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BT Student Broadband review

Thursday, November 5th 2015

BT’s student broadband range is designed for those venturing out to university for the academic year. These packages come with a choice of two download speeds and a short, nine-month contract, which means you won’t have to pay for broadband when you go home for the summer. BT student broadband is available to buy from July to October each year.

BT offers a wide range of student packages, but are they right for you? From speed and usage to value for money and extras, here is everything you need to know about BT student broadband packages.

Cable.co.uk overall rating
2.8

BT offers a short nine-month contract – ideal for students who go home for the summer. To get BT broadband you’ll need to take out line rental, which will bump up your monthly bill. But if you split the costs between your housemates, it shouldn’t be a problem.

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Speed & usage

Rating

3

BT student broadband offers two download speeds: up to 17Mbps with Unlimited Broadband and up to 76Mbps with Unlimited BT Infinity 2.

With a download speed of up to 17Mbps you can share files, browse the internet and stream standard definition (SD) TV. If you’re heavy on streaming HD movies and online gaming, you’ll need to opt for faster broadband.

BT Infinity 2 is ideal for those who want a faster, fibre optic broadband service. It has a speed of up to 76Mbps, enough to support a number of wi-fi enabled devices. According to Ofcom’s broadband speeds report, the download speed was measured at 59.9Mbps to 63.1Mbps. However, even a slight drop in speed shouldn’t make much of a difference. You’ll still be able to download an HD film in around 10 minutes.

Furthermore, student packages come with truly unlimited usage. In other words, you can download as much as you like without worrying about any extra costs.

Advertised download speed Up to 76Mbps
Average downloads (off-peak) 59.9Mbps – 63.1Mbps
Average downloads (peak) 59.3Mbps – 62.6Mbps
Advertised upload speed Up to 19Mbps
Monthly usage limit Unlimited
Traffic management No
Static IP No
Minimum contract Nine months
Router Home Hub 5
Public wi-fi Yes
Prices from n/a
Info

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What you can do with it

Advertised

Actual

The ‘Actual’ speeds are those reported by Ofcom.

Call plan

Rating

0

This student package doesn’t come with any inclusive calls, but line rental is included in the monthly fee. If you are prepared to pay more there is an option to add Unlimited Anytime Calls for £7.50 per month. You’ll be able to call UK landlines including 0845 and 0870 numbers at anytime of the day or night.

If your family and friends live abroad you can opt for an international call plan. BT offers two call plans: Friends and Family International (£1.20 per month) and International Freedom (£6.20 per month). The Friends and Family International call plan allows you to make discounted calls to landlines and mobiles in over 230 destinations. Prices start from 2.7p per minute (15.71p call set-up fee). The International Freedom call plan gives you 600 free minutes per month to call over 35 destinations. You’ll also be able to make calls to 199 destinations at a discounted rate.

It’s worth noting that inclusive calls on talk plans are free for the first 60 minutes. After this you’ll be charged. To avoid this you can hang up and redial before the 60 minutes are up.

Extras

Rating

5

BT is known to be very generous with its extras, and has thrown in several with the student broadband packages. If you’re a sports fan, then you’ll love the BT Sport app and online player. You can watch BT Sport on your laptop, tablet or phone for free. Plus, It won’t eat into your usage either.

You’ll also be able to connect to millions of wi-fi hotspots around the country. These are available in popular coffee shops and restaurants. Other extras include: BT NetProtect Plus (optional with Unlimited Broadband), which will protect your devices from viruses; the BT SmartTalk app, which enables you to access your home phone call plan from your smartphone; and the BT Cloud, which will automatically store your files and photos in one location. If you forget to save your photos on the computer, BT Cloud will do it for you.

As a student, you’ll be counting your pennies and trying to cut costs wherever you can. There are BT broadband deals available from £12.50 per month increasing to £22.50 per month. With the great extras that are thrown in, and free BT Sport, you are getting quite a good deal for your money.

Although the monthly cost is fairly reasonable, there are additional costs that are included. You’ll have to pay £18.99 per month for line rental. However, you won’t have to pay an activation fee. While the monthly costs will be coming out from one account, you have the option to split the costs between your housemates, allowing you to splash out on a few treats along the way.

The BT Home Hub 5 router comes free with all broadband packages and will provide you with the power of wi-fi in your home. With the smart dual band technology you’ll have less interference, giving you the best wi-fi signal possible. With a strong signal, you can shop, browse or even stream a movie without the frustration of buffering interrupting the process. It’s easy to set up and will only take a few minutes to get going. Plus, there’s no need to install any software and you’ll be able to connect all your devices online.

The sleek and slender router won’t stick out like a sore thumb and doesn’t take up much room either. The smart diagnostic lights will let you know if there is a problem. There is just a small £6.95 delivery charge for the Hub.

BT Router

Overall Rating

2.8

BT does have some of the best broadband deals for students available. The nine-month contracts come with an attractive price tag and decent internet speed, allowing you to connect multiple devices to the network. Plus, the extra perks are a great addition, especially the access to millions of wi-fi hotspots.

Like standard contracts, the nine-month contract doesn’t end automatically – you’ll need to remember to cancel after the eighth month, otherwise you will continue to be charged. Also remember that you can’t get broadband without line rental.

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