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

£29.99 upfront cost

  • Ending £60 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
£47.99 thereafter

£9.99 upfront cost

  • Ending £110 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
£51.99 for 18 months
£66.99 thereafter

£19.99 upfront cost

  • Ending £90 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 15463 customer ratings since 2018-07-23. See more BT customer ratings and reviews.

Details last checked on 2019-07-19

Scroll for More
Package    
Speed    
Usage    
Contract    
1st Year Cost  (Sorted)  
Monthly Cost    
BT Broadband with Weekend Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £60 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 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 Superfast Fibre with Weekend Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £90 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
£394 £31.99
£46.99 after 18 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£9.99 upfront cost

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

Hurry, ends soon! £60 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
BT Superfast Fibre 2 with Weekend Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £110 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
£47.99 after 18 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£9.99 upfront cost

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

Hurry, ends soon! £90 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
£644 £51.99
£66.99 after 18 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£19.99 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! £110 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
£67.99 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! £110 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
£72.99 after 18 months
Reward 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 2019-07-19

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 15463 customer ratings since 2018-07-23

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
Don't bother paying for anything more than their standard broadband. If you expect superfast fibre, don't hold your breath. My download speeds got slower and slower until I was getting between 2Mbps and 7Mbps and constantly got interrupted. I pay £50 per month for superfast fibre and it is an absolute waste of money. An engineer has already been out, it was not fixed, then a second engineer who didn't arrive and then a third appointment was made. I am moving on to another provider as enough is enough. What a waste of money and time.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Ipswich BT  
Not the cheapest or fastest (Except Virgin)as all others use Openreach and are limited to whatever speed that they can provide.
If there are problems BT respond/correct usually within 24hrs.
  • Satisfaction
    4 stars
  • Customer Service
    4 stars
  • Speed
    4 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
Pontyclun BT  
I hadn't had broadband before and had heard that since BT controlled all the cabling that their service would be best. How wrong.
To start with things looked good. An engineer turned up on day arranged and installed line. He said there might be teething problems and to get in touch if so.

I did . I needed the link for my work and it is vital I have live connection when I broadcast. The link kept dropping out. I raised query.

An engineer was arranged to come out (this took far more time and trouble than I can relay here).
I realised I would be at a wedding and called help line to rearrange (again more time and faff than I can relay) I was told that was sorted.

Then while away I was texted to say an engineer would call on the OLD date - would I be in or did I want to cancel (my only option in the circumstances was to cancel!) then - as I suspected, no engineer turned up on new day.
I had raised complaint and a complaints person rang me to check out if line was now working. This was exactly as I was communicating via the awful chat line system (see below) with another so callled 'helper' to try and establish if and when an engineer would call. The complaints person said they'd ring back . The help line person asked if I wanted an engineer to call. I explained that one was due to be visiting but emphasised YES PLEASE. The operative terminated the on line call without sorting.

I now have a complaint on top of a complaint on top of a complaint - The service IS AWFUL.

Years ago I used to work in project management for Comms . I can honestly say that service levels have gone down the pan and customer service is not fit for purpose. Out-sourcing to a foreign country in a completely different time zone and in a completely diferent language, different culture, different etiquette, is a HUGE mistake. No axe to grind with the individual helpline people on the other end: Its not their fault. The model is wrong. The system is broken. I am going to see about cancelling and going elsewhere. Except i suspect more grief and heartache awaits en route. This is no way to live a life
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Gloucestershire UK BT  
Absolutely disgusting customer service. My dealings with BT have inspired me to cut all cables to my property, live in my shed and create some sort of nomadic existence for myself. On the plus side.. if you complain enough they will give you refund after refund. I’ve now got enough credit with BT to retire and move to the Bahamas if the shed gets a bit cold in the winter. USE SOMEONE ELSE.
Kent BT  
I read the reviews. It’ll be different for me I thought. Let’s try BT. What a mistake. Left Sky for BT business on Superfast Fibre.
Day: 1 No phone or broadband connection. Call engineer to fix, sorted later that day.
Day 2-4: No problems, great router.
Day 5: BT inform us we are leaving them in 2 weeks but we can change our mind and stay.
Day 6: BT terminate our service and give our telephone number back to Sky. Business now in turmoil - no receptionist, no online access. Numerous telephone calls to BT. Can’t find our number, join the complaints queue, no action being taken as we aren’t their customer any more. So much for the 2 year contract.
Day 7: Give us our neighbour’s telephone number.
Days 8-14: BT place 4 new orders, none of them right.
Day 15: Today. We have our telephone number back but broadband now cut off.

We have lost £1000s in business over the last 2 weeks, not to mention face/reputation. I am absolutely livid with them.
For God’s sake, for your sake, don’t go with BT, they aren’t fit for purpose.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    4 stars
  • Reliability
    3 stars
Reading BT  
Worst broad band and customer support.

Have been receiving 2-5 mbps since last whole week and what bt have done so far is sent me rj11 cable as fix.

During there test they confirmed that the speed from bt box to my router is 69 mbps but from my router to pc 1-5 mbps through ethernet which they don't guarantee.

So they expect customer to sit on there router and suck the speed and transfer through telepathy because all there claims are just up to the router. And after that they dont give any guarantees that you will receive the same speed to your devices.

First they tried to exempt themselves by saying sir you might be using wifi which i wasn't then they oh our speed guarantee is up to the router.

On ther adverts of stay fast guarantees speed consistently but all there advergs are scam and full of lies.

On top of that when you ask them that you are 2 mb they ask for 7 months old email evidence that what you guaranteed speed.

These guys are proper scammers who are only punctual in deducting there direct debit and when it comes to customer support all they donis restart your router and send you cheap cables and max 5 days worth of broken days credit.

Horrible post sales customer support.

Every year there is apain.. Last three months twice the services have crashed and they are busy in finding loopholes.

It's a simple effing transacrion. I will pay you money you provise me services. But they believe in making customer life a living hell.

Lies excuses and loopholes. Thats what there belive is and ripping customer.

Go to any other provider exept bt. My honest opinion
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
London BT  
Do NOT use BT, there inability to conduct a home move order and successfully complete is astonishing! An active line that gave previous tenants internet and phone at fibre speed seems impossible for BT to takeover? They promised a new line at no cost then cancelled that order too, I’ve been over a month waiting and 8 cancellations. They promise to call you back but not once have I had a callback I have always had to call them. The latest call took over an hour with no change on the order.

I would highly recommend you look elsewhere, the perceived reliability of BT is unfounded and it is not worth your time and effort. Pay more for someone else if you must, just don’t trust them with anything.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    2 stars
  • Speed
    4 stars
  • Reliability
    1 star
Aberdeen BT  
Disgusted to find my son is paying £58 per month for his broadband.

For sure he will not renew and neither will I. Thats two customers lost and I'll try to persuade others to change.
  • Speed
    3 stars
  • Reliability
    3 stars
Aberdeen BT  
Ilana’s customer service today was brilliant - clear explanation, took 12 minutes to handle what I anticipated could take 1-2 hours.
Thank you for what is clear dedication to your customers!!
Could not fault.
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    5 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
Newcastle BT  
They don't even deserve 1 star! What an absolute mess of a company, lie after lie after lie, zero communication with openreach to get line sorted had them land up 3 times without even knowing there was any appointment, been without Internet for over 2 weeks now the original start date was at the start of the month and they just keep telling me utter *****. Absolute joke! I will be swapping providers ASAP! And this was just the tip of the iceberg don't get me going on the whole rewards crap and moving address! DO NOT USE THEM!
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Cumbria 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 £150 credit

Discounts, rewards, credit and tech in our broadband offers roundup!

Posted on 2019-07-08 15:16 in News Offers Three Plusnet BT John Lewis Virgin Media Shell Energy

There are so many strong broadband offers being presented this week that we felt it was time for another round up of the best broadband discounts and rewards around.

Onestream has one of the cheapest broadband deals we've ever seen. The Flow Unlimited package offers average speeds of 11Mb and is an impressively low £13.99 a month on a 12 month contract, with line rental included! Onesteam also have a range of competitively priced Fibre products, starting with their 17Mb average speed truly unlimited Jetstream Lite Fibre that comes in at just £17.99 a month on a 12 month contract with line rental included - that's cheaper than many provider's standard broadband deals!1 £9.99 setup cost applies on all offers.

Shell Energy aren't far behind Onestream for extremely cheap standard broaband, their Fast Broadband package with average speeds of 11Mb is only £15.99 a month all in.2

There are also a number of strong reward offers on this week. For example, if you want a Fibre package from BT, then not only will you get a BT Reward card, you'll also receive a Marks & Spencer voucher! Superfast Fibre is £31.99 a month and comes with an £80 M&S voucher and a £30 Reward Card, while Superfast Fibre 2 is £39.99 a month with an £80 M&S voucher and a £60 Reward Card.3

Plusnet have a mix of reward cards and cashback offers on their broadband and phone bundles this week. Unlimited Broadband is £18.99 a month in low cost areas and comes with £75 cashback, Unlimited Fibre is £24.50 a month and comes with £50 cashback, while the Unlimited Fibre Extra package is £27.50 a month and comes with a £60 reward card. You'll need to hurry, because the Fibre offers end tomorrow night!4

John Lewis are bundling in a Google Home Hub with all their broadband products. This is a hands-free Smart Speaker with a 7" screen worth £119! You can choose between Broadband Unlimited with average speeds of 10Mb for £20 a month, Fibre Broadband with average speeds of 36Mb for £28.50 a month or Fibre Extra with average speeds of 66Mb for £35 a month.5

Blink and you'll miss it, Virgin Media's flash sale on TV bundles starts today. You can get a fantastic £150 bill credit on select broadband and TV packages. Choose from the Bigger Bundle for £57 a month, Bigger Bundle + Movies for £62 a month or the Bigger Bundle + Sports for £72 a month - all of these packages have average speeds of 108Mb. If you to up your speeds to an average of 213Mb and get more TV options, you can get the Bigger Bundle + Sports & Movies for £79 a month. Or you could go all out and get Sky Cinema, Sky Sports, BT Sport, Kids Pick and whopping average speeds of 516Mb with the Ultimate Oomph Bundle for £99 a month. Hurry, this offer ends on the 12th July!6

Finally, Three's already excellent unlimited usage offer on the HomeFi 4G home broadband router has been further discounted! You can now get unlimited data for just £11.50 a month for the first 6 months of the 24 month contract. After that, it's only £23 a month! Find out all you need to know about 4G home broadband in our dedicated help page on the subject.7

Confused about all the different types of rewards and how to claim them? Our Broadband Rewards Explained help page has all you need to know!


All offers available to new customers only unless otherwise specified. Some offers only available in provider network areas. Use our Use our postcode checker or verify on the provider landing pages 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. 12 month minimum contract. Standard broadband price rises to £24.99 from month 13, Fibre Lite rises to £27.99 from month 13. £9.99 delivery fee for the router applies to all deals. Further terms and conditions may apply, see Onestream site for details. Offer is only available via the landing pages linked from this blog post and may end at any time.

2. All Shell Energy deals are on an 18 month contract. Prices will rise from month 19, see Shell Energy site for more details. Offers are only available via the landing page linked from this blog post and ends 11:59pm 8th August.

3. 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. BT reward is a prepaid Mastercard of the specified amount. BT have announced the intention to raise all prices by a small amount annually from March 2020 in line with the consumer price index, this figure is published each January. Offers end 11:59pm 11th July.

4. All Plusnet deals 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, cashback will be issued as a cheque when your broadband is active. Offers are only available via the link in this blog post. Fibre broadband offers end 11:59pm 9th July, standard broadband offer ends 11:59pm 16th July.

5. Virgin Media packages are on a 12 month contract, prices will rise from month 13. £35 upfront cost applies. Credit will be applied to your first bill. See Virgin Media website for full details about included channels and extras. Offer ends 11:59pm 10th July.

6. John Lewis Broadband products come on a 12 month contract, John Lewis will contact you before this is up to inform you of price rises from month 13. Offer ends 11:59pm 30th July.

7. 24 month minimum contract. Availability and speeds vary depending on the mobile coverage in your area and level of usage on the same cell tower. Traffic prioritisation will apply so some services may be slower during peak times. Offer ends 11:59pm 22nd August. Three have announced the intention to raise all prices by a small amount annually from March 2020 in line with the consumer price index, this figure is published each January. Check coverage for your area on the Three website.

Comments

Laptop and phone

Are broadband bundles or standalone deals right for you?

Posted on 2019-04-11 14:01 in Features EE Hyperoptic TalkTalk NOW Broadband BT Sky Virgin Media

Is it better to get your broadband, TV and phone services as part of a single bundle from the same provider, or should you shop around for the best standalone deals?

Is it simply a question of convenience versus flexibility? And does one work out cheaper than the other?

Let's take a look.

What kind of bundles can you get?

There are three types of broadband bundle. Where providers offer more than one you might see them described as triple or quad-play providers.

Broadband and call bundles

Most broadband services need you to have a traditional phone line, the price of which will be included in your broadband bill. Many providers - even some of the smaller ones - make the most of this requirement by offering you a call plan as part of a bundle. You can add off-peak, Anytime or International calls for a few extra pounds a month. If you don't add a plan the price for any calls you make just gets added to your bill.

Even some providers who don't require a landline will still offer you call bundles, and that can work out cheaper even if you don't intend to use them. For example, Virgin Media's broadband with phone options are cheaper than just standalone broadband for the offer introductory period of. After this, it goes up by £2 a month, but you always have the option of ditching the phone portion at the end of your minumum contract, or some people might consider the extra £2 worth it for extra piece of mind in an emergency. Of course, this isn't always the case, as with Hyperoptic who charge more for a phone bundle than they do for a standalone product. But it's worth investigating to see whether a potential provider requires a landline or not, and if you can make a saving by getting calls bundled in.

Broadband and TV bundles

Broadband and TV bundles are the next most common types of deal. These are generally restricted to the bigger name providers like Sky or BT, and can give you access to premium TV channels that show Premier League football or the latest movies. But beware, they aren't all like this. Some TV bundles, such as the basic TalkTalk or Virgin TV deals, don't offer many more channels than you can get with Freeview. You get a set-top box that lets you record or pause shows, but doesn't include any pay TV channels unless you choose to upgrade. Take a look at our guide on the cheapest ways to get pay TV for the full lowdown.

Broadband and mobile bundles

The other type of deal you can get is a broadband and mobile bundle. Again, these are rarer. Your options are split into two groups: either money off your bill, or a bonus added to your mobile plan, usually in the form of a bigger data allowance. The good thing about the latter is that you can add it to an existing plan if you're already a customer, without needing to take out a new deal.

How do the prices compare?

So how do the prices of bundles compare to buying all your services separately? And do they work out cheaper? Well, it's complicated. When you compare like-for-like services, bundles will usually give you a decent saving. But if you're willing to make compromises on what you need, they might not be the best option.

Here's an example. Let's say you want to sign up to Sky TV.

As of April 2019 you can get Sky Entertainment with 63Mb Fibre in a bundle from Sky for £42 a month. By contrast, if you took the cheapest fibre deal with an average 63Mb speed, from TalkTalk, plus the same Sky Entertainment package from Sky it would cost you a total of £47 a month. It's the same story for different speed broadband, and when you add more TV channels the gap increases further.

Bundles are cheaper when you compare like-for-like services. But - and there's always a but - it isn't quite as simple as that.

If you take that 63Mb TalkTalk Fibre plan and add a NOW TV Entertainment Pass instead of the Sky subscription, the monthly price plummets to just £33. In fact, add the NOW TV plan to Sky Fibre and it works out £7 a month less than the Sky bundle.

What gives? The important thing here is to compare the small differences in the services you're getting. NOW TV is cheaper and gives you the same channels you get through Sky, but it's also a far less premium service. You can't use it to record shows, access red button services, watch 4K broadcasts, or plenty of other things.

In summary: if you want the full monty, a bundle will almost always be cheaper. But if you're willing to shave off some of the extras, you might be able to make savings by buying separately.

Are bundles right for you?

Money aside, the big selling point of bundles is convenience. A bundle gives you one contract, one bill, and one customer service department to deal with. In most cases you'll be able to renew at the same time, too. And you could argue that getting all your services from the same provider will give you more leverage when it comes to negotiating the best deal. The more you pay, the keener they'll be to keep you.

But buying standalone deals has its merits, too. You get more choice, for a start, since there aren't many triple or quad-play broadband providers. And more flexibility, which lets you pick up a faster broadband package than your chosen TV provider can offer, for example. Plus, there's the possibility of taking shorter deals. Sky TV comes with an 18 month contract, Virgin 12 months, and NOW TV just 30 days.

Call plan bundles are the easiest to decide upon. Lots of us don't even have phones plugged into our landlines anymore, so don't need them. But if you make a lot of landline calls - especially international calls - then go for it.

For TV, make sure you know what you want before you sign up. For the full pay-TV experience a Sky or Virgin Media bundle will work out cheaper. If you just want a few extra channels, like from NOW TV or the handful of premium channels offered by BT, a standalone deal might actually work out better.

And as for mobile, keep an eye out for indirect savings. Sky TV customers, for instance, are automatically eligible for unlimited free calls and texts, which means they only need to pay for a data plan. The cheapest they offer is just £6 a month - almost certainly less than you're paying at the moment. EE give 5GB of mobile data to their broadband customers each month. This won't show as a saving on your broadband bill, but is likely to enable you to switch to a much cheaper mobile plan and make your savings there instead.

The main thing is to know what you need and how much it will cost you separately. The you can compare it to how much an equivalent bundle will set you back. Use our comparison tool to find your perfect broadband bundle to get started.

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