BT Infinity fibre optic broadband packages are fast, reliable and possibly cheaper than you think. But are they right for you? We look at the pros and cons to help you find out...
There's never been a better time to get superfast fibre optic broadband. Almost every major broadband provider in the UK now offers a fibre package, and this fierce competition has made prices collapse like a house made of tissues.
That's as true for BT Infinity as it is for the other fibre services - it's unlikely to cost considerably more than what many of you are already paying. In fact, in some cases, it'll cost less.
But before we get into that, let's talk about what BT Infinity is, and what's good and bad about it.
What is BT Infinity?
BT Infinity (www.BT.com) is BT's fibre optic broadband service. Fibre optic broadband is a big step forward from 'standard' broadband, offering much, much faster speeds. Comparing the two is like comparing a mid-range Ford Focus to a top-end Ferrari - both get you where you want to go, but you'll get there faster and in more style with the latter.
In addition - and, admittedly, less like a Ferrari - fibre optic broadband is much more reliable, capable of supporting more users at the same time, and less susceptible to dropped connections than regular broadband.
What BT Infinity packages are available?
There are three BT Infinity packages available:
- BT Infinity 1: up to 38Mb broadband, 40GB data usage a month
- BT Infinity 1: up to 38Mb broadband, truly unlimited (no fair usage or traffic management)
- BT Infinity 2: up to 76Mb broadband, truly unlimited (no fair usage or traffic management)
What's good about BT Infinity?
Well, it has a cool-sounding name, for one thing. Of course, there are a lot of sensible reasons to get it too, like these...
- It's affordable -BT Infinity may not be as expensive as you think - that's actually one way it's not like a Ferrari. The cost of fibre is getting less and less, as providers fight to make their service stand out, so it's possible to get BT Infinity for not much more than you'd pay for a standard broadband package. If you find the right special offer, it can be even less, so make sure you use our postcode checker to compare all the options and find the best deal available.
- It's great for movies and TV - If you like to watch TV and movies online via streaming services like BBC iPlayer and Netflix you'll find fibre lets you watch things smoothly, in high-definition (HD), with minimal loading time. If you prefer to download your entertainment, you'll find the fastest fibre packages you can download a DVD-quality movie in as little as two or three minutes. Plus, it's great for BT TV, which uses your internet connection to deliver catch-up TV and BT Vision on-demand programmes and films.
- It's great for families/shared houses - When lots of people use an internet connection at the same time, it slows down. It's a common problem for families where everyone's constantly using web-connected phones, tablets and laptops. Fibre alleviates the problem - it'll still slow down, but because it's so much faster to start with, it's unlikely it will ever become unusable. That means fewer limits on what you can do with the internet, and hopefully, fewer arguments.
- It's reliable - Fibre optic broadband offers a more stable connection than standard broadband - it is less prone to slowing down or dropping out.
- BT Home Hub - BT's router is one of the best available from any provider, offering good range and the ability to automatically compensate for interference. It's quite the looker too.
What's not so good about BT Infinity?
While BT Infinity is cheaper than it used to be, you may find other fibre options are even more affordable. Make sure you compare all providers' fibre options before making a decision.
It's also not necessarily the fastest fibre service on the market. Virgin Media offers speeds of up to 100Mb, and is recognised by telecoms regulator Ofcom as the fastest broadband provider in the UK. BT Infinity's no slouch, but if pure speed is what you want, you may want to look there first.
A potentially more serious problem is that you might not be able to get it at all. Fibre is not available everywhere in the UK - particularly in rural areas. Check our postcode checker to see what the options are where you live.
When is BT Infinity coming to my area?
Good question. Where do you live?
There's actually a good chance it might already be there. While fibre optic broadband isn't available everywhere, over two-thirds of homes and businesses in the UK now have access to it. To see if BT Infinity is available in your area, use our postcode checker or the availability checker on BT's website.
Unfortunately, if you live in the countryside, you may not have access to fibre yet. BT is in the process of rolling out fibre across the UK, and the government has stumped up a big chunk of cash to make this happen, with the goal of delivering access to fibre to 95% of the population by 2017.
Whether this will happen by then is unclear - the government's already pushed back its broadband rollout targets once already - but the roll-out is progressing at least.