A Guide to Internet Speeds and Infrastructure in Manchester


As one of the UK’s major metropolitan areas, Manchester unsurprisingly has good internet coverage overall. According to Thinkbroadband, as of Q3 2019, 95.7% of the city has access to internet speeds of over 24 Mbps, with a mean download speed of 47 Mbps and a mean upload speed of 11.8 Mbps. In general, Mancunian residents and businesses enjoy fast and reliable internet.

Of course, not everyone living and working in Manchester has the exact same connectivity needs, and the city has multiple internet service providers with different plans. In this guide, we’ll take a close look at Manchester’s internet options.

Premium Options

ISPSpeedContract lengthPrice
Hyperoptic1Gbps12 months£46 monthly for 12 months, £63 afterward
Virgin350Mbps12 months£35 upfront fee, £43 monthly for 18 months, £59 afterward
Zen300Mbps12 months£55 upfront fee, £59.99 monthly
EE300Mbps18 months£47 monthly for 18 months, £54 afterward
Virgin200Mbps12 months£35 upfront fee, £38 monthly for 18 months, £53 afterward
Hyperoptic150Mbps12 months£27 monthly for 12 months, £38 afterward
Zen145Mbps12 months£55 upfront fee, £49.99 monthly
EE145Mbps18 months£40 monthly for 18 months, £49 afterward
Virgin100Mbps12 months£35 upfront fee, £33 monthly for 18 months, £49 afterward

As the only major ISP in Manchester currently with a gigabit plan, Hyperoptic is the clear choice for the fastest internet you can get in the city. The company uses their own fibre network to accomplish this, but availability is limited on a building-by-building basis. Hyperoptic, however, plans on expanding to 50 locations by the year’s end and covering five million premises by 2025.

Virgin Media also has their own fibre network in the metro to provide their superfast speeds. Availability is wider compared to Hyperoptic. Initial and long-term expenses are high, but you get what you pay for with their services.

Costly as Zen Internet’s services may be, they are another reliable superfast internet provider with a strong reputation for excellent customer service.

Meanwhile, of the ISPs that use the Openreach network, EE has the fastest plans with competitive premium prices.

Mid-range Options

ISPSpeedContract lengthPrice
EE67Mbps average18 months£30 monthly for 18 months, £42 afterward
BT67Mbps average18 months£9.99 upfront fee, £39.99 monthly for 18 months, £58.99 afterward
TalkTalk67Mbps average18 months£24.95 monthly for 18 months, £41 afterward
John Lewis66Mbps average12 months£35 monthly for 12 months, £43 afterward
Plusnet66Mbps average18 months£27.50 monthly for 18 months, £39.98 afterward
Zen66Mbps average12 months£19.99 upfront fee, £38.99 monthly
Vodafone63Mbps average18 months£27 monthly
Sky59Mbps average18 months£9.95 upfront fee, £27 monthly for 18 months, £32 afterward

With every ISP in this range offering near identical speeds, price and additional benefits become the determining factors for which plan you choose.

BT makes up for their higher price point with traffic prioritisation for Plus subscribers, faster upload speeds, and a free 4G router they send to customers in case their service goes down.

Meanwhile, TalkTalk is cheap and coverage isn’t a problem given that they are one of the major ISPs.

If you are already using Vodafone for your mobile, you get £2 off the already affordable monthly fee.

If you are a new customer, paying an extra 99p for Plusnet gets you a £50 reward card.

Economy Options

ISPSpeedContract lengthPrice
Direct Save Telecom11Mbps average12 months£16.95 monthly for 12 months, £22.95 afterward
TalkTalk11Mbps average18 months£17.95 monthly for 18 months, £30 afterward
Post Office11Mbps average12 months£15.90 monthly for 12 months, £30 afterward
Now TV11Mbps average12 months£18 monthly for 12 months, £25.99 afterward
SSE11Mbps average18 months£18 monthly
Sky11Mbps average18 months£9.95 upfront fee, £20 monthly for 18 months, £25 afterward
Zen10Mbps12 months£19.99 upfront fee, £28 monthly
Zen35Mbps12 months£19.99 upfront fee, £31.99 monthly

Like with the mid-range options, most of the budget internet plans in Manchester have identical download speeds, so it comes down to payment options and other factors like availability.

If you are looking for the cheapest long-term plan from a provider, Direct Save Telecom is the obvious choice. They also don’t do a credit check, so you don’t have to worry about having your application rejected if you have credit issues.

Post Office and Now TV give you flexibility with their similar 12-month contract.

Meanwhile, it’s worth looking into energy provider SSE as they entered the broadband market with a solid £18 a month, especially if you’re already a customer and want to streamline how you pay your utilities.

Convenience and familiarity also come into play with Sky. You also have the added benefit of being subscribed to their cable service.

No Contract Options

Virgin100Mbps£80 upfront fee, £47 monthly
Virgin50Mbps£80 upfront fee, £37 monthly
Direct Save Telecom35Mbps£24.95 upfront fee, £34.95 monthly
Direct Save Telecom11Mbps£24.95 upfront fee, £27.95 monthly
Plusnet10Mbps£50 upfront fee, £23.99 for 12 months, £31.48 afterward
Zen10Mbps£32.99 monthly

If you are in a position where getting locked into a contract isn’t viable, there is only a handful of options available. You will also have to pay a premium for the privilege of being able to drop the service as soon as possible.

Toward an Even Faster, More Connected Manchester

Internet access in Manchester is already at a healthy state, but the onward march of technological progress will continue unabated.

In fact, Greater Manchester successfully bid for over £23 million from the government to build a superfast broadband network throughout the metropolitan county. This investment is expected to boost Greater Manchester into having the best digital infrastructure in the UK by 2021. It is also projected to fuel over £200 million in private investments.

With the initiative’s plan of covering 1,300 public sector sites in up to 99 locations in the borough, the city of Manchester will only stand to benefit in having better internet options for Mancunians.

Internet at Pollard Yard

Here at Pollard Yard, we provide our very own internet solution for our tenants, one that compete with the best of them. The service is provided by Digital Utilities and prices start at £10 per month, which we think is an absolute bargain for a business broadband package.

Our offering comes in three packages (prices are exclusive of VAT):

  • 20mbps/20mbps- £10p/m
  • 50mbps/50mbps- £20p/m
  • 100mbps/100mbps- £32p/m

All these packages are flexible rolling 30-day contracts, requiring no credit checks and with immediate set up. Our telephone packages come with handset and one DDI phone number for only £7.50 per month, with extra numbers just a pound extra per month. We are also offering packages on cloud servers, storage, secure backup, email and web hosting. Give us a call to find out more.

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