Fibrus vs BT Broadband

Last updated: 28 November 2023   By Lyndsey Burton

Fibrus and BT are both available across Northern Ireland, but the independent challenger is often cheaper.

Fibrus broadband provide full fibre connections across Northern Ireland and have around a 40% coverage rate in the country. They're also expanding into North West England.

BT is likely to have wider coverage overall, with 87% full fibre reach in Northern Ireland, and around 38% in the UK. Customers can also choose part-fibre connections.

Overall, Fibrus broadband is cheaper than BT, they also offer faster speeds, with better uploads and a more up to date router.

fibrus vs bt broadband

At a glance

Fibrus BT Broadband
Monthly price From £14.99 From £32.99
Upfront price Free Up to £31.99
Minimum term 24 months 24 months
Connection Full fibre Full fibre, part-fibre, copper
Download speeds 96Mb, 286Mb, 946Mb 36Mb, 50Mb, 67Mb, 150Mb, 500Mb, 900Mb
Upload speeds 30Mb, 100Mb, 300Mb 9Mb, 18Mb, 30Mb, 73Mb, 110Mb
Router Amazon eero 6+ / eero Pro 6E BT Smart Hub 2
WiFi guarantee From £7.99/mth £10/mth
Parental controls Router-level BT Parental Controls
Home phone £9.99/mth £5/mth
Anytime calls Included with home phone £18/mth (inc. UK mobiles)

Best deals

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Full Fibre 100 106Mb average £24.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Save £120 over 24 months (Ends 14/06/2024)
Fibre 2 67Mb average £29.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Save £7/mth and free setup (was £31.99) (Ends 27/06/2024)

Price

Winner: Fibrus broadband is noticeably cheaper than BT broadband, especially when promotional offers are considered.

Fibrus broadband is currently offering full fibre deals for as little as £14.99 per month during November. In comparison, a similar speed deal from BT currently costs from £35.99 per month for new customers.

Here are two equivalent deals from the providers:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Full Fibre 100 106Mb average £24.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Save £120 over 24 months (Ends 14/06/2024)
Full Fibre 100 150Mb average £30.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Reduced price for 24 months + (Ends 27/06/2024)

While Full Fibre 100 is Fibrus' cheapest broadband plan, BT also offer a cheaper BT Fibre Essential deal, which is a part-fibre connection with average download speeds of 36Mbps. However, even this much slower deal is still more expensive than Fibrus broadband.

In addition to cheaper pricing, Fibrus also promise no mid-contract price hikes, while BT implement annual price rises of Consumer Price Index (CPI) + 3.9%.

In April 2023, BT broadband customers saw prices rise by 14.4%, so these increases are worth bearing in mind, especially when comparing packages against providers like Fibrus who do not increase prices during a customer's minimum term period.

Overall, Fibrus is cheaper than BT, and they offer fairer contract terms with no mid-contract price hikes.


Broadband packages

Winner: Fibrus offer a similar range of broadband speeds to BT, but prices are much cheaper.

Fibrus broadband offer customers a choice of three broadband packages, while BT customers get a wider choice of six different deals.

However, for those looking for a faster full fibre connection, there are only three choices available, whichever provide you choose.

Here's how Fibrus and BT compare side-by-side on their full fibre packages:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Full Fibre 100 106Mb average £24.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Save £120 over 24 months (Ends 14/06/2024)
Full Fibre 500 518Mb average £29.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Save £120 over 24 months (Ends 14/06/2024)
Full Fibre 100 150Mb average £30.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Reduced price for 24 months + (Ends 27/06/2024)
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 06/06/2024)
Full Fibre 1000 982Mb average £44.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Save £360 over 24 months (Ends 14/06/2024)
Full Fibre 900 900Mb average £49.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Save £10/mth and free setup (was £31.99) (Ends 27/06/2024)

BT Full Fibre 100 and Full Fibre 500 are both faster than the alternative Full Fibre 100 and Full Fibre 300 options from Fibrus. However, even despite this, Fibrus are noticeably cheaper than BT.

The gigabit-capable Fibrus Full Fibre 1000 is also cheaper than BT's Full Fibre 900 plan, currently coming in £15 cheaper per month, or saving £360 over the length of the 24-month contract.

Both providers offer customers an optional home phone line with the choice to add anytime calls. BT customers are provided the BT Smart Hub 2, while Fibrus partners with Amazon to offer customers either the eero 6+ or eero Pro 6E router.

Overall, Fibrus is considerably cheaper than BT full fibre, while also offering a similar level of service and arguably better equipment.

Read more in our dedicated review of BT broadband and Fibrus broadband.


Broadband speed

Winner: Fibrus offer faster upload speeds than BT full fibre, although average download speeds are comparable.

Fibrus and BT offer broadband over separate full fibre to the premise networks. While technology is similar, this does mean their speed tiers and average speeds differ.

BT offer the following average download and upload speed choices:

Download speed (average) Upload speed (average)
Fibre Essential 36Mb 9Mb
Fibre 1 50Mb 9Mb
Fibre 2 67Mb 18Mb
Full Fibre 100 150Mb 30Mb
Full Fibre 500 500Mb 73Mb
Full Fibre 900 900Mb 110Mb

In comparison, Fibrus offer these average speeds:

Download speed (average) Upload speed (average)
Full Fibre 100 96Mb 30Mb
Full Fibre 150* 146Mb 30Mb
Full Fibre 300 286Mb 100Mb
Full Fibre 1000 946Mb 300Mb

Fibrus offer a faster Full Fibre 150 package for customers living in more urban areas of their network, while those living in rural areas get the Full Fibre 100 option.

The biggest difference between Fibrus and BT broadband for speed is Fibrus offers significantly faster upload speeds. Their gigabit Full Fibre 1000 plan for example, has average upload speeds three times faster than BT's Full Fibre 900 plan, yet the packages offer similar download speeds.

It's also worth noting that where BT offers sub-100Mb plans, these may only be available as part-fibre connections, which are more likely to experience slower speeds due to distance or older wiring.

In contrast, full fibre connections like those offered by Fibrus and BT's FTTP packages, tend to be much more reliable, with overall faster speeds and response times regardless of how rural or remote a home may be.

One point against Fibrus however, is their lack of a minimum speed guarantee through Ofcom's voluntary code of practice, which BT has signed up to.

Ofcom's code of practice on broadband speeds requires providers to give customers personalised speed estimates at the time they sign up, as well as minimum service guarantees with the option to leave their contract early if this isn't delivered.

While it's very much a worst-case scenario, BT broadband customers will be able to cancel their contract if BT doesn't deliver their minimum guaranteed download speed.

Fibrus and BT full fibre compare well on speed, and while Fibrus has faster upload speeds, BT offers a more robust minimum speed guarantee should things go wrong.


Router

Winner: Fibrus have partnered with Amazon and offer all customers at least one WiFi 6 enabled eero router, while the BT Smart Hub 2 only supports WiFi 5.

Fibrus broadband customers taking their Full Fibre 100, 150 or 300 plans are provided with an Amazon eero 6+ router, those taking Full Fibre 300 get two of these devices.

Customers opting for the fastest Full Fibre 1000 plan from Fibrus will be sent two Amazon eero Pro 6E routers instead.

Both of these devices support intelligent mesh and the latest WiFi 6 protocol for fast wireless speeds. Where customers get more than one eero they can place them in another part of the home to help boost signal further.

In contrast, BT broadband customers are provided with the Smart Hub 2, while it has good signal strength and also supports intelligent mesh for boosting WiFi signal further if needed, it only supports up to WiFi 5. Customers will also have to pay extra for the intelligent mesh system.

Here's how the routers look side-by-side:

Amazon eero 6+ Amazon eero Pro 6E BT Smart Hub 2
WiFi protocol 6 6E 5
WiFi bands Dual-band Tri-band Dual-band
Intelligent mesh Yes Yes Yes
Security WPA3 WPA3 WPA2
Ethernet LAN 2 x 1Gb 1 x 1Gb, 1 x 2.5Gb 4 x 1Gb

While more up to date, the eero devices have few ethernet LAN ports, especially when considering one will be used for the broadband connection. So, customers will have to use a switch in order to connect devices to the eero routers using ethernet wires.

As an Amazon device, eero does come with a built-in zigbee smart home hub and support voice control through Alexa, which could help reduce the number of devices needed for a smart home setup.

Overall, Fibrus' decision to partner with Amazon means they can more easily provide customers with the latest router technology, while BT customers are still provided with a device first launched at the end of 2018.


WiFi guarantee

Winner: Fibrus include additional eero routers in their faster plans, while all BT customers have to pay extra for Complete WiFi.

Both Fibrus and BT broadband offer customers the option of a whole home WiFi system. However, where BT offers an actual WiFi guarantee, Fibrus only provide additional eero devices.

WiFi guarantees effectively promise minimum download speeds over wireless in every room of a customer's home, or they'll often be provided with their money back. BT offer customers £100 back as a bill credit if they don't receive a 'Strong' signal on the MyBT app in every room.

However, BT's Complete WiFi comes with a 24-month minimum term, which can't be cancelled even if the service doesn't achieve the guarantee, and costs £10 per month.

Fibrus, on the other hand, have a different system for boosting home WiFi. They offer customers an additional free eero device on faster plans, or customers can pay a monthly fee for extra devices. This can work out expensive however, as while BT Complete WiFi includes up to three boosters, Fibrus charges £7.99 per additional eero 6+ or £9.99 per additional eero Pro 6E.

Here's how the intelligent mesh systems compare by price side-by-side:

Device/s Monthly price
BT Complete WiFi Up to 3 WiFi discs £10
Fibrus Eero 6+ First additional free with Full Fibre 300, then £7.99
Fibrus Eero Pro 6E First additional free with Full Fibre 1000, then £9.99

With Fibrus, again, it's worth pointing out, all customers get the first eero device included for free, but then customers on faster packages get the second free too, and then additional devices can be added on a monthly basis.

Overall, BT offer a more straightforward WiFi guarantee, however Fibrus' flexible approach may suit some households, especially those on faster plans that only needed a second device anyway.


Call plans

Winner: Fibrus customers can add a digital home phone line with anytime calls for much less than with BT.

Fibrus and BT both offer customers the option of a digital home phone line, although the way each provider charges is different.

Fibrus customers can add the anytime call plan for £9.99 per month, which includes free calls to both UK landlines and UK mobiles at any time. This is only plan Fibrus offer, and the only way to get a home phone line with them.

In comparison, BT customers can add either a digital home phone with calls on a pay as you go basis, or choose to add inclusive call plans, including their Unlimited Minutes plan for anytime calls.

BT is more expensive than Fibrus for home phone, and this is doubly so when the price of the broadband is also factored in.

Here's how they look side-by-side:

Call plan Inclusive calls Monthly price
Fibrus Anytime Anytime calls to UK landlines and UK mobiles £9.99
BT Pay as you go calls None £5
BT Unlimited Minutes Anytime calls to UK landlines and UK mobiles £18

Overall, Fibrus offer a cheaper way to stay in touch with friends and family than with BT, and their simple approach with one call plan makes things more straightforward too.


Verdict: Fibrus or BT broadband?

Overall winner: Fibrus offer a full fibre to the premise service for much less each month than BT, they also include the latest wireless technology and a cheaper home phone option.

Fibrus and BT both offer full fibre broadband across Northern Ireland, with availability reaching both urban and rural properties.

However, where customers have a choice between the two, they may wonder which is best and who to pick.

Fibrus generally offer cheaper pricing, both for their broadband package, and for any home phone plan if a customer wants to include that as well.

However, BT currently offer more services, with customers able to add BT TV, as well as a more straightforward home WiFi guarantee, which could work out cheaper for larger homes needing multiple devices in comparison to Fibrus' per device system.

Ultimately, where availability isn't an issue, Fibrus' cheaper pricing, fairer contract terms with no mid-contract price hikes, and UK-based customer service, may well win over more customers than the options from BT.

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