BT Broadband Review

8 min Read Published: 17 May 2024

BT Broadband Review 2022BT is one of the biggest providers of broadband and has more customers than any other UK provider. It offers a wide-range of broadband packages, as well as TV and phone services. In this independent review, we look at whether this is enough to make BT a value-for-money option compared to its competitors including Sky, Virgin Media and some other less well-known challengers.

We recommend that you read the review in full however you can jump to specific sections of the review using the following links:

BT broadband key features

BT is one of the biggest broadband providers in the UK and offers a whole host of different packages aimed at a variety of households. Here are some of the key features BT broadband offers across its wide range of packages.

Product name Speed Minimum contract length TV package available Phone line required Setup cost Monthly cost
BT Broadband 10Mbps 24 months Yes Yes £9.99* £29.99
Fibre Essential 36Mbps 24 months Yes Yes £0* £33.99
Fibre 1 50Mbps 24 months Yes Yes £31.99* £29.99
Fibre 2 67Mbps 24 months Yes No £31.99 £36.99
Fibre 100 145Mbps 24 months Yes No £0 £29.99
Fibre 500 500Mbps 24 months Yes No £0 £34.99
Fibre 900 900Mbps 24 months Yes No £31.99 £59.99

*You may be charged an installation fee of £49.99 if you require a new phone line.

BT broadband packages

BT currently has seven main types of broadband package. Here we break down each one to help you identify what would be the best option for your household. If you are unsure what kind of broadband you need, read our article on 'Which broadband is best?'.

BT Broadband

Download speed: 10Mbps

This is BT’s most basic broadband service and is only available in households that do not have any kind of fibre connection. There will be a fibre option available at the same price if your area is served by fibre.

This type of broadband is unlikely to hit speeds above 10Mbps, so would only be suitable for households with low usage. You can find out more about what speed your household needs by reading our article 'What broadband speed do I need?'.

BT Fibre Essential

Download speed: 36Mbps

BT’s lowest speed fibre offering will likely be enough for many small households, especially if you do not stream on multiple devices or need to download a lot of large files.

You will still need a phone line for this service, as it is not a full fibre connection. However, BT no longer offers a phone service as standard, so you will need to pay extra to get a landline number and actually use the phone. We explain when you need a phone line for broadband in our article 'Do you need a landline for broadband?'.

BT Fibre 1

Download speed: 50Mbps

Ofcom calculated that the UK average broadband speed in 2023 was 69.4mbps, so this package may not offer enough speed to meet many online needs.

BT Fibre 2

Download speed: 67Mbps

This is the quickest standard fibre service offered by BT. Its speed is suitable for larger homes and can support multiple devices streaming or downloading at the same time.

Large households with multiple users would benefit from this package. It is BT’s fastest standard fibre offering, but it is not always a step up in price from Fibre 1, so you could get a better level of internet speed without paying more for it.

BT Full Fibre 100

Download speed: 145Mbps

Full fibre broadband offers significantly faster speeds than standard fibre broadband. Households needing to upload and download large files, or stream from multiple devices in 4k will need this kind of service.

Full fibre coverage is not anywhere near as extensive as standard fibre, so you may find that it is not available in your area. The network is growing though, so it may not be too long before you can access faster speeds.

BT Full Fibre 500

Download speed: 500Mbps

This package will suit a large household regularly making video calls, sending large files or streaming on multiple devices. It does not require a phone line, but is at the higher end of the price scale for UK home broadband.

BT Full Fibre 900

Download speed: 900Mbps

This is the fastest service offered by BT. 900Mbps is going to be more than enough for most UK households, so this package is aimed at those with very high usage.

Generally, the fastest speeds come at the highest price, so it should be no surprise that this is BT’s most expensive broadband package too.

How much does BT broadband cost?

BT offers a number of Broadband packages and the price you pay will depend on the type of package you choose. BT broadband and BT Fibre Essential are the cheapest standard tariffs,  currently priced at £28.99 per month. BT Fibre 900 is the most expensive broadband tariff and is currently priced at £55.99 per month. BT is unlikely to ever come up in an online broadband comparison as the cheapest option for the speed you are looking for. Currently, many of its products are beaten for price by competitors, though BT does not charge a standard set-up fee. Additional fees can make a huge difference to the value of your broadband package, so make sure to think about the total cost of the deal when you compare options.

Product name Speed Setup cost Monthly cost
BT Broadband 10Mbps £9.99* £29.99
Fibre Essential 36Mbps £0* £33.99
Fibre 1 50Mbps £31.99* £29.99
Fibre 2 67Mbps £31.99 £36.99
Fibre 100 145Mbps £0 £29.99
Fibre 500 500Mbps £0 £34.99
Fibre 900 900Mbps £31.99 £59.99

*You may be charged an installation fee of £49.99 if you require a new phone line.

Will BT broadband prices increase in 2024?

BT prices will go up in April 2024 by 7.9%. The reason behind such a significant rise is included in the contract you sign before you get BT broadband. It states that your bill will go up every April by the CPI (consumer price index) rate of inflation for December, plus 3.9%. The CPI rate for December 2023 was announced as 4.0% in January 2024. Added to 3.9%, this leaves BT customers with a 7.9% higher bill in April 2024. This translates to a £30 a month BT bill rising to £32.37.

The 2024 increase follows the huge increase of 14.4% in April 2023. Someone taking out a 24 month contract at £30 a month in March 2023 would see their bill rise first to £34.32, then up to £37.03 – all during their contracted period.

Unfortunately, any disgruntled BT customers would need to pay an early exit fee to switch to a cheaper provider. This is because the price hike being included in BT contracts stops customers from cancelling for free if they think the price increase is too steep, as they have effectively already agreed to the hike. Read our article 'How to cancel BT broadband' for more information on leaving BT.

BT broadband extras

The right extras can make a huge difference to the value of your broadband package. For example, paying for all of your entertainment services separately can work out a lot more expensive than opting for a package deal.

This is where BT is able to separate itself from cheaper competitors. If BT Sport is a must-have in your household, or you need a landline, BT could be the right choice. For example, customers who already have BT broadband would pay £16 a month for BT Sport, but Sky customers who want to add BT Sport will need to pay £29.99 a month. That difference in price can make BT broadband much better value against its competitors.

BT allows you to package your mobile with your TV and broadband. If you are looking for a new mobile phone contract, this could help make your broadband package better value.

BT broadband packages also allow free access to its entire wi-fi network, made up of five million public hotspots across the UK.

BT has the widest coverage of any UK broadband provider. This means that for some households, it might be the best value option, if only because cheaper competitors are not available.

You should get coverage in every room of your home, otherwise you can get £100 off your bill.

Does BT offer a social broadband tariff?

Yes, BT offers a social broadband tariff that is an affordable tariff aimed at customers that receive certain qualifying benefits. You will need to be in receipt of one of the following:

  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker's allowance

The social broadband tariff provides fibre broadband with speeds up to 67Mbps on a 12 month contract. It costs £15 per month plus £9.99 set up fee, with no exit fees.

Does BT have a good router?

The BT Smart Hub has been rated as the best router provided as standard by any broadband company. It scored an impressive 88% from Which? thanks to its speed, coverage and ability to connect with multiple devices at once without dropping speed.

A poor router can severely limit your household’s broadband speed and stop you getting the service you are paying for. Bad routers can have poor range, intermittent connectivity and may struggle to handle multiple devices at once. A top router like BT’s will help connect your devices to the internet as efficiently as possible, so it is an important part of a good broadband package.

Do I need a phone line with BT broadband?

Some BT broadband packages do require a phone line, though they do not come with a landline service as standard. You can find out more about how landlines fit into the UK broadband network and whether you need a landline for broadband in our article 'Do you need a landline for broadband?'.

BT broadband customer reviews

BT scores a relatively low score of 1.6 out of 5.0 on Trustpilot, though this is not very far from its closest competitors. Sky scores 1.5 out of 5.0 and Virgin Media scores 2.0 out of 5.0, which suggests most broadband reviews on the site have a negative skew.

There are also positive reviews for good customer service and fast speeds, however, the negative reviews cover poor customer service, long waits for engineer visits and unexpected charges.

Ofcom provides a more positive overview of BT and its broadband services. According to a recent report, 88% of BT customers found its customer service satisfactory. This was higher than most providers and suggests a strong portion of customers consider BT a decent provider.

BT broadband pros and cons

BT broadband pros

  • Free access to wi-fi hotspots
  • A range of speeds available, including some of the fastest on the market
  • Widely available across the UK
  • Top router provided as standard
  • Discounted BT Sport for broadband customers

BT broadband cons

  • Often the most expensive option
  • Top package not quite as fast as Virgin Media or Vodafone

How does BT broadband compare with other providers?

BT package BT price Competitor package offering same speed Competitor price
BT Broadband £29.99 Plusnet Unlimited Broadband £26.99
Fibre Essential £33.99 Sky Superfast 35 £27.00
Fibre 1 £29.99 BT Fibre 1 £29.99
Fibre 2 £36.99 Vodafone Fibre 2 £26.00
Fibre 100 £29.99 Plusnet Full Fibre 145 £27.99
Fibre 500 £34.99 Onestream Supreme 550 £29.95
Fibre 900 £59.99 Vodafone Full Fibre 910 £39.00

BT struggles to always match its rival providers for price, but does offer some extra benefits that make it competitive. BT broadband customers receive a very good discount on BT Sport and all customers get one of the best routers on the market.

However, these extras will only make up for the price gap for a few households. If you are not a sport-lover or looking to package all of your services together, BT is unlikely to be a better option than Sky, Virgin Media or a cheaper competitor.

Find out who we think the best UK home broadband providers are here.

Keep in mind that the prices you can see in the table above are standard prices charged by BT and its competitors. Standard prices usually only come into effect at the end of a fixed-term deal. Most providers initially offer a discounted rate, so you will likely only pay standard prices after the end of your contract. To find out what BT special offers are currently available and how they stack up against what competitors are offering, you will need to compare broadband deals.

Is BT broadband any good?

BT broadband offers a wide range of broadband packages to suit a large variety of households. Customers can bundle their TV package to save on sport and access wi-fi hotspots across the country.

However, the two key components of a good broadband deal are speed and price. BT is competitive when it comes to speed, but often trails on price. As BT is more expensive than its competitors – unless BT Sport is a priority – you can likely find a better value deal elsewhere.