Whatever you do online, from simple web surfing to streaming video, fibre optic broadband can make it as fast and smooth as a greased up cheetah.
BT fibre is no exception, offering better speeds and more reliability than standard BT broadband. That makes it perfect for families and shared houses full of people who are online at the same time, and ideal for streaming video, playing games online, downloading music and more.
Read on, and we’ll take you through the ins and outs of BT fibre, including what you can get, how to find out if you can get it, and what’s good and bad about it.
What fibre optic broadband packages can I get from BT?
BT Superfast Fibre packages range from a simple, low-cost option with set monthly usage - perfect for individuals - to faster, unlimited options.
Every package comes with the BT Smart Hub router, which has been specifically designed for use with fibre optic broadband. It’s a smart router, which means it automatically scans for Wi-Fi interference and compensates accordingly.
If you want TV too, you can get any of the following packages with BT TV. BT TV comes with a YouView box, which lets you pause, rewind and record Freeview TV, as well as access a big library of catch-up TV and on-demand movies and shows.
Here’s what you can get:
- BT Superfast Fibre Essential - average download speed of 36Mb, unlimited monthly usage, and includes BT Smart Hub - the UK's most powerful wi-fi vs major broadband providers. Good value fibre broadband with unlimited usage.
- BT Superfast Fibre - average download speeds of 50Mb, unlimited usage with no traffic management, security software, and 100GB BT Cloud storage. Good for families, gamers and people who stream a lot of music, movies and TV.
- BT Superfast Fibre 2 - average download speeds of 67Mb, totally unlimited usage, 500GB of online storage and security software. Perfect for large families and shared houses with lots of web-connected gadgets. Even better for online movies, TV, music and games.
Can I get BT fibre optic broadband?
About 90% of homes and the businesses in the UK can now get BT fibre, so there’s a decent chance you can get it. Having said that, it still leaves big parts of the country are sans fibre - a disappointing state of affairs if you live in one of those areas.
The government has stumped up a big wad of cash to address this - the BDUK (Broadband Delivery UK) project is hard at work getting as much of the country connected as possible. BT’s heavily involved, as you’d expect, so if you can’t get BT fibre now, there’s a good chance you’ll get it in the not-too-distant future.
To see if BT fibre broadband is available in your area, use our postcode checker.
BT Ultrafast broadband
Available in a few areas, BT Ultrafast broadband delivers truly impressive speeds. Two packages are available - one has average download speeds of 145Mb, the other has average speeds of a blistering 300Mb. They also have a 100Mb speed guarantee - if your performance drops below that level, BT will give you some cash.
What’s good about BT fibre optic broadband?
- Much faster than standard broadband
- More reliable than standard broadband too
- Perfect for families and shared houses - extra speed means more people can be online at the same time
- Stream movies and TV shows smoothly and in high-definition
- Download music, films and TV shows in seconds
- Perfect for gamers - smoother multiplayer gaming with less lag, download games and updates quickly
- Truly unlimited usage on some packages - BT won’t slow your speeds, even at peak times
- Enhances BT TV, providing fast and reliable access to web-based channels, on-demand movies and shows and catch-up TV
- Includes BT Smart Hub router, which automatically scans for interference to the Wi-Fi signal and adjusts itself to compensate
- Special offers often available that can reduce the monthly cost - compare BT deals to find them
What’s bad about BT fibre optic broadband?
- More expensive than standard broadband
- Not available everywhere
- Not the fastest widely-available fibre optic broadband in the UK - that accolade goes to Virgin Media
- BT TV has fewer channels than some of BT’s rivals
- Only 25GB download allowance a month on cheaper packages - not suitable for anyone who watches a lot of video online, regularly downloads large files and so on
How does it compare?
BT's closest rival is Sky Fibre, with both providers offering similar download and upload speeds as well as similar tech on their wireless routers. A key difference is that BT’s a little more widely available - and it has around 250 times as many public Wi-Fi hotspots as Sky too. Sky has the upper hand, however, when it comes to bundling options: its range of TV channels blows BT out of the water, for a start. Check out our BT Fibre vs Sky Fibre review for the full lowdown.
Virgin Media has an advantage over BT (and most other providers out there) in terms of its download speeds, as its fastest package offers average speeds of 362Mb - and it doesn’t require line rental. Virgin Media does, however, manage web traffic, so you might not see full speeds at peak times. Read more: BT vs Virgin Media broadband
TalkTalk fibre offers similar speeds to BT fibre. It also has a more flexible TV package, with loads of extra channels available as ‘boosts’. That said, it has nowhere near the same number of options when it comes to packages, favouring simplicity over choice. Read more: BT vs TalkTalk broadband
Plusnet has far more affordable packages, for broadband and even line rental, and with similar download speeds. Neither are as widely available though, and have less variety in their bundling options - not to mention some pretty scant TV. Read more: Plusnet vs BT broadband
BT fibre optic broadband review
We've taken a close look at BT fibre - and how it compares to its rivals. You can read also our full critical view in our BT review.
What else can I get from BT?
Read more about what BT has to offer: