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
£27.99 for 24 months
£32.99 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
  • No activation fee
  • 24 month contract
 

Buy now

BT Fibre 2
£32.99 for 24 months
£37.99 thereafter

No upfront cost

  • Ending £90 BT Virtual Reward 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
  • No activation fee
  • 24 month contract
 

Buy now

Details last checked on 2021-11-26

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 5143 customer ratings since 2020-12-06. 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
    2.9 stars
  • Reliability
    3 stars

Based on 5143 customer ratings since 2020-12-06

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
Planned our entire house move around when BT could connect us, only to find on the day out that “significant work” needs doing to the cabinet. Surely they knew this when the accepted our business? As we both work from home, connection is vital. Now we’re unable to work. Thanks BT.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
Crawleyside, Stanhope BT  
Woeful, abysmal customer service. They wanted me to return the router as they were sending me a new one. kept getting constant texts to return the old router. Had to phone customer services numerous times to get jiffy bag to send it back. BT store in local shopping centre didnt have them. Got proof of postage from post office. The texts still kept on coming, then a final bill for £50 for not returning the kit. Absolute Joke, stay away from them, customer service are awful they don't care one bit about you or your problems. Line speed good and and at speeds as advertised, but would never return on principle. Please give them a huge swerve and go elsewhere.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    4 stars
  • Reliability
    4 stars
Newtownards BT  
BT have the worst customer service I have ever come across. No one in their many offices are properly trained or know what they are doing. We have had problems from the very start. Kept being told different things. Engineers either not turning up for appointments or knocking on the door to come inside to check equipment. I will never recommend this company and will always discourage anyone (even my enemies) from using BT.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Gloucestershire BT  
Overall my experience has been good. (we haven't used it for gaming/heavy browsing)
  • Satisfaction
    4 stars
  • Customer Service
    4 stars
  • Speed
    4 stars
  • Reliability
    4 stars
BT  
Bt are awful - terrible communication. I wanted to leave then offered another contract low price with nothing said about being charged over £200. Honestly avoid use another
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
TOTNES BT  
Very poor service inspite of being with BT for many years.They will start troubling your broadband if you move to a new provider at least for week or 10 days before the move.
Absolutely rubbish customer service
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
wakefield BT  
Shambles of a company. I couldn`t use the Broadband due to unforseen circumstances. Bt said no problem they would send a return bag for the router and there would be no charges. 3 months and 3 phone calls later i have been charged £50 with no return bag sent. I have asked for a return address to send the kit back but they won`t give me one. Total rip off company
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Stockport BT  
The service they provide is not close to that which is advertised. The internet speed is shockingly bad and periodically goes down for whole weekends. We have complained many times, however, their customer assistants are useless and unable to help in the slightest. One of the poorest service providers i have ever been with. Would not recommend to anyone who cares about broadband speed, consistency or customer care.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Kirkcaldy BT  
Existing BT customer here, just looking to change the point the internet cable comes into the house, as part of a refurb. Organised a date with BT 2 weeks ago for an engineer to come and do this.

We were given a window of 8am-1pm. No one here by 12.30, so we rang BT customer services and were promised an engineer was on their way and were just held-up. My wife stayed in for the rest of the afternoon, with our 3 young boys, holding up the refurb work, only for no engineer to appear.

We ring BT this evening to understand how no one can appear and how the guidance at midday was that someone was on their way, only to be told that this was booked as a remote service and no one was ever going to come.

Absolutely shocking service. Building works held-up and can’t even find an apology, let alone a suitable revised date for the work.

Will now be leaving the service and would strongly recommend anyone assessing different suppliers to avoid BT. Their service is shockingly bad for such a high profile company.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    4 stars
  • Reliability
    4 stars
Surrey, UK BT  
Went for a deal with free Fitbit and ‘Great Wi-Fi’ in every room. 3 months on no Fitbit with no help from customer service after several calls and emails. Multiple rooms without any Wi-Fi even though they are 10 meters away from the main Hub.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    3 stars
Reading 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.

Frustrated woman with a laptop

Virgin Media outed by Ofcom as the most complained-about broadband provider

Posted by Andy Betts on in NewsBTSkyPlusnetTalkTalkVirgin MediaEEVodafone

Ofcom's latest figures on broadband complaints are out - and it's bad news for Virgin Media. The company has rocketed to the top of the list as the major broadband supplier that gets the highest rate of complaints.

The report covers January to March this year, and counted the number of complaints made to Ofcom about providers with a market share of 1.5% or more.

It shows that Virgin Media generated 33 complaints per 100,000 customers, an increase of 20 in just a year. That puts them a long way ahead - or should that be behind - the next two worst performers, with Vodafone and TalkTalk both getting 24 complaints. Vodafone had been the worst ranking provider in six of the last seven quarters. Plusnet also generated complaint levels above the industry average.

And that's not the end of the bad news for Virgin Media. They also racked up the highest complaint levels for their landline service (19 per 100,000) and their pay TV service (17 per 100,000), and were second worst for mobile (5 per 100,000) behind Three.

The biggest reason why customers complained to Ofcom about Virgin Media was failings in the broadband provider's own complaints handling system - amounting to 39% in total. A third complained about faults and issues with the service, and a further 13% about billing problems.

Industry-wide, faults, service and provisioning issues accounted for 42% of reports, followed by complaints handling and billing.

Sky and EE were the least complained-about providers, generating just seven apiece. They've been in the top two positions for the last two years. The only other provider to beat the industry average was BT, with 15.

In good news for the industry overall, the average number of complaints has more than halved over the last decade, from 40 per 100,000 in the first quarter of 2011, to 19 now. The numbers are up from a record low of 10 in Q2 of last year, perhaps in part a consequence of pandemic disruption and the increasing importance of internet access for work, school and entertainment.

Broadband complaints per 100,000 customers

  • EE: 7
  • Sky: 7
  • BT: 15
  • Industry average: 19
  • Plusnet: 21
  • Vodafone: 24
  • TalkTalk: 24
  • Virgin Media: 33

In pay TV, Virgin Media generated 17 complaints against an industry average of 6. Sky performed best with just two. For landlines, Virgin had 19 complaints, eight more than the average, and EE and Sky tied as best performers with five each.

Mobile complaints were largely flat, and at much lower levels. Three performed worst with six complaints, while Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile and EE had just one each.

Service reliability, billing, and complaint handling are important factors you should consider when choosing a new broadband provider. Our site contains thousands of customer ratings and reviews that can give you a true feel for how each provider performs. Currently, Zen top our list for customer satisfaction.

If you aren't happy with the service you're getting from your supplier, and you're coming to the end of your contract, it's easy to switch. Use our postcode checker to find the best broadband deal available in your area today.

Comments

Hands typing on a laptop

7 myths about UK broadband busted

Posted by Andy Betts on in FeaturesCuckooVirgin MediaNOW BroadbandBTSkyVodafoneTalkTalk

There are so many well established ideas about broadband and switching broadband providers that get repeated again and again.

The trouble is, many of them are wrong - and they're costing you money.

Switching suppliers can easily save you a hundred pounds or more every year, and if you're stuck on a slow internet package when you need something much faster, it doesn't have to cost you a fortune to upgrade.

So here are some of the biggest myths about broadband, and the truth that you need to know.

"Fibre is fibre - all fibre broadband is the same"

While fibre broadband is used as a catch-all term, it encompasses very different things.

Most of us are using something called fibre-to-the-cabinet broadband. This is where the ultrafast fibre cables carry your broadband signal as far as your nearest street cabinet - that green box down the end of your road. The connection from the cabinet to you house is over the old copper telephone cables. These are a lot slower, and the signal degrades the further it has to travel, which is why a house on one of the street can get very different performance levels to one at the other end.

There's now a big push to roll out "full fibre" broadband, which is also known as fibre-to-the-home. Here, the fibre cables run right up to your house. The result is that the speeds are much, much faster and the service is more reliable.

"There's no benefit to upgrading to ultrafast broadband"

A recent survey found that one of the main things that stopped people from upgrading to ultrafast or full fibre broadband was the belief that it didn't really offer any benefits. But there are many.

The main one, obviously, is that you get much faster download speeds. Our internet use is skyrocketing - Ofcom's recent Communications Market Report shows that the average household now burns through 429GB of data each month, an increase of 36% on the previous year. Even if you think you don't need faster speeds right now, you will do soon.

On top of that, you get vastly quicker upload speeds, which will be essential if the working from home revolution continues. The service should be more reliable, too, as you won't have to deal with line faults on the old telephone cables.

And it's also better value for money: currently, you pay the same price for your broadband as your neighbour down the street, yet you could be receiving a much slower service. That's far less of an issue with full fibre.

"It's too much hassle to switch providers"

By now it's well established that those of us who are willing to switch providers will get a better and cheaper deal than those who stick with the same provider for a long time.

Why don't more people switch? Because it's seen as too much hassle. But it really isn't.

If you move between two providers on the Openreach network - which includes almost all the main providers, including BT, TalkTalk, Sky, Vodafone, Plusnet and so on - then the one you are moving to will handle the entire switchover process for you. You won't have to do anything, and the whole process should be done within a couple of weeks.

Granted, it is a little more complicated to switch to or from a provider that uses a different infrastructure, like Virgin Media, as you may need an engineer to come and install it. But these companies are now set up to make even this part as easy as possible.

"You'll lose internet access when you switch"

Another reason people are reluctant to switch is that they assume they'll be left without internet access while it happens. This is another myth.

Generally speaking, your old service gets turned off as your new service gets switched on and you might be disconnected for a few minutes in between, but nothing more dramatic than that. If you're switching to or from Virgin Media, you can even arrange an overlap where your new service is connected before your old one is turned off.

"You always have to sign a long contract"

Something that puts off a lot of people when they're looking at broadband deals is the prospect of having to commit to a long contract.

In fact, you don't have to. NOW Broadband, Virgin Media, and newcomer Cuckoo are among the providers that offer no-contract deals. You have to pay a little more on the activation fee up front, but this might be worth it for the flexibility of being able to cancel at any time. These deals can be especially worth it for students or anyone who's planning to move house in the near future.

Most suppliers offer 12 month contract options as well. And keep in mind that if your reluctance to sign a long deal is through the worry that you'll be stuck with something you aren't happy with, then there are ways you can quit a contract without charge. If your broadband speed constantly underperforms, for example, and your supplier cannot fix it, or if they put your prices up by more than the amount in agreed in your contract.

"It's too complicated to find a better deal"

There are a lot broadband suppliers in the UK, and they offer a lot of deals between them. Trying to figure out the differences can be tricky, especially if you aren't that tech savvy.

But it needn't be that complicated. We make it easy for you to compare all the latest broadband deals, and you can filter them based on whatever you want most. So, you can see the cheapest deals, or the fastest deals, or just the fibre packages, or those that offer broadband without a contract.

And if you then sort them further by speed or first year cost, you'll very quickly narrow your list of options down to just a few packages.

"Faster broadband always costs more"

While it's natural to assume that upgrading to faster broadband will cost you more, it isn't necessarily so.

If you're in a coverage area, you can get full fibre from Hyperoptic (at the slower 30Mb speed) at a rate normally reserved for the old, standard broadband deals; you can upgrade to a faster 67Mb plan from OneStream for just £22.50 a month; or you can burst through the 100Mb barrier with Vodafone for just £26 a month. These are some pretty keen prices, that make faster broadband more accessible than you might have expected.

So, now you know the truth about broadband and how to upgrade, are you ready to start shopping? Use our postcode checker to discover the best broadband deals available where you live.

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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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