Claire Nottage | June 7th, 2024

BT Fibre 1 broadband

If you are looking for a solid fibre speed that will do the job when it comes to keeping everything connected, BT Fibre 1 is a good choice. The middle sibling of BT’s three fibre speeds (the other being Fibre Essentials and Fibre 2), Fibre 1 is a popular choice for many households.

BT broadband router

BT’s fibre packages are available almost everywhere across the UK. Fibre cables carry the connection as far as your local street cabinet; from there to your house, copper cables are used. This means that if you live a long way from your local cabinet your speeds may suffer. However, this is largely not the case for most people, and most people should receive around 45Mbps with a Fibre 1 connection.

But with the 76Mbps of Fibre 2 also available, as well as the ultrafast full fibre services that now offer up to 900Mbps, you might be asking yourself if 50Mbps is really enough? We take a look at what sort of homes a 50Mbps internet connection can support and what else you get for your money when you sign up to BT Fibre 1.

Key features

Here’s a rundown of what you can expect to find with BT’s Fibre 1.

Price £34.99 per month
Download speed 50Mbps
Upload speed 9.5Mbps
Broadband Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC)
Home phone None, Evening & Weekends, Anytime
Parental controls Yes
Router Smart Hub 2
Packages available Broadband only, Broadband & phone, Broadband & TV
Contract length 24 months

Who is BT Fibre 1 for?

BT Fibre 1 is a mid-range fibre service averaging 45-50Mbps, offering considerably more speed than a standard ADSL service or even an entry-level fibre service of 36Mbps.

Here’s a brief outline of what activities and which households BT Fibre 1 can support:

  • Households with 2-4 occupants – 50Mbps is perfectly sufficient for a small household
  • Gamers –Surprisingly, gaming does not require a lightning-fast download speed, so 50Mbps is suitable for a gamer, plus with up to 10Mbps upload speed, gameplay should run smoothly
  • Video streamers – A 50Mbps is plenty for streaming TV and movies online via the likes of Netflix, Apple TV, Amazon Prime and Disney. To watch in UHD, Netflix recommends a speed of 25Mbps, so if you have a lot of other devices online at once, it may struggle to stream in UHD
  • Cloud storage –Although Fibre 1 comes with a relatively slow upload speed of around 10Mbps, this is still plenty for uploading content to the cloud, such as photos or work files
  • Up to seven devices – if you only have a handful of devices that require an internet connection, 50Mbps is plenty to keep everything online
  • Live streamers – For anyone that live streams, 50Mbps will do the job, but with up to 15Mbps required for this activity, if you are also using your wifi on several other devices at the same time, your connection may slow down

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How does BT Fibre 1 compare?

Broadband Package Download Speed Upload Speed Monthly Cost
Broadband 10Mbps 1Mbps £29.99 per month
BT Fibre 1 50Mbps 9.5Mbps £34.99 per month
Fibre Essential 36Mbps 9.5Mbps £28.99 per month
BT Fibre 2 67Mbps 19Mbps £29.99 per month
BT Full Fibre 100 150Mbps 28Mbps £30.99 per month
BT 0Mbps 0Mbps £0 per month
BT Full Fibre 900 900Mbps 110Mbps £49 per month
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What's included with BT Fibre 1?

Like most broadband packages, BT Fibre 1 is fully unlimited, with no limits on how much you can download or upload, nor any traffic management where your connection is slowed at certain times of day or for certain activities.

BT Fibre 1 customers will receive the BT Smart Hub router, unless you choose to subscribe to BT Hybrid Connect or BT Halo, in which case you will be upgraded to the Smart Hub 2 router. The original Smart Hub is a decent router and will cope admirably with a 50Mbps service.

BT Hub router

BT Smart Hub router specification

  • WiFi 5 – The BT Smart Hub uses the WiFi 5 (802.11ac) standard connection, currently used by most other routers
  • Smart channel selection – This enables the Smart Hub to automatically connect to the best frequency and channel to ensure your devices receive the best signal possible
  • Latest wifi technology – The latest technology means that the Smart Hub is constantly monitoring connectivity and will automatically reboot itself when necessary
  • Dual band – The Smart Hub uses two frequencies (2.4GHz and 5GHz). The 2.4GHz has a greater range than 5GHz, whereas 5GHz provides greater speed and performance. Together they provide a reliable signal to all your devices
  • Four gigabit ports – The four gigabit LAN ports on the rear of the Smart Hub, enables you to connect up to four devices with a cable, which will provide a more reliable, and faster connection than wifi
  • Seven antennae – The Smart Hub’s seven antennae ensure that you can enjoy the best signal around your home

Extras

All BT Fibre 1 customers will receive BT Web Protect as standard with their broadband package. This software protects your devices at network level, so anything you have connected to your router will be protected from viruses, phishing and various other internet nasties. It also flashes up a warning before you visit a website it deems to be potentially harmful. Web Protect also blocks pop-ups and keeps an eye on your email for lurking viruses and spyware.

In addition, customers receive BT Virus Protect, which is designed for use on individual devices. Powered by Norton, it provides an additional layer of protection from viruses and will block any unauthorised traffic to your device, ensuring your personal information is kept safe. As a bonus, customers can choose to download Norton Password Manager, which will help you create and securely store complex passwords in one place, along with your credit card information (should you wish), keeping online purchases safe and secure. BT Fibre 1 customers receive two free licences for BT Virus Protect that can be used on two separate devices, but if you want to cover other devices, you can choose to pay extra to get up to 15 licences.

BT includes its parental controls with all its broadband packages as standard. Operating at router level, the controls apply to every device connected. There are three preset levels to choose from that can be adapted to your own preferences: Light, Moderate and Strict.

BT has over five million WiFi hotspots that all BT customers can use for free when they are out, rather than using their mobile data. The BT Wifi app will automatically connect to a hotspot once you are in reach. Just download the app and log in to benefit from this free connectivity. The hotspots are available in numerous cafes, shopping malls, restaurants, airports and train stations around the country.

What we think

BT Fibre 1 offers a decent, yet modest speed ideal for most homes that do not have huge numbers of devices to keep online and it comes with a solid package of security software to keep your devices safe and your personal information protected. You can choose to take Fibre 1 on its own or bundle it up with BT TV, which offers good value and comes with NOW TV Entertainment and Netflix as standard.

However, it does require a relatively long 24-month contract, and the Smart Hub is not the most up-to-date router available. Customers with more than a few devices that do a lot of streaming or downloading will benefit from a faster broadband package, such as BT Fibre 2.

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