BT Home Essentials

Dan Howdle | November 14th, 2022

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BT is one of the biggest broadband providers in the UK with over 18 million customers. It offers speeds from 67Mbps to 900Mbps, with broadband-only packages or bundled with other services like phone and TV.

Home Essentials is a low-cost broadband package BT offers exclusively to customers receiving government benefits. From just £15 per month, you can get fibre broadband with speeds of up to 67Mbps. To find out what else the package provides and what the eligibility criteria are, here is all you need to know.

Key features

Here’s a quick summary of what you can expect to find with BT Home Essentials.

Price £15 per month
Download speed 67Mbps average
Router Smart Hub 2
Packages available Broadband & phone, Phone only
Contract length 12 months

Who is BT Essentials for?

Home Essentials is an affordable package targeted at customers with tight budgets who may struggle to pay for a broadband and phone package otherwise. To qualify, you’ll need to be receiving at least one of these government benefits.

  • Universal Credit (all claimants)
  • Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit)
  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance

How to apply for BT Home Essentials

To sign up, you will need to visit BT’s Home Essentials page rather than BT’s usual home broadband page. You’ll need to enter your postcode to check which plans are available to you and then choose the one you want. The eligibility verification is instant, so you can proceed to sign up immediately.

Customers have two choices of broadband when it comes to BT Essentials. Unlimited Fibre Essential comes with a download speed averaging 36Mbps and 700 minutes per month for making calls to landlines and mobiles. Unlimited Fibre comes with a download speed of up to 71Mbps and unlimited minutes. Alternatively you can choose a call-only plan for just £10 per month, which also gives you unlimited minutes. Note that there is a one-time £9.99 postage and packaging charge for any new Essentials broadband customers.


What's included with BT Home Essentials

Here’s what you can expect from the BT Home Essentials package:

  • Reliable Wi-Fi – You’ll receive BT’s dual band Smart Hub 2 router, which provides a wifi signal using the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands. It has seven antennas positioned to maximise power and deliver a strong signal across your home. It also has four Ethernet ports if you want to connect it to your device using cables
  • Unlimited Broadband – There are no data caps or download limits, so you can do what you want online
  • Guaranteed Speeds – BT offers guaranteed speeds with each package and £20 compensation if your speed falls below that guarantee
  • Security – BT has over 3,000 security experts working round the clock to protect users from cyberattacks.

BT Smart Hub 2 router specification

  • Seven antennas – The Smart Hub 2 has seven antennas, which means more bandwidth for your devices
  • Dual-band – This router can transmit data using both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies
  • Smart Scan – The Smart Hub 2 router constantly monitors your hub's connection and quietly makes changes if it spots any problem
  • Four gigabit ports – The Smart Hub 2 has four Gigabit ports, which are 10 times faster than normal Ethernet ports, so you're guaranteed a fast connection.
  • Advanced filtering – This router is capable of filtering out interference that can negatively impact your WiFi speed and performance.


Home Essentials subscribers get free internet protection and security tools powered by Norton, a famous cybersecurity vendor. They also get unlimited access to BT’s Wi-Fi hotspots across the UK, 10GB cloud storage, and a six-month subscription to video streaming service BritBox, which offers the largest online collection of British TV.

What we think

Home Essentials is a good plan if you’re on a tight budget and you have the qualifying criteria. For as little as £15 per month, you can enjoy fast, unlimited broadband and anytime calls. BT’s Home Essentials offers value for money if you’re an eligible customer.

However, BT isn't the only provider to offer low-cost plans for customers on Universal Credit and other government benefits. Virgin Media offers a package of 15Mbps for £15 per month – for the same price as BT but with much slower speeds. Vodafone offers an even cheaper plan costing £12 per month with a download speed of 38Mbps.

See also

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