All about BT Broadband
BT owns the Openreach network that most fixed-line providers use to get broadband internet into your home. It offers both ADSL provided solely through copper phone lines and faster fibre offerings.
Besides being responsible for the core broadband infrastructure, it’s one of the most popular broadband providers in the country. And it doesn't just do broadband and phone! BT is a top choice if you’re looking for bundles combining broadband and phone with TV and even mobile services.
Read on to discover what services BT has to offer and whether a BT Broadband deal is right for you.
ADSL broadband (BT Broadband Essential)
But while it’s the most basic service, BT ADSL broadband deals still have unlimited data and no traffic management or fair use policy. That means you can use the internet as much as you like without worrying about extra charges. All packages also include a free Wi-Fi router, free BT Cloud storage, and free access to the BT Wi-Fi public hotspot network.
However, ADSL is an older technology and is slow by current standards. It can still handle streaming, downloading, web browsing, and all the other things you’ll want to do online, but it’s increasingly outdated. ADSL is especially unsuitable for shared homes where more than one or two people may use the internet at the same time. If you need something faster, consider BT Fibre broadband instead.
BT Fibre broadband is significantly quicker than ADSL, with average download speeds on even the cheapest deals more than three times as fast. This makes it ideal for tasks such as downloads, gaming, streaming HD video, and uploading large files.
Fibre optic is also essential if your home broadband is for a family or shared household. It’ll allow everyone to use the internet at the same time without the connection grinding to a halt.
All BT Fibre deals include unlimited data, free Wi-Fi router, free BT Cloud storage, and free access to the BT Wi-Fi network.
BT Fibre offers a choice of fibre packages with different broadband speeds:
BT Fibre Essential
BT Fibre Essential is the cheapest BT superfast fibre package. But with average download speeds of 36Mb and upload speeds of 9.5Mb, it’s much faster than ADSL. We recommend BT Fibre Essential for households of up to three people.
BT Fibre 1
BT Fibre 1 offers a small bump in speed over Fibre Essential, delivering an increased average download speed of 50Mb. Although upload speed remains the same at an average 9.5Mb. BT Fibre 1 would suit homes with up to five people sharing the connection.
BT Fibre 2
BT Fibre 2 is, for many of us, the fastest BT Broadband connection available. It provides an average download speed of 67Mb and an upload speed of 19Mb. Fibre 2 is an even faster superfast broadband package and is recommended if the connection is shared with more than a few people. It’s even recommended if there’s just one or two of you but you use the internet a lot for things like heavy gaming or streaming.
BT Ultrafast Fibre broadband
In some areas, BT offers even quicker ultrafast fibre packages using G.fast technology:
- BT Ultrafast Fibre 100: 145Mb download, 28Mb upload.
- BT Ultrafast Fibre 250: 300Mb download, 47Mb upload.
While it's a lot speedier than most other BT Fibre services, coverage for Ultrafast Fibre is currently pretty limited. It’s always worth checking what’s on offer at your postcode, but in many cases, you’ll find that BT Fibre 2 is the fastest you can get.
BT Full Fibre
BT Full Fibre is the next generation of fibre broadband, giving you an FTTP or Fibre To The Premises connection with download speeds up to 900Mb. FTTP means that you have fibre cords from the exchange all the way into your house, which makes it possible to reach much faster speeds.
However, at this time, Full Fibre is not available to as many homes as Fibre 1 or Fibre 2. You can use our postcode checker to find out if BT Full Fibre is on offer in your area.
BT Wi-Fi routers
All BT Broadband deals include a free Wi-Fi router that hosts a home network, using either cables or Wi-Fi, so you can share files and connect all your devices to broadband.
There are several different types of BT routers, and the model you receive will depend on the package you choose.
To learn more about Wi-Fi routers in general and what the various tech terms and features mean, read our introductory guide to Wi-Fi.
BT Smart Hub
You will receive the BT Smart Hub with any ADSL broadband package or a BT Fibre Essential deal.
This is a dual-band 802.11ac router, with seven antennas. It also has 4x gigabit LAN ports and a USB port for sharing printers and hard drives.
BT Smart Hub 2
The Smart Hub 2 is included with all fibre packages, except for Fibre Essential, including Ultrafast and Full Fibre. Like the Smart Hub, it's also a dual-band Wi-Fi router that supports fast 802.11ac devices and gigabit wired networking.
BT phone packages
All BT Broadband deals come with a home phone, and the price of a broadband package includes line rental. This is required to use BT, and most other providers, so if you’re after broadband without a phone line you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Most BT deals do not come with inclusive calling; you’ll only pay for what you use. This is the best option for anyone that only rarely uses the phone.
If you do use the phone regularly, then it's worth getting an inclusive call package.
- Pay as you go: £23.05/month including line rental. Calls to Uk landlines and UK mobiles cost 22.84p a minute, day or night.
- 700 Minutes: £30.55/month including line rental. You’ll get 700 minutes a month to make calls to any UK landline number or UK mobile, day or night.
- Unlimited Minutes: £39.05/month including line rental. You can make unlimited calls to any UK landline number or UK mobile, day or night.
To save money on international calls, you can choose from the following inclusive call bundles:
- Friends & Family International: £2.30/month. You’ll get discounted calls to 236 destinations.
- International Freedom: £9.82/month. Get inclusive calls to our most popular international destinations, & low call rates to the rest of the world.
BT TV is an optional extra you can get with any BT Broadband service.
While it doesn’t have quite the same range of channels as Sky or Virgin Media, it can give you access to many channels like Sky Cinema, AMC, and Sky Sports. As a nice bonus, these are cheaper than some other TV services. Rather than signing up for a long contract, it uses flexible TV passes which you can change for free each month. And you can even add on multiple passes without changing your contract if you wish.
BT TV packages include a YouView box. It supports streaming and catch-up TV, including iPlayer, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, as well as receiving Freeview broadcasts.
Can you get BT Broadband bundle deals?
BT offers a variety of bundle deals which can save money compared to signing up for separate providers.
BT Broadband and phone
All BT Broadband deals come with at least a phone line. If you regularly use the phone, you can choose from a selection of inclusive calling bundles.
BT Broadband, phone, and TV
BT TV deals can be added to any BT Broadband package. Your bundle will come with a free BT TV box. Premium channels can be added with flexible monthly passes.
BT Broadband, phone, TV, and mobile
All BT Broadband customers can get £5 off a BT Mobile plan. Signing up for BT Halo also lets you get an unlimited data bundle that includes an exclusive unlimited mobile phone plan.
BT Broadband: free gifts and extras
BT Reward Cards
BT regularly offers broadband deals with a bonus BT Reward Card. This is a Mastercard pre-loaded with credit for you to spend instead of the typical voucher you’ll get from other providers. Typically, the reward amount is £50-£80, but it’s not unknown for them to offer £100 or more.
To find out about the latest BT offers, visit our BT Reward Card page.
BT Wi-Fi hotspots
BT Wi-Fi is a nationwide public hotspot network with hundreds of access points around the UK.
All BT Broadband packages include free access to BT Wi-Fi, so you can access an internet connection outside the home without using mobile data.
BT Complete Wi-Fi
BT Complete Wi-Fi is an optional extra that can be added to any BT Broadband package. It’s a mesh network kit that extends your Wi-Fi coverage using ‘Wi-Fi Discs’ placed around your home. The discs and router work together to create a single seamless network where your devices will automatically connect to the access point with the best signal.
If you’re having problems with Wi-Fi coverage, then Complete Wi-Fi offers a simple solution. It’s easy to set up, includes a mobile app for managing the network, and you can get help and technical support from BT.
BT Virus Protect
BT Virus Protect is a free anti-virus tool included with all BT Broadband packages. You’ll receive at least two licenses so that it can be installed on two devices at once. But some BT packages come with up to 15 licenses. Virus Protect can be installed on Windows, Apple Mac, and Android smartphones and tablets.
BT email addresses
Free email is part of any BT Broadband deal. BT email addresses can be accessed via a web browser, or an email client using the POP3 or IMAP protocols.
However, we don’t recommend using BT Email or any other email service offered by an ISP. If you do, then when you leave the provider you’ll either lose access to the address or have to pay a fee to keep it.
BT Broadband: the pros and cons
- Truly unlimited broadband.
- Good value TV bundles.
- Unique and affordable 50Mb fibre package.
- No traffic management or fair use policy.
We don’t like
- Expensive after the initial contract.
- Customer service needs improvement.
To learn more about BT and whether it’s right for you, read our full BT Broadband review.
Frequently Asked Questions about BT Broadband
Can I get BT broadband?
Almost everybody can get BT Broadband. If you can get a telephone line then it’s almost certainly available.
To find out if BT is available, enter your postcode on our comparison table to show the deals available in your area, or use our broadband checker.
Does TNT Sports come free with BT Broadband?
Before TNT Sports became the official name for BT Sport it used to be included for free with all broadband packages, but now you’ll have to pay to access it.
Is BT Broadband expensive?
BT is one of the more expensive providers. However, it does come with a few useful free extras, such as BT Wi-Fi, and its free Wi-Fi routers are very good, especially the latest Smart Hub.
There are also lots of deals available on BT Broadband. These can make its effective monthly cost, or the overall value of a deal taking into account free gifts, and upfront cost very competitive.
How do I switch to BT? Is it difficult?
Switching to BT is easy. Start by entering your postcode to check availability in your area. Once you’ve found a deal, click and begin the sign-up process. If you’re already using a provider on the Openreach telephone network, which is almost every ISP, then BT will handle the switch for you. That means you don’t even need to notify your old ISP.
If you’re currently using a separate network, like Virgin Media, you’ll need to manually cancel the old service.
For more information, our guide to switching broadband goes into a lot more detail about the process.
What’s BT’s customer service like?
BT’s customer service is decent according to the 2022 Ofcom report. In some cases, BT scores significantly below average such as with the number of customers with reason to complain. However, that’s still only 23% of customers, which is well below half of all customers.
On a more positive note, 80% of all BT customers are satisfied overall with their BT service. On top of that, when there are complaints 55% of customers are satisfied with how they’re handled.
BT have multiple ways for you to contact them if needed. On their website they have separate pages for personal or business enquiries and you can call, text or they have a chatbox. These all have different hours, but are all available from Monday to Sunday, including on bank holidays.
BT is among the biggest providers in the country and one that many people are happy with. On top of that, many other providers use their infrastructure to provide broadband, so availability is excellent.
Cost-wise, BT can be a little expensive, but the variety of speeds it offers can make that worth it. On top of that, it offers good rewards and lots of extras. You can sign up to BT whether you want a phone line or not and can get TV added on, too.
If you’re interested in BT then you can use our postcode checker to see if it’s available in your area.