BT packages... unpackaged
Unlike some providers which have a specific focus - such as speed-freaks Virgin Media or cheap ‘n’ cheerful Plusnet - BT wants to be all things to all people. To that end, it offers everything from simple but limited broadband for lighter users to superfast BT Infinity bundled with all-singing all-dancing TV.
Read on, and we’ll talk about some of the packages you can get from BT. Many of these can be bundled together - broadband and TV, for example - which is a great way to save money.
BT Infinity fibre optic broadband
Fibre optic broadband is the fastest, most reliable internet that BT currently offers. It’s designed to cater to large households where multiple users connect different gadgets online at the same time, and for data-hungry activities like watching online video, streaming music, and video games.
All packages come with a BT Smart Hub router, and the BT SmartTalk app, which lets you make calls from your mobile using your BT landline plan. Here’s what you can get:
- BT Infinity 1 - gives you download speeds of up to 52Mb, 25GB of usage a month, security software, and 5GB of online storage.
- Unlimited BT Infinity 1 - superfast speeds of up to 52Mb and truly unlimited monthly downloads, security software, and 100GB online storage.
- Unlimited BT Infinity 2 - BT’s fastest broadband package gives you download speeds of up to 76Mb, totally unlimited usage, 500GB online storage, and security software.
You can find out much more about BT’s fibre packages in our BT Infinity guide.
BT Infinity’s not for everyone. Some people don’t need superfast speeds, others want to stick to cheaper packages or are light users who don’t need the extra grunt of fibre. In those cases, you may want to stick to ADSL broadband.
Depending on your line speed - it’s much more variable than fibre - you’ll be able to browse the web, use social media, and watch online video in standard definition. However, if you have a large family or shared flat, you may find your connection struggle if lots of people are online at the same time.
Here’s what’s available:
- BT Broadband - gives you speeds of up to 17Mb, and a 12GB usage limit a month. Also includes the Home Hub 4 router, security software, and 5GB online storage.
- Unlimited Broadband - gives you speeds of up to 17Mb, with no usage limit whatsoever. You also get security software, Home Hub 5 router, 100GB cloud storage, and free access to BT public Wi-Fi hotspots.
You can get more information about BT broadband in our exclusive guide.
BT has one of the most affordable subscription TV services in the UK. Based around the YouView set top box, it lets you watch, pause and rewind Freeview TV, access catch-up TV and watch loads of movies and on demand TV box sets. BT TV can be added to BT broadband, and there are three packages available:
- Entertainment Starter - Gives you a YouView box that lets you pause and rewind TV, but not record it. You get Freeview TV and radio channels, catch-up TV from the main terrestrial broadcasters, and BT Sport (free for now, but £3.50 a month from 1 August 2017). Extra channels and on-demand content can be added as paid bolt-ons if you want more to watch.
- Entertainment Plus - As above, but with a better YouView+ box, which lets you record up to 300 hours of TV and pause and rewind live shows, and 25 extra channels.
- Total Entertainment - Gives you a 1TB YouView+ box, Freeview TV, 47 extra channels, free BT Sport, and the opportunity to add BT Sport Ultra HD.
To get all the details about BT TV, check out our full guide.
BT Home Phone
Most BT Broadband packages include a home phone plan. As standard, you get Weekend calls, but you can upgrade if you like to chat on the phone throughout the week. Here are the packages you can get:
- Unlimited Weekend Calls - lets you call UK landlines, including 0845 and 0870 numbers, at no cost on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Unlimited Evening and Weekend Calls - inclusive calls to UK landlines, including 0845 and 0870 numbers, between 7pm and 7am Monday to Friday, and all weekend.
- Unlimited Anytime Calls - inclusive calls to UK landlines, including 0845 and 0870 numbers, at any time of day all week.
If you have friends or family overseas, and want to save money when you phone them, you can get an international calls add-on for any package, which cut rates considerably.
What do you do if you want to launch new mobile services? If you’re BT, the answer is to buy EE and take advantage of its superfast, wide-ranging 4G coverage. Obviously.
BT Mobile currently has three SIM-only deals available:
- BT Mobile 500MB Plan: 200 minutes of call time, unlimited texts, 500MB data and free access to BT Wi-Fi hotspots.
- BT Mobile 2GB Plan: 500 minutes of call time, unlimited texts, 2GB data, unlimited access to BT Wi-Fi hotspots.
- BT Mobile 6GB Plan: unlimited calls and texts, 6GB data, and unlimited access to BT Wi-Fi hotspots.
- BT Mobile 20GB Plan: unlimited calls, texts and 20GB data and free access to BT Wi-Fi hotspots.
You can find out more about BT Mobile plans in our complete guide.
What’s good about BT?
- Extremely wide broadband availability
- Lots of different packages to suit all types of user
- Truly unlimited packages let you surf the web without restriction
- BT Infinity fibre optic broadband perfect for shared households where lots of people want to use the internet
- Superfast BT Infinity speeds are great for gaming, streaming music, and watching online video services like Netflix
- BT Sport available with all broadband, TV and mobile phone packages - sometimes at no extra cost
- More affordable TV than Sky or Virgin Media
- Pause, rewind and record live TV with BT YouView
- BT TV has loads of stuff to watch on-demand, including catch-up TV, box sets, movies and more
- All broadband and phone packages include SmartTalk App, which lets you make calls from your mobile charged to your landline plan
- Affordable and simple 4G mobile phone plans
- Broadband customers can get a discount on BT Mobile plans
What’s bad about BT?
- BT Infinity not available everywhere - use our postcode checker to see if you can get it
- Broadband more expensive than providers like TalkTalk and Plusnet
- BT TV not as comprehensive as Virgin Media or Sky
- BT TV options can be confusing - for example, you need speeds of at least 6Mb to get BT Sport (though you can still watch online for free)
- 4G coverage not available everywhere
- No pay as you go mobile deals available