Following the Government’s £5 billion pledge to help bring “gigabit-capable” fibre broadband networks across the UK by the end of 2025, a number of new companies have sprung-up to challenge familiar faces like BT, Virgin Media and Sky. One of these, dubbed YouFibre, has started to deploy gigabit-capable fibre broadband in County Durham.
Like a number of these newer challengers, YouFibre needs to stand-out from ISPs (Internet Service Providers) with better brand recognition and bulging wallets for glitzy advertising campaigns during prime-time television. While some, like HyperOptic, have opted for a price guarantee for the duration of your contract and a flexible monthly rolling plan to make waves – YouFibre seems to be using price to attract customers.
YouFibre is offering subscribers the chance to bag its gigabit speeds for £30 for the next 12-months. For comparison, Virgin Media charges upwards of £62 for its Gig1 package with a £35 one-off set-up fee (although this is sometimes dropped as part of seasonal promotions) and BT will charge £59.99 per month (rising to £67.99 after 24 months) and a £9.99 upfront cost for similar speeds.
YouFibre claims its top-end fibre speeds are around 900Mbps. Admittedly, that’s slower than those available from Virgin Media’s Gig1, which offer on 1,104Mbps average download speeds. YouFibre is, however, half the price. Your mileage may vary, but for our money, that’s worth more than the extra 200Mbps or so.
After 12 months, YouFibre says its fastest broadband plan will rise to £50 a month, which is a substantial increase on your monthly bills. But it’s still a substantial saving compared to old favourites like BT and Virgin Media. And that’s assuming there’s no way to renegotiate a better deal with YouFibre provided that you sign-up for another full 12-month (or longer) broadband contract.
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That’s something that almost all ISPs currently offer, so it would be surprising if YouFibre forced customers who could walk away at a month’s notice to continue to cough-up £50 a month rather than lock them in for another year.
Like HyperOptic, YouFibre offers a contract-free rolling monthly contract, although you’ll pay more for the freedom to cancel your connection and switch provider every four weeks. According to its price list, YouFibre charges £50 for the 900Mbps full-fibre speeds, although prices start from £22 a month for 50Mbps.
It’s worth remembering that the UK average broadband speed is currently 64Mbps. For context, Netflix recommends 25Mbps to tune-in to its shows and movies in the highest Ultra HD quality. With 64Mbps, you’ll struggle to watch in this pixel-packed format if other family members are trying to stream YouTube videos, play online multiplayer games, make FaceTime calls to long-distance friends, stream music, or more.
In a statement to broadband-centric blog ISPreview, a spokesperson for YouFibre said: “YouFibre is a different kind of Internet. We are bringing superfast internet to homes and businesses across the UK. We have identified areas with poor or no Internet connection, and have installed Superfast Fibre, from 50Mbps to 1000Mbps speeds. Peterlee is the first area we have installed our Superfast Fibre and our sales team will be in the area soon.”
YouFibre lets you add a VoIP phone service (which uses your internet connection to make calls, like calls on WhatsApp or FaceTime Audio) for an extra £3 each month. The broadband supplier also offers a mesh WiFi system for an extra £7 which promises at least 10Mbps in each room of your house (hopefully ending internet blackholes where your bars of signal drop to zilch) or your money back.