BT Broadband Buyers Guide

The UK's largest telecoms provider offering nationwide broadband availability with the same low prices even in rural areas

  • Wide range of packages available with truly unlimited usage
  • Faster than average basic fibre with Superfast Fibre averaging at 50Mb
  • Free access to over 5 million BT Wi-fi hotspots
  • Free technical support over a variety of media
  • Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back
  • Wide range of TV inclusive options with BT TV and the exclusive AMC channel
  • Superfast Fibre comes with the fastest and smartest hub of any major broadband provider
  • BT Sport Pack, exclusively covering UEFA football and 42 Premier League matches

Go to site

BT Fibre Essential
£26.99 for 24 months
£34.99 thereafter

£9.99 upfront cost

  • 24 months reduced price!
  • 36Mb average download speed
  • 9Mb average upload speed!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • 36Mb average download speed
  • Unlimited Wi-Fi access
  • BT Home Hub 5 with N-rated Wi-Fi
  • BT Virus Protect on 2 devices
  • 200GB Cloud Storage
  • Only pay for the calls you use
  • No activation fee
  • 24 month contract

Buy now

BT Superfast Fibre 2 with Calls
£39.99 for 24 months
£47.99 thereafter

£9.99 upfront cost

  • Ending £120 BT Gift Card!
  • 24 months reduced price!
  • 67Mb average download speed
  • 18Mb average upload speed!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • BT Smart Hub with ac-rated Wi-Fi and smart technology to give faster connections in more rooms!
  • Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back
  • Only pay for the calls you use
  • No activation fee
  • 24 month contract

Buy now

BT TV Entertainment with Superfast Fibre and Calls
£48.99 for 24 months
£56.99 thereafter

£19.99 upfront cost

  • Ending £100 BT Gift Card!
  • 24 months reduced price!
  • 50Mb average download speed
  • 9Mb average upload speed!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • AMC channel free with BT TV
  • BT Smart Hub with ac-rated Wi-Fi and smart technology to give faster connections in more rooms!
  • Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back
  • Only pay for the calls you use
  • 24 month contract

Buy now

Reasons to choose BT

  • Established reputation - BT have been operating for a very long time, and it's a name that people know and trust
  • Available nationwide - BT Broadband's lowest prices are available at all BT telephone exchanges, even in rural areas
  • Superfast Fibre 2 - BT were the first to offer the higher fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) speeds, now at 67Mb average speed, and ultrafast 160Mb and 300Mb fibre to the home products are rolling out in some areas
  • Faster basic fibre - BT's Superfast Fibre 1 fibre products offer speeds averaging 50Mb, beating most competitors' approximately 36Mb average speed products
  • Complete Wi-fi Guarantee - add W-Fi discs for £10 a month to increase coverage around your house
  • Variety of packages with truly unlimited usage
  • BT TV - enjoy a range of TV channels, movies, sport and catchup TV powered by YouView
  • Comprehensive security - with BT Virus Protect, Web Protect and True Key
  • Extensive support options - you can get in touch with BT in a variety of ways, including the phone, online chat, online forums and Twitter
  • Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back
  • Smart Hub for Superfast Fibre - router with the latest 802.11ac wireless technology and smart techology to get faster Wi-Fi connections in more rooms of your home. BT claim this beats the latest hubs from other major UK broadband providers
  • BT Wi-Fi - free and unlimited access over 4 million wi-fi hotspots in the UK - the UK's largest hotspot network
  • BT Cloud storage - for storing your personal files, the amount depends on the size of the package

Possible downsides

  • Must use BT for phone - unlike some providers, such as Plusnet, it's not possible to take your call plan and line rental from another phone supplier
  • If you can get Fibre in your area, you will not be offered the slowe, standard broadband packages
  • Best Hub not on standard broadband - If you're not opting for BT Superfast Fibre you need to pay £50 extra for the BT Smart Hub, or opt for the slower free Home Hub 4
  • No short contracts - All products are on 18 month contracts and prices rise from the 19th month
  • No fixed price term - Prices may rise during your 18 month minimum contract

Features at a glance

  • Download speeds average at 10Mb for standard broadband, 50Mb for Superfast Fibre and 67Mb for Superfast Fibre 2

  • 24 month contracts on all deals

  • Truly unlimited download allowances

  • Many deals with free or discounted activation

  • Free 24/7 customer support

  • Security includes fre BT Virus Protect for between two and 15 devices, Web Protect and True Key, plus Parental Controls

  • BT Home Hub 4 802.11n wireless router as standard or 802.11ac BT Smart Hub with BT Superfast Fibre

  • Range of BT TV packages available from BT TV Starter to Total Entertainment with exclusive channels and Ultra HD

  • No inclusive calls, option to upgrade to 500 anytime minutes for £5 a month or unlimited calls for £12 a month

  • Free access to thousands of wi-fi hotspots worldwide

  • Line rental required for all packages

  • BT Broadband have published a Traffic Management Policy

3 stars
  satisfaction rating based on 13545 customer ratings since 2018-11-20. See more BT customer ratings and reviews.

Details last checked on 2019-11-15

Scroll for More
Package    
Speed    
Usage    
Contract    
1st Year Cost  (Sorted)  
Monthly Cost    
BT Fibre Essential More Info

Special offer: 24 months reduced price + no activation fee!
Add 500 mins anytime calls for just £5 a month or Unlimited Calls for £12 a month!
Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back!

802.11n Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
36Mb
truly
unlimited
24
months
£334 £26.99
£34.99 after 24 months

£9.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT Broadband with Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £70 BT Gift Card + 24 months reduced price!
Add 500 mins anytime calls for just £5 a month or Unlimited Calls for £12 a month!
Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back!

Phone CallingLine Rental

averages
10Mb
truly
unlimited
24
months
£344 £26.99
£32.99 after 24 months
Only available in non-fibre areas
Gift card only available to new customers signing up online


£19.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT Superfast Fibre with Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £100 BT Gift Card + 24 months reduced price + Smart Hub + no activation fee!
Add 500 mins anytime calls for just £5 a month or Unlimited Calls for £12 a month!
Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
50Mb
truly
unlimited
24
months
£358 £28.99
£36.99 after 24 months
Gift card only available to new customers signing up online

£9.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT Superfast Fibre 2 with Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £120 BT Gift Card + 24 months reduced price + Smart Hub + no activation fee!
Add 500 mins anytime calls for just £5 a month or Unlimited Calls for £12 a month!
Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
67Mb
truly
unlimited
24
months
£490 £39.99
£47.99 after 24 months
Gift card only available to new customers signing up online

£9.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT TV Starter + BT Sport with Broadband and Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £70 BT Gift Card + 24 months reduced price + BT Sport Pack + free AMC channel!
Add 500 mins anytime calls for just £5 a month or Unlimited Calls for £12 a month!
Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back!

802.11n Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
10Mb
truly
unlimited
24
months
£504 £36.99
£42.99 after 24 months
Only available in non-fibre areas
Gift card only available to new customers signing up online


£59.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT TV Entertainment with Superfast Fibre and Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £100 BT Gift Card + 24 months reduced price + BT Sport free for 3 months + free AMC channel + Smart Hub!
Add 500 mins anytime calls for just £5 a month or Unlimited Calls for £12 a month!
Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
50Mb
truly
unlimited
24
months
£608 £48.99
£56.99 after 24 months
Gift card only available to new customers signing up online

£19.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT TV Entertainment with Superfast Fibre 2 and Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £120 BT Gift Card + 24 months reduced price + BT Sport free for 3 months + free AMC channel + BT Sport Pack + Smart Hub!
Add 500 mins anytime calls for just £5 a month or Unlimited Calls for £12 a month!
Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
67Mb
truly
unlimited
24
months
£740 £59.99
£67.99 after 24 months
Gift card only available to new customers signing up online

£19.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT Entertainment Extra with Superfast Fibre 2 and Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £120 BT Gift Card + 24 months reduced price + free AMC channel + BT Sport Pack + 4K UHD BT Sport channel + Smart Hub + no activation fee!
Add 500 mins anytime calls for just £5 a month or Unlimited Calls for £12 a month!
Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
67Mb
truly
unlimited
24
months
£790 £64.99
£72.99 after 24 months
Gift card only available to new customers signing up online

£9.99 upfront cost

Go to site
  • ICON KEY
  • Wireless Router
  • 802.11n Wireless Router
  • 802.11ac Wireless Router
  • Phone Calling
  • Television Service
  • Line Rental

Details last checked on 2019-11-15

Customer Reviews

Sometimes the best way to get a feel for a broadband provider is to read what those who are already customers think of the service they're receiving. Below are all the reviews we've received for BT.

Customer Ratings Summary

  • Satisfaction
    3 stars
  • Customer Service
    3 stars
  • Speed
    2.7 stars
  • Reliability
    2.9 stars

Based on 13545 customer ratings since 2018-11-20

Show all time ratings

Add your own review of BT

Ratings are left by users of our speed test as well as by reviewers. Recent star ratings summarise the last 12 months of ratings or the last 100 placed, whichever is largest.

Reviewer Location Reviewing Date Ratings
Worst company i have ever dealt with. All they are interested in is signing you into a contract then providing you with crap service. My broadband speed was 2MB! When i complained they said the small print states a minimum of 1 MB ! They then offered me an updated router for £70. Dont be fooled by the name. BT is crap. Ive since moved to talk talk. Excellent customer service. Excellent broadband speed and at 1/3 of the price.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Inverness BT  
Honestly I can cope with the crappy broadband speed, what really pisses me off about bt is how often there’s a problem and we just lose internet all together. I’m a student and I have a whole lot of my work online, I rely on the WiFi heavily, so when there’s ‘an error on the line’ so it just doesn’t work and I can’t do anything it’s bloody inconvenient. Inconvenient doesn’t even describe it and I would be a lot more vivid if I could. If I could I would give it 0 in broadband reliability and overall satisfaction. Our WiFi has stopped working altogether multiple times and each time they **** around for a while saying that an engineers coming and then that there was an error and they can’t so it’s delayed and I end up going weeks paying for extra data and piggybacking off the school WiFi and my friends hotspot which costs me money and isn’t good for anyone. On top of this because of where we live I don’t have service anyway so I’m not contactable for a while and can’t do anything. The only reason I wouldn’t give customer service 0 is because I have pity for the poor ******* who work for this company. We pay £30 or something a month for this and honestly I think we should be paid for the torture which is using bt.
NEVER USE BT, ITS HELL. (Especially if you live in the countryside).
  • Speed
    2 stars
British countryside BT  
Speed of "super fast" business broadband (paid extra money for it & been waiting nearly 3 weeks) Ping 656, download 0.51 Mb/s, upload 0.23 Mb/s - tested on 3 different websites If you don't like our Internet find another supplier "BT Customer Service" Are you seriously BT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!??!??!??!??!?!?!?!
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Northampton BT  
I am very disappointed of this company.

Prices always go up during the contract. When contracts ends they charge you more than normal. The internet speed it's not great. During the night the internet sometimes falls.

I will NEVER use BT again in my life.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Bath BT  
We went with bt as the previous tenant was with bt and we thought it would be a straight forward swap to our name. This was not the case ! We had an order for the phone line and internet to be changed into our name (which apparently you need an engineer to come out 2 weeks later to do) when this was done, we recieved a new number ..we requested from day one to keep the previous number as we were running a business and that was the number our customers where familiar with. We were informed that as soon as the order was completed we can ring up to confirm the number change, So we did. We were then informed that the number would be changed within 24 hours .... 24 hours later the number was still not changed. After ringing back the following day we were then informed that there was another order on the account that had to be completed before the number could be changed. As we had not placed an order they cancelled the order and told us it would be another 24 hours before the order would be cancelled and then to ring back for the number to be changed. So as you can guess we rang back 24 hours later to change the number to then be told someone didnt cancel the order so they would cancel it and it would take another 24 hours ( why it takes 24 hours to press the cancel order button I do not know! ) since receiving our bt order on 5th November we are still waiting to have the number changed back to the original number! After being on the phone many days and many hours I was finally passed to a supervisor who informed me that IF I WAS TO PAY FOR THE BUSINESS ACCOUNT I WOULD RECEIVE A BETTER SERVICE! Which we were told at the beginning it will be easier to stay as a personal customer for now as that is what the previous tenant was and that it would be easy enough to change at a later date! After speaking to this supervisor I was informed that he would cancel the order and he would call me back to re arrange the phone number change between 11:00-13:00, did I recieve a phone call ? NO I DID NOT! I rand up at 13:02 to find out why I hadn't recieved my phone call and the lady on the phone said she had passed the message on for me to get my phone call. The NEXT day I recieved a call which was not from a supervisor and was informed there is nothing they could do as I'm not named on the account even though they have been speaking to me everyday since getting Bt and everyday they recieved permission to talk to me and permission to change the number! All we want to do is have the original number back on the landline which has took 8 DAYS so far and still counting ...
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Shocklach BT  
WORST INTERNET EVER! I've tried many different service providers but this is the icing on the cake when it comes to bad internet! There is no internet full stop! The constant connection dips 24/7 is ridiculous! My emails don't even come through for days coz of how bad it is! I can't even game online anymore coz the lag is unreal and embarrassing and everyone keep telling me to switch my service provider coz it's trash! Don't ever go with BT, It's horrendous. I connected it to my phone but it doesn't even connect to my TV. Absolute trash!
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Liverpool BT  
After 90 days I finally managed to get broadband ordered. I had to chase BT up for info all through the process instead of them coming to me and the text messages I received bore no relevance to my order. After all that the final guaranteed speed that they can give is an abysmal 3Mb/s
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    2 stars
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    4 stars
Cumbria BT  
I feel like every one of the reviews for every service provider is automated by the opposing competitors to extend the likelihood of finding different providers.. by was good for me yet the reviews are insanely bad. I got a good deal and had to sign off of it as I literally didn't need it because I bought a phone contract that gets 100gb data a month..
  • Satisfaction
    3 stars
  • Customer Service
    4 stars
  • Speed
    4 stars
  • Reliability
    4 stars
None BT  
We pay £87 a month for shocking broadband. The download speeds are appalling and the speed test online states they are not able to process the speed - which is a complete cop out. Disgraceful having to pay this amount of money a month for such poor broadband
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    2 stars
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Newry BT  
Been with BT for a while now and can honestly say it is a complete joke. For many months now I have kept being disconnected from being online. Download speed is shocking. Bought extenders but nothing happens.
Stoke BT  

Loading...

The reviews published on this page are those of the individual authors who have warrantied that they abide by our review guidelines. Reviews are not the opinion of Broadband.co.uk.

Virgin Media with Amazon Prime and a £100 reward choice

Broadband deals to get your November off to a cracking start

Posted on 2019-11-05 18:20 in Offers BT Shell Energy Virgin Media

Virgin Media are kicking us off with some great combined offers. Along with a price reduction on TV packages for the first year, Virgin are also offering a choice of a £100 gift voucher from Amazon, Debenhams, John Lewis or M&S or a £100 bill credit. It doesn't stop there, either, as you can also get 12 months free Amazon Prime. Worth £79 a month, you get a whole host of goodies bundled in, inluding access to Prime Video (where you can watch Amazon Original shows along with a whole host of other TV boxsets and the latest movies), unlimited music streaming, access to a rotating selection of content on Kindle, unlimited photo storage and, of course, free next day delivery!1

BT have a whopping £120 M&S voucher offer on Superfast Fibre products! If you want TV as well, packages are available from £15 extra a month and can be added during the checkout process. You can get the basic Classic Bundle with AMC and standard Freeview channels, or choose to add Premium channels with an Entertainment Bundle. Plus, you can add even add Sports from BT and Sky, Movies from Sky, Netflix and a whole lot more! You'll need to hurry, though, because this offer ends on the 14th and is only available via the links below.2

Shell Energy have some early Black Friday deals, offering some great introductory prices without the need to queue or get your kidneys elbowed! Their Fast Broadband package is currently one of the cheapest in the market at only £16.99 a month while Fibre packages are not only reduced in price, but also come with two months free in the form of account credit! Plus there are no connection fees for any of these deals. To top it off, if you're on one of Shell's gas or electricity plans, you can also make extra savings on your monthly energy bill!3

 


All offers available to new customers only unless otherwise specified. Some offers only available in provider network areas. Use our Use our postcode checker to find out what's available in your area. See respective landing pages for full terms and conditions and details of how to claim rewards.

1. All Virgin Media offers are on a 12 month contract. Offers end at 11:59pm 13/11/2019.

2. All BT offers are on a 24 month contract. £9.99 postage and packing fee for the BT Smart Hub applies, activation costs may apply on TV products. Standard broadband products will not be offered if you are able to get Fibre products. If you're in a Fibre-enabled area but can't get Fibre you will be offered a Standard broadband offer. Offer ends at 11:59pm 7/11/2019.

3. All Shell Energy offers are on an 18 month contract. Two months free will be applied to your account as bill credit 90 days after activation. Offer ends at 11:59pm 8/12/2019.

Comments

Home Office Broadband

How to find the right broadband for your home office

Posted on 2019-10-11 14:49 in Features BT Virgin Media Plusnet John Lewis

Over one and a half million of us in the UK work from home, and the number is growing rapidly. But balancing out the sheer joy of being able to work in your pyjamas is the knowledge that you no longer have an IT-guy to sort out all your tech troubles.

And the biggest of all these troubles is your broadband: if it goes down, you'll lose money.

Let's take a look at how to find the right broadband for your home office.

What speed you need

Whenever you compare broadband deals, finding the right speed is your first priority. For your home office, any fibre deal should offer fast enough downloads for most needs.

However, you need to consider who else will be using your internet while you're working. If it's just you, then fine. But if your kids are going to be jumping onto YouTube and start FaceTiming as soon as they get home from school, you might want to opt for a faster fibre deal to ensure you won't have any interruptions.

Don't overlook the upload speed, too. You need a good upload speed if you do a lot of video conferencing, or need to send large files to clients. For this reason we'd recommend steering clear of a cheap standard broadband plan, as the upload speeds are usually dreadful.

Reliability and support

When you rely on your internet connection to earn a living you need to be confident that it will work reliably. If there are problems you need access to good customer support to fix them. To make your decision a little easier take a look at our customer reviews for all broadband providers. They show ratings for speed, reliability, support and overall satisfaction.

There's often a link between reliability and support, and price. Cheaper services from less established players tend to attract more negative reviews and lower satisfaction levels. It might be worth paying a little extra for a plan from one of the bigger brands.

Also, keep an eye out for speed and performance guarantees from the different broadband suppliers, which will help you avoid being left high and dry should problems strike. On BT Plus plans, for example, you'll be sent a 4G Mini Hub to keep you connected if your broadband ever develops a fault.

Static IP address

So far, the issues we've looked at are ones that you'd consider when buying any broadband service. Next up is a factor that mostly applies only to a subset of remote workers: the need for a static IP address.

In simple terms, an IP address is the address of your computer on the network. With all home broadband packages it's assigned dynamically, so you get a new one each time you connect. A static IP address means you keep the same address permanently.

Why might you need a static IP address? There's plenty of reasons, like if you're running a server or hosting your own website, or if you need a secure way to remotely log in to your employer's computer systems.

You get a dynamic IP address with all home broadband products and you'll need to check if your chosen provider can offer you a static address instead. As an example, Plusnet will give you a static IP for a one-off fee of £5, but BT won't let you have one on their residential packages. You need to switch to a business plan instead.

Full Wi-Fi coverage

You don't just need to find the right broadband, you need to get it working well enough, too. And that means making sure your Wi-Fi coverage extends to wherever you set up your office. Now, if you're just working from your dining room then you're probably already good to go. But if you're planning to convert your loft - or even your shed - into an office, you should hold off on that trip to Ikea until you're sure you've got your internet sorted first.

Your Wi-Fi signal is less likely to reach into the furthest corners of your house or garden. Even if it does, a weaker signal will mean slower speeds. Grab your laptop and head out to your office location, then use our Broadband Speed Test tool to find out if your connection and speeds are up to scratch.

If it isn't see our guide on how to speed up your broadband for tips on the best ways to extend your Wi-Fi coverage.

Business vs home broadband

Finally, you might be wondering if you need a specialist business broadband package when working from home, or if you're okay with a normal home deal. It depends on what type of work you're doing, and what's specified in your provider's terms and conditions.

BT say that their broadband is only for personal use; John Lewis Broadband say that "occasional home working is acceptable"; while Virgin Media offer the HomeWorks upgrade for £9.99 a month, which adds remote worker-friendly features to a residential plan. In all cases, a residential call plan will be strictly limited to personal use - so don't go setting up a call centre in your kitchen.

Business broadband will get you the option of a static IP address, better customer support - usually 24/7 - and better security options as well. Prices from suppliers like Plusnet aren't all that much higher than what you'd pay for home broadband.

Want more on finding the right internet service for your remote working needs? Check out our full guide to home office broadband.

Comments

BT Broadband Buyers Guide - Is BT right for you?

Can I get BT Broadband?

BT's standard broadband services are available at all UK telephone exchanges (excluding those in Hull) so can be accessed in all but the remotest of rural areas.

BT's fibre-optic service, BT Superfast Fibre, is available to more than 85% of UK homes - more than 25 million premises - with BT continuing the roll out to more and more areas every month. BT Superfast Fibre is based on fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) technology meaning that both your telephone exchange and your street cabinet need to have been upgraded to support fibre before you can sign up to the service. Urban and central areas tend to be activated first. You can check to see if BT Superfast Fibre is available in your area with our postcode checker.

Does BT Broadband have a technical advantage or faster installation time?

BT Broadband is provided by BT Retail, which is a separate company from those that administer telephone exchanges, street cabinets and phonelines. As a result, there is no technical advantage over any other provider reselling BT Wholesale Connect; they have to wait in the same queues for Openreach installation or home visit engineers and use the same systems of contact as any other reseller.

BT Broadband are just one of many consumer broadband service providers using BT Wholesale Connect technology. In many areas competiting broadband providers have installed their own equipment in telephone exchanges and may even be able to beat BT's standard broadband speeds.

As British Telecom, BT provided the nationalised telecoms service for the whole of the UK, controlling all telephone exchanges (except those in Hull). Since then British Telecom were split into three companies; BT Wholesale, who sell telecommunications services to phone and broadband suppliers, Openreach, who maintain the technical aspects of the BT infrastructure including phone lines, exchanges and street cabinets; and BT Retail, who sell BT phone and broadband products to consumers. This separation was enforced by the Competition Commission to ensure that BT did not have a monopoly or unfair advantage over other telecommunications companies.

What broadband options are available?

BT provide a wide range of packages catering to different speeds, download restrictions, and associated extras including TV options.

BT also allow you to build your own package on their site by choosing from a range of core broadband offer:

  • BT standard broadband - averages 10Mb download and 1Mb upload speed (limited to 8Mb maximum down speed and 0.75Mb upload in some rural areas), on a 24 month contract with unlimited downloads
  • BT Superfast Fibre 1 - averages 50Mb download speed and 9.Mb upload speed, on a 24 month contract with unlimited downloads
  • BT Superfast Fibre 2 - averages 67Mb download speed and 18Mb upload speed, on a 24 month contract with unlimited downloads
  • BT Superfast Fibre Plus - the same as Fibre 2 but with 'Plus' benefits. These include double data allowance on BT Mobile plans and a Keep Connected Promise, where BT will send you a 4G hub to use temporarily if your connection goes down

Whether you can enjoy BT's fastest speeds depends on factors like whether your exchange and street cabinet have been upgraded to the latest technology, and how much copper telephone cable there is between your home and the exchange (or the street cabinet for BT Superfast Fibre).

For the standard broadband and Superfast Fibre 1 packages you can choose whether to have unlimited usage, allowing you to use as much Internet as you like each month, or whether you will pay less and have a download limit. There are a range of limits available with smaller limits usually costing less, although special offers and promotions may apply to make unlimited options more affordable. Superfast Fibre 2 is unlimited.

There are no inclusive calls with any packages, however you are given the option to upgrade to 500 Minutes or Unlimited Minutes. Unlimited Minutes is essentially an Anytime call package, and 500 Minutes replaces the old Evenings and Weekends package, which allows you to use what amounts to just over 8 hours of calls to any UK landline or mobile at any time of day.

While you must take BT line rental with any broadband deal, you can save around £20 a year if you pay it all up front through the Line Rental Saver option.

What TV options are available?

You can also combine your broadband and phone service with a TV service by adding BT TV - BT's digital television service - to your package.

BT TV can only be taken with a BT broadband subscription as it uses your connection to stream content which is not available on Freeview. Speeds of 5Mb or more are required to view high definition content, 2Mb or more for standard definition. If your connection falls short of this minimum you won't be able to sign up.

  • Starter Bundle - a basic package offering the Freeview channels and BT Sport in standard definition. You can upgrade with several bolt-ons including Sky Sports Main Event HD. Comes with standard YouView box with no recording.
  • Classic Bundle - the same as above but with a YouView+ box, and AMC as an extra channel. You can add Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Cinema as bolt-ons.
  • Entertainment Bundle - a YouView+ box with 20 extra premium channels including Discovery Channel, Gold, History and more. You can add Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Cinema as bolt-ons.
  • Max HD Bundle - 62 premium entertainment channels including 21 HD channels and BT Sport in UHD. You can add Sky Sports and Sky Cinema as bolt-ons.

BT customers will be able to sign up to the full Sky Sports package plus all Now TV channels including Sky Atlantic in 2019.

All BT TV packages come with up to 80 Freeview TV and radio channels, plus access to 7 day catch up TV and on-demand shows. The YouView powered set top box also gives you high definition versions of the 4 main terrestrial TV channels via Freeview HD and allows you to pause and rewind live TV or record your favourite shows for later. You can also access a large library of on demand TV shows, music videos and more, or pay per view blockbuster films.

BT TV's streamed channels and on-demand films and TV shows do not count towards your broadband usage allowance. Viewing rival services like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video or NOW TV will count towards any usage limit you might have on your BT Broadband service, so bear this in mind when deciding between limited or unlimited packages.

Which package should I choose?

It is worth working out what your download needs are in advance as there is no need for you for to pay more than you have to, such as paying for extra bandwidth that you won't need.

At average speeds of 50Mb, the BT Superfast Fibre 1 package offers the fastest potential speeds for basic fibre broadband in the UK (at launch time, at least — it's likely that other providers will upgrade their basic services in due course). This is fast enough for virtually all online activities, including watching BT Sport in Ultra HD, and may now be enough for those customers who would have previously been considering the faster Superfast Fibre 2 connection.

BT Superfast Fibre packages will help prevent slowdown in households with many heavy Internet users, such as student households or those with large families. However, if you're close enough to the telephone exchange, BT Broadband's average speeds of 10Mb may still be fast enough, allowing you to stream live television or chat over Skype without encountering problems. You might benefit from faster internet speeds if you do a lot of online gaming, regularly download a lot of large files or stream large amounts TV and films, especially in larger households where more than one person might be doing these things at any one time.

When considering your usage limit, it is worth asking yourself what you use the Internet for, and how often you use it. Those who use the Internet regularly for downloading files, gaming or watching a lot of streaming video (outside of the unmetered BT TV service) will hit a usage limit faster than those who only use the Internet for email, websites and social media, or go online less often. If you can find out your current monthly usage, it will provide a useful estimate for what limit you might need. There is no need to pay for capacity you will not use, but it can also provide peace-of-mind not to worry about if a YouTube video might take you over your limit.

Points to consider before you choose

  • How many people will be using your broadband connection?
  • Are you a heavy downloader, or do you regularly play online games?
  • Will you only watch streamed TV and films on unmetered BT TV or will you also use rival services like Netflix or NOW TV?
  • How heavy is your Internet usage and how often do you use it?
  • Would the expense of the faster speed or larger download capacity be worth it for you?

Compare all BT Broadband packages

I already have Superfast Fibre 1, do I automatically get the new, faster speed?

Existing Superfast Fibre 1 customers will not be upgraded automatically to the faster speeds, and will continue on their current 40Mb maximum speed service.

You can upgrade by taking out a new contract, but unless you're already getting speeds of 40Mb, or thereabouts, it may not be worth it. For many users the internet speeds they get are limited by physical factors such as their distance from the street cabinet, rather than the speed limits of their chosen broadband service. Thus, upgrading to a faster service will not automatically mean faster internet.

What do I get when I sign-up?

It's always good to know upfront what you'll get when signing up with an ISP so you know what you can enjoy for free, or to budget for any extras you may want.

  • BT Home Hub router - Standard BT Broadband customers will receive a free BT Home Hub 4 802.11n wireless router for their connections, while Superfast Fibre customers get the enhanced Smart Hub which is supercharged for fibre. It supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi and uses smart techology to get faster Wi-Fi connections to more rooms in your home that any other major broadband providers' hubs. These routers use dual-band technology to reduce wireless interference and come with an easy online set-up.
  • BT Cloud storage - BT Broadband comes with access to BT Cloud, which allows you to store your files online. This enables you to have a back-up of important documents on your devices so that you do not lose them if something happens to that device. You can also access BT Cloud from anywhere if you have an account, which makes it easy to transfer and share files. The unlimited packages come with either 200GB or a massive 1TB, depending on which you choose. 
  • Internet security - All of BT's unlimited broadband packages come bundled with BT Virus Protect with McAfee, which you can use on two devices on the Broadband and Fibre 1 deals, and up to 15 devices with Superfast Fibre 2 and Plus. You also get BT Parental Controls to monitor and manage children's internet usage.

What are the benefits of BT Broadband?

The benefits offered by an ISP may be what seals the deal in your decision to buy a package from them.

  • Very fast basic fibre - BT's cheapest Superfast Fibre 1 fibre cabinets offer average download speeds of 50Mb while most competitors offer basic fibre that maxes out at 40Mb. If you're close enough to your street cabinet to get the boost then the extra 10Mb to 15Mb could make a significant difference.
  • Public Wi-fi access points - All BT Broadband customers benefit from free unlimited broadband access even when not at home through free access to BT Wi-fi, the world’s largest wi-fi network with over 5 million wi-fi hotspots across the UK. This lets you access the internet without the restrictions of mobile broadband from coffee shops, airports, high streets, stations, and many more places - including international hotspots.
  • Complete Wi-fi Guarantee - add W-Fi discs for £10 a month to increase coverage around your house. If you can't get a strong signal with just the one disc, BT will send you up to two more discs to ensure a strong signal in every room. If that still doesn't cover it, BT will give you a one-off £20 off your next BT bill.
  • Stay Fast Guarantee - if you don't get the speeds BT promise you and BY can't fix it within the first 30 days, then you can claim a £20 BT Gift Card (which is a pre-paid Mastercard). What's more, you can make up to four claims a year.
  • Free technical support - BT Broadband provide many support options for when things go wrong. Customers can call their helpline for free from their landlines at any time of day, and access hundreds of free online guides complete with videos. BT Broadband also maintain a social media presence through forums, Twitter and YouTube, helping you solve any problems that may occur.
  • Available in rural areas - BT offer the same prices at all telephone exchanges, making BT a good choice for those living in rural and remote areas where choices may be limited. In areas where Virgin cable TV isn't available, BT TV may be a good alternative to Sky.
  • Super Hub for BT Superfast Fibre - Supercharged for fibre with the latest 802.11ac advanced wireless networking technology, BT claims their smart techology makes the Smart Hub better than any major broadband provider's latest hub at getting faster connections into more rooms of your home.
  • BT Sport Pack - If you're a sports fan and intend to sign up for BT Sport in order to see UEFA Championship, Premiere League Football, FA Cup, Rugby etc matches, it can be very attractive to switch to BT TV and get these channels for free, or to switch to BT Broadband and get them through the app or your existing Sky TV package for only £6 per month.
  • No satellite dish needed for TV - If you don't want or aren't able to install a satellite dish for your home, BT TV is available using your standard Freeview aerial and BT broadband connection.

What are the drawbacks of BT Broadband?

Let's face it, not everything can be perfect, and even the best deals may have a downside.

  • Costs - BT Broadband is rarely the cheapest option for all the services they provide, however this is made up for by BT providing a wider range of included extras than many other providers.
  • Must take BT phone and line rental - BT Broadband is only offered bundled with BT phone services, you can't take your line rental or call plan from someone else, or sign up with broadband from BT without having a phoneline. BT line rental tends to be priced higher than many other providers.
  • No short contracts - BT’s contracts are for 24 months, which requires a greater degree of commitment and less flexibility than other providers that offer shorter contracts. Those looking for one month contracts may be better off looking elsewhere. However, as BT Broadband is available at all BT telephone exchanges, you're unlikely to find yourself moving home to an area with no BT Broadband service at all, which can happen with some providers.
  • Smart Hub only standard on Superfast Fibre - If you want the lastest and greatest router technology, capable of getting faster connections into the 'dead spots' in your home, you only get the BT Smart Hub inclusive with BT Superfast Fibre. If you're a standard broadband customer then you get the previous generation BT Home Hub 4 or you need to pay an extra £50 to get the Smart Hub.
  • Complaint levels - The communications regulator Ofcom keeps track of the customer complaint levels of for broadband and TV services. The Ofcom complaint figures for 2017 show that BT had the third highest level of complaints among the major broadband provders. They also had the second highest level of complaints for pay TV, more than double the industry average.
Broadband.co.uk