How to get superfast broadband

View some frequently asked questions about how to get superfast broadband.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)​

​Almost three quarters of the superfast broadband coverage in the county is expected to be provided competitively through the private sector’s commercial plans – this is around 230,000 premises. A strong market is good news and the County Council continues to promote Northamptonshire to telecoms providers more widely as a great place to invest. There are a range of commercial providers with existing or planned fibre based networks in Northamptonshire which are enabling access to superfast broadband services.

Please visit our Telecoms Providers page for more details. Internet Service Providers use these networks to provide broadband services to their customers. 

If you are a commercial provider of broadband networks with investment plans in the county, or wish to know more about Northamptonshire as a potential opportunity but are not listed above, please contact the Superfast Northamptonshire project team.

In addition to network providers delivering access to superfast broadband, other telecoms providers offer services which can deliver faster broadband for example, wireless based services or satellite services. You can view our satellite demonstrator video

If superfast broadband is already in your area, you can find out more information about which internet suppliers are providing services and what their respective offers and costs are by using one or more of the links in the Useful Links to the right hand side.

Once you've decided what looks best for you, you simply contact the supplier to request a service. Please note that if you already have a broadband contract with a supplier and are looking to switch to a different supplier, there may be a cancellation fee payable if the minimum term of your existing contract has not yet passed.

You can also find advice on the Get Connected page.


The County Council’s When and Where map on the project website will give you an indication of availability and likely timescales for the roll out of superfast broadband. The map is the best representation of the information available to the County Council at a postcode level from a number of sources. The map is not accurate at a premise level. Plans shown may be subject to change.

More information about areas where services are now available courtesy of the Superfast Northamptonshire project and areas in the project's fibre build pipeline with either BT or Gigaclear is available on the Roll Out Schedule page.

If you are in an area due to be served commercially (yellow on the When and Where map), you can use the links to the right to check availability and plans.

You can check speed availability yourself by using the Useful Links on the Get connected page. There are a number of address checkers to find out the speeds currently available to your premise over the existing network depending on which telecoms provider has built and operates the network.  This includes BT, Virgin Media and Gigaclear for example.  

Please note this may be different from running an on line speed test which may be capped depending on what level of service you have bought. If you want to check the speed performance of your current service there are a number of speed checkers available. Some suggestions are below:

Please note that if superfast fibre broadband services are available to you but you have not yet purchased an upgrade, any speed checker will only report the line speed of your current service, not the potential speed you could access if you choose to upgrade. If you are performing a speed test on a device which is served from your home modem over wifi, this will also affect speeds recorded. 

Within any BT exchange area – of which there are 89 across Northamptonshire – there are a number of existing green copper street cabinets; the copper network runs from the exchange to the green cabinet and from there the copper lines connect the cabinet to your home/ business. In the case of a Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) solution, the copper network connecting the exchange and cabinet is replaced with fibre optic cable. The BT exchange is 'enabled' for the work on the first fibre cabinet to be done.  This does not mean that all cabinets within that BT exchange area will have confirmed plans for an upgrade and those that do are likely to be upgraded at different times.  This means that while an exchange may be listed as fibre enabled not all parts of that exchange area will be able to access superfast broadband services.

Some network providers such as Gigaclear are not reliant on BT exchanges or Openreach infrastructure.

For more information on broadband plans in the county, please also check the Superfast Northamptonshire When and Where map on the project website for further information using the postcode checker. Please note that plans may be subject to change.

No. To get superfast broadband you will need to contact your existing internet service provider or another provider of your choice and ask about taking up a service upgrade. There may be a range of service options or packages to choose from.  An upgrade to faster broadband does not happen automatically. Once your order is confirmed with an internet provider, an engineer will need to visit your home or business to install the necessary equipment.

Please go to the Get Connected page for more information.

If you choose not to upgrade to superfast fibre broadband, you will still be able to continue using your existing broadband service as normal which will continue to be provided over the existing copper network.

Some BT exchange areas, such as Adderbury for example, straddle the Northamptonshire county border.   If your home or business lies within the county boundary and is within the intervention area for the project then the same measures will be taken to seek solutions as elsewhere.  This is regardless of whether part of the exchange area falls outside of the county boundary or if you are on the periphery of Northamptonshire. This may mean that some of the network build to deliver a solution involves works outside of the county to serve premises within the county – this is not unusual and is managed as part of the programme.

It is not always possible for BT to align roll out plans on different sides of a county boundary which are being delivered through different projects similar to the two contracts with Superfast Northamptonshire. This means that plans either side of the Northamptonshire boundary may come forward at different times. 

Within a BT exchange area there will be any number of cabinet structures – these are upgraded independently i.e. not all cabinets in an exchange area will be upgraded to fibre at the same time, regardless of whether the exchange area crosses a county boundary or not.  An exchange is recognised as upgraded on the BT Openreach When and Where map when at least one cabinet structure has been upgraded to fibre.

The County Council's When and Where map provides an indication at postcode level of when roll out plans may come forward, based on the best interpretation of information available to the County Council. These plans may be subject to change.

It is worth noting that not all broadband service and network providers utilise BT network infrastructure and therefore exchange areas are not always relevant to the availability of your broadband.

​Gigaclear is delivering part of Stage 3 of the Superfast Northamptonshire project and also has existing and planned commercial coverage in the county.  Both are only in the rural areas.  To find out if your property is in plans or to register an interest visit the Gigaclear website

​The BT Broadband Availability Checker will tell you if superfast broadband services are available via your landline.

Using the BT Broadband Availability Checker 

  • Enter your landline number (without any spaces) into the Telephone field and click 'Submit'. This will generate a table of results if you have a BT landline.
  • If you get a message saying there is no data available for your number, you will need to click on the 'Address Checker' link. Then click 'Proceed'.
  • Enter your postcode in the Postcode field and click 'Submit'.  Select your address from the list and click 'Submit' again to get your results.

Making sense of my BT Broadband Availability results

  • You only need to focus on the top rows of the results table to quickly find out whether you can get superfast broadband at your property. Information will be displayed in one of the following product categories: VDSL, WBC FTTP and/or ADSL Products.
  • The technical terms used in the results table are explained in the BT Line checker jargon buster near the bottom of this page.

VDSL Products

  • If 'VDSL' is stated under 'Featured Products', this means that the cabinet your landline is connected to has been upgraded via FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) technology and you should be able to order an upgraded fibre broadband service.

Image showing an example of VDSL speeds from BT Broadband Availability Checker

The example above shows that fibre broadband is now available and that download speeds of between 80 and 70.4 megabits per second (Mbps) can be achieved on a 'Clean' line or between 80 and 49Mbps on an 'Impacted' line.

"Clean" relates to a line which is free from any wiring issues (i.e. in good condition) and "Impacted" relates to a line which may have wiring problems (e.g. poor extension wiring).

The information under the heading ADSL Products shows the speeds the resident was experiencing before the upgrade (up to 17Mbps) and will continue to experience until they order the new fibre service.

WBC FTTP Products

If 'WBC FTTP' is stated under 'Featured Products', this means that the landline to your property has been upgraded via Fibre to the Premise technology and that you can now order a superfast broadband service.

Image showing an example of WBC products using BT Broadband Availability Checker