Ultrafast is BT’s top of the range broadband service with a price to match. But what do you get for that outlay? Is it worth upgrading from BT’s cheaper fibre packages? And how does it compare with other ultrafast packages? Broadband Choices takes a look.
What do you get with BT Ultrafast packages?
BT offers two ultrafast packages: Ultrafast Fibre 100 and Ultrafast Fibre 250. Both will get you a fibre broadband service with speeds much faster than the UK average, as well as a speed guarantee that means you’ll get money back if you don’t achieve them.
The major difference between the Ultrafast bundles is that Fibre 100 gets you an average broadband speed of 145Mbps, while Fibre 250’s average speed is 300Mbps.
To put that in perspective, the UK average broadband speed in 2019 stood at just over 22Mbps, according to measurement lab. So it's fair to say that both Ultrafast packages are exceptionally fast.
As is standard on pretty much all broadband packages now, both Ultrafast services feature unlimited downloads, so there’s no restrictions on how much you use the internet. And BT won’t slow down your speeds at peak times either.
Other features include BT’s Smart Hub X router and 1TB of free cloud storage. That’s equivalent to a large hard drive for a computer.
To get either package, you’ll need to sign up to a 24-month minimum contract.
BT Stay Fast guarantee explained
BT’s Ultrafast packages are covered by its Stay Fast guarantee. That means that if your speed falls below 100Mbps for Fibre 100 or 150Mbps for Fibre 250, you’ll get a £20 Reward Card as compensation.
Under the terms of the guarantee, you’ll qualify for money back in the event that your speeds are below the guaranteed level for 30 consecutive days.
Exceptions are when speeds drop beneath the benchmark due to outages, connection faults or home wiring problems for which BT is not responsible.
Where is BT Ultrafast available?
As it stands, BT Ultrafast is only on offer in select locations. To see for sure whether you can get BT Ultrafast at your address, use BT’s availability checker.
But the good news is that BT plans to make Ultrafast available to three million premises by the end of 2020 and to ten million homes by 2025. So there’s a good chance it’s coming to your area soon.
As you may expect, the first locations to get Ultrafast are Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester, with BT aiming to connect 40 towns, cities and boroughs for the first phase of the rollout.
How does BT Ultrafast work?
BT Ultrafast can be delivered to your home in two ways. One is through BT’s GFast technology, which is an upgraded version of fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) broadband that uses fibre optic cables to deliver broadband as far as the telephone cabinet and then reverts to older copper wire infrastructure for the last leg of its journey to your home.
GFast is capable of delivering speeds up to four times faster than traditional FTTC.
In certain areas, Ultrafast is delivered fibre to the premises (FTTP) or ‘full-fibre’ broadband tech. That means it’s conveyed to your home entirely by fibre optic cables, which is the most efficient and fastest broadband technology.
It’s for this reason that the fastest Ultrafast service is able to provide average speeds of 300Mbps on its top-end package, making it one of the fastest broadband services in the UK.
Want a more thorough explanation of the differences between FTTC and FTTP? Read our one-stop guide.
How much is BT Ultrafast?
Prices may vary depending on whether BT is running a promotion, but you should expect to pay about £40 per month for Ultrafast 100 and £50 per month for Ultrafast 250.
By way of context, the cheapest fibre broadband service in the UK typically start from about £20 per month.
But perhaps a more meaningful comparison is with Virgin Media’s fibre service which delivers comparable speeds to BT’s Ultrafast packages.
When bundled with a landline, its M200 service with an average speed of 108Mbps is priced broadly in line with Ultrafast 100. But gets you a faster average connection speed of 213Mbps.
While the M200 broadband and phone bundle is typically a little bit pricier than Ultrafast 250, it features an average speed of 362Mbps compared with 300Mbps for BT’s top-of-the-range bundle.
Is BT Ultrafast any good?
There’s a lot to recommend BT Ultrafast. Including…
- Speeds up to 10x UK average
- Smart Hub X router is excellent
- Good parental controls and BT Virus Protect
- Stay Fast Guarantee is reassuring
On the downside, it’s also worth noting that…
- You can get decent fibre broadband for much cheaper
- Virgin Media’s fibre speeds are generally faster
- It’s less widely available than Virgin Media fibre