Community Fibre Broadband Buyers Guide - Is Community Fibre right for you?
Can I get Community Fibre broadband?
Community Fibre are a full fibre provider available in parts of London. While they have minimal coverage, they can deliver the city's fastest home broadband - a whopping 3Gb!
Broadband from Community Fibre is currently available to over 100,000 homes in London. You can get it in parts of the following London boroughs: Brent, Camden, City of London, Croydon, Ealing, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Islington, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham, Richmond upon Thames, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth and Westminster. The network is continuing to expand, but this takes time - their plan is to cover a million homes by 2023. If you aren't in a coverage area right now you can register your interest online.
As a community-minded provider, Community Fibre have a mission to bring faster broadband to London at a fairer price. They also provide tech support in multiple languages, and supply gigabit internet access to over 100 community centres in the city.
Community FIbre are exclusively a fibre-to-the-home provider, using their own network. One of their big selling points is that they offer a symmetric service, meaning that the upload speeds are the same as the download speeds - they're often much slower. Another things to consider is that you don't need - or get - a phone line when you sign up. If you do still want a landline, you'll have to arrange one separately from a different company.
Use our postcode checker to see if Community Fibre is available where you are.
What packages are available?
Community Fibre offer five full fibre broadband packages, each available on deals from 30 days to two years.
The offers are:
- Superfast - full fibre with 50Mb average upload and download speeds, with a free Linksys Velop Mesh Router
- Ultrafast - 150Mb average upload and download speeds, with a free Linksys Velop Mesh Router
- Hyperfast - 400Mb average upload and download speeds, with a free Linksys Velop Mesh Router
- Gigafast - gigabit broadband with an average upload and download speed of 920Mb, with two free Linksys Velop Mesh Routers for superior Wi-Fi coverage
- 3 Gigafast - an incredible 3GB upload and download speed only on a 24 month contract. Installation and setup are free, and it comes with a Zyzel Wi-Fi 6 router
3 Gigafast aside, the packages are available on your choice of 30 day, 12 month or 24 month contracts. Obviously, you pay less if you're willing to sign up for longer, although the difference isn't perhaps a big as you might expect. It's around a fiver a month more on the 30 day plan, although you do also have to pay a £50 setup charge, which is waived on the longer deals.
You don't need a phone line to get Community Fibre broadband. You don't get one, either, so you don't pay line rental, but also cannot add a call plan. Unlike some other full fibre providers, they don't even offer a VoIP service for internet calls.
Which package should I choose?
With Community Fibre, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to speed.
The Superfast 50Mb package is akin to a normal fibre deal, albeit with much better upload speeds. It's a solid mainstream option for many households, where you can take advantage of the benefits of full fibre without paying extra for speed that you don't need. The Ultrafast 150Mb plan gives you a little more headroom, especially if you've got a larger household or have kids streaming TV and downloading video games all at the same time.
Going faster than that will remove any concerns you have about your broadband not being up to scratch. As the service is symmetric, you get amazing upload speeds on these faster plans, so they're ideal if you work from home and have to share large files on a regular basis.
The star of the show is 3 Gigafast. It's ridiculously quick, but is also expensive and, frankly, you'll struggle to use that bandwidth unless you have very specific requirements. Older, non-Wi-Fi 6 compatible hardware won't be able to hit those speeds, either.
It also comes on a much longer contract. Indeed, one of the best things about Community Fibre is the contract lengths. 30 days is ideal if you're in a short term let, or perhaps a student. Two years can make you a modest saving on the price for a much longer commitment - 12 months is a good compromise.
You should also note that installation is a lot more hands-on than other broadband types. An engineer will visit, they'll need access to your property, and will need to drill a small hole and install a socket. The process takes around two hours, and you (or another responsible adult) will need to be present at the time.
Points to consider before you choose
- Are you in a coverage area?
- How large is your household, and how many are online together?
- Do you need fast upload speeds?
- Are you happy to commit long term?
- Do you still need a landline?
What do I get when I sign up?
It's good to know what you get when you join a new broadband supplier, so you can budget for any extras you need.
- Linksys Velop Mesh router - You get one Linksys Velop Mesh router worth £200 on the Superfast, Ultrafast and Hyperfast plans, and two with Gigafast, enabling you to get consistently fast Wi-Fi coverage throughout your home.
- Zyxel Wi-Fi 6 router on 3 Gigafast - This cutting edge wireless router is able to handle the incredible speeds on the most high-end plan. Your devices will also need to support Wi-Fi 6, or they'll only connect at slower speeds.
- Comprehensive tech support - Support is offered by phone and email between 8am and 10pm, seven days a week. They can provide support in English, Spanish, Somali, French, Punjabi and Hindi.
What are the benefits of Community Fibre?
Here are the best reasons why you should choose Community Fibre.
- Full fibre for competitive prices - Some of the Community Fibre packages are very attractively priced.
- Crazy fast speeds on the high-end deals - Community Fibre broadband deals give you as much speed as you need, with room to spare!
- Genuine future proofing - Never mind 4K video, some of these deals will be ready for when 8K starts to take off.
- Flexible contract lengths - With 30 day options, you can join Community Fibre even without a long term commitment.
- Cutting edge routers - To match the high-end service, you get a high-end router. They will give you fast speeds and good coverage throughout your home.
- Full free tech support - Customer support is comprehensive, and available in many languages.
- They're well rated - Although only a niche supplier right now, our customers rate Community Fibre highly.
What are the drawbacks of Community Fibre?
Nothing's perfect. So what are some of the potential negatives you should look out for?
- Complicated install - Your installation will need a visit from an engineer, unless your home already has a Community Fibre socket set up.
- You have to arrange your own switchover - Got an existing broadband deal? You'll need to cancel it yourself.
- No phone line - You don't get a phone line and will lose your phone number. That's not a negative for everyone, but is something you should be aware of.
- Very limited coverage - There's only a hundred thousand homes covered to date.