Which Are The UK’s Fastest & Best Broadband ISP’s 2016?

If you’re looking for a new broadband provider, it’s likely you’ve experienced less than stellar customer service from your old one.

But how can you ensure that you’re not about to jump from the frying pan into the fire?

We’ve looked at survey results from Ofcom and Which? on customer satisfaction, and the results of PC Pro’s Excellence Awards, to work out a report about which providers will go the extra mile to fix your broken broadband and which will struggle to put one foot in front of the other.

Best Customer Service

  1. Zen Customer Service
  2. Sky UK Customer Services
  3. Virgin Media Customer Service
  4. BT Customer Service

Telecoms regulator Ofcom has just released its broadband complaints data, highlighting the companies guilty of the most complaints .

The report only looks at providers with a market share of 4% or more, so you won’t see smaller broadband networks mentioned.

Let’s take a look at the results:

Provider Complaints per 1,000 customers (Q2 Apr-Jun 2014) Complaints per 1,000 customers (Q3 Jul-Sep 2014) Complaints per 1,000 customers (Q4 Oct-Dec 2014) Complaints per 1,000 customers (Q1 Jan-FEB 2015)
EE 0.32 0.45 0.29 0.42
BT 0.28 0.41 0.32 0.33
TalkTalk 0.29 0.27 0.21 0.24
Sky 0.09 0.09 0.08 0.09
Virgin Media 0.06 0.08 0.07 0.07

EE looked to be making progress last quarter, when for the first time it wasn’t the provider attracting the most complaints (as a proportion of its customer base). Normal service is apparently resumed however, with Ofcom confirming it had mainly received complaints about service faults, billing and issues with switching provider.

(As Per Call Data Analysis: EE Customer Service)

Virgin and Sky once again had the fewest complaints, with numbers around the same as the previous quarter.

(As Per Call Data Analysis from : Sky Customer SupportVirgin Media Customer Service )

So that’s what you think is important in the world of UK broadband. Now let’s take a look at the best of the current crop of ISPs.

UK’s best broadband ISPs

Sky and Virgin did well across all categories. For instance, when we asked ‘would you recommend your Broadband Provider’, Sky tied with Virgin to achieve the best overall ranking. But the picture was positive across the board. For instance, although around a third of Broadband customers were undecided as to whether they would recommend their ISP, only in the cases of Primus and Be Broadband did a third of respondents actively say they wouldn’t recommend their provider.

Sky & Virgin – MOST RECOMMENDED

So let’s have a look at why those ISPs attained those results. It was a similar story when it came to customer care, with only Be and Primus failing to get half of their customers to say customer service was excellent or at least satisfactory (and even then Be’s 47 percent is close enough). Indeed, we were delighted to see four providers had more than 60 percent wholly satisfied customers. And the winner? Step forward once again Sky.

Virgin Media – MOST RELIABLE

And what then, of speed, the most important factor for UK broadband users when selecting an ISP. We measured this two ways, both in terms of customer satisfaction and the speed tests the survey respondents submitted.

In the case of the former, once again Sky and Virgin Media leads the way, with a whopping 82 percent of customers expressing their happiness with the rapid internet fired down cables to their homes. BT with its fibre networks also made a strong showing here. other optic fibre operators, Sky, Plusnet, also performed well here.

CHART: Average speed test results per ISP (kbps)

  • Virgin: 27,266
  • Plusnet: 24,529
  • BT: 13,164
  • TalkTalk: 6,910
  • EE: 6,818
  • Demon: 6,586
  • Sky: 5,942
  • Eclipse: 5,786
  • O2: 5,642
  • Be: 5,458
  • AOL: 3,809
  • Post Office: 3,255

A clear winner, then. Virgin Media is the fastest ISP in UK, and is recognised as such by its customers.

FASTEST ISP: Virgin Media

Highly commended UK ISP : Virgin Media

The fastest ISP, both in terms of overall speed tests and user satisfaction, it is perhaps unfair on Virgin that we have to pick a winner. Indeed, the survey results show that Virgin Media users are just as happy as are Plusnet customers: that is, very happy indeed. As well as speed, Virgin’s cable technology provides the most reliable network, but you do get what you pay for in this regard, and Virgin Media is one of the more expensive ISPs.

Overall satisfaction with customer service by landline provider

  2013 2014
Virgin Media 61% 64% 74%
Sky 67% 70% 69%
TalkTalk 57% 64% 66%
BT 55% 63% 63%
Sector Average 58% 64% 66%

In relation to overall satisfaction with landline providers’ customer service, Virgin Media’s score (74%) is significantly higher than the sector average (66%).

Virgin Media saw particular improvements year-on-year in logging of query details to avoid consumers having to repeat themselves (54% to 65%) and keeping consumers informed throughout the process (56% to 67%).

Satisfaction with the courtesy and politeness of Virgin Media customer service advisors also significantly improved since 2012 (69% to 79%) while it was the only provider to score higher than average on ease of getting through to the right person (67% versus 58% average).

Levels of overall satisfaction for BT, Sky and TalkTalk are in line with the sector average in 2015. None of these providers’ scores significantly increased from 2014.

Fixed broadband services (Sky, Virgin Media, BT, Orange and TalkTalk)

Connection speed was the main reason for broadband customers contacting customer services (16% of contacts), followed by changing their package or service (12% of contacts).

Overall satisfaction with customer service by fixed broadband provider

2012 2013 2014
Sky 63% 63% 71%
Virgin Media 60% 61% 71%
BT 61% 63% 63%
Orange 60% 59% 63%
TalkTalk 60% 60% 62%
Sector Average 60% 62% 66%

Sky and Virgin Media jointly achieved the highest customer service satisfaction scores  (71%), compared to the sector average (66%).

Broadband only:

Provider Ease of set-up Value for money Customer service Technical support Reliability of connection Connection speed Score
AOL 3/5 2/5 1/5 2/5 2/5 1/5 38%
BT 4/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 54%
Virgin Media 4/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 4/5 4/5 63%
Plusnet 4/5 4/5 4/5 4/5 4/5 3/5 73%

So one again EE, TalkTalk and BT fail to impress. Indeed, only Plusnet and Utility Warehouse achieve a decent score, earning themselves the distinction of being recommended suppliers.

Technical support numbers and forums

Another way to tell which broadband providers take customer service and technical support seriously is to have a look at the methods they use to communicate with their customers.

And note that while it’s now illegal for businesses to use revenue-generating numbers (like 0845 and 0870) for dedicated complaints lines, they can still use them for technical services.

Customer Support Contact Numbers to get first hand experiance of Best ISPs In UK.

Sky Customer Service Number – LISTED HERE

Orange Customer Service Number – LISTED HERE

BT Customer Service Number – LISTED HERE

Vodafone Customer Servicee Number – LISTED HERE