Cuckoo Broadband Buyers Guide - Is Cuckoo right for you?
Can I get Cuckoo broadband?
Cuckoo offer fibre-to-the-cabinet broadband on the Openreach network. This means it is available to the vast majority of UK homes.
Cuckoo are a new company and only took on their first customers in May 2020. Their big focus is on out-of-contract broadband users, whose existing internet deals have long since expired but who haven't got round to finding anything new. This leaves them susceptible to the so-called "loyalty tax", where the price goes up because it's no longer constrained by the terms of their contract.
Cuckoo offer one plan, on a one month contract. There's no chance of a loyalty tax here, since you're technically never out of contract - it renews automatically every month until you choose to cancel.
The supplier also has a community-spirited mindset. They donate 1% of your monthly payment to your choice of one of the charitable initiatives they support. They've signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant, which agrees to treat members of the forces and their families fairly, and they're campaigning to cut the broadband tax and have internet access treated as a utility like water and electricity.
Use our postcode checker to see if Cuckoo is available where you live.
What packages are available?
Simplicity is the key for Cuckoo. They have just one plan, and one offer.
Here are the details of the deal:
- Fibre-to-the-cabinet broadband
- Average download speeds of 67Mb, and average upload speeds of 17Mb
- Unlimited downloads
- One month rolling contract, with no exit fees. Give 30 days notice when you want to leave
- £60 set-up cost
When you join Cuckoo they aim to get you connected in seven to 14 days. You can also sign up before your current contract ends. Choose your own switch date and they'll take care of it all when the time comes. If you're moving from another Openreach provider you won't even have to tell them you're leaving. It's a handy option if you struggle to keep track of your contracts.
You need a BT phone line for Cuckoo. You can keep your existing landline number, but they don't offer call plans. Instead, you pay for every call you make, which can work out more expensive if you make a lot of calls, or cheaper if you don't. If you don't use your landline for calls at all, just don't plug in a phone.
Which package should I choose?
Having only one plan makes buying Cuckoo broadband easy. Your main things to consider are price and contract length.
The price is somewhat mid-range, neither the cheapest or most expensive. Just remember to factor in the setup fee when you join, especially if you're only planning to stay with them for a short while.
Cuckoo broadband is best for people who don't want a long term commitment. It's ideal for students, people in short term lets, for those who are planning to move house, or just anyone else who doesn't like long contracts. The short contract also means you avoid those price increases after your initial agreement ends - just set it and forget it.
Of course, while the Cuckoo offering is simple, you still have to decide between Cuckoo and every other Openreach provider. They all use the same underlying network so all deliver roughly the same speeds and performance, and have the same coverage.
The lack of extras is something to consider. Cuckoo might not work for you if you still use your landline a lot, or want a TV bundle. It might also not work for a small household with low usage requirements. You might be able to find a cheaper and slower package from another provider.
Points to consider before you choose
- Would you prefer a short term contract?
- Do you need the fastest possible broadband speeds?
- Are you looking for a TV bundle?
- Do you use your landline a lot?
What do I get when I sign up?
Cuckoo are a no-frills provider, so you don't get any extras when you sign up. Here's what you can expect.
- Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) router - You get a Technicolour DWA0120 Wi-Fi router worth £82 when you sign up, although you'll be asked to return it when you leave.
- Free tech support - Support is available by phone, email, Twitter and Facebook, and Live Chat through their website. The Live Chat option is preferred.
What are the benefits of Cuckoo?
Here are the best reasons for choosing Cuckoo as your next broadband supplier.
- Good speed fibre broadband - Although Cuckoo don't offer full fibre, you do get FTTC broadband with a speed that matches the majority of packages available in the UK.
- A simple choice - With only one plan, they've taken all the difficulty out of your decision.
- Short contracts - Cuckoo don't do lengthy contracts. The 30 day deal rolls over every month until you cancel.
- No loyalty fees - With no long term deal, your contract never ends. You always know exactly what you're paying each month, with no unexpected price hikes.
- Easy to switch at any time - Not happy, or want to switch for any reason? No problem!
- UK based tech support - The customer support team is based in the UK.
What are the drawbacks of Cuckoo?
What are some of the possible downsides you need to look out for?
- Only one plan - It's a simple offer, but one size doesn't always fit all.
- Nothing faster than basic FTTC - If you want full fibre or any other ultrafast broadband service you'll have to look elsewhere.
- No bundles - There are no call plans, so it may be more expensive if you use your landline a lot. You can't get other bundles, either, like TV or mobile.
- Not the cheapest - You do pay slightly more for the convenience of not having a contract.
- A very new and unproven company - There's a lot to like about Cuckoo's approach, but they are still largely unproven in the broadband world.