The difference between superfast, ultrafast and hyperfast internet

When you’re looking for the best broadband deal, you tend to get bombarded with terminology. Sometimes providers use different terms for the same thing. For example, some ISPs display their speeds as ‘Mb’ and others use ‘Mbps’, which both represent the measurement of megabits per second.

But there are times when you really do have to pay attention to the words, because not all broadband is created equal. So in case you’re ever curious as to what exactly you’re getting, we have produced this handy guide to the differences between superfast, ultrafast and hyperfast internet.

What Ofcom says about superfast and ultrafast internet

The law of averages says that if you’re reading this at home or in the office, it probably has access to superfast internet, which Ofcom defines as anything between 30 Mbps and 299 Mbps.

The same Ofcom standards put anything over 300 Mbps into the realm of ultrafast, but the general consensus is that these categories are too broad to really prove useful.

It doesn’t make a huge amount of sense to consider someone with 30 Mbps and another person with 250 Mbps as receiving the same level of internet speed, which is why the industry has now added a few more categories.

Superfast vs ultrafast internet

Providers generally now categorise superfast as up to around 76 Mbps, as this is the fastest realistic speed that can be delivered by the existing copper cables that connect your premises to the internet exchange.

Anything more than that requires some additional infrastructure, whether steel coaxial cable, fibre optic or (our personal favourite) wireless broadband delivered to a small receiver on the roof.

Both Virgin’s steel coaxial cables and 6G Internet’s wireless broadband can deliver ultrafast speeds starting at 100 Mbps. Ultrafast is now considered to cover anything up to 500 Mbps.

Hyperfast vs gigabit internet

This is the point at which speeds move into hyperfast, ranging from 500 – 1,000 Mbps. Virgin cannot achieve these speeds as of yet, while 6G Internet’s network in Blackburn is expected to hit 1,000 Mbps within the next 12 months.

Otherwise known as gigabit internet, speeds of 1,000 Mbps upwards can only be achieved by digging up your road to connect fibre optic cables to your premises, or by connecting 6G Internet’s receiver to your roof. By 2025, our Blackburn network will be capable of delivering 6,000 Mbps, or 6 Gbps.

We are continuing to expand across the UK and aim to serve around 4 million households within the next three years.

If you want to know when we arrive, check your postcode today.