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
Free for 3 months
£26.99 thereafter

No upfront cost

  • Free for 3 months!
  • 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
Free for 3 months
£29.99 thereafter

No upfront cost

  • Ending £100 BT Gift Card!
  • Free for 3 months!
  • 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
£6.00 for 3 months
£43.99 thereafter

£20.00 upfront cost

  • Ending £100 BT Gift Card!
  • 3 months better than half 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
  • 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
  • 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 11423 customer ratings since 2019-11-24. See more BT customer ratings and reviews.

Details last checked on 2020-11-19

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

Hurry, ends soon! £60 BT Gift Card + free for 3 months + Smart Hub + no activation fee!
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
£243 Free
£26.99 after 3 months
£35.99 after 24 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online


Go to site
BT Fibre Essential More Info

Special offer: Free for 3 months + no activation fee!
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
£243 Free
£26.99 after 3 months
£34.99 after 24 months

Go to site
BT Broadband with Calls More Info

Special offer: Free for 3 months + no activation fee!
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
£243 Free
£26.99 after 3 months
£34.99 after 24 months

Go to site
BT Fibre 2 with Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £100 BT Gift Card + free for 3 months + Smart Hub + no activation fee!
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
£270 Free
£29.99 after 3 months
£39.99 after 24 months
Gift card only available to new customers signing up online


Go to site
BT TV Entertainment with Fibre 2 and Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £100 BT Gift Card + 3 months better than half price + free AMC channel + Smart Hub!
Add 500 mins anytime calls for just £5 a month or Unlimited Calls for £12 a month!
Stay Fast Guarantee - get your promised speeds or £20 back!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
67Mb
truly
unlimited
24
months
£434 £6.00
£43.99 after 3 months
£49.99 after 24 months
Gift card only available to new customers signing up online


£20.00 upfront cost

Go to site
BT TV Sport with Fibre 2 and Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £100 BT Gift Card + 24 months reduced price broadband + Smart Hub!
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
67Mb
truly
unlimited
24
months
£447 £7.50
£44.99 after 3 months
£52.99 after 24 months
Gift card only available to new customers signing up online


£20.00 upfront cost

Go to site
BT TV Big Sport with Fibre 2 and Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £100 BT Gift Card + 24 months reduced price broadband + Smart Hub!
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
67Mb
truly
unlimited
24
months
£728 £20.00
£71.99 after 3 months
£77.99 after 24 months
Gift card only available to new customers signing up online


£20.00 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 2020-11-19

Customer Reviews

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

Customer Ratings Summary

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

Based on 11423 customer ratings since 2019-11-24

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
disgusted by all service with BT won’t give them a rating for anything, they just fob you off when you have a problem
Wakefield BT  
After years of sub 5 Mbs speed, and waiting to be connected to fibre (about 300 yards from the house), we installed 4G broadband. We now get 30-35Mbs download, and about 10-15Mbs upload. This may be pretty pathetic for city dwellers but if you live in the countryside you will appreciate that these numbers are high. So if you live in the middle nowhere, like us, it might be worth trying a 4G service. We needed an aerial on the outside of the house, but BT installed that for free, a rare example of good customer service. We pay £50 monthly and are capped at 500GB monthly, but again, having tolerated miserably bad speeds for years we're quite happy at the moment
  • Satisfaction
    4 stars
  • Customer Service
    3 stars
  • Speed
    4 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
Attleborough BT  
Worst service I have ever experienced. New installation, they ddnt turn up 2 times to the appointment. Finally intalled was working ok for a month and then they canelled it! A new order had to be made and start all over again, have been without service for more than a week now and no end in sight. Pathetic. Avoid
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    3 stars
  • Reliability
    3 stars
London BT  
Been without network connection for nearly 4 weeks now. Firstly i was told that it was an external problem and would be sorted within 5 days. I then had a text to say the problem had been sorted..... it had'nt. Another hour long call and they arranged a house visit and i had to wait another 5 days. I booked a day off work. At 2.30 i had an email to say i needed to book an engineer to fix my problem. I telephoned bt again an they said
(this is where the lies start) an engineer had been and there was nobody at the premises. The engineer then phoned my mobile and i cancelled. I asked the advisor if he could confirm the number the engineer rang and the number i was given did not belong to me, or anyone in my household.Another appointment was made for the following day, guess what! Yes it was cancelled again, through an email telling me again that i needed to book an engineer. Another hour long call to bt, this time they could'nt give me a reason as to why they had cancelled. I told them i wish to terminate my contract with them and they told me i had 12 months left and would have to pay the outstanding amount(£460) The first oppertunity i get to leave this supplier i will. They said openreach was the problem and they they do all the broadband regardless of my supplier. I said that bt are the company i pay and it's up to them to provide the service i pay a lot for.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Wrexham1 BT  
Most days at some point ,I get the message "your computer is not connected . " I have .breeze block walls. The signal only had to travel 3 to 5 metres .
  • Satisfaction
    3 stars
  • Customer Service
    4 stars
  • Speed
    3 stars
  • Reliability
    2 stars
Bucks BT  
Our experience with BT is absolutely horrible. We signed up with them only because they were the only provider offering over 100mb speed at our current address. They booked us an engineer visit on two occasions which they've missed (both), then 3rd time lucky, but leaving us without internet for 5 weeks. Now we are moving home and they can only offer us 30mb to 60mb at the new address. They wanted us to sign a fresh new contract on 30mb for a further 24months. Of course, we want out of our contract since they cannot honor their part of the deal & Virigin can offer us up to 500mb. They are not allowing us to leave without a buyout fee which is ridiculous. Since they want us to go on a fresh contract, it only shows that the old one does not stand. Absolutely horrible.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
London BT  
Internet down for 2 weeks now. From first day promised will come back in 24 hrs - never did . Both my wife and I opened complaints and got "assigned case owner "- never heard back ( not even an email nor phone call ) - and now my complaint marked off as completed and resolved without any feedback or progress . Openreach staff told me outside on main road it was their fault as they mixed cables - transferring greenboxes on the first day of internet loss . I wish I could mark no stars on this - but Trustpilot only allows me to mark lowest 1 star - absolute appalling ( both of us rely on the internet at home for income - during covid . If my phone signal was good enough in area or if I had an alternative option - I would have swapped already .
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Burton , Christchurch BT  
An absolute joke of a company in terms of service and looking after your new customers. We were due internet on Friday and one and a half weeks later we're still speaking to support to even get an engineer sent out. The initial engineer wasn't able to complete work outside the flat due to requiring a hoist to get up the pole, however he just left and never told us even though we were just across the road.

Had to phone back, get another engineer booked for Wednesday, never showed up. Had to book a new one for Friday, now there was an error in their booking system and so never showed up.

Booked again for the following Monday, and yet again the same system error meant that no engineer showed up on the day (we only find this out after each of the no-shows and not in advance)

Now we've been told that the 'error' is meant to be fixed by Tuesday and only then can we book an engineer again which will likely be at least another few days to a week.

All in all we set up to become a customer over a month ago to be live 2 weeks ago, seems that planning ahead means absolutely nothing. The empty promises and poor service is endless, and at this point any trust in the company is completely gone.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
Dalston BT  
I wanted to post this as a complaint on their site but before I had finished posting it, it was already closed. Showing they clearly care about your feedback. I can't be bothered to change this text so that's it's not directly addressing them but I want to post this to get this off my chest. So keep that in mind.
My situation was this, I am currently using BT in my apartment and have been doing so for a year and a half. Recently, I bought a new house and the keys to the house would be handed to me on the 19th October. In anticipation for this day, I went to the BT website on the 6th of October and had ordered for new broadband to be set up for the 22nd in this new house. On the 13th, the week before, I received an email saying that this order had been cancelled. Confused, I called in to BT to try and understand the situation. I explained my circumstance to the person on the phone and asked him what could have been the reason for the cancellation, and he said he did not know. I then asked him if it was possible that the people who were currently staying in the house who were about to move out, were the ones who cancelled it and he said it was possible. Okay I said, I could see how if the previous tenants got a call saying that their internet was going to be changed (granted that it was going to be taken over on a date where they would not be in the house) then I could see how a mix up could occur. I asked the man on the phone if it would be possible to make the order again and which time it would be best to do so. He said that it would be alright to make the order right away if I knew I was definitely going to be at the house by the 19th. I said I was sure I would be in the house by then, but I wanted him to be sure that I could make this order and this would not happen again. He assured me that it would be fine. We make the order again and I can see that it was made for the 27th of October. This is a lot far down than I would like it to be but I thought it was fine if this is the best time they could do and I know things are stressful at the moment so I don’t want to push anything.
A week passes and the weekend before the 27th comes around and I receive no notice of BT making their order which I thought was odd as I thought BT would always give me small reminders that they were coming. Especially when you compare it to all the process of all furniture shops and gadget shops that I’ve been seeking patronage from for this new house as this is the standard process for all of them.
The 26th comes around and the delivery of my equipment has not been made yet. I track my order online and above it says that my order is cancelled but below it looks as if my order is still on track for my house. Confused, I call into the BT help desk to ask them what the true status of my order is. The guy checks my order and says he noticed the cancellation that was made before but that this current order is still on track but there were just some delays. He said that it should really arrive the next day or the day after. I feel relieved as he has reassured me that the order was still on track and happy that I could finally set up my internet so that I could move in and get my house together while working from home.
The next day comes and nothing arrives, and no email or text message arrives telling me they are still making the delivery. I decide to call in again to reconfirm that the order is definitely on its way only to be told that this new order was actually cancelled by the previous people again and it was done on the 15th. Now I am seriously confused and frustrated and extremely disappointed. I tell the assistant I had not received any message indicating that this had happened and that someone had told me yesterday that the order was on its way. She apologizes profusely and says there’s nothing she can do except make the order for me again and that it should come on the 10th of November. I ask her if there is any way she can move it up and she says no. I feel really dejected at this point so the lady encourages me to call in until someone makes a cancellation and I can take their spot. I felt a bit better after hearing this and decided that I would try.
Now today comes which is the 28th of October, and I decide to call in to first check the status of my order to confirm it is definitely on its’ way and to see if there were any cancellations. The man that answered assured me that the order is on its way but told me there was no way for me to take the spot of cancellations and move up my date. I told him this was not what was told to me the day before and he tells me that the lady must have been wrong. Again, I feel dejected again and he apologizes by giving my £10 credit for my phone (which I won’t use) and that he will lodge a complaint for me but frankly, both things don’t make me feel better about the situation.

Now I completely acknowledge my fault in trying to order the internet before I had fully moved into my new house. I should not have assumed that because I had paid for the house, had a date set for when we would exchange keys and know that the tenants were definitely moving out that the process would have been smooth and without hiccups. However, I wish to address the parts that were lacking on the BT side and were improvement could be added.
1. Communication – the first problem stems from the fact that I did not receive an email or text message or a phone call or anything letting me know of the second cancellation. Had I been allowed to know immediately after, I would have waited for the 19th to come, knowing we had full rights to the house (so there should be no reason for a new cancellation), and made a new order where it wouldn’t take so much time for my internet to be installed.
2. Staff collectively and consistently knowing the process – As I stated above, I talked to several people within BT in order to sort this out and I was given very different information from all of them. If it was a situation where I stayed quiet and just accepted everything at face value, then I wouldn’t make such a fuss for this point. But that was not the case, I constantly asked questions in order to reassure or reconfirm my suspicions. I asked the first guy if it were possible that the order could be cancelled again, and he said it would not. I asked the second guy if the order was still on track and he said that it was. I asked the third lady if I could call back and move up my installation date, if there was a cancellation and she said that I could, only to be told by the 4th guy that I can’t. What is going to happen if I call the 5th time? What is going to be contradicted now? This is the genuine paranoia that I have been left with and it will not fade until I am sure there is internet in my house. I understand staff having flexibility to appease their customers but knowing what limits can and cannot be set should be understood by all in order to not create any confusion.
3. Lastly, making the process faster – I am not going to lie, this point comes from a more selfish request, but I still want to be able to voice it. I understand that fulfilling orders can be hard especially in a time where we are in lockdown and we are supposed to be appeasing to social distancing rules but I find it so frustrating when I have ordered something and it is consistently pushed back more and more and more. I made this order early because I wanted to make sure everything could be organised. If there is internet not only could I start living in the new house and effectively put furniture together, but I could start working properly from home for the new job that I just acquired. I would not have to spend money on bus tickets or expensive taxis so that I can be there in time for furniture orders just to go back through the same method to my apartment for work. I would not have to spend exorbitant amounts of energy going from my apartment to my house and back again just to sort things out. I wanted to sort out my apartment so that it could be left in good condition and I could get my full deposit back. I most importantly I wanted my house to be sorted out before my family came for the holidays.
Overall, I think that BT internet has been exceptionally good however you have issues when it comes to first delivering that service to people. I have lived in different places for work and education and this issue with delivery is not the first time I’ve experienced this. There was even a time where I ordered for your broadband service and it did not start working until after about 2 months and a half and this was mainly due to the fact the house was not suited for the broadband that I wanted, so someone had to come in and physically install it. Waiting at this point was not an issue because I had access to the BT public Wi-Fi, so I was able to do the things I needed to do and the situation wasn’t so dire. However, at this new house the signal is so bad that I cannot connect to anything and therefore I can’t do anything. This issue where the house is not suited for the broadband that I want, could happen again but I would not know until I try to get the internet started and that would lead to more waiting which again will just make me more frustrated. I am not expecting any improvements on my situation to be made I just wanted to voice my frustrations in the hope that in the future, me or anyone else do not have to go through this.
  • Satisfaction
    3 stars
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    3 stars
  • Reliability
    4 stars
milton keynes BT  
Broadband keeps cutting out. Had more serious outages in 3 months with BT than 10 years with Virgin. BT can only book engineers a week ahead, and even then they aren't guaranteed to show up. Even when they did turn up they sent someone to fix the phone rather than the broadband.

Avoid at all costs, really poor service.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    3 stars
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Amesbury 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.

BT Group logos

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

Posted on 2020-11-13 18:10 in News Features John Lewis EE BT Plusnet

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

Student broadband

Find the best student broadband deals for 2020

Posted on 2020-09-07 16:57 in Features Offers Three 4GEE BT John Lewis NOW Broadband Plusnet Virgin Media

Fast, reliable broadband is a must-have for any student house. And given that it can take a couple of weeks to set up, it's one of the first things you'll want to get sorted when you move in for the new term.

If you haven't signed up for your own broadband package before, we'll tackle some of the questions you might have here.

It's all pretty straightforward, but as a student you won't have quite as many options as everyone else. Contract length is absolutely vital - you don't want to be saddled with a long term deal that you have to keep paying for during the summer holidays or beyond.

And with all the corona-driven uncertainty this year, flexibility is more important than ever. Let's take a look at some of the things you need to know.

What speed do you need?

Your usage is probably going to be pretty high, so the fibre deals in the 60-67Mb average speed range should be your starting point.

You might get away with one of the slower fibre packages if there's only two people in your house, but in most cases the extra speed will be worth more than the fiver or so difference in price.

Faster is always better, of course, and you might be lucky enough to be living in an area where you can get speeds over 100Mb - and sometimes quite a lot more. These might come from the normal fibre providers like BT or Sky, from Virgin Media, or in 5G areas through the likes of EE and Three. Just make sure you keep an eye on the contract length and any setup fees for these faster deals.

What length contract should you get?

Short contracts are key for student broadband, so don't even consider those that need an 18 or 24 month commitment.

12 months is the longest you should go for, but even then you'll end up with quite an overlap with the summer break where you're still paying for your internet while you're hitting the beaches in Spain. Don't rule these out entirely, though, as they might still work out cheaper than a shorter option.

BT offer a few nine month deals that align much better with your term time. Some broadband suppliers, including NOW Broadband and Virgin Media, also offer 30-day rolling contracts that you can cancel at any time. These are best for zero-commitment broadband, but they do often come with significant setup fees. Be sure to factor that in when you're comparing prices.

Do you need any extras?

If Netflix isn't enough and you want a bit of sports action or some more of the latest US shows, you can save some money by adding a pay TV plan to you broadband deal. You won't be able to do this through Sky, as they only offer TV on an 18 month contract, but you can get 30-day deals on NOW TV streaming with NOW Broadband.

For any overseas students in your house, consider adding a call plan with support for cheap international calls.

Who pays the bill?

Even though you'll be splitting the bill with all your housemates, one of you is going to have put their name on the contract. It will be their responsibility. This is one of the reasons why you don't want to sign up to anything longer than 12 months, tops. You don't want to be stuck paying your broadband bill long after your housemates have moved on.

It's a good idea to assign each one of your utilities to a different person in your household so you share the risk. To help manage bills you can also look into setting up a shared bank account across the household, or take a look at apps like Splitwise that make it easier to see who owes what.

Best broadband deals for students

So, what student broadband deal should you choose?

BT offer three plans specifically for students. They're nine month deals, with speeds ranging from 36Mb to 67Mb. You can add a Sports or Entertainment TV package, as well as call plans including cheap international calls to 236 countries.

For one month contracts, you've got two main choices:

  • NOW Broadband - speeds range from a sedate 11Mb (don't bother!) to a much more suitable 63Mb, with the option to add streaming TV plans as well. All of them come with a £65 upfront fee.
  • Virgin Media - speeds on the 30-day plans range from around 54Mb all the way up to over 500Mb. Many setup fees have been waived on the 1 month rolling contracts that are specifically for students, but bear in mind that installation takes longer if your house hasn't had Virgin before.

Your other options are for 12 month contracts. When you add in the setup fees and slightly higher prices for short deals, these year-long plans may still end up being competitive, even though you'll still be paying in July and August when you don't need it. Among your best options here are:

  • John Lewis Broadband - speeds go up to an average 66Mb, with no activation fee, and usually include an e-gift card as a bonus.
  • Plusnet - speeds up to 66Mb, with just a £10 activation fee. You also get the option to add BT Sport - with Premier League and Champions League football - after you've signed up.

And there's one last thing to consider - broadband over 4G or 5G. This won't be right for everyone: 4G speeds are better for one or two users rather than a large, heavy-use household, and though 5G is blazing fast it still has very patchy coverage. If you're in the right part of London, Three's 5G Home Unlimited plans look good, and include a 12 month option. Find more great mobile broadband deals here.

Ready to start shopping for student broadband? Use our postcode checker to compare the best broadband deals available in your area today.

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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. 
Broadband.co.uk