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
  • Ultrafast broadband up to 900Mb available in some areas
  • 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 including Sky TV and BT Sport

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BT Fibre Essential
£24.99 for 24 months
£34.99 thereafter

No upfront cost

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

Buy now

BT Fibre 2 with Calls
£29.99 for 24 months
£39.99 thereafter

No upfront cost

  • Ending £110 BT Gift Card!
  • 24 months reduced price!
  • 67Mb average download speed
  • 18Mb average upload speed!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • BT Smart Hub with ac-rated Wi-Fi and smart technology to give faster connections in more rooms!
  • Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back
  • Only pay for the calls you use
  • No activation fee
  • 24 month contract
 

Buy now

BT TV Entertainment with Fibre 2 and Calls
£34.99 for 24 months
£43.99 thereafter

£9.99 upfront cost

  • 24 months reduced price!
  • 67Mb average download speed
  • 18Mb 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!
  • BT Sport Pack free with BT TV
  • Only pay for the calls you use
  • No activation fee
  • 24 month contract

Buy now

Details last checked on 2021-03-05

Reasons to choose BT

  • Lots of speed options - starting at 10Mb and rising to gigabit full fibre broadband
  • Ultrafast deals available - full fibre and G.fast deals available in supported areas
  • Sky TV without a dish - add premium TV, including Sky channels through NOW TV, plus BT Sport
  • Free anti-virus software included - protect 15 computers and phones
  • Speed guarantee - if you don't reach the promised speed you will be able to get a refund
  • Free cloud storage - get up to 1000GB of free cloud storage on some packages
  • Free Wi-Fi - you can access five million hotspots around the country after you sign up

Possible downsides

  • Must use BT for phone - unlike some providers, it's not possible to take your call plan and line rental from another phone supplier
  • Long contracts - you must sign up for two years
  • Not the cheapest - BT are often pricier than the smaller providers
  • Annual CPI plus 3.9% price rises - prices for broadband, line, call plans and call charges will increase with the Consumer Price Index plus 3.9% in June 2021, March 2022 and then annually each March onwards

Features at a glance

  • Download speeds range from 10Mb for standard broadband, 50Mb for Superfast Fibre, 67Mb for Superfast Fibre 2, up to 900Mb average for full fibre

  • 24 month contracts on all deals

  • Truly unlimited download allowances

  • Activation or P&P usually required on all deals

  • Free customer support, 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 8pm Saturday and Sunday

  • Security includes free BT Virus Protect for between two and 15 devices, plus Parental Controls

  • BT Smart Hub as standard with fibre deals; Home Hub 4 with standard broadband

  • Range of BT TV packages available including the full Sky TV service via NOW TV

  • 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

3.1 stars
  satisfaction rating based on 10469 customer ratings since 2020-03-08. See more BT customer ratings and reviews.

Customer Reviews

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

Customer Ratings Summary

  • Satisfaction
    3.1 stars
  • Customer Service
    3.1 stars
  • Speed
    2.8 stars
  • Reliability
    3 stars

Based on 10469 customer ratings since 2020-03-08

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
I've been with BT for over 5 years now, and to be honest, I've had absolutely no issues at all. I'm in a new build property, so that probably helps - all the phone line plumbing etc is new. So I can't really comment on customer service as I've had zero reason to get in touch with them, other than to upgrade from standard ADSL to Infinity 2 a few years ago. The standard BT hubs are not, in my opinion, particularly great, so I ditched mine ages ago and use a good quality unit purchased separately. I have found speed to be consistently good - better than advertised. The only issue is price - it has crept up somewhat during my contract, so I've knocked customer service down to 4 stars as I don't like the practice of hiking prices for existing customers, although BT aren't the only offenders here. Overall, good reliable service but not especially competitive on price, so I'm looking around for alternatives now..
  • Satisfaction
    3 stars
  • Customer Service
    4 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
Cheshire BT  
DO NOT GO WITH BT
FASTER MEANS NOTHING IF IT NEVER WORKS.

16 months ago i made the mistake of paying a premium for BT direct to premises fibre.
After disconnecting my previous provider, i was then told by the engineer that they could then not connect me to the BT fibre as there wasn't any on my street, despite being sold that package.

I was finally connected six weeks later, during which time i had no internet.

Since then, my fibre has been cut, literally, four times by Openreach engineers each time they connect another house on my street.

Apparently, my fibre is at the top of the box and every time somebody new on the street gets fibre, mine gets broken when they open the box. Why this is the case is beyond me or any of the engineers who have been out to "fix" it. The problem is still occurring.

My fibre went out yet again yesterday, (for the third time during lock down, whilst I'm trying to home school three kids and work from home) so i went down to the exchange where i knew i would find an engineer, who told me that through he'd broken it, he couldn't fix it. So far, both the engineer that broke it and the one that came out to fix it, have failed to fix it.

The dongle that i have previously been sent does not work in my house as i get no signal.

Having spent three hours on the phone to 12 different people at BT over the last two days, i have been told that they won't activate my copper line temporarily whilst they fix the fibre (usually takes at least two weeks). I just have to do without internet whilst working from home and home schooling.

I pay over £50 a month for this privilege.

I genuinely wish i'd just stayed on regular broadband.

I'm not going to call again. I give up. You win.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    2 stars
  • Reliability
    1 star
Forest Hill BT  
We had a really bad experience. We swapped to BT as our previous provider was slow and erratic. Imagine our surprise when we found that BT was the same.

Worse still, we had asked to keep our phone number and had been promised that this would be done. On the day our broadband was switched BT disconnected our phone line as “we had not requested one”.

Who, in this day and age, lives without a main home phone. Not only that but we have lost the phone number we have held for over 35 years. No one wants to help us get it back.

So angry!
  • Satisfaction
    2 stars
  • Customer Service
    2 stars
  • Speed
    3 stars
  • Reliability
    3 stars
London BT  
No grounds for complaint at all. Fibre speeds are good (and consistent), reliability is excellent, and the BT Smart Hub is great.. Providing that you negotiate seriously at renewal time, the price stays competitive and removes any need to switch.
  • Satisfaction
    4 stars
  • Customer Service
    4 stars
  • Speed
    4 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
Hambleton BT  
Pitiful, never had more than 8Mb broadband on a good day, now down to 1.04Mb download and 0.05Mb upload speed.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Kelso BT  
Incredibly angry about BT's service. Switched from Sky because of promise of fire optic which after 2 weeks was told wasn't available. Then a long string of problems. No managers ringing back when promised. Then even the standard copper broadband order didn't go through because of a problem. Endless problems and terrible customer service.

Don't waste your time with BT, go to sky or whoever else.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Cirencester BT  
Speeds are very bad 3.83 mb
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    3 stars
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    3 stars
Archway Lodge Stable Yard Mentmore BT  
got talked into switching to bt business broad band constant dropping off of signal nightmare trying to get through to talk about it passed from pillar to post bt even make it hard to find out how much it will cost to buy out of contract i will never ever use bt again after this
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
hednesford BT  
When I signed my BT landline plus broadband contract, I was informed it is going to be a 12-month contract. One month before the contract ends, I phoned customer service to give the 30 days notice. I was told that my contract has magically extended. I have to pay £140++ worth of cancellation fee. This is all be cause BT sneakily advertised the landline service to be mis-matched with the broadband, so that we customers will be tricked to pay for the broadband for 18 months. I am a student who are financially affected by the pandemics. I demand my service to be cancelled free of charge.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    2 stars
  • Speed
    2 stars
  • Reliability
    2 stars
Edinburgh BT  
very slow
Allington Maidstone 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 without a phone line

How to get broadband without a phone line

Posted by Andy Betts on in FeaturesVirgin MediaDirect SaveBTGigaclearEE

How often do you make calls on your landline these days? Chances are, it's not often at all.

The number of landline calls has been slashed by well over a half over the last few years. Millions of us now only have landlines because we need them for our broadband. But that's about to change.

A new wave of standalone, broadband-only services are on their way, spearheaded by BT and EE. And it's not just a passing trend. Within five years this will be the norm.

So why is this happening now? Simple answer: the days of the landline are numbered. The UK's ageing phone network is set to be switched off in 2025, to be replaced by a combination of mobile and internet calls. The transition is already under way.

What's happened is that Openreach, the BT-owned company that runs the network, has effectively split the phone service out from the copper wire network that it works on. So where you'd normally automatically get a phone sevice whenever you signed up to a broadband package that uses the copper network (which is most of them), now you won't.

Most fibre services still need to use the copper lines, but increasingly you won't get a phone number or dial tone unless you really need one.

Broadband-only

This is leading to the launch of new broadband-only packages (the technical name for these is SOGEA broadband, but you don't need to worry about that). Our newly updated guide to Broadband Without a Phone Line has got all the details you need.

Leading the way in this new generation are BT and EE.

  • BT are offering their Fibre Essential, Fibre 1 and Fibre 2 deals as broadband-only packages, on two-year contracts and priced at the same rate as the equivalent with-landline deals.
  • EE offer as standard all their regular fibre packages as broadband-only on 18-month contracts. If you do want to keep your landline you have to add it during checkout, and also pay a little extra for a call package.

This is awesome news for those of us whose landlines attract cold callers and scammers and nothing else. But you do need to be slightly cautious before you sign up. When you take on broadband-only you will give up your phone line and lose your number. If you later have second thoughts, you'll be able to get a new line, but you won't get your number back.

If you're in any doubt, a simple compromise solution is to stick with what you've got for now and just unplug your phone. There's no real cost difference either way, at the moment.

These new services aren't your only options for landline-free internet. The biggest provider that can give you this is Virgin Media, who offer all their broadband deals with or without a phone connection. Either way, you don't need a BT line installed to get them.

There's also the small but growing band of full fibre providers, like Gigaclear and Direct Save. They have limited coverage, which is expanding all the time, and come with the added benefit of delivering the fastest broadband in the UK. You can get top speeds averaging around 900Mb - around 13 times faster than the most popular fibre deals.

If you're keen to switch to broadband-only, or want to find out what your options are, use our postcode checker to see the best broadband deals available in your area today.

Comments

BT Group logos

BT, EE, Plusnet and John Lewis announce mid-contract price hikes - what can you do?

Posted by Andy Betts on in NewsFeaturesEEBTJohn LewisPlusnet

Make sure you read the terms carefully when you take out a new broadband deal: there's a growing trend for some providers to sneak in new clauses promising significant mid-contract price rises.

The four BT Group brands - BT, EE, Plusnet and John Lewis - have now all announced new policies to allow bigger price hikes on their deals. They will see annual increases equal to the consumer price index (CPI) inflation rate - plus an extra 3.9% on top.

Previously, ISPs would typically peg their rises to the CPI, or in some cases promise none at all.

Plusnet, for example, have effectively replaced their heralded fixed price guarantee with the guarantee of at least one - and potentially two - price rises over the course of a broadband deal.

BT, meanwhile, no longer offer contracts shorter than the two-year maximum that Ofcom allows. That means you'll be paying at least 7.95% more at the end of your deal than you were at the start.

Here's what they've announced:

  • BT and EE are using the CPI published every January. The price rises go into effect from 31st March each year, and apply to customers who signed up after 1st September 2020.
  • For the 2021 increase, Plusnet and John Lewis are using the CPI published in April and applying the increase from 1st June. After that, they're using the CPI published every January, and adding the increase to bills from 1st March. It affects customers who signed up from 7th October.

If you're on an older deal and still within your initial contract period you won't be affected by these changes until the time comes for you to renew. If you're out of contract you will be affected, although you should never stay on an out-of-contract deal for long.

So how much more will you be paying? For reference, the CPI rate for December 2019 was 1.3%, so that's the rate by which your price would have gone up on most deals. Under the new policy, that increase would have been a hefty 5.2%.

The Bank of England's target for the CPI is even higher at 2%. Of course, with the uncertainty that comes from the UK being in the middle of the biggest economic slump in 300 years, it's hard to predict what that rate will be in future. Needless to say, negative inflation won't result in a discount as that 3.9% will stay in place regardless.

What can you do?

Ofcom rules state that you can quit your contract without penalty if your broadband provider introduces "unexpected" mid-contract increases. But by announcing these plans, and writing them into your contract, they won't be classed as unexpected, so there's no escape.

What you can do instead is ensure you factor in the changes in your monthly charges when you're comparing broadband deals. And also keep in mind the date you sign up. If you take out one of these deals in February or March you'll be hit by an immediate price hike.

This move makes genuine fixed price guarantees more valuable than ever, especially if you're signing up for longer than 12 months. TalkTalk, italk and SSE are among the suppliers still offering them, so if you want clarity over what your bills will look like over the next couple of years they're worth checking out.

If you're ready to find a better deal on your broadband, use our postcode checker to see what's available in your area.

 
 

Comments

BT Broadband Buyers Guide - Is BT right for you?

Can I get BT Broadband?

Fibre broadband from BT is available to virtually all homes in the UK. Unless you live in a remote, rural area where you already know that your broadband options are limited, you should be able to get it.

BT broadband runs on the Openreach network (which is also owned by BT Group, although is technically a separate company), so is available through all UK telephone exchanges. This means that BT's fibre-to-the-cabinet services, with average speeds of up to 67Mb, are available to around 98% of UK premises.

As is always true of this type of broadband, the actual speed you'll be able to get will be determined by how far you live from your nearest street cabinet.

BT also do some ultrafast broadband packages through a combination of G.fast technology on upgraded telephone exchanges, and full fibre-to-the-home. Availability varies throughout the country, and BT say that their full fibre services can be accessed in around 8% of the UK.

You can check to see which BT broadband deals are available in your area by using our postcode search tool.

What broadband options are available?

BT have three main fibre-to-the-cabinet plans that are available to almost everyone. They also have some ultrafast fibre packages with much more limited coverage.

The main fibre deals come in three speeds:

  • Fibre Essential - a basic fibre package with an average download speed of 36Mb and uploads of 9Mb, on a two year contract with a £19.99 upfront fee.
  • Fibre 1 - the mid-range fibre service with average download speeds of 50Mb and upload speeds of 9Mb, on a two year contract with a £9.99 P&P charge.
  • Fibre 2 - the fastest of the FTTC packages, with average download speeds of 67Mb and upload speeds of 18Mb, on a two year contract with a £9.99 postage fee.

All three deals come on a 24 month contract, and allow unlimited usage. You get a BT Smart Hub when you sign up, and the deal also comes with a speed guarantee. If you can't achieve the minimum speed you're quoted when you sign up you may be eligible for a refund or even to leave your contract without penalty.

If you're looking for ultrafast broadband, you've got a few options with BT:

  • Fibre 100 - offers average download speeds of 145Mb and upload speeds of 28Mb on a two year deal. Runs on either full fibre or G.fast, depending on which is available where you live.
  • Fibre 250 - average speeds of 300Mb for downloads and 47Mb for uploads on a 24 month contract. Runs on either full fibre or G.fast, depending on availability.
  • Full Fibre - BT offer two full fibre plans to around two million homes. The average speeds are 500Mb downloads/73Mb uploads, and 900Mb downloads/110Mb uploads.

All of these ultrafast deals come on 24 month contracts and include a £9.99 upfront fee for P&P. Availability for all the deals is very limited, and depends on whether the technology has been rolled out where you are. If you choose one of the full fibre plans you'll need to arrange an engineer visit to install it.

You also have the option to add a BT Halo plan to your fibre deals. This gives you, among other benefits, a beefed-up performance guarantee. If your broadband goes down and cannot be quickly fixed, BT will send you a mini 4G router to keep you online while they attempt to repair the fault.

BT also offer a Complete Wi-Fi add-on that includes extra Wi-Fi discs that help to extend your wireless signal throughout your home. If you've got problems with Wi-Fi coverage at home, it's worth looking into.

Do you only have very basic internet needs? You can still pick up a slower standard broadband connection from BT:

  • BT Broadband - fully unlimited broadband on a 24 month contract. The average download speed is 10Mb.

What TV options are available?

BT are one of the few triple play providers that can give you a premium TV bundle alongside your broadband. Buying these as part of the same package could save you money.

Through BT you can get five premium broadband + TV bundles with your choice of the following packages of channels:

  • Entertainment - includes Sky Atlantic, Sky One, Discovery and Comedy Central, plus over 300 boxsets, all provided through the NOW TV streaming service.
  • Big Entertainment - the above Entertainment package plus the Sky Cinema channels and over 1000 movies on demand, all via NOW TV.
  • Sport - all four BT Sport channels and BoxNation.
  • Big Sport - the Sport package, plus 11 Sky Sports channels streamed via NOW TV.
  • VIP - Everything from the Big Entertainment and Big Sport plans.

When you sign up to BT TV you also receive a YouView box for recording shows and pausing live TV.

The TV bundles come on a 24 month contract but they are classed as Flexible packages. This means that you can change your plan every month. So, for example, when the football season ends and you no longer need the sports channels, you can switch to an entertainment bundle instead (your bill will be adjusted accordingly).

If you don't need quite as much premium TV, but would still like to add a few more channels, you have one further option:

Classic Entertainment - a selection of premium channels including National Geographic and AMC, plus a recordable TV box. This package comes on a 24 month deal, and you cannot upgrade or downgrade it.

On all the TV plans, other bolt-ons are available. You can add subscriptions to services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, which are then included in your monthly bill for convenience.

Which package should I choose?

BT give you a great range of speed options, so you can pick the level of service that's right for your household.

While most providers offer just the two fibre-to-the-cabinet deals, BT are rare in that they have the third option in the form of Fibre 1, with an average of 50Mb download speed. It's a good option to consider if you want more than the basic fibre speeds, but live in an area where you cannot get the 67Mb average speed of the higher end package. Before you sign up you'll be given a speed estimate that can help you to decide.

Other than that, it's simply a case of working out what speed you need in your house. The entry level fibre is okay for smaller households with lower usage needs. Busier homes, perhaps with a couple of kids watching Netflix and playing video games, are likely to benefit from Fibre 2.

If you need more than that, or if you want to future-proof your selection (remember - your internet usage is likely to go up over the course of your two year contract), then you could consider one of the ultrafast deals so long as they're available where you live. One of the extra benefits of ultrafast broadband is the faster upload speeds. This can be especially helpful for people who work from home and need to share large files with the office, or take part in lots of video conferencing.

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?
  • Do you want Premier League and Champions League football, or prestige TV shows?
  • 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

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 Smart Hub - BT fibre deals come with a Smart Hub, an AC-rated router with seven internal antennas to help give a strong signal throughout your home. You can upgrade to the more feature-laden Smart Hub 2 if you need to.
  • BT Virus Protect with McAfee - protect up to 15 devices, including PCs, Macs and Android phones, against viruses and malware.
  • BT Cloud - back up your important files to the cloud. Storage ranges from 10GB to 1000GB depending on the broadband package you choose.
  • Wi-Fi access - get free access to over five million Wi-Fi hotspots around the UK.
  • YouView TV box - sign up for a premium TV package and you'll also receive a YouView TV box that enables you to record and pause live TV.

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.

  • Lots of speed options - with speeds from 10Mb to 900Mb, you'll be covered whatever you need.
  • Ultrafast deals available - want faster than a basic fibre deal? Ultrafast packages are available in some areas.
  • Premium TV bundles - you can add a flexible TV bundle to your package. It's also a great way to get Sky without needing a dish.
  • Complete Wi-Fi guarantee - with some packages or add-ons you'll be sure to get Wi-Fi coverage throughout your home.
  • Free tech support - you can get free support by phone between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, as well as online.
  • A famous brand - if you like the reassurance of buying a big brand, they don't come any bigger than BT.

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.

  • No short contracts - all the deals come on 24 month contracts, so won't be suitable for everyone.
  • Ultrafast availability is limited - the ultrafast deals can be accessed by around two million customers.
  • Cost - BT are rarely the cheapest provider. If price is your main consideration, look elsewhere (especially to Plusnet, which is owned by BT).
  • Annual CPI increases apply - Prices for broadband, line, call plans and call charges will all increase in June 2021 by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation published by the Office for National Statistics in April of that year plus 3.9%, and then will raise again on the same CPI plus 3.9% basis each March from 2022 onwards. Other prices, content and terms may also change during your contract. 
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