make many calls to UK mobiles.

See more how call costs compare between providers.


How does italk broadband compare?

Summary: italk's full fibre broadband plans are the most competitively priced, with those in part-fibre areas better off with another provider.

italk are rather a no-frills broadband provider, which means they don't offer many additional features or services beyond a simple internet connection, nor do they offer the latest router technology.

While this approach often means cheaper prices, customers happy to go with a larger broadband provider will find cheaper prices with better routers and more options for upgrades elsewhere.

Here's how italk broadband compares for an entry-level 100Mbps full fibre broadband package:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Full Fibre 100 80Mb average £30.99 £18.95 24 months
offer Offer: Save £10/mth (was £40.99)
Full Fibre 100 100Mb average £29 Free 24 months
offer Offer: £3 off for Vodafone pay monthly customers
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
Ultrafast Broadband 145Mb average £29 £5 18 months
offer Offer: WiFi Max just £3/mth + (£5 refundable setup fee for new customers if applicable)

As we can see, at the time of writing, while italk broadband is priced in line with BT for a similar speed deal, it's possible to get equivalent or even slightly faster deals from providers including Vodafone, Plusnet, Sky, as well as Virgin Media.

For those living in part-fibre areas, italk is a lot more expensive than rival providers, as we can see by comparing their entry-level superfast fibre plan with equivalent packages:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Fast Fibre 35Mb average £37.39 £12.95 24 months
Super Fibre 63Mb average £23 £10 12 months
offer Offer: NOW TV membership available reduce for 12 months
Fibre 2 67Mb average £26 Free 24 months
offer Offer: £3 off for Vodafone pay monthly customers
Superfast Fibre 38Mb average £23.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Money off for 18 months

italk's cheapest superfast fibre plan is quite a bit more expensive than deals from providers including NOW, Vodafone, and Shell Energy Broadband, so may not be the best choice for those looking to save the most money.

Overall, italk performs best for their full fibre broadband deals in terms of price comparison, with those living in part-fibre areas having a lot of choice for cheaper deals elsewhere.


How fast is italk broadband?

Summary: Broadband speeds vary depending upon location, but for those in full fibre areas italk offer download speeds up to 220Mbps on average.

Italk use the Openreach FTTC and FTTP networks to offer broadband packages, however while other Openreach resellers like Plusnet, Vodafone, TalkTalk, BT, and Sky, offer download speeds up to 900Mbps, italk has decided to only offer top speeds of 220Mbps.

Those still on part-fibre connections will be able to choose between two superfast speeds of 35Mbps and 63Mbps. While those in full fibre areas can choose 40Mbps, 80Mbps, or 220Mbps.

Here's how those options look:

Average download speed
Fast Fibre 35Mbps
Superfast Fibre 63Mbps
Full Fibre 50 40Mbps
Full Fibre 100 80Mbps
Full Fibre 250 220Mbps

italk don't provide customers with upload speed averages, but based on other Openreach products we know these are likely to be around:

Average upload speed
Fast Fibre 9Mbps
Superfast Fibre 18Mbps
Full Fibre 50 10Mbps
Full Fibre 100 20Mbps
Full Fibre 250 30Mbps

Average speeds must be received by at least 50% of a customer's provider base, so, certainly for the download speeds which italk publish, we know the majority of customers are receiving these speeds in the real world.

However, unlike many other larger providers, italk don't subscribe to Ofcom's voluntary code of practice on broadband speeds. This means they don't offer customers a minimum guaranteed speed, and in fact, go so far as to stipulate in their terms and conditions that "[customers] accept that we cannot guarantee that you will have maximum speeds at any time or that your connection will reach any specific speeds."

Those for whom a minimum speed and service guarantee are important factors should look to providers such as Plusnet, BT, Sky, Vodafone, TalkTalk, or Virgin Media, who all offer customer's minimum guaranteed speeds at the point of sign up.

Find out more about advertised broadband speeds and what they mean.


Router

Summary: italk broadband offer customers a Zyxel wireless router, although specifications are fairly basic.

Italk offer broadband customers a wireless router with all packages. Those who take a full fibre broadband deal will get a better router that supports mesh.

Mesh allows routers to seamlessly link with booster devices to create a bigger wireless network, and it's the technology used by WiFi guarantees. However, despite the router offering the ability, italk don't seem to provide any option for customers to access these booster devices.

The routers italk provide are made by Zyxel, and offer dual-band wireless up to WiFi 5 (802.11ac). The internal antennas are limited however, with the device only offering 2x2 antenna over each wireless network. This means wireless signal may not be that strong and could struggle in larger homes.

Overall, the wireless routers provided are fairly basic, and while they'll be adequate for smaller homes or where devices are wired via the four Ethernet LAN ports, larger homes expecting a decent wireless signal may be disappointed.


Customer service

Summary: italk have excellent customer service ratings with Trustpilot, but there isn't any data from industry regulator Ofcom.

As italk are a relatively small broadband provider they aren't included in the customer service data produced by regulator Ofcom.

One thing we can definitely say is that italk haven't been rebuked by Ofcom for their customer service - they haven't been issued with fines or publicly warned about service issues.

To get a better idea of their customer service, we can look at italk's Trustpilot rating. On Trustpilot, italk has:

  • An Excellent TrustScore of 4.6 out of 5 based on over 16,600 reviews
  • 82% of their customers labelling them as Excellent
  • 9% of their customers labelling them as Great
  • Only 6% of their customers labelling them as Bad

Compared to their broadband rivals, that 6% is actually very good. These are the Bad percentages of some of their rivals:

  • Plusnet - 77% (overall 2.3)
  • TalkTalk - 45% (overall 2.9)
  • Zen Internet - 9% (overall 4.4)
  • BT - 87% (overall 1.4)
  • Direct Save Telecom - 23% (overall 3.9)

Even Direct Save Telecom who have an overall good score still have 23% poor reviews, so italk's performance, on this review site at least, is positive.

We also know that italk have UK-based customer care and support teams as they're vocal about this on their website.


Summary: Is italk broadband a good choice?

italk will be an unfamiliar broadband provider to many, and it's true they offer a basic broadband service with no frills that will appeal to certain types of customers.

Their full fibre broadband prices are competitive, but the lack of additional services like a WiFi guarantee or home phone line, as well as limited options for faster speeds, is a drawback.

They're also on the pricier side for those still in part-fibre areas, with monthly costs far above the most popular budget providers like Plusnet and Vodafone, as well as more premium providers like Sky.

While they have a pretty shiny reputation on Trustpilot, the basic routers provided may leave some customers frustrated if the wireless signal isn't strong enough to reach all their rooms, or they have a lot of devices trying to connect and stay online.

Their customer service staff are praised on Trustpilot for being very helpful, and some customers will appreciate signing up to a company committed to UK call centres, with their headquarters and call centre based in the South East of England in Brighton & Hove.

If we're judging italk on price alone, they don't compare well with their rivals, yet the overall package may be attractive to customers who want a no-frills service from a local broadband company.

Find out which italk broadband deals are available in your area.

Comments

Which broadband deals are available in your area?

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