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BT Broadband Review 2022

Is BT Broadband any good?

Our BT Broadband rating: 3.5 / 5

With a vast choice of services, including ultrafast FTTP and broadband and TV, BT has something to suit most homes. But it’s not the best option if you're trying to get cheap broadband.

BT broadband review

BT Broadband is a comprehensive service, with everything from basic fibre and ADSL internet, to ultrafast broadband, to TV and broadband bundles. There are also tons of extra features, and it even offers broadband without a phone. But it comes at a price, and only a minority of households can currently get its best broadband speeds.

We like

  • Truly unlimited broadband.
  • Good value TV bundles.
  • No traffic management or fair use policy.
  • Get broadband without a phone line.
  • Ultrafast fibre is available.
  • 24/7 tech support.

We don’t like

  • Expensive.
  • Can’t save money with an ADSL deal.
  • Ultrafast upload speeds are far slower than download speeds.
  • Ultrafast is not as widely available as Virgin Media

BT broadband: in summary

  • Download speeds (average): 10Mb / 36Mb / 50Mb / 67Mb / 150Mb / 250Mb / 500Mb / 910Mb
  • Upload speeds (average): 1Mb / 9.5Mb / 19.5Mb / 30Mb / 50Mb / 73Mb / 110Mb
  • Data usage limit: Truly unlimited
  • Type of broadband: ADSLFTTCG.fast & FTTP
  • Home phone line: Yes (required for ADSL)
  • Inclusive phone calls: Optional extra
  • Router: BT Home Hub 4 or BT Smart Hub 2

You can find a selection of BT's best deals below:

Dynamic deal panel

BT broadband speeds

BT Broadband offers a wide choice of speeds across its product range, including ADSL, BT Fibre and ultrafast FTTP

BT Broadband

  • Download speed: 10Mb
  • Upload speed: 1Mb

This is a basic ADSL broadband service, suitable for small homes with light usage. 

However, it is only available if you do not have fibre in your area. If you have fibre, you’ll be offered BT Fibre Essential at the same price.

BT Fibre Essential

  • Download speed: 36Mb 
  • Upload speed: 9.5Mb

The entry-level BT fibre service will suit many homes. It’s perfectly capable of handling streaming, downloading, gaming for an individual or a couple of people sharing.

BT Fibre 1

  • Download speed: 50Mb
  • Upload speed: 9.5Mb

This unusual package offers a 50Mb average speed, something that is not widely available from other Openreach network providers. If Fibre Essential isn’t quite fast enough, this is a nice little upgrade for a very small extra fee.

BT Fibre 2

  • Download speed: 67Mb
  • Upload speed: 19.5Mb

The quickest standard fibre service available offered by BT. This speed is suitable for larger homes and can support multiple devices streaming or downloading at the same time. 

BT Full Fibre 100

  • Download speed: 150Mb
  • Upload speed: 30Mb

This delivers a huge increase in speed over Fibre 2 without a massive price tag. The additional upload speed may be particularly welcome. 

This package is available in areas with G.fast, as well as homes covered by FTTP (Fibre To The Premises).

BT Fibre 250

  • Download speed: 250Mb
  • Upload speed: 50Mb

This service is only available in areas with G.fast (an upgrade to the technology used for BT Fibre Essential, Fibre 1, and Fibre 2). G.fast coverage is relatively limited, so only a small number of premises will have this option. 

BT Full Fibre 500

  • Download speed: 500Mb
  • Upload speed: 73Mb

The second-fastest home broadband service from BT uses a full-fibre connection to deliver extremely high download speeds, great for large homes where you may have many people all online at the same time.

BT Full Fibre 900

  • Download speed: 910Mb
  • Upload speed: 110Mb

The quickest BT broadband package offers a very fast connection that will be more than enough for almost all homes. However, its upload speed is fairly limited in comparison to the download rate.

BT speed summary

BT user Speed Satisfaction score: 3.86 / 5

The speed satisfaction score is taken from the feedback of BT customers, who are asked to rate the performance of their BT broadband service on a scale of one (very dissatisfied) to five (very satisfied). The score is an average of all results, updated on a monthly basis.

Ofcom average speed data: BT 54Mb vs BT, EE, Plusnet, Sky, and TalkTalk

Average broadband download speed recorded by Ofcom during a 24-hour period. 

  • BT 38Mb average speed: 25.9Mb (72% of advertised rate)
  • EE 36Mb average speed: 31.6Mb (88% of advertised rate)
  • Plusnet 36Mb average speed: 28.8Mb (80% of advertised rate)
  • Sky 59Mb average speed: 28.8Mb (76% of advertised rate)
  • TalkTalk 38Mb average speed: 31.6Mb (83% of advertised rate)
  • Virgin Media 54Mb average speed: 51.7Mb (96% of advertised rate)

The Ofcom home broadband performance report shows that BT is underperforming compared to leading competitors; it had the lowest average speed and the worst advertised vs actual speed ratio.

Despite that, our broadband survey results suggest BT customers are reasonably happy with their service, giving BT an above-average score of 3.86 (the overall average sits at 3.77). 

In many areas, BT uses the same Openreach telephone as other Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and so the advertised speeds for several packages are broadly similar to other deals.

But while sharing the infrastructure, it does some things a little differently to other providers.

For starters, it no longer gives new customers the option to sign up for an ADSL package if fibre optic is available. If you can get fibre, BT Fibre Essential is the cheapest deal available, whether you need the speed or not.

There is also a BT-exclusive fibre optic package that offers a download speed of 50Mb. That’s a reasonable amount of extra broadband muscle for not much more cost than the entry-level 36Mb deal.

In some areas, you’ll also have the option of faster speeds using either G.fast or FTTP technology.

BT Full Fibre FTTP packages go up to an average download speed of 910Mb, which is extremely fast. However, unlike some full-fibre services, these are asymmetrical instead of symmetrical. This means the upload rate is much slower than the download speed.

That said, BT’s top upload speed of 110Mb is better than the comparatively measly 54Mb offered by Virgin Media’s fastest service, Gig1. 

G.fast is available with a speed of either 100Mb or 250Mb. However, this service is only available to just under 3 million homes at present.

It should also be noted that all BT fibre packages are now broadband only by default. Unless you tell them you need phone service, you won’t get a phone number or an active voice line.

BT broadband value for money

BT value for money user score: 3.30 / 5

The BT user value for money score is the average rating from BT customers, who are asked to rank their provider for value on a scale of one (very poor value) to five (very good value). 

BT has one of the worst value for money scores in our survey, coming in below the average score of 3.47. 

This isn’t a big surprise, because of the five biggest ISPs, BT’s standard pricing makes it among the most expensive on the Openreach network. 

And the prices shown above are the cost for the initial contract term — it gets even costlier once the contract has expired.

However, BT’s mid-tier Fibre 1 service does provide a faster 50Mb download speed for not much more than its cheapest fibre package. And you do get some nice extras, plus BT frequently offers deals with rewards that can make them decent value when taken into account with the overall cost of a package.

As we mentioned in the previous section, all BT fibre optic packages now come without phone service by default. But if you do need an active phone line, this will cost an additional £5 per month once the initial contract term has ended.

BT rewards

BT is a generous gift-giver. Its deals are rarely available without some kind of reward (usually a pre-paid credit card) and they usually have a value in the region of £50-£100. 

So, while it does have higher prices than many other providers, these rewards can bring the effective monthly cost down by quite a significant amount. 

You can compare the latest BT offers on our BT cashback and rewards page. For general help with rewards, visit our guide to claiming free gifts and vouchers.

BT customer service

BT customer service user score: 3.72 / 5

BT users were asked to rate their provider for customer service, on a scale of one (terrible) to five (excellent). The user score is the overall average for each provider.

BT is faring reasonably well in current user ratings, ranking slightly above the average score of 3.69. Historically, customer service has been a weak spot, but this does seem to have improved of late. 

It also had a decent showing in the Ofcom customer service report, which compares major providers on key customer service metrics. It received the following scores in the most recent publication (7th May 2021): 

  • Overall satisfaction: 80% (average: 80%)
  • Customers with a reason to complain: 23% (average: 26%)
  • Overall complaint handling satisfaction: 55% (average: 52%)
  • Complaints per 100,000 subscribers: 50 (average 50)
  • Call waiting time: 3:28 (average 4:09)

If you need help, getting hold of someone shouldn’t be too difficult. BT customer service is open 8am to 9pm weekdays, and 8am to 8pm on weekends and bank holidays. 

Technical support is open 24/7, which is reassuring if broadband access is critical. It also has a web forum where you can get advice from both BT representatives and other BT users. 

For more information and other contact methods, visit our guide to BT customer service.

BT Wi-Fi router

BT provides one of three different routers, depending on the type of broadband package you select.

The BT Smart Hub is included with BT Fibre Essential, Fibre 1, and Fibre 2. 

The BT Smart Hub 2 is included with Full Fibre packages, or with standard fibre plans if you have BT Complete Wi-Fi, Hybrid Connect, or BT Halo. 

ADSL customers with a BT Broadband package will receive the Home Hub 4. 

BT Home Hub 4 specifications

  • Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz) & 802.11a/n (5Ghz)
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Tri-band Wi-Fi: No
  • Ethernet: 4x 10/100 ethernet
  • Extras: 1x USB port

BT Smart Hub specifications

  • Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz) & 802.11a/n/ac (5Ghz)
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Tri-band Wi-Fi: No
  • Ethernet: 4x gigabit LAN
  • Extras: 1x USB port

BT Smart Hub 2 specifications

  • Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz) & 802.11a/n/ac (5Ghz)
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Tri-band Wi-Fi: No
  • Ethernet: 4x gigabit LAN
  • Extras: Complete Wi-Fi, 1x digital voice phone port, 1x USB port

Both the Smart Hub and Smart Hub 2 are well-specced routers, supporting the 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) standard for faster Wi-Fi devices. However, BT does not yet offer support for the newer 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6).

You also get gigabit ethernet and a USB port on the rear. Additionally, the Smart Hub 2 includes a digital voice port for connecting a phone.

The Smart Hub 2 also supports BT Complete Wi-Fi, a mesh Wi-Fi kit that can extend wireless coverage throughout your home. 

The older Home Hub 4 is a fairly basic bit of kit, lacking the faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi and gigabit ethernet of the Smart Hub. But given that it is only available with a slow ADSL service this is unlikely to be a major hindrance unless you need to regularly transfer large files around your home network. But BT does allow you to use your own router, so it can be upgraded if required.

BT broadband extras

BT TV

BT TV is available as an optional extra with all BT Broadband packages. While it doesn’t have quite as many channels as a Sky TV or Virgin Media TV package, it does offer many of the most popular channels via flexible channel bundles that can be changed each month without penalty.

BT TV and broadband bundles come with a YouView box that combines Freeview broadcasts and internet TV. Everything is neatly integrated into one interface, so you can switch between live Freeview broadcasts and streaming services without leaving the programme guide. 

The boxes also include a hard drive for recording, and live pause and rewind features. 

BT Complete Wi-Fi

Complete Wi-Fi guarantees wireless signal in every room, using a mesh Wi-Fi networking kit with three Wi-Fi boosters. It includes a £100 moneyback guarantee if you cannot get Wi-Fi throughout your home.

BT Hybrid Connect

Hybrid Connect is a 4G backup connection. If your broadband connection goes offline, Hybrid Connect automatically takes over until the fault is fixed.

BT Halo

Halo is a bundle of extra support, guarantees, and features for your home broadband. There are two options:

Halo 3

  • Home Tech Experts. Free in-home technical support. Also includes annual visits to check your broadband is working.
  • Keep Connected Promise. Free 4G Mini Hub to keep you connected in case of broadband faults, or during a house move. Free unlimited data boost for BT Mobile during broadband outages.
  • Price promise. Never pay more than a new customer when renewing your contract.
  • Double mobile data. Mobile data boost for all BT Mobile customers in your household.

Halo 3+ 

All of the above, plus:

  • Hybrid Connect.
  • Complete Wi-Fi. 
  • Smart Hub 2 Wi-Fi router.
  • Full Fibre promise. Free upgrade to Full Fibre 100 when it’s available in your area.

BT Wi-Fi

BT has a public Wi-Fi hotspot network that has thousands of access points around the country, and as a BT Broadband customer, you benefit from free access to this network. This is a nice bonus that can provide broadband access outside the home and save on mobile data.

BT: our verdict

Broadband Genie rating: 3.5 / 5

BT offers broadband deals with excellent speeds and some tempting and useful extras. Its TV service is affordable with lots of features and additional channel packs, so it’s a great option for a broadband and TV bundle that’s cheaper than the premium cable and satellite services.

It’s also one of the few major providers that can offer broadband without a phone line, though if you do need a phone this will cost extra.

But BT is not exactly cheap, especially once the initial contract term ends. While it can have very competitive introductory deals thanks to frequent special offers, the price may increase sharply after 18 months. It’s worth making a note of the contract end date to negotiate or switch at that point, though that’s generally good advice for any provider.

There’s no option to save money with a basic ADSL package either. ADSL is now only available in areas without fibre access, and the price is the same as the entry-level fibre service.

It’s also a pity that its ultrafast broadband deals don’t provide upload speeds that match the rapid download rate. The availability of its 100Mb+ services is also fairly limited at present, especially in comparison to Virgin Media, which now offers gigabit broadband to around 53% of UK homes.

If you'd like to look at BT deals, you can find them right here. Alternatively check out our page on the best alternatives to BT.

More broadband reviews

We review every provider we list on Broadband Genie. Check out the following reviews for our thoughts on other ISPs:

  • Broadband Genie’s review policy

    When you’re looking to switch broadband, we know how important unbiased, balanced, expert reviews can be. As a dedicated broadband comparison and switching site, we are in a unique position to give you expert insight into whether or not we think a provider is worth your money. Read on to find out a little more about our broadband provider review process.

    User ratings

    We ask users to review providers on our site, as part of our ongoing Home Broadband Survey project. We gather these reviews by promoting our survey to a broad swathe of customers. In doing so, we aim to get the most accurate and balanced customer feedback as possible. We believe this is preferable to advertising ourselves as a review service, which tends to attract a higher number of frustrated customers, skewing the results.

    We use these scores, in combination with other factors such as Ofcom research to inform our overall ratings (more on this below).

    You can leave your own review on our broadband survey, which also includes a monthly £50 prize draw.

    Overall ratings

    Our overall provider rating is decided upon by our editors, informed by the user feedback we have received, we will also take into account wider market research such as Ofcom’s speed and customer service research, along with other trusted review platforms such as Trustpilot, where appropriate.

    This allows us to create an informed, well-balanced review of a provider that’s ultimately the most useful way to determine whether or not a provider is right for you.

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