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BT broadband vs EE broadband

Friday, November 17th 2017

EE is a relative newcomer compared to the well-established BT. Both providers offer a range of broadband packages, but of the two, which provider has the best broadband service?

To find out, here is everything you need to know about BT’s and EE’s home broadband services, stacked head-to-head in terms of price, speed, usage, packages, customer service, technology and more.

At a glance

BT and EE both offer fibre and standard broadband services, and they compete closely on pricing and availability. BT offers a selection of capped and unlimited services whereas all EE's broadband deals are unlimited.

  • BT Unlimited Broadband + Calls

    BT
    • Pay nothing today
    • Weekend calls
    • Free BT Home Hub 4 Wi-Fi router
    Offer ends 14th December
    £23 .99
    £9.99 set-up cost includes line rental See Deal
  • EE Unlimited Broadband

    EE
    • Pay nothing today
    • Free wireless router
    Includes EE Mobile 5GB Data Boost
    £21 .50
    £10 set-up cost includes line rental See Deal

  • BT Unlimited Infinity 1 + Calls

    BT
    • Pay nothing today
    • Weekend calls
    • UK's best Wi-Fi router
    Offer ends 14th December & Activation fee discount worth £30
    £31 .99
    £29.99 set-up cost includes line rental See Deal
  • EE Unlimited Fibre Broadband

    EE
    • Pay nothing today
    • Free wireless router
    Includes EE Mobile 5GB Data Boost
    £29
    £35 set-up cost includes line rental See Deal

Speed and usage

BT

Download speed is at the top of many people’s broadband checklists and BT and EE appear to come out equal on paper, with matching download speeds for standard and fibre broadband.

But dig a little deeper and BT’s fibre service fares marginally better in Ofcom’s speed tests, delivering an average 32.1Mbps to 34.4Mbps on the 52Mbps package, and 59.9Mbps to 63.1Mbps on the 76Mbps package.

EE

While EE is beaten on fibre speeds, it’s leaps and bounds ahead of BT in terms of the average standard broadband speed (ADSL). According to Ofcom, EE was rated as having an average download speed of 9.5Mbps to 12Mbps on its standard broadband package – far faster than BT’s 8.9Mbps to 11.8Mbps.

But remember, your actual download speed is likely to vary due to all sorts of factors, including your distance from the local telecoms exchange and the age of the cables supplying your property.

Package comparison

BT

BT broadband offers unlimited usage on all its packages, although there are also packages with usage limits. Bear in mind that if you go over the data allowance you will be penalised and charged for every extra gigabyte you use.

All BT’s broadband plans are subject to 18-month minimum term contracts. If you decide to cancel the contract early you’ll be faced with termination charges.

EE

EE offers three broadband services, all with unlimited usage: one standard (up to 17Mb) and two fibre (up to 38Mb and 76Mb).

If you live within a large household full of individuals who are consistently online, you may want to opt for one of the fibre packages. But if you use the internet for little more than the occasional spot of browsing, emailing and social networking, you can get away with 17Mb.

Traffic management is in place on EE’s broadband packages, but will generally only affect your experience if you use peer-to-peer services on a regular basis.

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Customer service

BT

As the oldest telecoms provider in the UK, you’d expect BT to have a high standard of customer service. However, BT has often scored below average in comparison to the sector average in recent surveys.

EE

EE has insufficient market share to be included in the survey at the moment, but anecdotal evidence suggests there are many disgruntled customers and there’s certainly room for improvement.

Technology and equipment

BT

Join BT broadband and you’ll get the router free of charge (subject to £9.99 delivery charge). The BT Home Hub comes with standard broadband and the BT Smart Hub is supplied with BT’s fibre services – Infinity 1 and Infinity 2.

Features include simple set-up, dual-band technology to reduce wireless interference and drop-out, and quick and easy wireless connection. The Smart Hub also includes next-generation AC wireless technology, which supports the faster speeds of BT Infinity.

EE

EE supplies customers with a free Bright Box router. There are also two versions, and the one you receive will depend on whether you’ve signed up for standard or fibre broadband.

The Bright Box is simple to set up ‘smart technology’ to avoid interference. It also supports wireless coverage up to 250 meters with multiple devices. The latest version supports the faster speeds of EE’s fibre services. Delivery is £7.

Extra features

BT

The biggest extra is undoubtedly unlimited free access to the country’s largest public wi-fi network, which all BT broadband customers get as standard. It includes over five million UK hotspots and a further seven million overseas.

You’ll also get Cloud storage, parental controls and SmartTalk, which can help to cut your mobile bill. There’s also the option to upgrade all services to include BT NetProtect Plus, an anti-virus and anti-spyware package from McAfee to protect up to seven devices on your home network.

BT Broadband packages come with inclusive weekend calls, but ou can choose to bolt on anytime calls. You can also get a 4G BT Mobile SIM from just £5 per month. BT Mobile SIM plans come with a set amount of minutes, texts and data.

EE

The key bonus for EE is free security software for 12 months with Norton 360. It is worth £59.99, provides 2GB online storage and actively protects up to three devices from viruses, spam and identity theft threats.

Conclusion

It’s certainly a tough decision between BT and EE as they offer comparable services and a nice range of extras. The option for existing EE mobile customers to get an extra 5GB for free when they sign up to EE broadband make it great value for its mobile customers. However, when it comes to fibre, BT offers a faster speed and more in the way of extras.

And don’t forget, Cable.co.uk now produces in-depth broadband reviews of every major UK broadband package, so check them out if you need more information.

Compare BT broadband → Compare EE broadband →

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