BT Broadband Packages
Buyers guide to BT broadband
Our guide will help you consider all of the factors when deciding if BT broadband is the right choice for you. Find out about download speeds in your area, usage limits, traffic management, freebies and contracts.
We’ll mainly be focusing on standard BT broadband. If you’re looking for BT fibre broadband, please read our buyers guide to BT Infinity.
Why choose BT broadband?
BT’s main broadband advantages are arguably availability and convenience. More UK homes can get BT broadband than any rival service, and if you’ve already got a BT landline it’s usually quick and easy to add broadband and calls.
Everything you need will be sent to you by BT and installation normally takes less than 15 minutes. All charges will be added to your existing bill so you won’t need to set up a new Direct Debit, or deal with anyone else if anything goes wrong.
Your broadband options
There are three BT standard home broadband packages to choose from:
- BT Broadband with 10GB usage
- BT More Broadband with 40GB usage
- BT Unlimited Broadband with unlimited usage
All 3 come with the same range of extras, which we will detail for you later on in this guide.
The download speed of these 3 options is advertised as being up to 16Mbps, but the speed you’ll get will be determined by a number of factors with the main one being your location. You can find out your estimated download speed via our free postcode checker above.
Choosing the right package
There are two main features that separate BT broadband packages - monthly usage allowance and cost which makes it’s relatively easy to work out which is the right package for you:
BT Broadband with 10GB is only suitable for light use, and ideally by no more than two people. Perfect for browsing and occasional iPlayer/Netflix use you should keep an eye on your usage to avoid penalties.
BT More Broadband with its 40GB usage allowance is suitable for up to an hour’s worth of online video each day plus light to moderate browsing all month.
BT Broadband Unlimited suits more serious users, such as that watch a lot of streamed video, or those that have to share their connection with family or housemates.
6 essential questions before you buy:
- Do I need 10GB, 40GB or unlimited usage?
- Do I need to upgrade to anytime calls?
- Should I take up the Line Rental Saver offer?
- Can I commit to the minimum term?
- Do I want to add BT Vision digital TV?
- Would I be better off with superfast BT Infinity fibre broadband instead?
To get any BT broadband package you’ll need an active BT line and to pay line rental at £15.45 a month.
You can reduce the cost of your line rental bill with the Line Rental Saver scheme. This involves paying £141 upfront on your debit or credit card to cover a full year’s line rental. Doing so means you’ll pay the equivalent of £11.75 a month, and save you £44.40 each year.
New lines normally cost in the region of £130 to connect, however BT has scrapped this fee for new customers signing up for a broadband and calls package online. This only applies to new lines, not reconnections, so if you’re unsure of the status of your line you should call BT for advice before you go any further.
Your inclusive calls
All BT broadband and phone packages come with inclusive evening & weekend calls to UK landlines and to 0845 & 0870 numbers. For a call to remain within your allowance and not be chargeable it must be made between 7pm-7am on a weekday or between midnight on Friday-midnight Sunday, and last no more than 60 minutes.
For an extra £5.15 a month you can upgrade to anytime calls which, as the name suggests, allows you to make inclusive calls of an hour or less to UK landlines, 0845 & 05870 numbers all day, 7 days a week.
Contracts and making changes
Contracts usually last 18 months, but on occasion BT does offer some packages on 12 month contracts.
When you join you’ll be tied into it for at least the stated minimum term or risk a penalty charge for leaving early. Bear in mind that BT charges a separate fee for each service so the more you cancel, and the longer left on your contract, the more you’ll have to pay.
If you make any changes to your package you’d normally begin a new minimum term, so think carefully before doing so if an extra 18 month commitment is likely to be a problem.
BT prefers to operate as paper-free as possible, so you’ll receive your bills electronically and be expected to pay by Direct Debit. Under certain circumstances you do have other billing and payment options but these come with a surcharge.
Freebies & added extras
Whichever package you choose you’ll qualify for a range of freebies and extras. These include:
BT Home Hub 3 – the latest model of BT’s wireless router lets you connect multiple devices wirelessly at the same time and can automatically avoid signal interference. It retails for £99 but it is provided free to all new BT broadband and calls customers, although £6.95 is charged for delivery.
Unlimited public Wi-Fi – BT operates the world’s biggest network of public Wi-Fi, with more than 4.5 million hotspots in the UK alone. As a customer you’ll be entitled to unlimited access to this network.
BT Family Protection is included in all packages to allow you to block inappropriate websites and to set limits on how much time your children can spend online.
The BT Digital Vault gives you 5GB of online storage in which to backup your favourite files and photos, which can be shared with others if you like.
Online Security with McAfee is included for customers on 10GB and 40GB packages, and as an optional extra for 10GB customers.
Usage limits & excess penalties
If you exceed your monthly usage allowance on either the 10GB or 40GB then BT is entitled to charge you an extra £5 for each extra 5GB or part thereof. On the plus side you won’t be charge the first time you go over.
To help you avoid exceeding your allowance BT provides access to a free usage monitor on the ‘My BT’ website, and each month they will email your BT-Yahoo address once you’ve used up 80%.
While there is no longer a fair usage policy on any package, traffic management is used to ensure a ‘consistent level of service’ for the majority of users. This entails reducing the speed of non-time critical activities such as P2P filesharing during the peak time hours 4pm-midnight Monday to Friday and 9am-midnight Saturday & Sunday.