BT Broadband

BT broadband and TV

BT is one of the UK’s leading fibre broadband providers. BT services, including broadband, telephone, TV and mobile networks, are known for their reliability and appeal to a wide range of users. BT has a lot to offer, but does BT have the right deal for you?

Overview

BT offers a wide range of options – speeds from 50Mbps to 900Mbps. It allows you to get broadband with or without a landline and even add BT TV for great value.

BT fibre broadband service offers guaranteed minimum speeds (Stay Fast Guarantee) and truly unlimited data with no traffic management.

Next generation, BT Smart Hub 2 is one of the best WiFi routers that can simply connect more devices and get the fast, strong signal in every room. Security features are flawless

Complete WiFi is available for an additional fee, you are guaranteed strong WiFi signal in all rooms, or you can ask for a refund.

BT Broadband plans come with free extras such as public WiFi, BT Cloud, and parental controls and antivirus software (Virus Protect).

Home phone, premium Halo packages and TV packages are optional at an additional cost.

Overall, however, BT offerings are not cheap compared to Plusnet and TalkTalk, and come with longer contracts (24 months).

BT Broadband Speeds

BT offers standard broadband (ADSL), superfast broadband (FTTC) and ultrafast broadband. 

BT Broadband Speeds

  • Standard broadband comes with an average download speed of 10Mbps. 
  • Superfast Fibre broadband comes with five different average download speeds – 36Mbps, 50Mbps, 67Mbps,145Mbps, 250Mbps and 300Mbps.
  • Full fibre broadband which can deliver 100Mbps –  900Mbps speeds is available in selected areas.

BT Full Fibre Broadband

BT mentions that its full fibre is the latest fibre optic technology, which offers faster and more stable download and upload speeds compared to FTTC packages like Fibre Essentials, Fibre 1, and Fibre 2.

Full fibre FTTP networks consist entirely of fibre optic cables, while G.fast technology (optimized for speed) uses a mix of fibre and copper cables.

Another difference between Gfast and FTTP is that G.fast fibre service is provided with landline, whereas full fibre FTTP connections are provided without phone lines.

  • BT Full Fibre plans offer average download speeds between 150Mbps and 910Mbps
  • Average upload speeds range between 30Mbps and 110Mbps
  • Full fibre plans have no landline service (no phone lines)
  • Includes state-of-the-art BT Smart Hub 2 router.
  • Includes free extras such as BT Virus Protect (15 devices) and cloud storage (1000GB).
  • Currently, BT’s full fibre network is available in select areas covering 7 million premises in the UK (24% of the UK).
  • 24 month contract applies.

BT Full Fibre 100 is the entry-level plan with an average download speed of 152Mbps. The average upload speed is much lower at 30Mbps.

Stay Fast Guarantee speed for this plan or a guaranteed minimum download speed is 100 Mbps. You can expect a maximum download speed of 160Mbps.

If you live in an area where only G.fast is available,, you can still get Fibre 100.

  • Full fibre comes with ultrafast speeds, Smart Hub 2 router and some free extras like BT Virus Protect for 15 devices.
  • Full Fibre features blazing fast speeds, a Smart Hub 2 router, and some free extras like BT Virus Protect for 15 devices.
  • Full fibre 100 is ideal for 2-5 users, 4K streaming and online gaming
  • On the other hand, it’s pricier than  Vodafone Superfast 100 and TalkTalk Fibre 150

BT Full Fibre 500 is a mid-range ultrafast package with an average download speed of 500Mbps, but an average upload speed of only 73Mbps.

Stay Fast Guarantee speed or minimum guaranteed download speed for this plan is 250Mbps.

  • BT Full Fibre 500 is expensive in this category (500Mbps+). Other providers such as Hyperoptic offer the same speeds, with prices starting from £28 per month.
  • Includes a powerful Smart Hub 2 router and BT Virus Protect for 15 devices at no extra cost. 
  • Full Fibre 500 is ideal for busy homes that need to connect more devices. Great for online gaming and 4K streaming, even on multiple devices at the same time.
  • Upload speeds are decent, but if you’re looking for a plan with symmetrical upload speeds (upload speed matches download speed), you can check out products from Hyperoptic, Community Fibre and Vodafone.

BT Full Fibre 900 has an average download speed of 910 Mbit/s and an upload speed of 110 Mbit/s. It provides blazing speed and performance to meet your high bandwidth needs when you need to connect many devices.

Full Fibre 900 offers Stay Fast Guarantee or a guaranteed minimum download speed of 700 Mbps.

  • BT has a reputation for reliable speeds, service and free extras. It’s also known for expensive broadband services, as is the Full Fibre 900.
  • You get the fastest Smart Hub 2 router and free extras like BT Virus Protect for 15 devices.
  • You can find low cost deals from providers such as Hyperoptic, TalkTalk and EE in this segment (900Mbps+)  
  • In this section (900Mbps+) you’ll find cheap deals from providers like Hyperoptic, TalkTalk, and EE.
  • Full Fibre 900 is a Gigafast plan that offers faster speeds than the entry-level 100Mbps plan. It’s ideal for connecting 20+ devices, lag-free internet for online gaming, and high-quality 4K streaming.

BT TV and Broadband

If you want to watch BT TV, you need to buy a broadband plan and add a TV package, and vice versa. BT offers broadband only (no landline) and dual broadband & phone plan with a TV package, the former being cheaper and saving money. BT also offers tailored broadband & TV bundles so you can find the package that best suits your needs.

BT TV

BT’s basic TV package includes freeview channels, a recordable Youview+ box or the latest 4K enabled BT TV Box Pro, BT Sport and exclusive AMC channels, while add-ons such as Sky Cinema, Netflix, Sky Sports and Amazon Prime can be added as options. In addition to the free TV app, BT also offers the BT TV App Extra for £5 a month, so you can watch shows on Samsung Smart TVs, Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and tablets without the need for an extra TV box.

BT TV Boxes

BT YouView TV box

YouView+ box is included as standard TV box which comes with 300GB storage and can record and store 300 hours of TV shows in standard resolution. 

The 4K enabled TV box is included in VIP TV and it can record shows in ultra-HD 4K resolution. It can record 600 hours of TV shows in SD or 250 hours of HD content. 

BT TV Packages and Channels

BT offers a range of  TV packages you can can choose from: 

  • Entertainment – Includes Sky Atlantic and more with a NOW Entertainment Membership,  Netflix, AMC and  Freeview channels
  • Big Entertainment – Includes Sky Atlantic and more with a NOW Entertainment Membership, NOW Cinema Membership, Netflix, AMC and  Freeview channels
  • Sport – Includes  AMC, BT Sport, BoxNation and  Freeview channels
  • Big Sport – Includes NOW Sports Membership, AMC and Freeview channels.
  • VIP – Includes Sky Atlantic and more with a NOW Entertainment Membership, NOW Cinema Membership, standard Netflix, Sky Sports, BT Sport, AMC and Freeview channels

Just choose one of these packages and bundle it with a fibre broadband plan. Choose landline option if you want, or just get the cheaper broadband only and TV package. 24 month contract and one-off setup will apply. BT also offers reward cards with broadband and TV deals.

Entertainment TV

Entertainment TV pack includes freeview channels, NOW Entertainment membership, Sky Originals, HBO and AMC . 

Watch unlimited movies and TV shows simultaneously in SD format on one screen with a Netflix Basic subscription

BT Entertainment channels

Sport

BT Sport TV package includes all four BT Sport channels, Eurosport, AMC and freeview channels.

BT Sport channels

Big Sport

Big Sport pack includes all the Sky Sport channels, BT Sport channels, AMC and freeview channels. 

BT Big Sport TV channels

Big Entertainment

Big Entertainment TV pack includes freeview channels, NOW Entertainment membership, Sky Originals, all Sky Cinema channels, HBO and AMC . 

Watch unlimited movies and TV shows simultaneously in SD format on one screen with a Netflix Basic subscription

BT Big Entertainment TV channels

VIP

VIP TV package includes freeview channels, Now Entertainment, AMC, Sky Cinema, Sky Sport, Eurosport and Netflix standard plan (HD on two screens).

BT VIP TV channels

BT Smart Hub Routers

The Smart Hub is BT’s wireless broadband router, although BT currently offers three versions of the Smart Hub to its broadband customers.

BT Smart Hub routers

  • Available with entry-level fibre packages for no extra cost. BT Smart Hub is designed to offer strong signal around your home. It’s tweaked to offer the best WiFi performance using features like 7 antenna, smart channel selection and smart scan.
  • The advanced BT Smart Hub 2 is a mesh router available in Complete Wi-Fi or full fibre optic packages or premium services like Halo. Complete Wi-Fi comes with a Wi-Fi disc for Smart Hub 2 to help you get a more reliable, stronger Wi-Fi signal in every room.

Specifications

Feature BT Smart Hub BT Smart Hub 2
Modem ADSL, ADSL2+ and VDSL2 ADSL, ADSL2+, VDSL2 and G.fast
WiFi standard 802.11ac 802.11ac
Dual bands
((2.4GHz and 5GHz )
yes yes
Ethernet Speeds 1733Mbps 1917Mbps
Gigabit connections 4 4
Number of antennas 7 7 External
2 DECT Antennas
DECT antennas N/A 2

BT Smart Hub 3

BT Smart Hub 3

While BT Smart Hub 2 is WiFi 5 (802.11ac) router,  the new Smart Hub 3 router supports the latest  Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard which can optimise wifi speeds in areas of congestions or when connecting more devices. While both Smart Hub 2 and Smart Hub3 support WiFi mesh networking, allowing WiFi extenders or discs to extend coverage and speed throughout the home, the Smart Hub 3 features an enhanced mesh networking system compatible with full fibre broadband.

Features

  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) is the latest WiFi technology that significantly boosts the signal and handles 2Gbps+ speeds.
  • The current mesh system in the Smart Hub 3 can handle speeds of up to 500Mbps.
  • The kit is expected to include a new app for managing WiFi mesh networks.
  • Like the Smart Hub 2, the new Smart Hub 3 also features 4G backup, which provides internet connectivity by connecting to a 4G mobile network in the event of a broadband outage.
  • BT full fibre bundles, including Smart Hub 3 and Complete WiFi, are also expected to deliver guaranteed WiFi speeds in every room of the house.

Differences between Smart Hub 2 and Smart Hub 3

  • While the existing BT Smart Hub 2 is WiFi 5 (802.11ac) router,  the new router supports the latest  Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard which optimises WiFi in congested areas or when connecting more devices.
  • While both the Smart Hub 2 and Smart Hub 3 support WiFi mesh networking, allowing WiFi extenders or discs to extend coverage and speed throughout the home, the Smart Hub 3 features an enhanced mesh networking system compatible with full fibre broadband.

WiFi Disc specifications

BT WiFi disc

  • Number of discs provided – up to 3
  • Dual bands (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz)
  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Up to 2118Mbps speeds
  • 1 gigabit connection
  • Size: 16.5 x 16.5 x 3.6 cm

How to get BT Smart Hub 2 and 3 router?

  • If you want to get Smart Hub 2, you can choose to upgrade or subscribe for BT Complete WiFi, an add-on service that includes Smart Hub 2 and WiFi discs for an extra £10 per month.
  • According to BT, the Smart Hub 3 will be supplied as a standard router with a full fibre package, while upgrades will be made available to other customers upon release.

BT Halo Add-ons

BT Halo is an optional add-on for BT broadband customers. Current Halo 3 and BT Halo 3+ deals cost an extra £1 to £35 per month and come with a range of features that give you premium features that the regular plan lacks.

With a Halo plan, you enjoy uninterrupted broadband, guaranteed connection speeds, and protection from price hikes.

BT Halo 3

What’s included in the BT Halo deals? Is BT Halo worth it? Should you upgrade to the Halo plan?

The good

  • Halo customers get premium support from BT Home Tech Experts.
  • There will be no price increase for Halo customers upon renewal of the contract.
  • Halo plans provide double data on BT mobile plans.
  • Additionally, Halo 3+ customers get Complete WiFi and an advanced Smart Hub 2

The bad

  • BT Halo plan is expensive, twice as much as the normal plan.
  • There are no short-term contracts, only 24-month contracts.

BT Halo 3 and BT Halo 3+

BT offers two Halo deals –  Halo 3 and Halo 3+. The two options share some common features, while the more expensive Halo 3+ plan offers some extra features.

Common features

  • Keep connected promise
    Customers of Halo are guaranteed internet access during outages, issues or relocation. Mobile broadband providers typically offer unlimited mobile data for staying connected. Additionally, customers will receive 4G/5G backup, Halo 3+ will receive it via Smart Hub 2, and Halo customers will receive a 4G Mini Hub.
  • Price promise
    One of the main benefits you get as a Halo customer is that post-contract pricing does not apply when you renew your current BT service. You can enjoy cheaper rates that apply to new customers, although inflation-based price increases still apply.
  • Support from BT Home Tech Experts
    Halo customers receive free assistance from BT Home Tech Experts. A specialist team of engineers will visit your premises to set up broadband, troubleshoot connection issues and also conduct an annual inspection. You can contact BT Home Tech Experts any day of the week.
  • Double mobile data
    If you are a BT Halo subscriber and also have a BT mobile plan, you will get double the data on your plan at no extra cost.

Exclusive features of Halo 3+

BT Halo 3+ is the next level plan of Halo 3 with some additional features as listed below:

  • Smart Hub 2 – BT Smart Hub 2 is a mesh router which supports Complete WiFi and WiFi discs. It is free with Halo 3+. It is also a part Hybrid Connect which helps customers get 4G connectivity during broadband outages.
  • Complete WiFi – This feature ensures WiFi speeds of 10 Mbps in every room of your home. With Halo 3+, you get it at no extra cost. BT provides the Smart Hub 2 Router and WiFi discs to help you get guaranteed speeds on all your connected devices. Depending on your needs, you can get up to 3 WiFi discs to solve WiFi problems in your home.
  • Full Fibre Promise – BT Fibre to the Premises broadband continues to cover more areas, and the coverage area is expanding year by year. Halo 3+ customers will receive priority and a free upgrade to BT’s full fibre broadband network when it becomes available in their area. No additional fees when switching from your current plan to a full fibre plan, according to BT.
  • Hybrid Connect – This allows Halo 3+ customers to access the EE mobile network through the Smart Hub 2 for mobile internet during broadband outages. In this way, 4G Backup helps you enjoy uninterrupted WiFi at home. Hybrid Connect is also available as an add-on to other customers at an additional cost.

How much do BT Halo plans cost?

BT fibre broadband plans start at £28.99 per month. Full fibre plans with speeds over 100Mbps start at £34.99 per month. Adding a landline number costs an extra £5 per month.

There is a significant price difference between standard packages and Halo 3+ packages. 

For example, when you add a Halo3+ to BT Full Fibre Broadband 100 plan (increases from £35.99 a month to £69.99 a month), it costs an extra £35.

Is BT Halo worth worth it?

BT Halo is a great option if you’re struggling with unreliable WiFi and poor signal in your home, or if you have frequent connection issues, or if you regularly need professional help with setup or connection quality issues solution.

While Halo is a money-saving option in these cases, overall it’s an expensive add-on if you choose it without fully understanding its benefits.

It’s worth your money if you’re able to take advantage of all the extras.

BT Home Phone

BT Home Phone

Broadband and phone packages include PAYG calls to all UK landlines, UK mobiles and 0845 and 0870 numbers excluding the Channel Islands that will cost 20p per minute. Line rental £20.20 a month is included in the broadband tariff so no extra charges apply.

You can upgrade to Anytime calls, Unlimited minutes and International Freedom 

BT phone comes with features like Call Diversion, 1471, Caller Display and the free BT Call Protect feature to help you stop unwanted calls.

Home Phone Plans

BT landline service offers the following call plans:

  • PAYG – Pay as you go calls included with broadband and phone (Standard rate 20.9p/min)
  • 700 Minutes – Anytime calls to UK landlines and mobiles 
  • Unlimited Minutes – Unlimited anytime calls to UK landlines and mobiles
  • International Freedom6.27p/min after free minutes. 

BT Customer Service

UK broadband regulator Ofcom published its latest 2022 annual customer satisfaction report for home broadband providers, including BT, on 18 May 2022.

BT ranked first for both broadband and home phone customer service.

  • Satisfied BT broadband customers – 88% (ranks 1st)
  • Satisfied BT phone customers – 81% (ranks 1st)
  • Number of complaints per 100k customers – 42 (ranks 3rd)
  • Average call waiting time – 2.16 minutes

88% of the customers were found to be satisfied with BT broadband service overall, as per the table:

BT Customer Service

Read the full Ofcom report

BT broadband customer support

  • By online (Available 24/7, 365 days a year) – Visit  BT Community
  • By Phone (Monday to Friday 8am – 9pm. Weekends and bank holidays 8am – 8pm) 
  • Local: 0800 800 150
  • Overseas: +44 150 174 7714

FAQ

What is Stay Fast Guarantee?

BT offers minimum guaranteed speeds with fibre broadband packages.  

  • You will get minimum speed and estimated speed range based on your postcode and address
  • You will get engineer assisted line checks to improve speeds
  • If you don’t get the minimum guaranteed speed, you can ask for expert help to troubleshoot slow speeds.

Is BT broadband traffic managed? Will BT slow me down?

  • BT broadband is totally unlimited and is not subject to any traffic management policies.
  • Your internet traffic will not be affected at any time. BT won’t slow down your internet access during peak hours.
  • As with speeds, there is no monthly data cap. The monthly price is fixed and there are no additional charges no matter how much data you use.

How good is BT TV?

BT offers fewer channels than Sky TV or Virgin Media TV. Cheaper than Sky, but BT TV is more expensive than TalkTalk TV, which also offers better customer service. Sky Sports and Sky Cinema, which you can get as add-ons, are slightly more expensive compared to Sky’s offerings.

BT TV is based on YouView, and its box can record up to 600 hours, while the Sky Q 2TB has twice the capacity, and Sky also offers a mini box and more HD channels.

However, the new BT TV Box Pro comes with 4K HDR, WiFi support and Dolby Atmos. It includes apps like BBC iPlayer, NOW, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Britbox.

BT Full Fibre Broadband products come with the Stay Fast Guarantee, which guarantees guaranteed download speeds during peak hours. If you get lower speeds, you can claim £20 from BT.

Here are the Stay Fast Guarantee speeds for BT Full Fibre plans:

Plan Avg. download speed Latency
Full Fibre 100 100Mbps 10Mbps
Full Fibre 500 250Mbps 10Mbps
Full Fibre 900 455Mbps 10Mbps

What is full fibre broadband?

A typical fibre optic broadband connection (fibre to the cabinet) uses fibre between the exchange and the street cabinet, and copper between the cabinet and the premise. Depending on the length of the copper cable, the line speed may be reduced. This type of hybrid connection can also cause Internet lag and frequent dropouts.

BT Full Fibre connection

In contrast, full fibre broadband, also known as FTTP (Fibre to the Premises), uses fibre optic cables between the exchange and the customer premises. Since there are no copper wires in the network, there are no slowdowns in speed and you get a stable internet connection.

Does BT full fibre broadband offer symmetrical speeds?

Currently BT full fibre broadband upload speeds are being to limited to maximum speed of 110Mbps, so the speeds are not symmetrical as compared to Hyperoptic, Community Fibre and selected Vodafone full fibre plans which deliver the same upload speeds as download speeds.

Currently, BT full fibre broadband upload speeds are capped at 110Mbps, so the speeds are asymmetrical as compared to Hyperoptic, Community Fibre and selected Vodafone full fibre plans which deliver the same upload speeds as download speeds.

Is Smart Hub 2 better than Smart Hub? 

Smart Hub 2 comes with more advanced features than Smart Hub. It’s also the faster router of the two (max speeds 1917Mbps) with excellent signal. It comes with 802.11ac WiFi, dual bands, 4 Gigabit connections, 9 antennas and FXS port for VOIP calling. 

The Smart Hub 2 is a WiFi disc compatible mesh router that extends and optimises WiFi, and it should work just fine if you add BT Complete WiFi.