BT

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
  • 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 38 Premier League matches

Go to site

BT Broadband and Weekend Calls
£24.99 for 18 months
£45.49 thereafter

£19.99 upfront cost

  • Online only: £60 BT Reward Card!
  • 18 months reduced price!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • add the BT Sport App and get a free Google Chromecast
  • 10Mb average download speed
  • 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 TV Entertainment with Superfast Fibre and Weekend Calls
£44.99 for 18 months
£67.49 thereafter

£19.99 upfront cost

  • Online only: £100 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!
  • 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

  • Online only: £130 BT Reward Card!
  • 18 months reduced price!
  • 67Mb average download speed
  • 18Mb average upload speed!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • add the BT Sport App and get a free Google Chromecast
  • BT Smart Hub with ac-rated Wi-Fi and smart technology to give faster connections in more rooms!
  • Now with Anytime calls as standard, save £135 over the contract length!
  • Weekend UK landline calls
  • No activation fee
  • 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 FTTC speeds, now at 67Mb average speed, and ultrafast 160Mb and 300Mb FTTH products are now 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
  • Variety of packages with truly unlimited usage
  • BT TV - enjoy a range of TV channels, movies and catchup TV powered by YouView
  • BT Sport - not just on BT TV, all BT broadband customers have access to BT Sport Lite via the online player at BTSport.com - BT Sport Pack with exclusive live UEFA matches is free on BT TV and only £6 per month for BT Broadband customers via the app or an existing Sky TV package
  • 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
  • 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
  • SmartTalk app - lets you use your mobile phone via wi-fi to get the same rates as yout BT landline

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 on many deals

  • Many deals with free or discounted activation

  • Free 24/7 customer support

  • BT Yahoo email accounts that don't get full included with all deals

  • Security includes fre BT Virus Protect, Web Protect and True Key

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

  • 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

2.8 stars
  satisfaction rating based on 21055 customer ratings since 2017-12-15. See more BT customer ratings and reviews.

Details last checked on 2018-12-14

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

Online exclusive: £60 BT Reward Card + 18 months reduced price + add the BT Sport App and get a free Google Chromecast!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!

802.11n Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
10Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£320 £24.99
£45.49 after 18 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£19.99 upfront cost

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

Online exclusive: £70 BT Reward Card + 18 months reduced price + add the BT Sport App and get a free Google Chromecast + Smart Hub + no activation fee!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
36Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£358 £28.99
£44.49 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

Online exclusive: £100 BT Reward Card + 18 months reduced price + add the BT Sport App and get a free Google Chromecast + Smart Hub + no activation fee!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
50Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£370 £29.99
£52.49 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

Online exclusive: £60 BT Reward Card + 18 months reduced price + BT Sport Pack + free AMC channel + TV Starter!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!

802.11n Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
10Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£442 £30.99
£51.49 after 18 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£69.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT Superfast Fibre Unlimited for Students More Info

Special offer: 9 month contract designed for students, includes BT Sport app FREE for 9 months + Smart Hub!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
50Mb
truly
unlimited
9
months
£465 £35.00

£44.99 upfront cost

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

Online exclusive: £130 BT Reward Card + 18 months reduced price + add the BT Sport App and get a free Google Chromecast + Smart Hub + no activation fee!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!

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 2 Unlimited for Students More Info

Special offer: 9 month contract designed for students, includes BT Sport app FREE for 9 months + Smart Hub!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
67Mb
truly
unlimited
9
months
£525 £40.00

£44.99 upfront cost

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

Online exclusive: £100 BT Reward Card + 18 months reduced price + free AMC channel + Smart Hub!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
50Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£560 £44.99
£67.49 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, 18 months Broadband Price Freeze 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

Online exclusive: £130 BT Reward Card + 18 months reduced price + free AMC channel + BT Sport Pack + Smart Hub!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
67Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£680 £54.99
£73.99 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

Online exclusive: £130 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!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
67Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£778 £63.99
£82.99 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 2018-12-14

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
    2.8 stars
  • Customer Service
    2.8 stars
  • Speed
    2.6 stars
  • Reliability
    2.8 stars

Based on 21055 customer ratings since 2017-12-15

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
The worst service I have ever been in contact with. Booked an installation, took a day off work and no-one turned up. BT told me the engineer came at 3.30pm but I was waiting all day, so basically a lie. I re-booked for another day and called BT twice to make sure they would come, they told me on both occasions that someone would definitely attend this afternoon. Called them a third time and BT said that the appointment was changed for the next day, without bloody telling me. I cancelled straight away, I am not paying some muggy company my hard earned cash even and this is even before the initial installations.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
London BT  
LN12DF, Paid for 60mb-80mb Broadband but actually receiving constant 29.3-29.5mb, and there has been no Dial Tone since Friday on landline!. This is paid for BT Broadband Super Fast Fibre II: and this a breach of contract since Friday 07/12/2018. Hope anyone working for the Telecom Regulators, Ofcom read this. Now on telephone line: 0800 800 150 and usual BS about sending out an engineer and a callout FEE. Same script different day.
  • Satisfaction
    2 stars
  • Customer Service
    3 stars
  • Speed
    2 stars
  • Reliability
    1 star
Lincoln BT  
crap sevicie for cusmomore support
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
manchester BT  
I have been having issues with the router since mid October, contacted BT on numerous occassions, speaking most of the time to rude staff who were sending me instructions for hub 5 or smart hub while I have got hub 4! They were aware as they had asked before. Asking me to split connection, etc. Ended up with having 3 engineers who ordered new hub for me. It didn't arrive so I contacted them, they don't know anything about it! Once it arrived, the speed has dropped so complained again, then they sent me some texts and asked to reply what would cost me extra money. In addition, on one occassion I asked when my broadband contract would expire, lady told me the 4th of January. I rang them at the beginning of December to cancel, I was told that line rental contract expires on that day, broadband contract in July. So lazy! Honestly, I'm fuming, never had such bad issues with Sky or Virgin. I can't wait the contract to be finished!
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    3 stars
  • Reliability
    2 stars
Manchester BT  
I though Virgin media was bad but god damn ! BT sucksssssss just like the guy below stated no BT internet and its been 3 weeks that the board band box arrived.
Called emailed chatted about 10-15 times to only get a email of a manger who said ''To help with your query please call BT on : 0800 800 150.

Sorry we cant help on this query.''

Damn need to start listening to reviews !! Virgin medai was bad for me but BT! I didn't even get to try it. sorry im leaving.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
hampshire BT  
Absolutely disgusting customer servive my service shouldv been activated on 19th november 2018 its now the 11th december 2018 and its still not on iv complained numerous times no responce my case is at level 3 complained case but aint seen no change and the lack of communication is disgusting iv requested my order to be cancelled still not done iv requested that 4 or 5 times if your thinking of joining think twice
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Wolverhampton BT  
Annoyed that BT do hard credit searches when your just enquiring about the date/ cost of broadband and don’t go through with the order.

They should let you know
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Edinburgh BT  
BT custemer for phone many years and broadband for a few years. Switch to Fibre but had 9 days without broadband due line not set up. First person claim ethernet cable and would take 5 works to receive this to sort problem which was wrong and needed engineer. 6 days after second person said engineer required. spoke to rude line manager offer £10 as complaint. then tried to charge £85 for the engineer which was the incorrect as previous showed under £50. finally had engineer solve broadband and he confirmed normally no charge for fibre set up. spoke to second link manager about complaint again poor service and like previous manager lied about complaint service at BT. not all staff are bad as previously spoken to other members in other offices and ok. Broadband staff are just poor at everything. BT just rubbish and I would never use them again
Surrey BT  
If you plan switching to BT, beware they would cut your existing broadband service on Friday morning and leave you whole weekend and bank holiday without Internet connection - which has happened to me. And they won't give you any compensation either. What they boasted "Switching today, connected tomorrow" is totally ******** and lie. BE CAREFUL!!!
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    3 stars
  • Reliability
    2 stars
London Croydon BT  
They are FULL OF ****.
Besides the fact that they actually have speed drops constantly, their internet crashes on a weekly basis, super expensive and ling their asses off.
On their superfiber page they lie about Virgin Media which was the best and fastest internet provider in UK for a long time and they will be the best stil.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Slough 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.

Broadband compensation

Get automatic compensation when your broadband goes down

Posted on 2018-12-13 16:07 in News EE Zen Plusnet TalkTalk Sky BT Virgin Media

You could be in line for compensation next time your internet goes down, following an agreement involving some of the UK's biggest broadband providers.

A voluntary code introduced by industry regulator Ofcom states that, from early next year, providers will have to reimburse customers if they lose broadband or landline phone service.

So far, BT, Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Zen Internet have signed up to the agreement. Plusnet and EE have also indicated that they may join.

What you'll get

Under the plan, customers will receive £8 per day in compensation when their broadband goes down and the fault takes longer than two days to fix.

In addition, there will be £25 compensation when an engineer misses a scheduled appointment, or cancels within 24 hours.

Plus, customers will receive £5 per day when new services they sign up for do not start on time.

Homes, and small and medium businesses are eligible.

There are some caveats. You won't get compensation if you're the cause of the problem, like if you damage the wiring in your home or are out when the engineer arrives. Most faults are also likely to be fixed inside two days, so you could still experience disruption without being compensated for it.

Openreach are also involved in the scheme, since most faults occur on their network (apart from Virgin Media, who use their own infrastructure). They have said that they won't compensate the broadband suppliers in the event of force majeure events like flooding, leaving the onus on the suppliers themselves to foot the bill in those instances.

After a consultation in Spring 2017, Ofcom published their judgement in November 2017, giving retail and wholesale providers a 15 month deadline by which automatic compensation had to be in place. This means that the very latest we can expect to see the system working is mid-February 2019.

Your consumer rights

The agreement is the latest in a line of measures designed to the experience of broadband users, and ensure we're all getting value for money.

You can already exit your deal early and without penalty in the event of mid-contract price rises, or if the service you're receiving is simply not up to scratch. And the process to switch broadband is also now much simpler than it used to be.

You can find all the information you need on these subjects and more in our guide to your broadband consumer rights.

Comments

Stay safe online

PC Security: 5 things you need to do to stay safe online

Posted on 2018-11-29 13:52 in Features Sky Plusnet Virgin Media Vodafone BT NOW Broadband John Lewis EE TalkTalk

As we spend more and more of our lives online - managing our money and doing our shopping - we're more likely to encounter problems. Viruses, scams and other cyber-crimes are continuing to become more common. So what's the best way to stay safe online? Let's take a look.

1. Install anti-virus software

Anti-virus software is a must if you use Windows (less so for Macs, Chromebooks, phone and tablets). It doesn't just protect you against viruses you can get though email attachments or dodgy downloads; it protects against all malware - any software designed with malicious intent. This includes nasties like spyware that steals your passwords, and ransomware, which locks down your computer unless you pay up.

Free anti-virus software from your broadband provider

A lot of the best broadband providers give you a free, or cheap, anti-virus subscription as part of their deal. If yours is on this list, make sure you take them up on the offer:

  • BT: with BT you get the McAfee powered BT virus Protect. You can install it on two or up to 15 machines, depending on your package. You also get Web Protect, which checks websites you visit are safe, and True Key, a secure password manager you can install on five devices.
  • EE: EE Home Broadband gives you a year's subscription to Norton Security Premium for up to 10 devices. After that it costs £39.99 a year, half the normal price.
  • Plusnet: Plusnet Protect, from McAfee, is free for Unlimited and Unlimited Fibre Extra customers. On the standard Unlimited Fibre deal you'll need to pay an extra £2 a month for your virus protection. You can install it on up to seven PCs.
  • Sky Broadband: on one of Sky's Unlimited deals you get a 12 month free trial of the McAfee Internet Security suite for up to three PCs. On the limited packages you get three months. Once the trial is up you can keep it going for £3 extra a month.
  • TalkTalk: with TalkTalk you get HomeSafe, an award winning online security package. This combines some virus protection and parental controls. It isn't a full anti-virus tool, though.
  • Virgin Media: Virgin Media Security is worth £39.95 a year, but is free to all Virgin Media broadband customers. It gives you full anti-virus coverage for up to three PCs.
  • Vodafone: with Vodafone you get a free six month sub to F Secure SAFE anti-virus package for up to five devices. After that, you can subscribe for £39.99 a year - half the normal price.
  • NOW Broadband: with NOW you get the Broadband Buddy service. This helps to protect you against malware-infected sites, but isn't a full anti-virus package.
  • John Lewis Broadband: John Lewis offers a full subscription to the Bullguard security package for Windows users.

If your supplier isn't on the list, there's loads of free anti-virus tools you can get instead. Bitdefender and Avast are among the most highly rated.

Malware isn't just a concern for those who browse the murkier reaches of the internet. Perfectly benign, mainstream websites can become compromised, and even ads can be crafted to try and do bad things without you even needing to click on them.

2. Keep your software updated

It's so tempting to turn off automatic software updates. They always pop up at the worst possible time, and if it happens to be a Windows update you can write off the next half hour waiting for it to finish.

Except, software updates are really important. Especially the Windows ones.

They don't just bring new features or improved performance, they make your computer more secure. Bugs in software can create the kind of security risks that malware thrives upon. Not only do they allow the malware into your system, they can also enable it to spread from one machine to another.

Updates shut down these vulnerabilities. At the very least, don't turn off updates to Windows or your web browser, such as Google Chrome. Better still, allow all your apps to update as they need to.

3. Learn how to recognise online scams

Malware is designed to exploit weaknesses in computer systems, but the truth is the weakest points of all are us, the users. You can lock down your laptop but it won't stop someone trying to trick you into handing over your passwords.

Phishing scams, as they're called, have moved on a lot since the days of the Nigerian prince who wanted to send you tens of millions of dollars. They're now a whole lot more sophisticated and difficult to spot. And it isn't just online that you need to be wary. You might get a text message purporting to be from your mobile network, or you could get a scam call from your broadband provider.

So, how do you spot scams? Here's a few tips:

  • Spelling and grammar mistakes in emails are a dead giveaway. Also, does the email greet you by name or a generic title?
  • Beware of emails demanding urgent action. Scammers try to scare you into responding, like telling you there's been a security alert on your account, or you're overdrawn, and you must log in to fix it.
  • Be wary of links in emails. Don't assume that the link is going to take you where you think it will.
  • Or just don't click links at all. Instead of clicking a link to one of your online services, manually type their address into your browser instead. Or pick up the phone and give them a call.
  • If it sounds suspicious, it probably is. If you didn't buy a lottery ticket, you didn't win the lottery.
  • Don't assume a fancy website means that a site is reputable. This is a rule to follow when shopping online, too.

Anti-virus software and web browsers will help you to sniff out phishing scams. What better reason to keep them up to date?

4. Use better passwords

We all know the importance of using strong passwords and not re-using them. But it can be difficult, since strong passwords are so much harder to remember. There are three things to try to make your life easier:

  1. Think in terms of passphrases instead of passwords. A sentence of eight random words is easier to remember - and type - than a password of eight random characters, but it's just as hard to crack.
  2. Consider using a password manager. Don't save your passwords in your web browser, use a dedicated password manager instead. This saves all your logins under a single, more secure password. With BT Broadband, the True Key offers exactly this feature and is worth trying out. Alternatively, take a look at LastPass or 1Password, both of which are free.
  3. Use two factor authentication. A large and growing number of services offer two factor authentication. When you log in you need to enter both your password and a second, unique code sent to your phone via an app or text message. It's a lot more secure.

5. Keep an eye on your privacy

Finally, keep an eye on how much information you're sharing online. If you use social networks you're probably sharing a lot more than you realise. Check the Privacy section in Facebook and other services to lock them down, and make sure your kids do this, too.

And speaking of kids, most broadband providers offer some form of parental controls that you can use to manage what people can see, or how long they can go online. These are worth setting up, but remember that they are by no means foolproof.

Comments

BT Buyers Guide

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 broadband speeds:

  • BT standard broadband - averages 10Mb download and 1Mb upload speed (limited to 8Mb maximum down speed and 0.75Mb upload in some rural areas)
  • BT Superfast Fibre 1 - averages 50Mb download speed and 9.Mb upload speed
  • BT Superfast Fibre 2 - averages 67Mb download speed and 18Mb upload speed

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.

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.

Customers can choose between:

  • BT TV Entertainment Starter - 80 Freeview channels (including 12 in HD), On Demand, Catch up TV, BT Sport, 20 premium channels
  • BT TV Entertainment Plus - 80 Freeview channels (including 12 in HD), On Demand, Catch up TV, BT Sport, 27 premium channels and TV on the Go
  • BT TV Total Entertainment - 80 Freeview channels (including 12 in HD), On Demand, Catch up TV, BT Sport, 50 premium channels and TV on the Go

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 sufficient 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 communicate 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 with 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. Cloud storage is an optional extra on the limited packages.
  • Internet security - All of BT's unlimited broadband packages come bundled with BT NetProtect Plus online security with McAfee. Up to 7 PCs and Macs can be protected through firewalls, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and site rating systems. The cheaper BT Broadband deals with limited data allowances can still get BT NetProtect Plus for a small extra cost. BT Family Protection is also available to restrict and monitor children’s internet usage, including blocking access to social media and setting time limits.
  • SmartTalk - BT provide a SmartTalk app that BT Broadband users can use. This allows you to use up to 5 smartphones for landline calls through your router, potentially saving a lot of money on expensive mobile calls, and even allowing you to use your landline while abroad with a wi-fi connection. No other provider offers this option.
  • BT Sport - You don’t have to be a BT TV subscriber to have access to BT Sport. If you are a BT Broadband customer then you can use the BT Sport app or the online player to access BT Sport Lite for free or you can pay £6 extra per month for the BT Sport Pack and the exclusive sports coverage they provide, including live UEFA football, 38 Barclays Premier League matches and all Aviva Premiership Rugby matches. You can also add BT Sport to your existing Sky TV service for only £6 per month.

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.
  • 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 (formerly BT FON/BT Openzone), 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.
  • 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 very 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 late 2015 show that while BT had the third lowest level of complaints among the major broadband provders, it was still well above the industry average. It also the highest level of complaints for pay TV, nearly four times the industry average.
Broadband.co.uk