A guide to BT broadband deals
Looking for info on BT broadband deals? Our guide to everything BT and broadband can help you find the BT deals you need.
- Broadband is often bundled in packages including BT Sport
- BT offers fibre optic and standard broadband
- Plusnet and EE are part of BT
BT is part of the 'big four' internet service providers in the UK. The others are Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk. Wondering where EE is in the list? Since 2016, BT owns EE, as two-letter initialisms have to band together, Ok? Cool, let’s look at BT broadband deals. But first, a bit of history…
You've come along way, BT
BT's origins go way back, so far back that it predates the invention of the telephone. How mad is that? Strictly speaking though, BT proper was founded in 1969. It was originally part of the Post Office, which in turn was run by the government. British Telecom split from the Post Office in 1981, and the government sold its final stake in BT in 1993.
From April 2018, BT is bringing together its BT, EE and Plusnet brands. This creates the largest UK's largest provider of broadband and mobile services. Yet EE and Plusnet will continue to exist. So Kevin Bacon and that Yorkshire bloke will still have a job, which is nice.
BT Deals: Bundles and packages
As well as being one of the biggest names in telecoms, BT is also backed by its sports coverage.
TV and BT Sport
If you opt for a BT internet deal, you’ll also usually be offered BT TV and BT Sport as a freebie for the first few months.
So if you want to watch the Champions League - sorry, the chaaaaaaampions league - then you may want to consider BT. BT Sport shows English Premiership rugby and the Anglo-Welsh Cup, if rugby is more your thing.
Prefer to watch people getting beaten up in an octagonal ring? UFC can be found on BT Sport too.
To put it bluntly, BT TV doesn’t match Sky when it comes to sheer number of channels. Yet you’ll find packages that include AMC, Gold and National Geographic. Some of the higher-end packages will include a YouView+ box to record telly too.
BT landline and phone deals
You need to have a BT landline to access BT broadband deals. This means you’ll have to pay line rental as part of your bill. If you’re looking to avoid line rental then consider mobile broadband. The standard offer from BT with its broadband often includes free weekend calls. Extra call packages can be added if that floats your boat.
BT can also offer mobile phone deals, piggybacking on EE's network.
Finally, you can access BT wi-fi hotspots for free across the country with all broadband deals.
Looking in March 2018, you can chop and change to find the bundle you want. Choose the broadband you want, decide if you want extra landline calls, and then add subscription TV and BT Sport if you like.
What's the difference between BT Broadband and BT Infinity?
Simply put, BT Infinity is its fibre optic offering. BT Broadband is BT’s standard broadband service and runs on ADSL. ADSL uses the same copper wires that your phoneline uses. Fibre optic is usually a lot quicker than ADSL, but isn't available everywhere.
Ofcom has a postcode checker to see what kind of speeds you can expect in your area.† Even if you're in a fibre optic area, you may not be able to get fibre optic direct to your house. This type of connection is called Fibre to the Property or FTTP. It can be quite expensive to install.
It may be the case that a fibre cable goes to a local cabinet and then uses the ol' copper telephone wires for the 'last mile' from the cabinet to your home. If that's the case, it is called Fibre to the Cabinet or FTTC. And most of the UK's fibre rollout is FTTC. And FTTC is usually a lot quicker than ADSL.
So quickest is FTTP, then FTTC, then ADSL… then dial-up if that’s still a thing. Oof - thinking of that dial-up tone makes us shudder.
What counts as superfast broadband? The government says at least 24Mbps (megabytes per second). And FTTC and even ADSL2+ can deliver that speed. What we're trying to say is that superfast broadband doesn’t always mean fibre optic into your home.
Welcome to the warren: BT internet deals
Now Infinity comes in a few different versions, but you have to be in a fibre-optic area to get it. Looking in March 2018, you can get:
- BT Infinity - and beyond!
- BT Unlimited Infinity - is this tautological or ironic, like a no-smoking sign on your cigarette break?
- BT Unlimited Infinity 2 - The Broadband Strikes Back
BT Infinity deals
BT Infinity is BT's entry level fibre broadband option. When we had a nosey in March 2018 it offered a max speed of up to 52Mbps and a usage limit of 30GB a month. While 52Mbps is well into superfast broadband territory, the speeds you'll get may be below that.
It all depends if your connection is FTTC and how far you are from your local cabinet.
BT Unlimited Infinity deals
What’s bigger than infinity? Technically nothing, but according to BT it's Unlimited Infinity. This is the next stage up from Infinity and offers the same speed promise, but no limit on usage. In March 2018, Unlimited Infinity was more expensive than Infinity. Infinity is starting to not look like a word any more.
BT Unlimited Infinity 2 deals
Oh come on BT. We can just about tolerate Unlimited Infinity. Yet for your top package you go for Unlimited Infinity 2? What about Super Infinity? Hyper Infinity? Infinity Turbo: Championship Edition?
Anyway, in March 2018, BT Unlimited Infinity 2 was the quickest package that BT offered. BT says its max speed is 79Mbps. Again the actual speed you'll get may depend on how far from your local cabinet you are. There’s also no usage limit on BT Unlimited Infinity 2.
BT Broadband deals
BT Unlimited Broadband is BT’s standard connection and doesn’t usually involve fibre optics. What kind of speeds can you expect? You’ll have to use a speed checker, but BT reckons a max of 17Mbps. There’s no usage limits either. This was the case in March 2018 anyway.
BT Basic + Broadband
BT Basic + Broadband is BT’s low-cost package for people receiving certain benefits.
BT Basic + Broadband isn't available through GoCompare. You'll need to ring BT to apply for this package. But we'd always suggest shopping around before settling on a deal.
Is BT any good? Customer and expert reviews
Which? ran a poll asking people what they think of their broadband provider. And in 2017 they stuck it to the 'big four', which includes BT. BT appeared near the bottom of the survey with a customer score of 45%.
Yet BT seemed to do better in Ofcom's survey in 2016:
- 84% of BT customers were satisfied overall - average score was 87%
- 80% of BT customers were satisfied with online speeds - average score was 83%
- 83% of BT customers were satisfied with reliability - average score was 86%
But BT were well above the average when it came to Ofcom complaints. It had 127 complaints per 100,000 subscribers. The average was 75. This meant BT was the most complained about major provider.
So bigger may not always be better when it comes to broadband. There are many smaller companies offering broadband services. And they often do quite well in customer satisfaction surveys. But what may not suit one customer may be ideal for another. So shop around and compare prices to find the right deal for you.
How to find the best BT broadband deals for you
- Only pay for what you need - can you live without BT Sport, AMC and Comedy Central?
- Check what speeds you can get in your area - there's no point paying for ultrafast if you can't take advantage of it.
- Make sure you know your renewal date and be prepared to switch. Prices often go up if you auto-renew or are out of contract.
- If you don’t want to switch, you can still negotiate. Broadband is a competitive market in the UK. This means companies will often be open to cutting you a deal to keep your business.
- Unlimited broadband isn’t always unlimited. Fair-usage limits usually apply. If you’re a super-heavy user, research what these limits are. Some companies also offer ‘truly unlimited’ packages.
- Keep an eye out for cashback or voucher incentives for new customers.
- Shop around and compare prices to find the right deal for you.