Broadband review: BT Broadband
Published: 29 April 2008 By Fergal Barry-Murphy 1 Comment
Continuing our series of broadband reviews, this week we look at the broadband packages provided by BT.
Not surprisingly, BT offers one of the most extensive broadband services in Britain and there are few people who fall outside its broadband network. Connection speeds are good, although the 50:1 contention ratio is high and the service can drag during busy times.
As seems to be the industry standard, BT offers three options for home users. There are certain features that are common to all three packages so we will focus on these first. All three options offer a nifty 8Mb connection speed.
In addition, you get the wireless BT Home Hub free of charge. This is basically a wireless router but offers certain other advantages such as added security, the ability to connect a normal touch tone phone, and easy connection to household devices.
Other features of BT broadband include a free second phoneline, inclusive UK calls, free online storage, good security features, and free 24-hour customer service.
This is what the three options have in common. Now, let’s look at the differences:
BT Broadband Option 1
This is BT’s cheapest broadband option and will set you back £15.99 per month for a 12-month contract. If you sign an 18-month contract you pay £7.95 for the first three months and £15.99 thereafter. Whichever you choose, you are limited to 5GB per month, though you do get the advantage of 250 free Wi-Fi minutes per month for when you are out and about.
BT Broadband Option 2
This costs £20.99 per month for a 12-month contract. For this you get an increased 8GB monthly allowance and 350 free Wi-Fi minutes. If you opt for an 18-month contract you pay £13.99 for the first three months and £20.99 for the rest of the contract.
BT Broadband Option 3
BT’s high-end offering costs £24.99 per month for a 12-month contract. For this you get unlimited usage and unlimited Wi-Fi minutes. As well as the Home Hub, you also get the BT Hub phone free. If you decide on an 18-month contract, you pay £18.99 for the first three months and £24.99 after that.
If you are not confident about setting up your connection, you can have a BT engineer do it for you for a ‘small fee’.
For day-to-day problems, BT’s 24/7 free customer support is a major plus, and it has a pretty good reputation for customer service so they should be able to sort out any difficulties you may have.
Because there is a good chance you already have a BT phoneline, there is a certain convenience to opting for BT broadband too, and this may offer certain advantages. However, for us, the only BT broadband package worth considering is Option 3, which allows unlimited downloads. The download limits imposed on the other two options are simply too restrictive. In addition, the unlimited Wi-Fi minutes is a major plus if you spend a lot of time on the go with your laptop. It may not be the cheapest package of this kind around, but it is definitely competitive.
However, we do urge you to shop around before making any decision. Check to see who else offers broadband in your area and maybe have a look at some of our other broadband reviews to find the best deal for you.