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
£26.99 for 24 months
£34.99 thereafter

£19.99 upfront cost

  • 24 months reduced price!
  • 36Mb average download speed
  • 9Mb average upload speed!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • 36Mb average download speed
  • Unlimited Wi-Fi access
  • BT Home Hub 5 with N-rated Wi-Fi
  • BT Virus Protect on 2 devices
  • 200GB Cloud Storage
  • Only pay for the calls you use
  • 24 month contract

Buy now

BT Fibre 2 with Calls
£31.99 for 24 months
£39.99 thereafter

£9.99 upfront cost

  • Online only: £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 1 and Calls
£36.99 for 24 months
£39.99 thereafter

£29.99 upfront cost

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

Buy now

Reasons to choose BT

  • 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

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 stars
  satisfaction rating based on 11638 customer ratings since 2019-07-12. See more BT customer ratings and reviews.

Details last checked on 2020-07-10

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Package    
Speed    
Usage    
Contract    
1st Year Cost  (Sorted)  
Monthly Cost    
BT Fibre 1 with Calls More Info

Online exclusive: £50 BT Gift Card + 24 months reduced price + Smart Hub!
Important: due to COVID-19 any orders requiring a new line installation will be delayed until restrictions are lifted
Add 500 mins anytime calls for just £5 a month or Unlimited Calls for £12 a month!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
50Mb
truly
unlimited
24
months
£334 £26.99
£34.99 after 24 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£9.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT Fibre Essential More Info

Special offer: 24 months reduced price!
Important: due to COVID-19 any orders requiring a new line installation will be delayed until restrictions are lifted
Add 500 mins anytime calls for just £5 a month or Unlimited Calls for £12 a month!

802.11n Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
36Mb
truly
unlimited
24
months
£344 £26.99
£34.99 after 24 months

£19.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT Broadband with Calls More Info

Special offer: 24 months reduced price!
Important: due to COVID-19 any orders requiring a new line installation will be delayed until restrictions are lifted
Add 500 mins anytime calls for just £5 a month or Unlimited Calls for £12 a month!

Phone CallingLine Rental

averages
10Mb
truly
unlimited
24
months
£344 £26.99
£34.99 after 24 months

£19.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT Fibre 2 with Calls More Info

Online exclusive: £110 BT Gift Card + 24 months reduced price + Smart Hub + no activation fee!
Important: due to COVID-19 any orders requiring a new line installation will be delayed until restrictions are lifted
Add 500 mins anytime calls for just £5 a month or Unlimited Calls for £12 a month!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
67Mb
truly
unlimited
24
months
£394 £31.99
£39.99 after 24 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£9.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT TV Entertainment with Fibre 1 and Calls More Info

Online exclusive: £50 BT Gift Card + 24 months reduced price + free AMC channel + Smart Hub!
Important: due to COVID-19 any orders requiring a new line installation will be delayed until restrictions are lifted
Add 500 mins anytime calls for just £5 a month or Unlimited Calls for £12 a month!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
50Mb
truly
unlimited
24
months
£474 £36.99
£39.99 after 24 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£29.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT TV Sport with Fibre 1 and Calls More Info

Online exclusive: £50 BT Gift Card + 24 months reduced price broadband + 3 months half price Sport + Smart Hub!
Important: due to COVID-19 any orders requiring a new line installation will be delayed until restrictions are lifted
Add 500 mins anytime calls for just £5 a month or Unlimited Calls for £12 a month!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
50Mb
truly
unlimited
24
months
£606 £41.99
£49.99 after 3 months
£50.99 after 24 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online


£29.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT TV Big Sport with Fibre 1 and Calls More Info

Online exclusive: £50 BT Gift Card + 24 months reduced price broadband + 3 months half price Sport + Smart Hub!
Important: due to COVID-19 any orders requiring a new line installation will be delayed until restrictions are lifted
Add 500 mins anytime calls for just £5 a month or Unlimited Calls for £12 a month!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
50Mb
truly
unlimited
24
months
£858 £74.99
£66.99 after 3 months
£75.99 after 24 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online


£29.99 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 2020-07-10

Customer Reviews

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

Customer Ratings Summary

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

Based on 11638 customer ratings since 2019-07-12

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 have been with BT fibre for about 3 years now and to be fair, I don't get many issues.

But damn, when you do have an issue are they shockingly terrible at fixing it! I'll explain the problem I have;

2 weeks ago I woke up to not having an internet or phone connection. After a few phone calls (on my mobile) to BT they sent me an engineer the next day.
The next day arrives and the enginner turns up on time, all well so far. 3 hours later he figures out that my fibre cable had been disconnected from my port in the underground rack, broken in the process and put back into a different port. Basically a contractor stole my connection for someone else.
He then fixed my cable and plugged it in to a new port telling me that BT would need to disconnect my connection on one server and reconnect me on another as I'm now using a different port, which "should take 24 hours".

2 weeks and many...many phone calls later, they should have me disconnected from my old connection by friday the 10th.

So now I am looking at 3 weeks of no phone and internet for them to disconnect a connection and connect a new one. That is actually abysmal customer support and service on their part, for a problem that shouldn't have happened in the first place.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    4 stars
  • Reliability
    4 stars
Cornwall BT  
Stay away!
Horrible experience with BT you get missinformed from day one and then they change your contract and ask you to pay more without telling you.
Also they refuse to let you open a complaint and most of the people you speak to over the phone are racist and rude!
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
UK BT  
Took a new contract out with BT on 28 May for 2 years. On 12 June they cut my broadband off by mistake. Rang on 12 June and told it would be reinstated 14 June and they would send a mini hub to be going on with. As you may of guessed nothing happened on the 14 June nor at any other time until today when I was informed the order had been received by Open Reach was going through and I should be up and running on 29 June - don’t hold your breath. So the previous five phone calls I made to the connections team were a waste of time as I was told a pack of lies by each of the customer services people in Stoke. Absolute waste of time and effort trying to get any sense out of them. Couldn’t care less about their customers. Rating below zero.
Norfolk BT  
I've been with BT for 2 years and everything was Ok until I moved homes. Since then it's a constant and very frustrating 2-month struggle to get connected.
During these 2 months I've been connected through a mini-hub as a temporary solution and trying to get connected properly as the mini-hub connection is really poor.
During these 2 months I've been in contact with BT a countless amount of times, spoken to many of their staff members, spent every time an hour on hold while they were forwarding me to different departments and trying to figure out what's going on with my account.
The inconsistency of their work is really shocking. Each one of them says different things and names different problems but the job is still not done. During these 2 months I got a number of contradictory messages from a number of BT staff members: your broadband will be activated tomorrow just connect your router at midnight, your broadband is in place but the landline is not, we need to send our engineer, our engineers don't go to the households due to the lockdown, your engineer will arrive on Wednesday, our engineers don't go to the households, your engineer will arrive on Friday, your appointment is cancelled, your appointment is rescheduled, our engineers don't go to the household, your appointment is cancelled again, your engineer has arrived and sorted everything out, connect your router, the engineer hasn't been there nothing is sorted we will schedule another appointment, your appointment is cancelled, get in touch to schedule another one, your package is fine, you are not at any package, no, your package is fine...
Halfway through they forgot to add some allowance to my mini-hub and I had to spend one day with no Internet whatsoever. And it was my working day so my work was paralyzed for the whole day.
After 2 months an engineer from Openreach arrived sorted out the broadband and the landline and the Internet was working for the whole day.
Next day the connection disappeared and another BT team member said that somehow my broadband hasn't been added to the package so I need to wait another 5 (!) days before it gets activated. I have no idea how after 2 months since my move the broadband hasn't been added to my package.
So far my experience with BT was incredibly frustrating and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    4 stars
  • Reliability
    4 stars
London BT  
The internet seems to work when it wants to work. Recently i was having too many sessions where internet just stops working, especially annoying when i wanna play games with boys and the internet just disappears.
Disappointing because there is literally nothing to do during the lockdown.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Romford BT  
I thought I was the only one until I read the reviews for BT. I am paying £39 PM for their Complete Wifi package. It is the most incomplete service I have ever experienced and they do not care about the customer.
I have had broadband issues every day since 20th May with speeds between 0.9mb and 40mb. Most times it is less than 10mb which kills my Sky Q mini boxes. A total of 5 engineers have been booked but only 1 actually turned up, the rest...who knows because BT certainly didn't know what happened.
I am thinking to cancel my payment and see them in court.
If you decide to go with BT, then you only have yourself to blame, I certainly regret it.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Rayleigh BT  
Switched from Now TV broadband to BT and supposed to have over 50mb. Can't even use the printer and constantly lags and is buffering. Signal strength says excellent but it isn't and all troubleshooting brings us back to the internet. Never had problems with SKY or now TV. We got BT because it's cheap and it's shockingly bad always have problems. Do not sign up with BT
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    2 stars
Wiltshire BT  
Our broadband is hopeless. We have been arguing the issues for years with BT - it seems that they find a fix which is acceptable (barely), so we go away, and then a few months later, it all goes wrong again and back to square one. The ratings given would be 4 zeros if that was an option.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Hamptworth BT  
Luckily my 18 month contract for 'Superfast' broadband is drawing to a close and I cannot wait to change. It may be Superfast somewhere, but certainly not anywhere near my router. There is a reason that you get 'Free' BT hotspot access with your package; the broadband in your home only works about a 3rd of the time so you'l, spend the other time connected to this hourly service. Oh, plus it isn't free when you compare the p[rice of BT to other providers.
Since pretty much after the line had stabilised I have had connectivity issues that have warranted engineer visits, numerous router replacements and constant resetting of the router and checks of the line. Regarding the router, I have no problem picking up my neighbours WIFI or even BT Fon, but can my devices ever find my own router? Of course not.

Trying to get hold of BT to discuss any issue is also an issue in itself. If you can navigate the web page and actually find their contact details they would far rather fob you off into their 'community' than talk to you in person. The fact that there exists a community of disaffected customers in the first place says it all, really.

Price wise, far, far too expensive for what you receive. Do yourself a massive favour and look elsewhere. I will not make the mistake of utilising BT again.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    2 stars
  • Speed
    2 stars
  • Reliability
    1 star
South Wales BT  
DO NOT SIGN ANY CONTRACT WITH BT! Sorry for the capital letters but I really cant emphasize this enough. I signed an 18-month contract with BT. The broadband speeds were incredibly slow (less than 1mbps) to the point where I couldn't event open emails. BT were unable to fix the problem but flatly refused to free me from my contract. I consequently had to get my broadband from another provider (Hyperoptic) while continuing to pay BT every month for their useless internet...so two monthly broadband bills! The BT staff are extremely unpleasant too. Since their service is so poor I suspect they are unable to retain customers based on quality, so instead focus on making leaving contracts as difficult and time-consuming as possible. Their website is a perfect example of this. Avoid at all costs!
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
London, UK 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.

A family using the internet

Internet use is soaring - is your broadband good enough to keep up?

Posted on 2020-06-29 17:03 in News SSE Virgin Media Vodafone BT TalkTalk Plusnet

The average Brit is now spending over four hours a day online, according to a new Ofcom study.

The industry watchdog's latest Online Nation report shows that a combination of factors have caused internet use to surge to record levels, up by almost an hour a day in less than two years.

Inevitably, the coronavirus lockdown was part of the cause - the Zoom video conferencing app, for instance, has grown by nearly 2000%, from 659 thousand UK users to over 13 million in just four months. But it's not just that. The popularity of streaming services continues to grow, plus there's the emergence of video sharing sites like Twitch and TikTok. The latter has moved well beyond its initial teen user base, with 12.9 million UK adults now joining in.

Even as the lockdown begins to ease, it's unlikely that our online activity is going to decline. So the question is, is your broadband connection up to the demands of this "new normal"?

Signs that your service might be struggling include:

  • Downtime - we know that the internet infrastructure held up remarkably well during the lockdown, but if your connection keeps dropping, or you're being left without service for hours at a time, it's often a sign that it might be time to look elsewhere.
  • Slow downloads or uploads - your download and upload speeds will slow down when you've got more people sharing your connection at the same time. Speed problems can be especially noticeable when your usage patterns change - like when you're working from home and sharing large files or connecting to your office server.
  • Poor video performance - nothing ruins a boxset binge more than buffering, or even just seeing the picture quality plummet. Both are signs that your broadband can't keep up with the demands of your chosen streaming TV service.
  • Laggy gaming or video calls - speed problems can also ruin the picture or sound quality in your video calls, and render online games unplayable. Occasional lag is to be expected, but if you keep seeing it it might be time for an upgrade.

The best broadband upgrades

So what should you look for in an upgrade? Try and prioritise what you need. That could be a faster service generally, or more specifically faster uploads. Or perhaps a more reliable service, or better customer support.

The obvious upgrade, if you haven't already made it, is to go from standard broadband to fibre. An entry level fibre deal will triple your download speed and should only cost a few pounds extra each month. If you're upgrading to a new deal with your existing provider you might even be able to negotiate a better offer. Plusnet and SSE currently offer the cheapest fibre broadband deals.

The next step is from the basic fibre (around 36Mb) to the higher end fibre, with speeds around 63Mb. Vodafone and TalkTalk have the cheapest deals at this faster speed.

If even that isn't enough, you can get over 100Mb speeds from a number of ISPs. The most widely available are from Virgin Media, who offer speeds up to 516Mb on average. Other big name providers like Vodafone and BT also offer ultrafast packages, but only in certain areas. These faster speeds will give you much better upload speeds as well as downloads.

If reliability and customer service are a bigger priority, the best way to check what you can expect from each provider is to read their customer reviews. Dig into our thousands of reviews for help on deciding your next move.

Ready to start shopping for a new internet deal? Use our postcode checker to find the best broadband offers where you live.

Comments

Watching football on TV

How to watch the Premier League season when it restarts

Posted on 2020-06-16 17:08 in News Features Virgin Media Sky BT NOW Broadband

After a three month delay the Premier League season is finally set to return. It kicks off again on 17 June with a double header including the Man City - Arsenal game. With no fans allowed in the stadiums, all the remaining 92 matches will be shown live on TV, across a mix of free-to-air and premium channels.

Here's how you can watch.

How to watch Premier League games for free

For the first time ever, Premier League games will be shown live on free-to-air TV. There will be 33 free matches in all, spread across three channels.

BBC: The BBC will be showing four matches, starting with Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace on 20 June. The Beeb will also have their usual FA Cup coverage when the competition resumes on 27 June.

Amazon: Amazon have also got four games, which begin with Palace against Burnley on 29 June. You'll be able to watch these even if you aren't a Prime subscriber (although you probably will need a normal Amazon account).

Pick: The remaining 25 free games are on the Pick channel. "What is Pick?", you ask. Good question! It's a channel owned by Sky that you can watch for free on every platform. You'll find it on Freeview channel 11, Freesat channel 144, Sky channel 159 and Virgin Media channel 165.

Don't assume that it's just the less fashionable games that will be available for free. Pick will be showing the Merseyside derby on Sunday 21 June, which could be the night that Liverpool are finally confirmed as champions.

How to watch Premier League football on Sky Sports and BT Sport

If the free coverage isn't enough for you, now's the perfect time to subscribe to a premium sports channel. If you've got broadband from the likes of Sky or BT you should be able to add the channels to your existing deal, or you could even consider switching providers and making a saving on a bundle.

Sky Sports have got 39 exclusive matches (they'll also be showing the games on Pick), which begins with Aston Villa vs Sheffield Utd at 6pm on 17 June. They've got the pick of the big fixtures. They will also be covering the Championship, currently slated to resume on 20 June.

BT Sport will be showing 20 games - 12 more than they originally had - with the first seeing Watford take on Leicester at 12.30pm on 20 June. They've also got the rights to the Champions League, although there's no date yet for when that will come back.

There are four main ways to sign up to watch Premier League football on Sky Sports and BT Sport.

Sky: The most obvious way to get Sky Sports is direct from Sky, via a dish, and you can add BT Sport to your package as well. You can sign up to Sky regardless of what internet provider you use, although you should be able to save on your monthly bill by taking it as part of a bundle with Sky broadband.

Take a look at the latest Sky broadband and TV bundles.

BT: BT now offer a full BT TV service to their broadband customers. This gives you a choice of channel packages, with the sports offerings including BT Sport along with all the Sky Sports channels streamed through NOW TV. What we like about BT TV is that even though you have to take a 24 month contract, your choice of channels is flexible. So, you can sign up for the football now, then when the season ends you can switch to a movie package instead.

Check out the best BT broadband and TV bundles.

Virgin Media: You can get Sky Sports and BT Sport through Virgin Media both as a standalone service or as part of a bundle with Virgin Media broadband. Virgin offer some of the fastest broadband plans that are widely available, with speeds up to an average of 516Mb.

See the latest Virgin Media broadband and TV bundles.

NOW TV: With the streaming service NOW TV you can watch Sky Sports without a dish. It can work out a little more expensive than getting it through Sky, but that's because you don't need a contract - you can cancel at any time. NOW TV doesn't offer BT Sport. You can make further savings by getting the service with a NOW Broadband bundle.

Check the latest NOW Broadband deals.

Upcoming games

So now you're ready for a feast of summer football. Matches take place throughout the week, at a range of kick-off times:

  • Monday: 8pm
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 6pm, 8.15pm
  • Friday: 6pm, 8.15pm
  • Saturday: 12:30pm, 3pm, 5:30pm, 7.45pm
  • Sunday: 12pm, 2pm, 4:30pm, 7pm

About a third of the schedule has been announced so far. Here's the list of games, and where you can find them:

  • Wednesday 17 June

    Aston Villa v Sheffield United (18:00), Sky

    Manchester City v Arsenal (20:15), Sky

  • Friday 19 June

    Norwich v Southampton (18:00), Sky and Pick

    Tottenham v Manchester United (20:15), Sky

  • Saturday 20 June

    Watford v Leicester City (12:30), BT

    Brighton v Arsenal (15:00), BT

    West Ham v Wolves (17:30), Sky

    AFC Bournemouth v Crystal Palace (19:45), BBC

  • Sunday 21 June

    Newcastle v Sheffield United (14:00), Sky and Pick

    Aston Villa v Chelsea (16:15), Sky

    Everton v Liverpool (19:00), Sky and Pick

  • Monday 22 June

    Manchester City v Burnley (20:00), Sky

  • Tuesday 23 June

    Leicester v Brighton (18:00), Sky

    Tottenham v West Ham (20:15), Sky

  • Wednesday 24 June

    Manchester United v Sheffield United (18:00), Sky and Pick

    Newcastle v Aston Villa (18:00), BT

    Wolves v AFC Bournemouth (18:00), BT

    Norwich v Everton (18:00), BBC

    Liverpool v Crystal Palace (20:15), Sky

  • Thursday 25 June

    Burnley v Watford (18:00), Sky and Pick

    Southampton v Arsenal (18:00), Sky

    Chelsea v Manchester City (20:15), BT

  • Saturday 27 June

    Aston Villa v Wolves (12:30), BT

  • Sunday 28 June

    Watford v Southampton (16:30), Sky and Pick

  • Monday 29 June

    Crystal Palace v Burnley (20:00), Amazon

  • Tuesday 30 June

    Brighton v Manchester United (20:15), Sky and Pick

  • Wednesday 1 July

    AFC Bournemouth v Newcastle (18:00), Sky and Pick

    Arsenal v Norwich (18:00), BT

    Everton v Leicester (18:00), Sky

    West Ham v Chelsea (20:15), Sky

  • Thursday 2 July

    Sheffield United v Tottenham (18:00), Sky

    Manchester City v Liverpool (20:15), Sky

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).
Broadband.co.uk