Who offers the best broadband in Shropshire?

Last updated: 27 June 2022   By Samantha Smith

Shropshire is already starting to benefit from Openreach's fibre to the premises rollout, while Virgin Media has some presence too.

Shropshire has benefited from being part of the first phases of both the BDUK superfast rollout to 24Mb, and Project Gigabit which aims to connect homes to ultrafast broadband of 1Gb.

This means for people living in Shropshire, they'll increasingly have the option to upgrade to gigabit broadband from BT and resellers, as well as pockets of Virgin Media cable broadband too.

We look at which broadband providers are available throughout different parts of Shropshire, and ultimately which is the best broadband provider to choose.

shropshire telford lawley
Credit: Davelees/Shutterstock.com

In this guide:


Which provider is best for broadband in Shropshire?

Verdict: Sky and BT offer the best broadband services in Shropshire, but Virgin Media is also a strong choice where it's available.

Sky offer the best broadband service overall, thanks to competitive pricing, a range of broadband download speeds, TV bundles and customer service.

BT do offer faster average speeds and the powerful Smart Hub 2 router, making it the best deal for performance.

Customers looking for the cheapest deal should consider smaller player Plusnet, who also come highly recommended. Plusnet is cheaper than BT and Sky, at a similar price to TalkTalk, but with faster average speeds.

Sky

Sky offer broadband packages covering both superfast fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and also gigafast fibre to the premises (FTTP) where it's available.

Sky also offer the option to take a pay TV service via satellite, which means it's available across even rural areas. They also won the Choose award for customer service in 2022 too.

Read more in our full review of Sky broadband.

Here's a selection of Sky broadband packages:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Superfast Broadband 61Mb average £26 £5 18 months
offer Offer: Save £10.50/mth (was £34.50) + WiFi Max just £6.50/mth for 3 months and then just £10/mth + (£5 refundable setup fee for new customers if applicable)
Ultrafast Plus Broadband 500Mb average £34 £5 18 months
offer Offer: Save £14/mth (was £48) + WiFi Max just £6.50/mth for 3 months and then just £10/mth + (£5 refundable setup fee for new customers if applicable)
Gigafast Broadband 900Mb average £58 £5 18 months
offer Offer: Reduced price for 18 months + WiFi Max just £6.50/mth for 3 months and then just £10/mth + (£5 refundable setup fee for new customers if applicable)

BT

BT are another good option, scoring well in reliability research and offering the Smart Hub 2 router. BT offer both superfast fibre and FTTP where it's available:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Fibre 1 50Mb average £32.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £70 BT Virtual Reward Card + (Ends 04/01/2024)
Full Fibre 500 500Mb average £47.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + 6 months Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (Ends 04/01/2024)
Full Fibre 900 900Mb average £57.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + 12 months Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (Ends 04/01/2024)

Plusnet

Plusnet offer some of the most competitive broadband pricing and are available to 98% of properties in Shropshire. They're owned by BT but operate from Yorkshire.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Unlimited Fibre 66Mb average £24.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Reduced price + No setup fee + Exclusive offers and discounts for Plusnet customers
Unlimited Fibre Extra 66Mb average £26.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Reduced price + No setup fee + Exclusive offers and discounts for Plusnet customers

Virgin Media

Finally, people living in Telford, Shrewsbury and parts of The Wrekin including Shifnal, Newport and Donnington, may be able to access Virgin Media's cable broadband.

With download speeds of up to 1Gb with their Gig1 broadband package and competitive pricing, with or without Virgin's TV service, they're a top choice worth considering for those who can get it.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
M50 Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 54Mb average £28 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)
Gig1 Fibre Broadband 1.13Gb average £45 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35)

Broadband availability in Shropshire

Broadband availability in Shropshire varies across the county. Briefly:

  • Superfast fibre of at least 30Mb is available to 98% of homes
  • 900Mb fibre to the premises is available to around 14% of homes
  • Virgin Media 1Gb broadband is available in Telford, parts of Shrewsbury and parts of The Wrekin

Openreach superfast and ultrafast

Shropshire is predominantly served by BT's Openreach, with 98% of homes able to access superfast broadband speeds of at least 30Mb.

Openreach FTTP, which can deliver speeds of up to 900Mb, has so far been rolled out to 14% of homes in Shropshire, and that's likely to continue increasing as Openreach aim to connect 25 million premises across the UK to FTTP by the end of 2026.

The majority of properties in Shropshire will only be able to access Openreach FTTC however, which offers average download speeds of around 35Mb or 60Mb depending on the package chosen.

A range of broadband providers resell Openreach FTTC, so customers will still have a good selection of different packages, prices and providers to choose from. This includes providers such as:

Virgin Media

Virgin Media cable is also available in a few areas in Shropshire. They cover just under 6% of properties in the county, focused in:

  • Telford
  • Shrewsbury
  • The Wrekin: Newport, Donnington and Shifnal

While FTTC broadband is adequate for most people, anyone who has FTTP or Virgin Media available to them, will find they have the greatest choice of download speed as well as access to the fastest broadband.

Other full fibre networks

There aren't too many independent full fibre providers in Shropshire. Gigaclear, who typically focus on rural areas, are active in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire but haven't reached Shropshire yet.

Open Fibre Networks Limited which builds 'Open Access' fibre networks to new build properties, that can be resold by a range of providers, have connected properties in Ludlow, Dawley in Telford and Shifnal.

Full Fibre Ltd also has some availability in the centre of Shrewsbury, however as we look at more below, they have further plans to continue expanding in Shropshire.


Superfast and ultrafast coverage

Let's take a closer look at what broadband options are available in different parts of Shropshire.

Ludlow

The Shropshire constituency of Ludlow is in the south of the county, and covers the towns and villages of: Bridgnorth, Alveley, Broseley, Claverley, Ditton Priors, Glazeley, Harrington, Highley, Much Wenlock, Morville, Stottesdon, and Worfield.

Current broadband availability in the constituency of Ludlow is:

Coverage Maximum speed
Openreach FTTC 98% 80Mb
Openreach FTTP 17% 900Mb
Virgin Media 0% -
Other full fibre 0% -

The broadband exchanges in South Shropshire where Openreach has enabled their FTTP network include:

  • Ludlow
  • Bridgnorth
  • Bishop's Castle
  • Clun
  • Craven Arms
  • Much Wenlock
  • Cleobury Mortimer
  • Brockton
  • Ryton
  • Bucknell

It's worth noting that just because an exchange has been upgraded to Openreach FTTP, not all properties served by that exchange may then have it available to them. This is especially true in rural areas such as South Shropshire where properties could be very far from the exchange. It's always worth checking your postcode specifically for more information.

The exchanges in South Shropshire that can so far only receive Fibre to the Cabinet, include:

  • Church Stretton
  • Broseley
  • Chirbury
  • Bromfield
  • Cleehill
  • Highley
  • Quatt
  • Worfield
  • Norton
  • Munslow

North Shropshire

The constituency of North Shropshire covers the towns and villages of Wem, Market Drayton, Whitchurch, Ellesmere, Baschurch, Cheswardine, Clive, Cockshutt, Dudleston Heath, Hadnall, Hinstock, Hodnet, Prees, Shawbury, Tilstock, Welshampton and Woore.

Current broadband availability in the constituency of North Shropshire is:

Coverage Maximum speed
Openreach FTTC 98% 80Mb
Openreach FTTP 13% 900Mb
Virgin Media 0% -
Other full fibre 0% -

The broadband exchanges in North Shropshire where Openreach has connected their FTTP network include:

  • Oswestry
  • Market Drayton
  • Whitchurch
  • Wem
  • Ellesmere
  • Queen's Head (near West Felton)
  • Knockin
  • Llanymynech
  • Baschurch
  • Shawbury
  • Tern Hill
  • Dudleston Heath

As before, while Openreach has focused on the larger towns of North Shropshire for their FTTP rollout, due to the rural nature of Shropshire and the way FTTP needs a fibre line all the way into the premises, to be sure if your property is covered you'll need to run a postcode check for broadband availability.

The exchanges in South Shropshire that can so far only receive Fibre to the Cabinet, include:

  • Hadnall
  • Child's Ercall
  • Cheswardine
  • Hodnet
  • Calverhall
  • Prees
  • Cockshutt

Shrewsbury and Atcham

The Shropshire constituency of Shrewsbury and Atcham covers Shrewsbury, Bayston Hill, Ford, Dorrington, Condover, Minsterley, Pontesbury, Bomere Heath, Wroxeter and Atcham.

Current broadband availability in the constituency of Shrewsbury and Atcham is:

Coverage Maximum speed
Openreach FTTC 98% 80Mb
Openreach FTTP 11.5% 900Mb
Virgin Media 8% 1Gb
Other full fibre 0% -

The broadband exchanges in Shrewsbury and Atcham with a Virgin Media presence include:

  • Shrewsbury
  • Harlescott

Virgin Media's network is very much property specific, and availability could vary widely in these areas, so do check your postcode for more accurate information.

The broadband exchanges in Shrewsbury and Atcham where Openreach has connected their FTTP network include:

  • Shrewsbury
  • Montford Bridge
  • Cross Houses
  • Cressage

The exchanges in Shrewsbury and Atcham that can so far only receive Fibre to the Cabinet broadband, include:

  • Hanwood
  • Bayston Hill
  • Halfway House (near Wattlesborough Heath)
  • Acton Burnell
  • Uppington
  • Upton Magna

Telford

The Shropshire constituency of Telford principally covers the town of Telford, with the following communities and villages: Brookside, Cuckoo Oak, Dawley Magna, Horsehay and Lightmoor, Ironbridge Gorge, Ketley and Oakengates, Lawley and Overdale, Madeley, Malinslee, Priorslee, St George's, The Nedge, Woodside, Wrockwardine Wood, and Trench.

Current broadband availability in Telford is:

Coverage Maximum speed
BT FTTC 99% 80Mb
BT FTTP 16% 900Mb
Virgin Media 75% 1Gb
Other full fibre 0% -

As a primarily urban area, Telford has good Virgin Media coverage and the best Openreach FTTP availability out of the five Shropshire constituencies. As a result, people living in Telford should have a good selection of superfast and ultrafast broadband available to them.

All six broadband exchanges in the Telford area have Virgin Media enabled:

  • Hollinswood
  • Oakengates
  • Dawley
  • Cuckoo Oak
  • Stirchley
  • Ironbridge

However, only the following four exchanges also have Openreach FTTP enabled so far:

  • Hollinswood
  • Oakengates
  • Dawley
  • Cuckoo Oak

The Wrekin

The Wrekin is a constituency around Telford that's much more rural, and includes the towns and villages of: Wellington, Newport, Shifnal, Albrighton, Apley, Arleston, Donnington, Dothill, Edgmond, Ercall, Hadley, Leegomery, Haygate, Muxton, Shawbirch, and Wrockwardine.

Current broadband availability in The Wrekin is:

Coverage Maximum speed
BT FTTC 98% 80Mb
BT FTTP 15% 900Mb
Virgin Media 67% 1Gb
Other full fibre 0% -

The broadband exchanges in The Wrekin with Virgin Media enabled cover:

  • Wellington
  • Newport
  • Donnington
  • Shifnal
  • Albrighton

All of the broadband exchanges in The Wrekin have Openreach FTTP enabled:

  • Wellington
  • Newport
  • High Ercall
  • Great Bolas (near) Waters Upton
  • Donnington
  • Sambrook
  • Shifnal
  • Albrighton

How fast is broadband in Shropshire?

As we've seen then, broadband availability in Shropshire is fairly mixed, largely because some areas, like Telford, are very urban, whereas most of the county is quite rural.

However, BT's Openreach have rolled out their FTTP broadband to a large number of exchanges throughout Shropshire, which is largely because Shropshire was part of the first phase of the Project Gigabit rollout.

While not all properties served by enabled exchanges will necessarily be able to access full fibre straight away, it's a good indication that the rollout of ultrafast broadband is quickly making its way through Shropshire.

For those properties who can only get superfast fibre, they should still be able to access broadband between 30Mb and 80Mb. FTTC is a big improvement over ADSL, however because the last mile of cable from the street cabinet to the property uses the old copper telephone line, distance can still cause attenuation - which means very rural properties might still struggle to get fast broadband.

Where Virgin Media is available, people will have access to their fastest Gig1 package, which is now available across their entire network of 15.5 million premises. This means people living in areas such as Telford, The Wrekin and Shrewsbury will be able to access 1Gb download speeds with Virgin cable broadband.


Broadband rollout plans in Shropshire

Shropshire has 98% superfast coverage to at least 30Mb broadband thanks to the BDUK program. The rollout used Openreach fibre to the cabinet to deliver speeds of at least 24Mb to 90% of premises, and largely completed in 2016.

The next step of broadband delivery focuses on Project Gigabit - a part Government funded effort to bring full fibre broadband, and gigabit speeds, to the entire UK. Shropshire has been included in phase one of this rollout, which is why so many of the counties exchanges have already been upgraded to Openreach fibre to the premises (FTTP).

For example, in mid-2021 Openreach announced they were connecting 40,000 properties in Shropshire to their full fibre broadband, covering 14 exchanges. Many of these exchanges, such as Bridgnorth, Oswestry, Wem and Whitchurch have already been upgraded.

The Shropshire exchanges that are planned to soon be upgraded to Openreach FTTP include Broseley, Highley and Ironbridge.

It's worth noting that as part of the FTTP rollout BT has also been upgrading existing customers to Digital Voice - a phoneline that works over the full fibre broadband line.

However, Digital Voice in rural areas such as Shropshire raised concerns due to the fact its reliant on a power supply to work. People living in areas with weak or no mobile signal were left without a way to communicate in a power cut after being upgraded to Digital Voice.

As a result, BT have paused their Digital Voice rollout. This means existing customers won't automatically be moved to full fibre as it comes to their area. However, customers who opt to upgrade their broadband to FTTP will get a digital line.

Alt net fibre providers

There aren't very many smaller independent broadband providers rolling out fibre in Shropshire, however there are a few including Freedom Fibre, SWS Broadband and Full Fibre Ltd.

Freedom Fibre are planning a £5 million expansion in Shropshire, which they announced in the spring of 2022. They've said the first locations to benefit will be Whitchurch, Wem and Prees. Freedom Fibre's full fibre broadband will be made available through TalkTalk, and will offer download speeds of up to 500Mb.

SWS Broadband started a full fibre rollout program covering 50,000 rural properties in Shropshire in 2021. They've said it will take around 3 years to complete, and the first areas to benefit include Stiperstones and Woolston. They already have a commercial fibre network that runs through Shrewsbury, Church Stretton, Craven Arms, Bishop's Castle, Pontesbury and Minsterley.

Finally, Full Fibre Ltd has connected eight new towns in Shropshire to its gigabit network, including Bridgnorth, Whitchurch, Market Drayton, Ellesmere, Broseley, St Martin's, Weston Rhyn and Whittington.

Many of these areas are already part of Openreach's full fibre rollout, however with additional fibre lines being laid by different companies, people will have greater choice between broadband providers and it should create more competition on price.


Verdict: the best broadband in Shropshire

Winner: the best broadband service varies with where exactly a customer is in Shropshire, although Sky is a top choice if a customer wants a good overall service with an excellent TV package included.

The best broadband provider is always going to vary based on what an individual customer is looking for and the broadband availability in their exact area. As we've seen that varies across different parts of Shropshire.

We've compiled a brief table with some recommended choices for the best broadband depending on what someone might be looking for in the main areas of Shropshire:

AreaFeatures wantedRecommended provider
Telford, The Wrekin, Shrewsbury
SpeedVirgin Media
Low pricePlusnet
TV bundles/good overallSky
South Shropshire, North Shropshire
SpeedBT
Low pricePlusnet
TV bundles/good overallSky

Read more on the best broadband for customer service, the most reliable broadband provider and the cheapest broadband and phone plans.

Comments

Dave
20 September 2020

We also offer FTTP in Shrewsbury Leominster Devon ect, I needfibre.com provided by Fullfibre, up to 1 gigabyte.

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