Who offers the best broadband in Bristol?

Last updated: 1 September 2021   By Jo Bailey

Broadband in Bristol is a highly competitive affair with numerous broadband companies vying for customers.

bristol cityscape

Best broadband providers in Bristol

Category Best broadband provider
Cheapest fibre broadband Vodafone From £21.50
Cheapest ultrafast broadband Hyperoptic From £30
Fastest broadband Virgin Media Up to 1Gb download
Best broadband with home phone Now Free anytime calls for 12 months
Best broadband with TV Sky From £42

With exceptional local coverage and speeds of over 1GB, Virgin Media is our top choice for ultrafast Bristol broadband.

For those on more of a budget, Now is an excellent choice, especially if we're looking for inclusive landline calls.

There are even options for customers in more rural parts of the Bristol area with both Gigaclear and Truespeed offering fibre to the premises (FTTP) in some communities.

bristol cityscape

Fastest broadband in Bristol

Winner: Virgin Media may not be the cheapest option but their speeds are excellent and their coverage unrivalled.

Bristol is lucky enough to have ultrafast broadband available from several providers including big names Virgin Media, BT, EE and Sky. In addition, there are more niche options to be found with the likes of Hyperoptic, Gigaclear and Truespeed.

Here are some of the fastest broadband deals available in Bristol:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Hyperfast (24 months) 900Mb average Free
for 3 mths,
then £39
£19 24 months
offer Offer: 3 months free (Ends 29/04/2024)
Hyperfast 900 830Mb average £49 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Save over 60% + Free setup + Free Smart WiFi Node (worth £108)
Full Fibre 900 900Mb average £59.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card (Ends 25/04/2024)
Full Fibre Max Gigabit 900Mb average £49 Free 24 months
offer Offer: 12 month free Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for EE pay monthly mobile customers + 10% off for EE pay monthly mobile customers + 20GB extra data for EE pay monthly mobile customers + Free setup
Gig1 Fibre Broadband 1.13Gb average £45 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Reduced price: £45 per month + No setup fee (was £35) (Ends 30/04/2024)

We explore each operator's deals and coverage in more detail below, but we've chosen Virgin Media as our top pick here thanks to their exceptional local coverage and the range of ultrafast broadband deals on offer.

While their Gig1 service is one of the most expensive on the market, customers don't need to go up to those speeds to get a competitive deal.

Find out more about the UK's fastest broadband provider.

Virgin Media

One of the big names in Bristol ultrafast broadband is Virgin Media, with speeds of up to 1GB available now they have switched their Gig1 service on in the city and surrounding areas.

Here are some of the best broadband deals available in Bristol for Virgin Media customers:

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)

As well as the gigabit-capable broadband speeds, Virgin Media also offer TV services and even bigger bundles including SIM only mobile deals, so they're an ideal full-service entertainment provider for customers looking to take multiple services from the same provider.

We've got a full guide to broadband from Virgin Media and more about the Virgin Media TV service.

All Virgin's packages can be tailored with different call plans too, including free anytime calls and offers for international calling as well. They include Talk Weekends with all their home broadband and phone bundles and, while they do allow customers to take broadband without a home phone, the price of doing this can often be more expensive.

Not every area of Bristol is served by Virgin Media, although it's mainly the more rural areas that miss out.

According to information from the BT exchange, the areas of Bristol currently covered by Virgin Media include Stoke Bishop, Bedminster, Fishponds, Bristol South, Bristol West, Bishopsworth, Henbury, Bristol North, Westbury On Trym, Easton, Redcliffe, Avonmouth and Eastville.

Even within these areas, there can be pockets of homes which are not covered, so it's best to use our checker to see what's available in your specific postcode.

The map below gives an indication of the spread of Virgin Media across the city and surrounding areas via Think Broadband:

virgin media coverage in bristol

To put some figures on coverage in the City of Bristol area, the most recent data from Think Broadband puts Virgin Media coverage at almost 89%.

So, it's not accessible to all, but it's accessible to many households and will be an excellent option where it is available.

Interestingly, Virgin offer all their packages on a zero contract basis too. Although these tend to be poor value compared to fixed term deals, they could be useful for a short term solution if you're on the verge of moving home, for example.

Setup costs are typically high with Virgin, and even their cheapest packages are expensive in comparison to the best offers on superfast broadband via Openreach. However, for very high speed connections, they offer good value for money, albeit not the best available.

Openreach

With Openreach's fibre to the premises (FTTP) network active in many parts of Bristol, customers have a range of fast broadband deals available from providers using that network.

These include:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Ultrafast Plus Broadband 500Mb average £32 £5 18 months
offer Offer: WiFi Max just £3/mth + (£5 refundable setup fee for new customers if applicable)
Full Fibre 900 900Mb average £59.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card (Ends 25/04/2024)
Full Fibre Max Gigabit 900Mb average £49 Free 24 months
offer Offer: 12 month free Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for EE pay monthly mobile customers + 10% off for EE pay monthly mobile customers + 20GB extra data for EE pay monthly mobile customers + Free setup

These are just the fastest packages available from broadband providers operating in Bristol. Other speed options are available and we recommend reading our guides to BT, EE, Sky and Zen to understand more about what's on offer.

Openreach announced their rollout of FTTP broadband in Bristol in 2018 and had reached 80,000 homes and businesses or 40% of all premises by November 2019.

As the map below shows, Openreach now have a very strong presence across Bristol and the surrounding areas:

openreach coverage in bristol

One benefit of choosing an Openreach FTTP provider instead of Virgin Media is simply that the download and upload speeds are symmetrical. This means whatever download speed package we opt for will have the same upload speeds with FTTP while Virgin's cable technology doesn't allow for this.

As more providers enter an area, too, competition necessarily increases and this can only be a good thing for customers.

Hyperoptic

Hyperoptic is also active in parts of Bristol, allowing some customers to access their speeds of up to 900Mb on average.

Here are their broadband deals on 24-month contracts (the cheapest available):

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Fast 50Mb (24 months) 57Mb average £26 £19 24 months
Superfast (24 months) 158Mb average Free
for 3 mths,
then £31
£19 24 months
offer Offer: 3 months free (Ends 29/04/2024)
Ultrafast (24 months) 522Mb average Free
for 3 mths,
then £36
£19 24 months
offer Offer: 3 months free (Ends 29/04/2024)
Hyperfast (24 months) 900Mb average Free
for 3 mths,
then £39
£19 24 months
offer Offer: 3 months free (Ends 29/04/2024)

These are broadband only, but customers can add a phone line for a few extra pounds per month. There are also 12-month and rolling 30-day broadband deals on offer too.

Hyperoptic is part of a new breed of internet providers which has invested in building its own fibre network in certain parts of the UK. This means they are not reliant on the Openreach network, which allows them to ramp up the speeds and drive down costs too.

They offer one of the UK's fastest full fibre services with speeds reaching up to 1GB per second. Although only available in a limited number of towns and cities, Hyperoptic is rapidly expanding.

For those in Bristol, however, there's no need to wait, because it's already available in some places. Because Hyperoptic cable building by building, it's fairly sporadic in its coverage. Let's take a look at coverage in the Bristol area:

hyperoptic coverage in bristol

The green sites are active locations for the network. Orange are where installation is agreed but not yet live and grey locations are where they are registering interest from local homes and businesses.

To be certain that you can get it in your postcode, use our checker contained within our Hyperoptic guide here.

Got a choice between Hyperoptic and Virgin Media? Read our guide comparing the two providers and their services.

Gigaclear

For customers in more rural areas to the west of the city centre, Gigaclear may be an option.

Here are their broadband deals:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Superfast 200 200Mb average £17 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Save over 40% + Free setup
Ultrafast 300 300Mb average £17 Free 18 months
offer Offer: 300Mb for the price of 200Mb + Free setup
Ultrafast 500 500Mb average £22 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Save over 40%: just £22 per month + Free setup + Free Smart WiFi Node (worth £108) (Ends 30/04/2024)
Hyperfast 900 830Mb average £49 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Save over 60% + Free setup + Free Smart WiFi Node (worth £108)

Gigaclear is a rural broadband specialist, so don't expect to find them expanding to urban areas where Virgin Media and Openreach are already active.

However, for those locations where the major providers are unlikely to venture, Gigaclear is building a presence as the map below shows:

gigaclear coverage in bristol

One thing to note about Gigaclear is that they do not offer a phone line option with their broadband packages so, if that's a dealbreaker, customers may need to look elsewhere.

Truespeed

Truespeed are another niche option in Somerset, but they offer some excellent ultrafast broadband deals where they are available:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Truespeed Truespeed 80 80Mb average
Unlimited
18 months Free £29.99
Truespeed Truespeed 150 150Mb average
Unlimited
18 months Free £39.99
Truespeed Truespeed 350 350Mb average
Unlimited
18 months Free £49.99
Truespeed Truespeed 900 900Mb average
Unlimited
18 months Free £59.99

Truespeed services have expanded to over 200 communities since 2014. Here is a snapshot of their current presence around the outskirts of Bristol:

truespeed coverage in bristol

Like Hyperoptic, Truespeed also encourage potential customers to register interest if they want their services to come to their area - enough interest and Truespeed may expand there.

On their website, Truespeed say they're committed to no in-contract price rises. Read more about fixed price broadband and who offers it.


Cheapest broadband in Bristol

Winner: It's often a close-run thing, but Vodafone are the current winner on price.

If we want to find the cheapest broadband deals in Bristol, we need to drop down a speed rung and look at superfast broadband plans.

It's a highly competitive market and the best deals are always changing, so compare cheap superfast broadband deals now using your postcode.

Here are some of the cheapest fibre deals available in Bristol:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
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
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

Thanks to Vodafone aggressively discounting their Superfast 2 package, it can often be cheaper to take faster speeds with them than entry-level superfast speeds with another ISP.

However, at any given time, the likes of Shell Energy Broadband, Plusnet, SSE and TalkTalk are all options for cheap superfast deals.

With copper broadband set to disappear in the years ahead and providers already trying to phase it out, these superfast deals will be the cheapest entry points for most broadband customers in coming years, both in Bristol and elsewhere.


Other considerations

Speed, price and availability are three major considerations when choosing a broadband deal, but there are several other things to think about when we're looking for the right broadband deal for us.

Here are our best ISP choices across home phone, TV services, short-term broadband contracts and extras.

Best for home phone

Winner: Now include free calls as standard.

Landlines are almost becoming redundant, and that's why we see many of the fastest broadband providers in Bristol eliminating them altogether or having no inclusive calls.

Now Broadband is one of the only options for customers who want inclusive landline calls.

Here are their superfast deals with free anytime calls:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Fab Fibre 36Mb average £23 £10 12 months
offer Offer: NOW TV membership available reduce for 12 months
Super Fibre 63Mb average £23 £10 12 months
offer Offer: NOW TV membership available reduce for 12 months

It's rare to find broadband providers offering inclusive calls these days, but John Lewis Broadband are another option, albeit a more expensive one.

Best for home TV

Winner: Sky is still the champion for TV services.

Sky is still best known for their premium TV services and combining these with Sky broadband can get customers some good deals.

Here are some examples of their broadband and TV bundles:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Sky Ultimate TV + Broadband Superfast 61Mb average £43 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee
Sky Ultimate TV + Broadband Ultrafast 145Mb average £52 £29.95 18 months

With Sky now offering speeds of up to 500Mb in some areas, taking these services from the same provider could be economical and simple.

However, it's also worth remembering Sky TV can be taken without broadband, so it could theoretically be combined with any of the Bristol broadband deals we've discussed in this guide.

Best for short contracts

Winner: Now offer rolling broadband deals cheaply, although set-up costs are higher.

Some broadband customers in Bristol will prefer shorter contracts or rolling fibre broadband deals.

There are a few of these around, although they come with higher set-up fees and aren't always the cheapest way of getting broadband.

Here are some examples:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Fab Fibre (No contract) 36Mb average £23 £70 1 month
Fast 50Mb (Monthly Rolling) + Evening & Weekend calls 57Mb average £33 £39 1 month
Superfast Fibre 35Mb (No contract) 35Mb average £41.95 £33.90 1 month
offer Offer: Loyalty Discount Club (worth £49.95)

As we can see, Now is an excellent option on a rolling contract since they don't charge more than the prices on their 12-month deal every month. However, the set-up costs are higher than some of the other options.

Students are another group who may prefer short-term broadband deals - find the best student broadband deals.

Best for home extras

Winner: BT offers extras to customers as standard, plus paid upgrades are available.

For some of us, a broadband service with premium extras is more valuable than a cheap broadband service.

On this measure, BT is a leader thanks to their inclusive broadband extras:

  • Five million wi-fi hotspots across the UK
  • Free BT Cloud storage up to 1000GB
  • BT Virus Protect for up to 15 devices

These can be useful features and are available with any of BT's broadband deals in the Bristol area including their superfast packages:

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 25/04/2024)
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 25/04/2024)
Fibre 2 67Mb average £36.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + + (Ends 25/04/2024)

BT also has a premium broadband tier called BT Halo for those who want to pay more for a more reliable service with 4G back-up and other extras.


Verdict: Which provider is best in Bristol?

It's difficult to pick which is the best broadband provider in Bristol because there are lots of good offers to suit different needs. If you can get it, Hyperoptic offer a great combination of budget pricing and ultrafast speed, but their limited coverage means many will miss out.

If you are not in a Hyperoptic area, but you can get Virgin Media, we find their high speed deals the best value for those who need the fastest internet connections. Outside of both Virgin and Hyperoptic areas, Openreach ISPs like BT and EE are your provider if you've got a need for speed.

For superb value where speed is not so much of an issue, superfast broadband providers are lining up to offer great deals with Vodafone and Plusnet two major budget providers.

It's worth noting that superfast is technically defined as broadband up to 300Mb, but providers tend to use 100Mb as the threshold between superfast and ultrafast, so be sure to check the speed of a package on offer as well as the name. Read more about advertised broadband speeds.

Overall, Bristol has an excellent range of nationwide providers and the niche coverage offered by Gigaclear and Truespeed to give variety for customers searching for the right broadband speed for them.

As always, we recommend using our broadband comparison service to check what's available when you're ready to switch.

Comments

Which broadband deals are available in your area?

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