Who offers the best broadband in Brighton & Hove?

Last updated: 19 August 2021   By Samantha Smith

Broadband customers in Brighton & Hove can choose from Openreach providers while Virgin Media also has a major presence.

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Best broadband in Brighton & Hove

Category Best broadband provider
Fastest fibre broadband BT
Cheapest ultrafast fibre Virgin Media
Cheapest superfast fibre Shell Energy Broadband
Best for TV Sky
Best for extras BT

Fastest broadband in Brighton & Hove

Winner: BT FTTP services are the fastest option in Brighton & Hove for now, but availability is limited.

Two major ultrafast broadband networks are active in Brighton & Hove: Virgin Media's cable network and Openreach's fibre to the premises (FTTP) network. There are also pockets of Hyperoptic availability and G.fast services are available in parts of the area too.

Before we look at each option in detail, here are some of the fastest broadband only plans running on those networks:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Hyperfast (24 months) 900Mb average £36 £19 24 months
M500 Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 516Mb average £52 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35)
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)

Note: Aquiss is delivered via the Openreach FTTP network along with BT broadband. Hyperoptic and Virgin Media operate their own networks.

Openreach FTTP

Openreach are rolling out their fibre to the premises (FTTP) network in Brighton & Hove, but coverage is far from comprehensive so far.

Looking at figures from Think Broadband, this is the limited picture to date:

Constituency Openreach FTTP coverage
Brighton Pavilion 21.24%
Brighton Kemptown 1.29%
Hove 2.81%

Openreach are deploying more full fibre every day, so it's likely these figures will rapidly increase but, for now, it's more likely customers will have access to the service offered by Virgin Media or the slower ultrafast speeds provided by Openreach's G.fast service (see below).

Various broadband providers offer services via Openreach FTTP in Brighton & Hove. Here are some examples of their ultrafast pricing:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Ultrafast Broadband 145Mb average £28 £5 18 months
offer Offer: WiFi Max just £3/mth + (£5 refundable setup fee for new customers if applicable)
Full Fibre 100 150Mb average £29.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Save £1/mth and free setup (was £31.99) (Ends 06/06/2024)
Full Fibre 500 500Mb average £34.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Save £15/mth and free setup (was £31.99) (Ends 06/06/2024)
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)

EE and TalkTalk are examples of other providers offering FTTP services via the Openreach network, so as the network spreads, customers will get more of a choice between companies.

G.fast

G.fast technology is essentially an upgrade to fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) broadband. It improves the speeds on the line of a typical superfast home and means customers can receive speeds around four times faster than superfast broadband.

Although G.fast deployment has slowed in favour of FTTP, there are actually some large pockets of it available in the Brighton Pavilion constituency (16.46%) and the Hove constituency too (38.21%). Here's how they look on a map:

g.fast coverage in brighton

Customers able to access G.fast services can receive broadband from the likes of BT, EE, Shell Energy Broadband and Direct Save Telecom. Here are some examples from Shell:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Ultrafast Fibre 145Mb average £41.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Money off for 18 months
Ultrafast Fibre Plus 290Mb average £46.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Money off for 18 months

Compare broadband deals in your area to see what speeds are available at your local exchange.

We've got more information on G.fast in our guide to ultrafast broadband.

Hyperoptic

Hyperoptic have a small presence in the Brighton area, having an active service in a few dozen residential buildings and registering interest across dozens more.

The way their service expands on a building-by-building basis means only those in large buildings are likely to benefit. The map below shows active premises in green, those where installations have been agreed in orange and those properties where Hyperoptic are registering interested in grey:

hyperoptic coverage in brighton

So, it isn't an option available to many customers yet, but the ultrafast packages offered by Hyperoptic to Brighton customers are market-leading where they are available, often beating Virgin Media by a significant margin:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Fast 50Mb (24 months) 57Mb average £27 £19 24 months
Superfast (24 months) 158Mb average £30 £19 24 months
Ultrafast (24 months) 522Mb average £33 £19 24 months
Hyperfast (24 months) 900Mb average £36 £19 24 months

These are the cheapest deals available from Hyperoptic on a 24-month contract. 12-month and 30-day rolling deals are also available.

Read more in our review of Hyperoptic broadband.

Virgin Media

While Virgin Media are continuing the rollout of their Gig1 broadband service, at the time of writing it hasn't yet reached Brighton & Hove.

Gig1 will eventually bring speeds of over 1GB to customers in the area, but the fastest available speeds from Virgin Media currently are 500Mb and 600Mb (this faster package can only be obtained in a broadband and TV bundle called Ultimate Oomph).

There are also slower ultrafast packages in the form of M350, M200 and M100:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
M125 Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 132Mb average £34 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35)
M250 Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 264Mb average £40 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35)
M350 Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 362Mb average £46 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35)
M500 Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 516Mb average £52 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35)

Virgin's services have expanded across the Brighton & Hove area over recent years. For example, they were available to 70.6% of premises in the Brighton Kemptown constituency in 2018 but this figure has now risen to 82.85%.

The coverage figures for the Brighton Pavilion and Hove constituencies are 94.04% and 88.49% respectively.

So, while it doesn't cover every home in Brighton & Hove, it's far more than the nationwide coverage of 53%.

Once they switch on their Gig1 service in Brighton, most customers will be able to access Virgin Media speeds of 1GB.

We've got further reading on accessing broadband from Virgin Media in this guide.

Other rollouts

As we've already mentioned, the Openreach rollout of FTTP is continuing and Virgin Media will switch on their 1GB service in the Brighton & Hove area, hopefully before the end of 2021.

Along with that, CityFibre are investing £80m in their new FTTP network in Brighton & Hove, although that will take up to five years to fully roll out.

So far, we know that Giganet are planning to use that network and other providers like Vodafone, Zen and TalkTalk may come on board.

This means customers may get more choice in their area over the next few years. With any luck, that will mean more competitive pricing too.


Cheapest broadband in Brighton & Hove

Winner: Shell Energy Broadband win by a whisker, but there isn't much in it.

Customers looking for cheap broadband in Brighton & Hove will find deals from nationwide budget providers like Shell Energy Broadband, TalkTalk and Plusnet.

Here are some of the cheapest deals available:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Superfast Fibre 38Mb average £23.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Money off for 18 months
Fibre 1 35Mb average £26 Free 24 months
offer Offer: £3 off for Vodafone pay monthly customers
Fab Fibre 36Mb average £21 £10 12 months
offer Offer: Save £3/mth until 4 July 2024 then £24/mth + NOW TV membership available reduced for 12 months (Ends 04/07/2024)
Unlimited Fibre 66Mb average £24.99 Free 24 months
Unlimited Fibre + Line Only 35Mb average £23 Free 18 months
offer Offer: £75 Bill Credit (existing SSE energy customers only) + 60-day Happiness Guarantee

For basic superfast broadband, customers have plenty of choice, as we explain in our guide to the cheapest broadband deals.

Across the three different constituencies, there are high levels of superfast broadband coverage, so there shouldn't be many customers unable to access it:

Constituency Openreach superfast coverage
Brighton Pavilion 99.7%
Brighton Kemptown 99.4%
Hove 99.7%

For those unlucky few, it might be worth looking at mobile broadband for the home as an alternative for now.

Three, Vodafone and EE all offer mobile home broadband options, while customers could use an O2 hotspot for limited broadband usage.

If customers are planning to tether to their mobile phone instead, we've got a guide on who offers the best data for your mobile phone.


Premium broadband in Brighton & Hove

Winner: Sky has a great TV offer alongside superb customer service.

Premium broadband services usually offer a bit more to customers than simply broadband access. For this reason, you won't find the likes of BT and Sky high in the cheapest broadband tables, but they are both good options for customers looking for something extra.
Let's take a closer look at these premium options.

BT broadband

As our BT broadband guide makes clear, the company offers a competitive service overall.

All their fibre broadband packages come with the following welcome extras:

  • Free access to five million BT wi-fi hotspots
  • Free BT Smart Hub (still one of our favourite routers)
  • BT Virus Protect on at least two devices, plus parental controls
  • BT Cloud Storage with at least 200GB free space

Plus, customers can add the BT TV service to their BT broadband package, bringing content from Now TV memberships into their home along with the option for BT Sport.

As for what the customer has to pay, take a look at some of BT's current deals in the table below:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Fibre Essential 36Mb average £33.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: Reduced price for 24 months + (Ends 06/06/2024)
Fibre 1 50Mb average £29.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Save £5/mth and free setup (was £31.99) (Ends 06/06/2024)
Fibre 2 67Mb average £36.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Reduced price for 24 months + (Ends 06/06/2024)

There are 12-month broadband deals available via BT, but these are usually more expensive, so if customers can commit to 24-month deals, it's better to do so.

Compare BT broadband deals for your postcode, including any FTTP options if they're available.

Sky broadband

Another prominent premium Openreach supplier is Sky. By combining broadband with their comprehensive TV service, they've become one of the most appealing providers for television lovers.

Yet aside from TV, one of the biggest attractions is their high-ranking customer service. According to Ofcom's quarterly complaints tables, they regularly receive the fewest complaints per 100,000 customers.

The most recent rankings show that Sky received just 7 complaints per 100,000 customers, compared to 30 for Vodafone and 14 for BT. These figures cover Q4 of 2020 (October to December).

Sky only offer one superfast broadband package, although they have moved into the ultrafast market as we saw above.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Superfast Broadband 61Mb average £27 £5 18 months
offer Offer: WiFi Max just £3/mth + (£5 refundable setup fee for new customers if applicable)

Compare more package options and check availability for Sky broadband here.

For customers that want more than broadband and talk, there's also the option to add a TV bundle into the mix. Here is their starter TV package added to their 59Mb broadband plan:

Package TV Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Sky TV + Broadband Superfast 400 61Mb average £40 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee

Taken together with their enviable customer service, the choice of broadband and TV packages on offer make Sky a good overall option.


Who's best in the surrounding areas?

The table below summarises the coverage available in the constituencies surrounding Brighton and Hove:

Area/town Openreach superfast coverage Openreach FTTP coverage Virgin coverage
Lewes 96.50% 9.52% 9.38%
Eastbourne 99.32% 3.06% 0%
East Worthing and Shoreham 99.64% 29.57% 92.3%

The Eastbourne area is particularly poorly served by fast fibre as things stand, and Lewes has lower levels of superfast fibre than we see elsewhere.

Even so, the options we've discussed above are still worthwhile for these areas too:

  • BT for ultrafast speeds where available, otherwise Virgin's cable network offers the best speeds
  • Shell Energy Broadband are often among the cheapest superfast providers alongside the likes of Plusnet and Now
  • Sky's TV service makes them a good option for those looking to bundle broadband and TV (although Sky TV can be taken separately from Sky broadband)

As ever, the best way to understand the deals in your area is to compare broadband options now.


Verdict: which is the best broadband provider in Brighton & Hove?

Overall winner: Virgin Media offer the fastest broadband in Brighton and Hove, but the ideal provider depends on both customer requirements and location.

Customers that live in areas served by Virgin Media and who want higher speeds would probably be best off with Virgin as their supplier, especially as they prepare to switch on their Gig1 service. Where Virgin Media is present, they simply have more coverage, although, for those in an Openreach FTTP area, BT offer the fastest speeds.

Those willing to pay more for a premium service may find the extras offered by BT beat the excellent customer service offered by Sky, but it does depend what the household is looking for.

Residents of Brighton & Hove should always consider their own particular needs before committing to a new provider. Make sure to read our broadband provider guides for additional tips and useful insights into each supplier.

Comments

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