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

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BT Broadband with Weekend Calls
£24.99 for 18 months
£32.99 thereafter

£29.99 upfront cost

  • Ending £40 BT Reward Card
  • 18 months reduced price!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • 10Mb average download speed
  • Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back
  • Free BT Sport app and player
  • Unlimited Wi-Fi access
  • BT Home Hub 4 with n-rated Wi-Fi
  • BT Virus Protect on 2 devices
  • 200GB Cloud Storage
  • Weekend UK landline calls
  • 18 month contract

Buy now

BT Superfast Fibre 2 with Weekend Calls
£39.99 for 18 months
£58.99 thereafter

£9.99 upfront cost

  • Ending £100 BT Reward Card!
  • 18 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
  • Weekend UK landline calls
  • No activation fee
  • 18 month contract

Buy now

BT TV Entertainment with Superfast Fibre and Weekend Calls
£48.99 for 18 months
£66.99 thereafter

£19.99 upfront cost

  • Ending £80 BT Reward Card!
  • 18 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
  • Weekend UK landline calls
  • 18 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
  • 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

  • 18 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

  • Inclusive phone calling to UK landline numbers with some packages

  • Free access to thousands of wi-fi hotspots worldwide

  • Line rental required for all packages

  • BT Broadband have published a Traffic Management Policy

2.9 stars
  satisfaction rating based on 14238 customer ratings since 2018-09-18. See more BT customer ratings and reviews.

Details last checked on 2019-09-06

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Package    
Speed  (Sorted)  
Usage    
Contract    
1st Year Cost    
Monthly Cost    
BT Superfast Fibre 2 for Students More Info

Special offer: 9 months reduced price + 9 month contract designed for students, includes free access to over 5 million UK wi-fi hotspots + Smart Hub + no activation fee!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
67Mb
truly
unlimited
9
months
£463 £36.99
£40.00 after 9 months

£9.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT Superfast Fibre 2 with Weekend Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £100 BT Reward Card + 18 months reduced price + Smart Hub + no activation fee!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!
Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
67Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£490 £39.99
£58.99 after 18 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£9.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT Superfast Fibre Plus with Weekend Calls More Info

Special offer: 18 months reduced price + Smart Hub + BT Plus + no activation fee!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!
BT Plus offers BT's Keep Connected Promise and Double Data for BT mobiles

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
67Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£670 £54.99
£58.99 after 18 months

£9.99 upfront cost

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

Hurry, ends soon! £100 BT Reward Card + 18 months reduced price + BT Sport free for 3 months + free AMC channel + BT Sport Pack + Smart Hub!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!
Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
67Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£740 £59.99
£78.99 after 18 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£19.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT TV Max 4K with Superfast Fibre 2 and Weekend Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £100 BT Reward Card + 18 months reduced price + free AMC channel + BT Sport Pack + 4K UHD BT Sport channel + Smart Hub + no activation fee!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!
Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
67Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£790 £64.99
£83.99 after 18 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£9.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT Superfast Fibre with Weekend Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £80 BT Reward Card + 18 months reduced price + Smart Hub + no activation fee!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!
Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
50Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£358 £28.99
£52.49 after 18 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£9.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT Superfast Fibre for Students More Info

Special offer: 9 months reduced price + 9 month contract designed for students, includes free access to over 5 million UK wi-fi hotspots + Smart Hub + no activation fee!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
50Mb
truly
unlimited
9
months
£403 £31.99
£35.00 after 9 months

£9.99 upfront cost

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

Hurry, ends soon! £80 BT Reward Card + 18 months reduced price + BT Sport free for 3 months + free AMC channel + Smart Hub!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!
Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
50Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£608 £48.99
£66.99 after 18 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£19.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT Fibre Essential More Info

Special offer: 18 months reduced price + no activation fee!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!
Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back!

802.11n Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
36Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£334 £26.99
£37.99 after 18 months

£9.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT Broadband with Weekend Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £40 BT Reward Card + 18 months reduced price!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!
Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back!

802.11n Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
10Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£330 £24.99
£32.99 after 18 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£29.99 upfront cost

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

Hurry, ends soon! £40 BT Reward Card + 18 months reduced price + BT Sport Pack + free AMC channel!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!
Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back!

802.11n Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
10Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£470 £34.99
£42.99 after 18 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£49.99 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 2019-09-06

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

Based on 14238 customer ratings since 2018-09-18

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
Had 12 months of serious broadband issues, now have issues with a mobile service too.

Let me explain - I noticed broadband connection issues, called out their Openreach guys, fixed it so no problems right? - Wrong! lost connection 3 times more, engineer sent out, he hooked up terminal to my line box which displayed a different number, so he went out to check, returned to say my private line was unplugged (stolen) obviously previous engineers working etc - then told there's ample space for new lines etc - then fixed issue and made report back to BT. BT sent the standard email eg: case closed, then line got hijacked again - altogether lost about 2 months internet time, which after months of phone conversations was eventually credited to my account.

Took out a 2nd service - a mobile phone contract approx £372 pa for I Phone SE (6 year old phone!!), which was a 'recommendation' from 'Sales Dept' - sounded ok, biggest mistake I made -- phone battery issues galore, to a point where phone battery depleted from 8 hours a day (only switched on, and no other usage) to a mere 3 hours after a full recharge!

BT wouldn't take responsibility, tech support was refused, so got passed to Apple instead. Problem was the battery, Apple sent just a refurbished replacement model, not brand new or a newer model offered.

Moving on 7 months later - they double billed me due to 'automated billing system error' - which messed my finances up for 3 months, BT tried to stick me with an engineer call out fee of £180 - based on their customer service suggestion and insisted a broadband check be done at my end to help solve the slow speed issue.

Fault was found to be BT's and not damage to my equipment etc - so another credit made to my account - I should think so.....

Forward a few months and I paid my mobile bill by credit slip at my bank. BT sends me a reminder to restrict my service etc, I explained it was paid 20 days earlier, assured my service was restored, but I owed them £55 for 'other mobile services' which they couldn't explain what these extra's were - actually illegal as all charges must be billed in detail which this wasn't - I questioned this, requested in-depth details and promised to pay once proper itemised bill is forwarded - but none came, yet their still trying to bill me for a non existent extra that I know I never requested as my bill is just for the phone and is one charge only for unlimited calls. so nothing else to pay.

They then sent me a further reminder, threatening account termination, along with debt collection action and that I would be stuck with extra fees for non-payment etc - a very aggressive letter indeed. If only they checked their bank account to see the bank transfer, hmmmm. So got proof of payment from my bank, agent reconnected my service, but few days later - BT disconnected me again for reasons unknown.

Don't get me started on the nightmare call transfer system they force on their customers, or the rude agents intent on blasting policy instead of active listening skills that should be employed to understand the mere basic of info needed to sort an issue.
  • Satisfaction
    2 stars
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    3 stars
  • Reliability
    4 stars
London BT  
I don't understand why some people have such problems. I have been with BT for nearly 2 years and they are amazing. I use them for broadband and mobiles, and they are ALWAYS sss helpful.I am so pleased with their service I have extended my contract for another 18 months
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    5 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
Leicestef BT  
I started with BT almost 3 years ago after moving to an address where Virgin Media was unavailable. I had no major problem getting started with BT with everything being as it should be regarding my phone, TV, Sport and Broadband 'package'. The contract was 12 months. There were no major problems in that first 12 months, however when coming to renew I had an email from BT before the contract expired offering me a Broadband renewal at a reasonable price but with a contract for 18 months not 12. I spoke to them via their helpline but was told 18 months was now their minimum contract period. I agreed to this. A few weeks later they contacted me again about my TV and sport contract!!!!!! I thought I had just renewed this but it turns out the verbally agreed renewal was just for the Broadband BUT the TV and Sport package were now a minimum of 24 months. So, there is the major problem - how can I watch the final 6 months of my TV and Sport package if I decide not to renew my broadband? Sneaky. Having spoken with my wife we decided to go ahead with the TV and Sport as we had already committed to the Broadband.
Fast Forward 21 months - suddenly realise that my monthly bill had shot up to £80 from around £40. I contact BT who tell me that I am out of contract with my Broadband and therefore have no 'deal' and the price has risen to £52 (a lot of money, especially as I can only get a maximum of 25mbps where I live via FTTC) I point out that BT did NOT contacted me regarding the end of my broadband deal but obtained no explanation or response from the BT 'assistant'. I enquired about reducing my cost of my existing 'plan' by cancelling the BT Sport and TV package that to be honest we don't watch much at all. In this day and age of Netflix, Youtube and other streaming TV services, BT's TV is not an attractive proposition. This is probably why they hike up the price of their broadband post contract to offset the lack of customers taking up their TV options. To cut a long story a little shorter, my BT 'assistant' could not offer me any sort of decent broadband deal so I am cancelling everything. My 'early termination' charges are way lower than remaining with BT so I'm off. Having placed an order with a different supplier for just Broadband and phone line, (NOT a BT subsidiary of EE or Plusnet) I am now receiving text messages from BT asking me to reconsider. To be fair to BT, I was never unhappy with the Broadband and had few drop-outs and would have remained with BT for many more years, however, due to their underhand sneaky price hiking and contracts of unequal length designed to trap their customers, I will NEVER trust BT again. Deals can be agreed and negotiated but trust cannot. Goodbye BT - Forever.
  • Satisfaction
    3 stars
  • Customer Service
    2 stars
  • Speed
    4 stars
  • Reliability
    4 stars
Coventry BT  
No stars because BT is disgustingly over priced
Leeds BT  
Had tv and broadband package which came with £100 on a debit card and free bt sports. Tried to use the card which doesn’t work , can’t contact anyone!! Also had my monthly bill increased , I phoned to make a complaint and was told after a long discussion that my bill would not increase. Forward a month and my bill increased, called again to complain and was told the previous advisor should not have agreed that , made a complaint and was told they would look into the complaint . Just had a phone call and been told my bill will increase , I told the advisor you wouldn’t fill a car up with fuel and half way through the garage decides to increase the price by 10p a ltr. THIS IS LEGALISED ROBERY
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Derbyshire BT  
Someone mentioned in the reviews about BT as big trouble, that says all about it and I agree. You will not get any notification about price rise, you will only come to know until you check your bank statement / a/c balance online. When you enquire about it you would be said that an email is been sent to you. Then you have to pay whatever extra charges as per terms and conditions. If you want to get out of those added packages(sports) you will need to pay extra as well.
All this without the consent of the customer. I lost all my opportunity to opt out of the added package at the time of price rise with no e mail notification sent to me. Yes I get all other promo emails not the price rise email. Spend more than 1 hour over the customer services and the answer is terms and conditions. So no point in ringing and wasting time. If you can't find any other supplier only then you should even think about BIG TROUBLE. Good luck to all
London BT  
DO NOT TAKE THIS BROADBAND, customer service is useless a lot of lias, is not working at all even on Facebook you can't go ...they charging for nothing...at the phone to cancel your contract they are saying you have to pay £30 for one month and £47 the fee and after they are charging £145 ...they are not serious at all...really bad customer service and experience...I fell so bad because of them...they see people like me how doesn't speak English and they trading to rope them ...be careful
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Edgware BT  
I have move, to a new home and my previous speeds at my old house, with the exchange over a mile away was 37Mb down and 10Mb UP and ping around the 7ms mark, this new house which is less than 50 meters away for the main exchange in my home town are bad 16.1Mb down and only just 1Mb UP with a ping 18Ms and up, I wish I could move back, to plus net, BT say i am getting more than they said the min was so my line good, but for my point of view my all Broadband cost only 24.99 and mow I am getting far less and am PAYING 31.99, and they won't give me a reduction on my bill because its past the minimum they said
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    4 stars
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Colchester BT  
BT are dishonest and made us agree to an 18 month contract without telling us that it was 18 months. They hide this information in order to tie people in. Our tenancy was only 12 months so we had to pay a large cancellation fee(almost £200!). Their customer service are also difficult to deal with. I had no problem with the broadband itself, but it is dishonest to actively try to trick people into signing an 18 month contract, especially elderly or vulnerable people. A company which is not to be trusted.
  • Customer Service
    2 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
Dundee BT  
18 month contract with BT, first few months everything was ok, good speed and reliability, then things deteriorated rapidly. Speed dropped and is now half of what I was promised, connection drops out constantly. I have complained on several occasions and was advised to reset the router on a weekly basis, reset it once but then for some reason it wouldn't reset again. I am now in the process of switching provider and am hoping for an improvement but one thing is for sure, I won't be returning to BT.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Ashton under Lyne BT  

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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.

BT Student Broadband

Last minute student broadband offers and options

Posted on 2019-09-12 11:39 in Features Offers Hyperoptic Three Vodafone 4GEE BT NOW Broadband Plusnet Virgin Media

It's the time of year where students around the country are heading to university, either to start their studies or return for a new academic year.

Whether you're heading to uni for the first time, returning to your student accommodation or about to start out in a new student house share, now's the time to look for a good student broadband offer to keep you online over the next 9 months.

To prepare for student broadband season, we updated our longstanding Student Broadband Guide to reflect some of the student-specific offers available this year with student-exclusive 9 month contract offers from BT and student-exclusive cheaper 1 month rolling contract offers from Virgin Media.

Both of those option mean that you can avoid paying for broadband costs should you head home or go off on travels in the 3 months between academic years. But of course you don't need a special student exclusive offer to get short contract broadband from other suppliers, for example NOW Broadband, Plusnet and Hyperoptic also have competitive 1 month rolling contract offers that even undercut BT and Virgin's prices.

This year, we're also endorsing a mobile broadband option for the first time. Well, it's 4G or 5G mobile broadband technology sold as home broadband services. With 4G and 5G home broadband routers from Three, Vodafone and EE you may have to commit to a much longer contract, but you can then take your router with you wherever you travel during summer break. Vodafone even offer a 30 day rolling contract version, although you'll have to pay more than the cost of 3 months contract to get it.

Unlike most mobile broadband solutions, these have large enough usage allowances for many households. Three's home router even comes with unlimited usage!

Even if mobile data usually isn't strong inside your student accommodation, you may get a better connection from a router, or may even be able to get an external antenna installed to boost the signal.

We weigh up all these pros and cons and give you a table of all the relevant offers over on our Student Broadband guide.

Comments

BT with £110 BT Reward Card

Offers roundup: grab a bargain over the Summer Bank Holiday

Posted on 2019-08-23 17:00 in Offers Virgin Media BT Plusnet Sky Shell Energy

It's the bank holiday weekend, and several providers have new offers on to tempt you to switch broadband. We've got the best highlighted for you below.

We're kicking off with BT and a reward card offer across the majority of their products. The non-fibre Broadband and Weekend Calls package is £24.99 a month and comes with a £60 reward card. If you can get it in your area, Superfast Fibre with Weekend Calls is £31.99 a month with a £90 reward card, and Superfast Fibre 2 with Weekend Calls is £39.99 a month with a £110 reward card. The rewards cards also apply to the broadband and TV offers if you want to throw that in at the same time.1

Plusnet are offering £75 cashback on their non-fibre Unlimited Broadband and Phone package, which is £18.99 a month. Their fibre products both come with a £60 reward card; Unlimited Fibre Broadband and Phone is £23.99 a month and Unlimited Fibre Extra Broadband and Phone is £27.99 a month. You'll need to hurry, all of these offers end on Tuesday night!2

Sky have got some great offers on TV and broadband bundles. Entertainment with Broadband Essential is currently £35 a month, while Entertainment with Broadband Superfast is £39 a month. If sports are your thing, then you can also choose Entertainment with Sports and HD for £62 a month. These packages all come with a 1TB Sky Q box and access to over 270 channels!3

You can get still Shell Energy's fantastically low-priced Standard Broadband for just £16.99 a month, exclusively through the link in this blog post. This offer is only on for another week, so take advantage of it while you can.4

In a Virgin Media area? You can get M50 Fibre and Phone for £26 a month, plus a £75 bill credit! This offer is only available via the link in this blog post.5

 


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 BT products are on an 18 month contract. Connection fees may apply. Prices increase from month 19, see website for out of contract prices. Connection fees may apply. BT reward is a prepaid Mastercard of the specified amount. Offer ends 11:59pm 29th August.

2. Plusnet ADSL products are on a 12 month contract and Fibre products are on an 18 month contract. Connection fees may apply. Prices increase at the end of the offer period when your contract is up, see website for out of contract prices. Customers outside Plusnet Low Cost network areas pay an additional £7.50 per month on all broadband products. Plusnet reward is a prepaid Mastercard of the specified amount. Offers end 11:59pm 27th August.

3. Sky deals are on an 18 month contract, prices will rise from month 19. Connection fees may apply. Offers end 11:59pm 26th September.

4. All Shell Energy deals are on an 18 month contract. Prices will rise from month 19, see Shell Energy site for more details. Connection fees may apply. Offer ends 11:59pm 1st September.

5. Virgin Media M50 is on an 18 month contract, prices will rise from month 19. Credit will be applied to your first bill. Connection fees may apply. Offer ends 11:59pm 30th September.

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 an 18 month contract with unlimited downloads
  • BT Superfast Fibre 1 - averages 50Mb download speed and 9.Mb upload speed, on an 18 month contract with unlimited downloads
  • BT Superfast Fibre 2 - averages 67Mb download speed and 18Mb upload speed, on an 18 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.

All packages come with free unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines, but this is again flexible, allowing you to extend the option to unlimited anytime calls. 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 Reward 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 18 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