TalkTalk Broadband

TalkTalk Broadband (2022) review: Signs of improvement

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT, per month

With reliability and speed improving, TalkTalk could be slowly turning things around

Strong line of services
Innovative full fibre options
Improved scores for speed, reliability and customer satisfaction
Customer service is still a weakness
High numbers of Ofcom complaints

TalkTalk is the fourth biggest UK ISP behind BT, Sky and Virgin Media. It built up its customer base during the ADSL era and is making progress as a fibre broadband ISP, with over 70% of its customers now on higher-speed technologies.

What’s often held it back is concerns around its speed, reliability and customer service, and its results in last year’s Expert Reviews Best Broadband Awards survey made for some pretty dismal reading. In fact, TalkTalk came last of the major UK ISPs on all three counts.

In 2022, the news isn’t quite as bad. TalkTalk still trails the pack on reliability, but not by a significant margin, while its speed results are now better than those of some rivals. The customer service figures aren’t great but they’re not as bad as Virgin Media’s. What’s more, more of its users would recommend it than those of Virgin Media or EE. TalkTalk still isn’t winning any awards, but there are definite signs of improvement.

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TalkTalk Broadband review: Fibre 35 and Fibre 65

Like most ISPs, TalkTalk’s doing its best to sweep any remaining ADSL services under the carpet. It continues to offer them to existing customers but you won’t find them advertised on its website. Instead, it starts its line-up with Fibre 35 and Fibre 65 packages, giving you average speeds of 38Mbits/sec and 67Mbits/sec, respectively. It doesn’t specify an upload speed.

Both plans come with TalkTalk’s WiFi Hub, a Wi-Fi 5 router with 4x4 MU-MIMO and four Gigabit Ethernet ports. While it’s not going to be as fast as modern Wi-Fi 6 routers, it’s a very stylish and functional unit.

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TalkTalk Broadband review: Fibre 150 and Fibre 250

If 67Mbits/sec isn’t enough, you can move up to the Fibre 150 and Fibre 250 packages. These are both based on OpenReach’s G.Fast technology, with average download speeds of 145Mbits/sec and 290Mbits/sec but availability will be limited by G.Fast’s stalled roll-out.

TalkTalk Broadband review: Future Fibre 150, 500 and 900

Luckily, OpenReach’s FTTP rollout continues apace, while Plusnet has also partnered up with CityReach in some areas. That puts more people within reach of its Future Fibre 150, 500 and 900 packages.

The big deal with these isn’t just the higher speeds – 147Mbits/sec, 506Mbits/sec and 900Mbits/sec respectively – but that each comes with an Amazon eero 6 router or eero Pro 6 mesh system, giving you Wi-FI 6 and improved connection speeds and coverage. All three services also come with an Expert install service to get them up and running.

We like TalkTalk’s innovative, all-in approach, as it promises decent speeds and future-proof connectivity throughout the home. However, there’s no landline or calls included, so factor that into your decisions.

READ NEXT: Our guide to the best wireless-extenders

TalkTalk Broadband Products and Prices

Fibre 35Fibre 65Fibre 150Future Fibre 150Fibre 250Future Fibre 500 - Full FibreFuture Fibre 900
Price per month (inc line rental)£23.50£23.50£29.95£32.00£39.00£40£49.00
Upfront costFreeFreeFreeFreeFreeFreeFree
Average speed38Mbits/sec67Mbits/sec145Mbits/sec147Mbits/sec290Mbits/sec506Mbits/sec900Mbits/sec
Usage allowanceUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Contract length18 months18 months18 months18 months18 months18 months18 months

TalkTalk Broadband review: Coverage

TalkTalk runs most of its services over OpenReach’s network, meaning 93% of the UK population should be within reach of a fibre connection, while at least six million homes should have the option of Ultrafast FTTP services.

However, like Vodafone, TalkTalk has also partnered with CityFibre and other smaller networks, with plans to cover 285 towns, villages and cities by the end of 2025. TalkTalk is keen to grow its FTTP presence, and has some of the cheapest ultrafast packages out there.

TalkTalk Broadband review: Performance and Customer Satisfaction

Despite improving in 2022, TalkTalk still isn’t leading the way on customer satisfaction in our survey. Only 11% of customers say they would be highly likely to recommend it, compared to 17% for Sky and BT and 15% for Plusnet or Vodafone. That said, it still pulls ahead here of EE. What’s more, TalkTalk’s figures for Speed and Reliability are now

fairly respectable. Some 68% of users are satisfied with the reliability of their connection, while 65% are happy with its speed. 58% are satisfied with value for money.

Where things go south is customer service. TalkTalk still struggles here, with only 41% of customers describing themselves as satisfied, and 22% dissatisfied, although Virgin Media fares even worse, with 37% and 26%. And, while Ofcom’s most recent research isn’t as harsh on TalkTalk as it has been in previous years, TalkTalk still falls below the average for customer satisfaction and above the average for complaints per 100,000 subscribers. However, TalkTalk’s 81 isn’t quite as bad as Vodafone’s 103.

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TalkTalk Broadband review: Verdict

TalkTalk is investing heavily in FTTP services while keeping its prices low and customer service does seem to be improving – albeit from a woeful position. Our survey results seem to indicate that this is working, and that TalkTalk is beginning to win some hearts and minds.

We still wouldn’t recommend it over rivals, especially when Plusnet is so strong at the budget end, but that could easily change with more time and some better results in the next round of Ofcom research. TalkTalk might just be on the up.

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