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BT broadband review 2021

By Dan Howdle | Thursday, January 7th 2021

4/5

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 a good choice?

What we like

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

    What we don't like

  • Expensive when no sale/cashback offers
  • Not as fast as Virgin Media
  • Customer satisfaction lower than other providers

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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Pros

BT offers both standard / ADSL and fibre broadband packages with speeds that will meet the needs of most households. The brand also boasts quick and simple broadband installation, and with their Fibre 1 and Fibre 2 deals, you’ll benefit from the inclusion of the highly regarded BT Smart Hub router.

BT are known for being generous with cashback offers and extras that include BT Sport, various security software packages, cloud storage, and free access to WiFi hotspots when you’re out and about.

Cons

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 other providers, and speeds don’t reach the dizzy heights of Virgin Media broadband, even with BT Fibre 2, the fastest available package.

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 – an 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
Upload speeds 1Mb, 9.5Mb, 19Mb
Broadband ADSL & fibre
Home Phone Yes
Freebies to look for Reward cards, Zero one-off costs
Packages available Broadband & phone, Broadband & TV, Broadband, TV & phone
Router BT Home Hub, BT Smart Hub
Contract length 24 months
Prices from £24.99 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 band-width 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 offer 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

    BT
    • 10Mb average speed
    • Unlimited usage
    • PAYG calls
    Save £48
    £24.99 p/m
    Zero one-off cost Visit 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 2

    BT
    • 67Mb average speed
    • Unlimited usage
    • PAYG calls
    £80 Reward Card
    £29.99 p/m
    Zero one-off cost Visit Now

Fibre 1 has average download speeds of 50Mbps.

  • BT Fibre 1

    BT
    • 50Mb average speed
    • Unlimited usage
    • PAYG calls
    £60 Reward Card
    £27.99 p/m
    Zero one-off cost Visit Now

Fibre 2 has average download speeds of 67Mbps.

  • BT Fibre 1

    BT
    • 50Mb average speed
    • Unlimited usage
    • PAYG calls
    £60 Reward Card
    £27.99 p/m
    Zero one-off cost Visit 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.

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BT broadband packages

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

Broadband and phone

You’ll find free weekend calls on BT’s basic broadband and phone bundle and you can upgrade the service with anytime calls or international calls, if you want.

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, Classic 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 2Mbps. Users with Fibre Essential and Fibre 1 get upload speeds up to 9.5Mpbs, and Fibre 2 users benefit from upload speeds of around 19.5Mpbs.

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Routers and installation

Routers

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.

Standard BT broadband comes with a 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 .

Installation

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

Sadly, the quality of BT’s customer service has declined in recent years, and the brand scored below average for landline and broadband provision in Ofcom’s latest survey. If you need BT broadband help during the course of your contract, it’s worth bearing in mind that this hasn’t been rated very highly by existing customers.

The survey also revealed that the brand has the second-lowest customer satisfaction rating of those included, with only TalkTalk coming in below BT.

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 customrs 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. 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 phone bundles is easy and you can find some highly competitive offers for these services. That said, BT’s customer service does let them down, but we wouldn’t say it’s a dealbreaker.

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