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BT broadband review 2021

By Dan Howdle | Friday, March 26th 2021


BT is arguably the best-known broadband and phone provider in the UK. But does being the biggest mean it’s also the best?

This page will tell you everything you need to know about BT broadband provision, including the types of broadband and average speeds you can expect.

Is BT broadband any good?

What we like

  • Fast enough for most homes
  • Smart Hub is a great router
  • Reliable WiFi

    What we don't like

  • Expensive
  • Not as fast as Virgin Media
  • Customer satisfaction is average

As a broadband provider, BT has some great selling points. There are also some drawbacks to signing up for a BT broadband deal, however, depending on your individual needs and circumstances.

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BT offers both BT broadband and BT fibre broadband packages with speeds that will meet the needs of the majority of households. The brand also boasts the highly regarded BT Smart Hub router, which is included free with every Fibre 1 and Fibre 2 broadband package.

BT offers some impressive technology to ensure your home WiFi is reliable. The BT Complete Wifi service ensures your WiFi signal will reach every area of your home, and the BT Halo package provides you with an additional 4G Mini router, powered by EE, that will spring into action should your cabled broadband ever go down, ensuring you will never have to suffer complete loss of connection.

BT is also known for being generous with cashback offers in the form of the BT Reward Card and extras that include BT Sport, various security software packages, cloud storage, and free access to BT WiFi hotspots when you’re out and about.


Though BT is a big player in the UK broadband market, it lacks the flexibility of some of the smaller providers. There are no month-to-month contracts, for example, and beware, the brand is known for hiking its monthly price as soon as a contract ends.

BT broadband is usually at the more expensive end of the scale, though there’s often a sale or incentive on offer that sweetens the deal. The brand also often scores lower for customer satisfaction than some other providers, and the ultrafast speeds are not as widely available as those on offer from Virgin Media broadband.

All things considered, BT is a reliable choice in terms of service provision. BT’s broadband speed is also comparable with other providers, though usual prices are on the more expensive end of the scale. This being said, there’s often a good offer or incentive to be had, with deals changing regularly.

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BT broadband overview

Here’s a quick look at what you can expect with a BT Broadband deal, depending upon the package you choose. Keep in mind not all extras are available with every deal.

Download speeds 10Mb, 36Mb, 50Mb, 67Mb, 145Mbps, 300Mbps, 900Mbps
Upload speeds 1Mbps, 9Mbps, 18Mbps, 49Mbps, 110Mbps
Broadband ADSL, fibre and Full Fibre
Home Phone Yes
Freebies to look for Reward Cards, zero one-off costs
Packages available Broadband & phone, Broadband & TV, Broadband
Router BT Home Hub, BT Smart Hub
Contract length 24 months
Prices from £27.99 per month

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Average BT broadband speeds

The faster the average download speed for broadband, the more you can do with your internet connection – faster, and on multiple devices.

In general the more people in your home, the more time they spend using the internet, and the more bandwidth needed for doing the activities they enjoy online (such as gaming, streaming TV and film) the faster the broadband speed you’re going to need.

BT offers a range of broadband speeds to suit the differing needs of households:

BT standard broadband

BT’s standard / ADSL broadband package offers average speeds of around 10Mbps – ideal for smaller households of up to three people who don’t use the internet for anything more intensive than online shopping and scrolling through social media feeds.

  • BT Broadband
    • 10Mb average speed
    • Unlimited usage
    Free set-up
    £32.99 p/m
    Zero one-off cost Buy Now

BT fibre broadband

Fibre broadband is typically faster and more reliable than standard broadband, making it ideal for larger households that spend a lot of time online, enjoying activities like gaming and streaming TV and film.

BT offer three different fibre packages:

Fibre Essential has average download speeds of 36Mbps.

  • BT Fibre Essential
    • 36Mb average speed
    • Unlimited usage
    • No phone line
    Free set-up
    £24.99 p/m
    Zero one-off cost Buy Now

Fibre 1 has average download speeds of 50Mbps.

  • BT Fibre 1
    • 50Mb average speed
    • Unlimited usage
    • No phone line
    £50 Reward Card
    £28.99 p/m
    Zero one-off cost Buy Now

Fibre 2 has average download speeds of 67Mbps.

  • BT Fibre 2
    • 67Mb average speed
    • Unlimited usage
    • No phone line
    £90 Reward Card
    £29.99 p/m
    Zero one-off cost Buy Now

Our comprehensive guide to BT fibre broadband will tell you everything you need to know about the three deals, and the differences between them, helping you choose one that’s right for you.

BT Full Fibre

Although not yet widely available across the country, BT also offers its Full Fibre services, with speeds of 145Mbps, 300Mbps and 900Mbps on offer. The rollout of these high-speed connections is ongoing, but they are currently available in and around major cities across the UK including Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Liverpool Leeds and London.

With a Full Fibre connection, the fibre cables connect directly into your home without the need for a phone line, providing exceptionally high speeds – perfect if you have a large household with several people online all the time.

To find out if you can get BT Full Fibre at your address, visit BT’s broadband availability page and type in your postcode checker to see if it is available in your area.

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BT broadband packages

BT offers both phone and TV packages with its broadband and they’re certainly worth a look.

Broadband and phone

BT no longer includes free calls with any of its broadband packages. All the packages are now pay-as-you-go as standard, where you simply pay for any calls you make, but you can choose to pay extra and upgrade to anytime calls or international calls if you still need to use your landline.

Broadband and TV

If you want to take advantage of BT’s TV offering, you can choose from a range of options including BT Sport, Entertainment and Freeview. Although you may not get as many channels as you would on Sky or Virgin Media, you can still get an affordable TV bundle with plenty of channels and optional upgrades. For a more in-depth review on BT’s TV offering, have a read of the review.

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Average BT broadband upload speeds

Upload speeds dictate how fast you can copy or send things from your device to the internet, cloud storage, or other devices. Most of us receive more data than we send, making upload speed much less important than download speed.

Standard BT Broadband has an upload speed up to 1Mbps. Users with Fibre Essential and Fibre 1 get upload speeds up to 9Mpbs, and Fibre 2 users benefit from upload speeds of around 18Mpbs.

BT Full Fibre customers on 145Mbps will receive an upload speed of 18Mbps, those on 300Mbps will get an upload speed of 49Mbps and those on 900Mbps will receive an upload speed of 110Mbps.

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Routers and installation


BT claims that their Smart Hub router, available with the brand’s Fibre 1 and Fibre 2 packages, boasts the best WiFi signal in the UK. Whether or not this is true, the Smart Hub is a superior router, with seven aerials that send WiFi to more rooms in your house, with fewer gaps in provision.

The Smart Hub includes the UK’s latest WiFi technology, allowing multiple devices to connect at the same time without disruptions to average download speeds. Built-in filters also block signals from neighbouring routers, making for a more reliable connection than ever before.

The newer Smart Hub 2 is currently only available to customers who sign up for BT Halo. Alternatively, you can choose to buy it outright for £200.

Standard BT broadband comes with BT Home Hub 4, a basic model that’s perfectly adequate for most smaller households.

For full details, including a BT Smart Hub 2 review, read our guide on BT Smart Hub routers. If you want to change details such as passwords and configuring other WiFi setting you can learn more in our guide to router settings .


On average, installation of BT standard or fibre broadband takes two weeks. You’ll need to have a BT landline installed if you don’t already have one, or if you’re switching over from a cable service. To find out more about what to expect, read our guide on broadband installation.

BT generally charges a one-off set up fee for all broadband packages. If you’re not happy with this, consider comparing broadband providers with no upfront costs.

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Customer service with BT broadband

The quality of BT’s customer service has gone up and down in recent years, but the brand scored above average for overall service satisfaction in Ofcom’s latest survey. If you need BT broadband help during the course of your contract, it’s also worth knowing that it fared better than both Virgin and TalkTalk when it came to customer satisfaction regarding the handling of broadband complaints.

For BT broadband help, call Customer Services, call 0800 800 150. Lines are open on Monday to Friday, 8am – 9pm and on Saturday and Sunday, 8am – 8pm. Having your account number to hand will help you deal with your issue more speedily.

Latest deals

Most broadband providers offer special deals and incentives to draw in new customers, and BT are no exception. The brand holds regular sales and offers sweeteners like cashback and vouchers which can make their top-of-the-range provision a more affordable option for those on a budget.

To check what BT is offering for new customers right now, see below.

Our verdict

It’s no wonder that BT is a household name for phone and broadband – they have a range of options available and speeds that will impress, along with a growing reputation for reliability when it comes to home WiFi. Their Fibre 1 deal with an average speed of 50Mbps offers really good value, if you want fast broadband at a reasonable price. Adding TV and calls bundles is easy and you can find some highly competitive offers for these services. That said, BT is still one of the more expensive providers on the market, but its regular offers make it a solid contender for anyone seeking a new home broadband deal.

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