Huge broadband boost offers thousands an alternative to Virgin and BT

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CommunityFibre has confirmed that its completed roll-out of gigabit-capable fibre broadband across the London Borough of Sutton. The infrastructure upgrade, which brings gigabit speeds – some of the fastest home broadband speeds available anywhere in the country – to all council-owned properties, was originally scheduled to take between 18-24 months.

However, CommunityFibre this month confirmed that it had finished the work in eight months – well ahead of schedule.

As such, roughly 12,000 new households can now connect with these eye-wateringly fast speeds. For comparison, the average home broadband speed in the UK is 64Mbps – the top-tier package available from CommunityFibre clocks in at 920Mbps. Given that Netflix recommends speeds of 25Mbps to watch its highest quality streams (Ultra HD), gigabit internet should be able to handle video calls, boxset binges and online gaming in the busiest homes without a hint of a stutter.

Of course, those who aren’t working from home – or worried about seeing the buffering symbol pop-up from time to time – can reduce their monthly bills by opting for slower speeds. CommunityFibre offers 50Mbps for £20 a month, 150Mbps for £25 a month, 400Mbps for £35 a month, and 1000Mbps for £49 a month.

Since the company uses its own fibre cable direct to the premises, there’s no line rental charge. That’s in stark contrast with rival broadband providers that use the cables installed by Openreach, including BT, Sky, EE, Plusnet and more.

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As it stands, CommunityFibre covers some 100,000 premises across the capital city. Most of these consist of large apartments blocks and purpose-built social housing. The firm also offers broadband connections to businesses too.

Looking ahead, CommunityFibre wants to connect more than 500,000 households by the end of 2022, including a number of premises outside of London – something the company hasn’t really dabbled with until now.

CommunityFibre CEO Graeme Oxby said: “With many of us now working from home, remote schooling, streaming TV or turning to online gaming for entertainment – and actually using a mix of all of these at once – the demand for fast broadband is ever increasing.

“Running our networks and ensuring that more and more residents in Sutton are able to connect to the outside world is of the utmost importance to us. We believe that everyone deserves better broadband, therefore our packages are affordable with no surprise price rises throughout any of our contracts. Our approach will be crucial to help build a more inclusive digital future for Sutton and across London communities.”

As you’d expect, the broadband upgrade hasn’t come at any cost to the social housing residents who will benefit from the faster speeds. Households will only begin paying if they choose to switch from their current provider to the fibre broadband line connected by CommunityFibre.

Councillor Sunita Gordon, Sutton’s Lead Member for Resources, added: “Access to 100% Full Fibre Broadband will make a huge difference to residents and businesses across Sutton. With social distancing now becoming more prominent in this unprecedented time, these quality internet connections will help support the increasing number of people who are relying on the internet for work, education and entertainment.”

CommunityFibre is one of a number of new challengers to more established brands like BT broadband, Sky and Virgin Media. The Government has pledged £5 billion in investment to firms able to bring “gigabit-capable” fibre broadband networks across the UK by the end of 2025.

If you’re looking to upgrade the internet speeds in your home, then it might be worth checking if some of these less known competitors are available in your area as there are some unbeatable deals to be had.

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