BT Broadband Review

Last updated: 7 September 2023   By Julia Kukiewicz

BT offer broadband to customers across the UK, with a focus on premium service and paid-for extras.

BT offers superfast and full fibre broadband packages with the option to bundle premium features like home tech support.

Price:

Gold star Gold star Gold star Gold star

Speed:

Gold star Gold star Gold star Gold star Gold star

Reliability:

Gold star Gold star Gold star Gold star Gold star

Customer Service:

Gold star Gold star Gold star Gold star

BT broadband is a premium option with additional security features and extras like free access to BT WiFi Hotspots.

The provider performs well for reliability, and customer service has been improving with all call centres now based in the UK.

BT broadband customers can choose from a range of speeds, as well as optional Halo 3 services and BT TV.

bt broadband

At a glance

Price From £30.99
Setup cost £0 - £29.99
Minimum term 24 months
Out of contract price From £35.99
Annual price increase CPI + 3.9%
Broadband connection Copper, part-fibre, full fibre
Download speeds 10Mb, 36Mb, 50Mb, 67Mb, 100Mb, 500Mb, 900Mb
Upload speeds 1Mb, 9Mb, 18Mb, 30Mb, 73Mb, 110Mb
Router BT Smart Hub 2
WiFi guarantee £10/mth
Parental controls BT Parental Controls
Home phone £5/mth
Anytime calls From £8/mth
TV Optional: BT TV

Latest offers

Offer Terms

£50 BT Reward card with BT Full Fibre 100 just £29.99 a month with free setup

Hurry! Offer ends 25 April 2024

24 month minimum term. No setup fee. From £34.99/mth after 24 months. BT offers are subject to price increases on the 31st March 2024 by CPI +3.9%.


£50 BT Reward card with BT Fibre 1 just £29.99 a month with free setup

Hurry! Offer ends 25 April 2024

24 month minimum term. No setup fee. From £34.99/mth after 24 months. BT offers are subject to price increases on the 31st March 2024 by CPI +3.9%.


BT broadband customer reviews

Our independent survey of broadband customers found BT was rated 4 out of 5 overall, with good ratings for Speed, Reliability, and Satisfaction.

BT was also rated above average (3.5 out of 5) for Customer Service and likelihood for customers to recommend the provider to a friend.

Very few of our survey respondents voted BT Poor or Bad in any category, with the majority of BT's customers rating them Average, Good, or Excellent.

Here are the results of our survey of BT's performance:

5 out of 5 4 out of 5 3 out of 5 2 out of 5 1 out of 5
Value for money 8% 29% 40% 17% 5%
Speed 20% 36% 31% 8% 5%
Reliability 33% 34% 20% 9% 4%
Satisfaction 17% 39% 31% 10% 4%
Customer Service 15% 33% 34% 13% 5%
Likelihood to Recommend 15% 33% 33% 12% 7%

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Our review of BT broadband

Pros Cons
High customer satisfaction figures Often more expensive than rivals
Low complaint levels and good fault resolution No WiFi 6 router option
Optional BT TV service offers flexibility on premium content BT Halo value for money is not clear
Extra services could be useful to some customers

Verdict: Is BT broadband any good?

While BT is typically more expensive than other broadband providers, their drive to sign up customers to their new full fibre network is bringing prices down.

BT Full Fibre 100 for example is now priced only marginally more than budget brands like Plusnet, as well as close rivals TalkTalk and Sky.

Customers of BT broadband are also generally more satisfied with their service and have less reason to complain in comparison to other major providers. Out of contract prices are typically only £5 more per month too, so customers who don't switch as soon as their contract ends won't be heavily penalised.

Households looking for a more all-round home entertainment and telecoms package are also well catered for, with BT offering optional home phone lines with cheap anytime calls, and the ability to bundle BT's TV service and BT TV Box Pro.

Overall, BT is a premium broadband provider with the best prices found on their new full fibre packages.


BT broadband packages

Summary: BT offer a range of premium broadband deals with an optional home phone line and TV service.

BT offers broadband deals across the whole of the UK, both via the existing copper phone line network and with their new full fibre to the premises network.

Broadband speeds with BT range from 36Mbps to 900Mbps on part-fibre and full fibre connections, and customers can choose whether or not to take a home phone line.

Here's how much BT broadband currently costs:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Fibre Essential 36Mb average £33.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: Reduced price for 24 months + (Ends 25/04/2024)
Fibre 1 50Mb average £29.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Save £5/mth and free setup (was £31.99) (Ends 25/04/2024)
Fibre 2 67Mb average £36.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + + (Ends 25/04/2024)
Full Fibre 100 150Mb average £29.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Save £9/mth and free setup (was £31.99) (Ends 25/04/2024)
Full Fibre 500 500Mb average £34.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Save £15/mth and free setup (was £31.99) (Ends 25/04/2024)
Full Fibre 900 900Mb average £59.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card (Ends 25/04/2024)

It's worth checking availability in your area to see which BT broadband plans you can get.

While BT plans to reach 85% of the UK with full fibre broadband, these new 100Mb+ plans are still rolling out and have so far only passed 11 million premises.

For those who can't yet get BT full fibre, the Fibre Essential, Fibre 1 and Fibre 2 plans are also available as part-fibre connections. In addition, around 2.8 million homes can also access G.Fast, a form of boosted part-fibre with speeds of up to 300Mbps.

All BT broadband packages come with a 24-month minimum term and come without a home phone line as standard. Customers can choose to add a home phone line for an extra £5 per month on a pay as you go basis, with inclusive call plans also available for extra, which we look at below.

One thing to note about BT fibre broadband deals is that setup fees can vary depending on which package BT are promoting at the time. It's worth then, keeping an eye on our BT broadband deals page for the latest special offers including reduced setup fees for new customers.

Lastly, BT increase prices on an annual basis by inflation (CPI) + 3.9%. This increase is included in their contracts so it's not possible to avoid and will apply to customers within their minimum term as well as those out of contract. In April 2023, BT increased prices by 14.4%, however the actual figure each year will depend on the Consumer Price Index rate in January.

BT Home Essentials

Customers in receipt of certain means-tested benefits may be eligible for BT's social tariff, Home Essentials.

Eligibility includes those in receipt of one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit (all claimants)
  • Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (income based or with contributory allowance that is less than the income based portion)
  • Jobseeker's Allowance (as above)
  • Income Support

BT Home Essentials aims to offer an affordable broadband package to households on lower incomes who may be struggling to keep a broadband connection.

Customers can choose between two packages; 36Mb and 67Mb, which each costing £15 per month and £20 per month respectively.

As well as offering low monthly prices, social tariffs also benefit low income households by being exempt from out of contract price rises and annual price rises, making it easier to budget.

Read more about BT Home Essentials and how to apply here.


BT TV and Broadband

Summary: BT broadband customers can bundle a TV service with a dedicated set-top box and access to premium content on Sky.

BT TV is available exclusively to BT broadband customers, and can be subscribed to as a bundle deal, often with special offers for new customers.

Here are the current prices of BT TV with BT Fibre 2 broadband:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Entertainment + Fibre 2 67Mb average £56.99 £61.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + (Ends 25/04/2024)
Big Entertainment + Fibre 2 67Mb average £66.99 £61.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card (Ends 25/04/2024)
Sport + Fibre 2 67Mb average £52.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Save £4/mth on BT Sport TV and no setup fees (Ends 25/04/2024)
Big Sport + Fibre 2 67Mb average £81.99 £61.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card (Ends 25/04/2024)
Full Works + Fibre 2 67Mb average £61.99
for 3 mths,
then £114.99
£31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + BT Full Works TV just £25 for 3 months and not setup fees (Ends 25/04/2024)

Customers can choose to bundle BT TV with any of BT's broadband deals, although BT say those who want to watch in Ultra HD will need a minimum download speed of 44Mbps.

BT TV content is largely based on NOW TV Memberships, after the provider moved to a streaming based service in 2020.

Each BT TV package offers access to one or more NOW Memberships, with the ability to swap plans on a monthly basis for total flexibility. For example, a customer can take BT TV Entertainment and then switch it out to BT TV Sport during a particular sporting season. It's also possible to customise plans, for example by adding NOW Entertainment to the BT TV Sports package.

The BT TV Box Pro allows customers to pause, rewind, and record live TV shows, including those made available through NOW. That's a major benefit to BT TV as it's not usually possible to pause, rewind or record through NOW TV.

It's also possible to further customise the content by adding subscriptions to Netflix and Prime Video, as well as BritBox and free-to-air catch up apps like BBC iPlayer and ITVX.

Read more in our review of BT TV Packages.


How does BT broadband compare?

Summary: BT broadband is priced higher than most rival packages, but they perform highly for reliability and customer satisfaction, with all call centres now based in the UK.

Looking at entry-level full fibre broadband plans, BT's Full Fibre 100 package is priced only marginally more than equivalent deals from rivals Sky, TalkTalk, and BT-owned budget provider Plusnet.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Full Fibre 100 150Mb average £29.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Save £9/mth and free setup (was £31.99) (Ends 25/04/2024)
Ultrafast Broadband 145Mb average £29 £5 18 months
offer Offer: WiFi Max just £3/mth + (£5 refundable setup fee for new customers if applicable)
Full Fibre 150 152Mb average £28 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Free setup and P&P
Full Fibre 145 145Mb average £27.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Save over £12/mth + No setup fee + Exclusive offers and discounts for Plusnet customers

Customers living in a Virgin Media enabled area could opt for M125 Fibre Broadband for just £26.50 per month.

Most other full fibre deals on the Openreach network are priced around the same as BT's deal - so it's not particularly more expensive, which reflects BT's desire to sign customers up to full fibre connections.

When we look at BT's fastest part-fibre deal, Fibre 2, for example, the provider starts to look more expensive.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Fibre 2 67Mb average £36.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + + (Ends 25/04/2024)
Super Fibre 63Mb average £24 £10 12 months
offer Offer: NOW TV membership available reduce for 12 months
Superfast Broadband 61Mb average £26 £5 18 months
offer Offer: WiFi Max just £6.50/mth + (£5 refundable setup fee for new customers if applicable)
Unlimited Fibre Extra 66Mb average £26.99 Free 24 months

For those who don't yet have Openreach full fibre connections available in their area, BT becomes a more expensive choice, with options from NOW, Sky, Plusnet and TalkTalk all coming in by as much as £13.99 less per month.

BT's cheapest part-fibre plan is Fibre Essentials, which offers 36Mbps average download speeds for £31.99 per month. So, even this plan is priced higher than rival deals.

Ultimately then, BT can be a good choice for those moving to full fibre broadband, but in areas that haven't been passed by Openreach's new rollout, alternative providers like Sky, TalkTalk, and even BT-owned Plusnet, are likely to provide better value for money.

Make sure to check availability in your area and compare providers by price.


How fast is BT broadband?

Summary: BT's fastest broadband is delivered over the Openreach full fibre to the home network, with plans available up to 900Mbps.

While the advent of full fibre to the home means broadband speeds vary less between locations, actual speed differences around the country are wider than ever as the new technology has yet to reach everyone.

Part-fibre deals are available to around 97% of UK homes and offer average download speeds up to 67Mbps at peak times. Those who can get full fibre connections, can choose from speeds up to 900Mbps on average at peak times, although so far, this is only 11 million premises.

Average download speed Average upload speed
Fibre Essentials 36Mbps 9Mbps
Fibre 1 50Mbps 9Mbps
Fibre 2 67Mbps 18Mbps
Full Fibre 100 150Mbps 30Mbps
Full Fibre 500 500Mbps 73Mbps
Full Fibre 900 900Mbps 110Mbps

The speeds above should provide potential customers with a good idea of how fast the package will be as at least 50% of BT's existing customers will be receiving these speeds or faster at peak times, which is between 8pm and 10pm when the network is busiest.

Those in full fibre enabled areas are likely to get the best broadband speeds however as distance from the local telephone exchange is a mitigated issue. Part-fibre connections on the other hand, which still rely on copper phone lines to connect a home, are more likely to vary as distance as well as older cable quality have more impact.

BT provide new customers with personalised speed estimates however, based on their individual property and location.

We tested two locations, one with full fibre broadband and one where only part-fibre was available, and these are the speed estimates we were given by BT:

Estimated download speed Estimated upload speed
Fibre Essentials 35 - 36Mbps 8 - 9Mbps
Fibre 1 49 - 50Mbps 8 - 9Mbps
Fibre 2 71 - 73Mbps 17 - 18Mbps
Full Fibre 100 150Mbps 30Mbps
Full Fibre 500 500Mbps 73Mbps
Full Fibre 900 900Mbps 110Mbps

While the estimated speeds for the Fibre Essentials, Fibre 1 and Fibre 2 plans were tested in a location that doesn't yet have access to full fibre connections, these plans are also available where full fibre is.

Speed estimates for the slower plans in a full fibre enabled area where similar however, coming in just 1 or 2 Mbps faster.

Stay Fast Guarantee

BT's Stay Fast Guarantee also provides new customers with a minimum broadband speed when they sign up.

The Stay Fast Guarantee is basically a minimum guaranteed download speed, which if a connection consistently falls below a customer has the right to leave their contract early.

In addition, BT say, if they can't resolve a slow broadband speed back to the Stay Fast Guarantee within 60 days of the issue being reported, customers can claim £20, as well as leave their contract penalty free.

Using the same test areas as above, we were given the following Stay Fast Guarantees for each of BT's broadband packages:

Stay Fast Guarantee
Fibre Essentials 32Mbps
Fibre 1 46Mbps
Fibre 2 68Mbps
Full Fibre 100 100Mbps
Full Fibre 500 425Mbps
Full Fibre 900 700Mbps

While minimum guaranteed speeds can vary between locations, these figures give a good illustration of what to expect for the different packages.

Read more about what broadband speeds you need and why BT was one of our top choices for most reliable provider.


BT Smart Hub 2

Summary: All BT broadband customers now get the latest BT Smart Hub 2, but the router only supports WiFi 5.

BT broadband packages come with the BT Smart Hub 2, first launched in November 2018.

bt smart hub 2

It's a good device, supporting dual-band wireless with 7 internal antennas for a good signal, and built-in support for mesh, which allows seamless network extensions with the Complete WiFi disc add-on.

Here are the main specifications of the BT Smart Hub 2:

BT Smart Hub 2
Antennae 7
Dual band wi-fi (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz) Yes
Ports 4 x Gigabit Ethernet
USB
DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications - enhanced landline technology) Yes
Works with Complete Wi-Fi Yes

However, the BT Smart Hub 2 only supports up to the WiFi 5 protocol, or 802.11ac, despite the fact WiFi 6 is now gaining momentum.

We've seen providers including Virgin Media, Sky and even Shell Energy Broadband launch WiFi 6 supporting routers, and so it's somewhat surprising BT haven't upgraded theirs yet.

That said, most households will still find the BT Smart Hub 2 router adequate, and those without the best coverage can improve signal with the Complete WiFi add-on.


Complete WiFi

Summary: BT's whole home WiFi guarantee, Complete WiFi, offers a 'strong' in every room or money back.

BT Complete WiFi is an add-on available to all part-fibre and full fibre broadband customers, which can be added by customising a bundle in the checkout.

It usually costs £10 per month, but is often discounted for new customers. At the time of writing we saw deals for £3 a month for part-fibre customers, and £5 per month for those taking a full fibre deal.

bt complete wifi

Working in conjunction with the BT Smart Hub 2 router, Complete WiFi offers customers up to three WiFi discs, which are extra devices that can be placed around a home to boost signal further.

Using the MyBT app, customers can test their broadband speeds in each room of their home, if they don't have a 'strong' signal they can request an additional WiFi disc. Customers who still don't manage to get a strong signal in every room of their home can claim a £100 back.

There are caveats however. Firstly, the Complete WiFi add-on comes on a 24-month minimum term, and even if customers don't get a full signal around their home it can't be cancelled early.

In addition, there's inconsistent information on BT's website regarding how much money customers will get back, with part-fibre customers potentially only compensated with £20.


Hybrid Connect

Summary: Hybrid Connect is a premium add-on for BT broadband that offers an automatic mobile broadband back-up.

Hybrid Connect works with both the BT Smart Hub 2 and Complete WiFi discs if a customer has added those to their package as well.

It's effectively a home mobile broadband device, but only works if the BT Smart Hub 2 loses the fixed-line broadband connection. If the event the broadband goes down, the Hybrid Connect device supplies the BT Smart Hub 2 with an Internet connection over EE's mobile network instead.

bt hybrid connect

BT are also notified if the Hybrid Connect device kicks-in, so they can fix any issues with the main broadband connection without customers having to phone up.

Hybrid Connect costs £7 per month, and is a useful extra if customers need a foolproof connection, for example if they work from home.

However, for most people this could be an unnecessary extra expense, as existing mobile plans could be used instead, or customers can buy mobile data on a pay as you go basis in the rare event a serious fault with their home broadband does occur.


BT Halo 3

Summary: A premium service from BT, Halo 3 bundles extras like in-home technical support, mobile back-up, double mobile data with EE, and a price promise.

BT Halo is an extra service available to BT broadband customers which aims to provide a more reliable service, with additional features like in-home tech support and free mobile data.

However, the value of BT Halo is debatable, with costs of the service variable between packages, and the features of BT Halo 3+ particularly available separately.

BT Halo includes:

BT Halo 3 BT Halo 3+
Home Tech Experts Yes Yes
Keep Connected Promise Yes Yes
Price promise Yes Yes
BT Mobile double data Yes Yes
Hybrid Connect No Yes
Complete Wi-Fi No Yes
Smart Hub 2 No Yes
Full Fibre promise No Yes

BT Halo 3 was launched in February 2021, replacing BT Halo 1 and BT Halo 2, yet it hasn't changed particularly since.

It's difficult to say how worthwhile BT Halo is because BT don't list an exact price for the add-on, with prices varying between packages and those for existing customers only displayed behind logins.

Despite BT saying Halo 3 costs existing customers as little as £1 per month, packages for new customers suggest the BT Halo 3+ add-on can cost between an extra £33 and £49 per month, which is quite a lot.

Considering Complete WiFi and Hybrid Connect only cost up to £17 extra per month, and the BT Smart Hub 2 is now included with packages as standard, it's hard to consider BT Halo as offering good value for money.

It's also arguable some of the other features, such as not paying more than a new customer when renewing a contract, or a free upgrade to Full Fibre 100 as soon as its available, may not work out as good value for money.

Overall, unless there is a specifically good offer in an existing customer's portal, it seems new customers in particular would be better off subscribing to Complete WiFi or Hybrid Connect separately if they want those services.

Read our dedicated review of BT Halo 3 to find out whether the service is right for you.


BT home phone

Summary: BT broadband customers can add a home phone line for £5 per month, with inclusive call plans available as an extra.

BT don't include line rental or a home phone line as standard in their broadband packages anymore, with broadband-only plans becoming their default option.

It is possible to add a home phone line however, and this costs just £5 extra per month. For this, customers will get a home phone with pay as you go calls.

For security, BT home phone customers will get BT Call Protect and Caller Display for free, which can help screen and stop unwanted and nuisance calls.

It's also possible to upgrade to an inclusive call plan, with the 700-minute plan arguably offering the best value as it's only £3 more per month than the basic line rental.

Monthly price Includes
Pay as you go calls £5 Home phone line
700 minutes £8 700 minutes to use anytime to UK landlines and UK mobiles
Unlimited minutes £18 Unlimited calls to UK landlines and UK mobiles at anytime

For those with friends or family abroad, BT also offer two international calling plans; Friends & Family International for £2.63 per month, and International Freedom for £11.23 per month.

It's worth noting that customers who sign up to BT broadband without a home phone won't have a dialling tone and will be unable to make or receive calls.


What's BT's customer service like?

Summary: BT lower than average complaint records and good levels of customer satisfaction.

BT have improved their customer service in recent years, partly due to bringing all of their call centre operations back to the UK.

Complaint levels for BT are generally better or in line with the average, with the provider receiving 12 complaints per 100,000 customers in the latest quarter reported by Ofcom.

BT were also in the top four least complained about providers across 2022, which we look at in our guide to the best broadband customer service.

In terms of customer satisfaction, BT perform highly in satisfaction with complaints handling and the number of complaints they resolved the first time a customer contacted them.

BT Industry average
Satisfaction with service overall 83% 82%
Satisfaction with speed of service 80% 80%
Customers with a reason to complain 19% 20%
Complaints resolved on first contact 44% 39%
Overall satisfaction with complaints handling 55% 51%
Complaints per 100,000 subscribers 35 44
Average call waiting time 2 minutes 45 seconds 2 minutes 37 seconds

BT also have more customers than average that are satisfied with the service overall, and fewer than average numbers of customers with a reason to complain.

Our own independent research of BT broadband customers found they scored highly for reliability of their service, customer satisfaction, and speed of the service.

The provider also tends to perform well in other research for reliability metrics, and won silver for most reliable provider in the Choose Broadband Awards 2022.


Summary: Is BT broadband worth it?

BT broadband is a more premium option when compared to cheaper providers like BT's own budget brand Plusnet.

However, the market competition to move customers to full fibre deals means BT full fibre broadband is much more competitively priced than its superfast plans, so it's worth considering switching up for those who can get it.

BT also offer useful extras such as a whole home WiFi guarantee, and an automatic mobile broadband back-up system. However, their Smart Hub 2 router is now falling behind with more providers launching WiFi 6 routers in recent months.

Overall, BT are a good choice because:

  • All call centres are now based in the UK
  • They have low complaint figures, often below or at least in line with the industry average
  • They have good records for fault resolution and reliability metrics, especially on their full fibre to the home network
  • Customers can opt for a home phone with cheap pricing on anytime calls
  • The optional BT TV service offers a flexible way to access TNT Sports and content from Sky

For those on a tight budget however, cheaper prices can often be found elsewhere, and this is especially true for people living within a Virgin Media enabled area, who offer the cheapest way to watch Sky Sports and TNT Sports.

Ultimately, customers who are willing to pay a little extra can benefit from the extras BT provides, but as always it's worth looking for the best deals before signing up.

Comments

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