BT offers a choice of Fibre Essential, Fibre 1 and Fibre 2 plans. Find out how the three BT fibre broadband plans compare.

BT currently offers a choice of three fibre broadband plans in most UK households. The plans are Fibre Essential (with average download speeds of 36Mbps), Fibre 1 (with average download speeds of 50Mbps) and Fibre 2 (with average download speeds of 67Mbps).

At present, you can get fibre broadband from £27.99 per month on BT. This comes with a Smart Hub router as well as BT’s Virus Protect software and BT Cloud storage. On top of that, you can add extra features like Hybrid Connect, Complete Wi-Fi and BT TV.

In around 5 million UK homes, you can also choose one of BT’s faster full fibre plans. With Full Fibre 100, Full Fibre 500 and Full Fibre 900, you can access average download speeds of between 150Mbps and 900Mbps.

In this article, we’ll review BT’s fibre broadband plans, comparing Fibre Essential, Fibre 1 and Fibre 2. We’ll look at the speeds available on each plan and what you’re able to do with it. We’ll also look at BT’s optional add-ons, the Smart Hub router and how you can change your broadband provider to BT.

Prices From: £27.99 per month
Best Offer: £110 reward card
(currently available on BT Fibre 2)
Contract Length: 24 months
Download Speed: 36Mbps (Fibre Essential)
50Mbps (Fibre 1)
67Mbps (Fibre 2)
150Mbps-900Mbps (Full Fibre)
Upload Speed: 9Mbps (Fibre Essential & Fibre 1)
19Mbps (Fibre 2)
30Mbps-110Mbps (Full Fibre)
Router: Smart Hub 2 (plans with Hybrid Connect, Complete Wi-Fi, Digital Voice or Full Fibre)
Smart Hub (standard fibre broadband router)
Coverage: 91% of UK homes (Fibre Essential, Fibre 1, Fibre 2)
5 million+ UK homes (Full Fibre, check your postcode)

BT Fibre Broadband Plans

In around 91% of UK homes, BT currently offers a choice of three fibre broadband plans. Fibre Essential is BT’s cheapest fibre broadband plan, with an average download speeds of 36Mbps. Fibre 1 is the mid-range plan with average download speeds of 50Mbps and Fibre 2 is the fastest-available mainstream price plan with average download speeds of 67Mbps.

The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of the three plans:

Fibre Essential Fibre 1 Fibre 2
Monthly Price: £27.99 per month £28.99 per month £32.99 per month
Reward Card: - £70 reward card £110 reward card
Download Speed: 36Mbps average download 50Mbps average download 67Mbps average download
Upload Speed: 9Mbps average upload 19Mbps average upload 19Mbps average upload
Inclusive Features
Phone Line: Optional Optional Optional
BT Virus Protect: 2 devices 2 devices 15 devices
BT Cloud: 200GB cloud storage 200GB cloud storage 1TB (1,000GB) cloud storage
Technology
Technology: Fibre Fibre Fibre
Router: Smart Hub Smart Hub Smart Hub
Availability: 91% of UK homes
Check availability →
91% of UK homes
Check availability →
91% of UK homes
Check availability →

In around 18% of UK homes, you’ll also be able to get full fibre broadband from BT. These plans offer even faster download speeds, ranging from 150Mbps to 900Mbps on average. You can enter your postcode on the BT website to see whether full fibre broadband is available.

Fibre Essential

BT’s entry-level fibre broadband service is known as Fibre Essential. It has average download speeds of 36Mbps and average upload speeds of 9Mbps. At present, you can get it for £27.99 per month.

According to BT, you should choose the Fibre Essential plan if you want “great value fibre broadband” at the lowest monthly price. The speeds available on this plan should allow you to stream in HD quality on up to 7 devices at the same time (enough for most UK households).

If you want a personalised estimate of the speeds available at your address, this is available on the BT website. You’ll also be given a personalised Stay Fast Guarantee speed.

ServiceAverage SpeedContract LengthUpfront PriceMonthly Price
BT
Fibre Essential
36Mbps download24 month contract£0£27.99/month

See all BT Fibre Essential deals →

Although Fibre Essential is BT’s lowest price plan, you’ll normally be better off choosing Fibre 1 or Fibre 2 instead. This is because, for instance, you’ll get a £110 reward card included on Fibre 2, making it better value overall.

The Fibre Essential plan comes with BT’s Smart Hub router as standard. If you add the Hybrid Connect feature or BT Complete Wi-Fi, this will be upgraded to the Smart Hub 2 router.

If you’re not able to get a fibre broadband connection in your home, you’ll be offered a copper broadband (ADSL) service at the same price as Fibre Essential.

Fibre 1

According to BT, Fibre 1 is currently their most popular broadband plan. It has average download speeds of 50Mbps which is around 40% faster on average than the Fibre Essential plan. It’s currently available for £28.99 per month so it’s a little more expensive than Fibre Essential. However, you'll get a £70 reward card included on Fibre 1, making it better overall value.

BT says their Fibre 1 plan is recommended for “streaming and catching up on TV”. The extra speeds will allow you to stream on a few more devices at the same time than on Fibre Essential. For instance, the 50Mbps average speed will allow you to stream in full HD quality on 10 devices at the same time (or 2 devices at the same time if you’re watching in 4K ultra-HD quality).

ServiceAverage SpeedContract LengthUpfront PriceMonthly Price
BT
Fibre 1
50Mbps download24 month contract£0£28.99/month
with £70 reward card

See all BT Fibre 1 deals →

Like BT’s other fibre broadband plans, you’ll also get the Smart Hub router included on Fibre 1. If you upgrade your plan with Hybrid Connect or Complete Wi-Fi, you’ll get the newer Smart Hub 2 router instead.

The Fibre 1 plan also includes BT’s Virus Protect service for use on up to two devices. You’ll also get 200GB of cloud storage from BT Cloud which you can use for backing up your files online. A variety of BT TV plans can also be added to the Fibre 1 service from an extra £12/month.

Fibre 2

Fibre 2 is BT’s fastest mainstream fibre broadband plan. It has an average download speed of 67Mbps, making it another 33% faster than Fibre 1 on average. You can get the Fibre 2 service for £32.99 per month, with a £110 reward card for signing up.

According to BT, you should choose the Fibre 2 plan for “streaming, gaming, watching and downloading in HD on multiple devices” at the same time.

ServiceAverage SpeedContract LengthUpfront PriceMonthly Price
BT
Fibre 2
67Mbps download24 month contract£0£32.99/month
with £110 reward card

See all BT Fibre 2 deals →

Alongside the faster download speeds, there are two other benefits to choosing the Fibre 2 plan. Firstly, you’ll get a license for BT’s Virus Protect software for use on 15 devices at the same time. This compares to only 2 devices on the Fibre Essential and Fibre 1 plans. You’ll also get 1,000GB (1TB) of inclusive storage on the BT Cloud service, which is five times more than on BT’s other fibre broadband plans.

Apart from that, you’ll get the regular Smart Hub router included on Fibre 2, or the newer Smart Hub 2 if you upgrade it with Hybrid Connect or Complete Wi-Fi. If you get the Complete Wi-Fi add-on, you’ll also be given a Wi-Fi Disc to boost the coverage in your home. BT TV can be added to your Fibre 2 service from an extra £12/month.

Full Fibre Plans

In around 18% of UK households (about 5 million homes), BT also offers the option of full fibre broadband. These Full Fibre plans offer even faster download speeds, along with a more reliable broadband service as it doesn’t rely on a part-copper connection.

At present, you can choose from 3 BT Full Fibre broadband plans:

  • Full Fibre 100: With average download speeds of 150Mbps and average upload speeds of 30Mbps.
  • Full Fibre 500: With average download speeds of 500Mbps and average upload speeds of 73Mbps.
  • Full Fibre 900: With average download speeds of 900Mbps and average upload speeds of 110Mbps.

The following table shows BT’s Full Fibre broadband plans, starting from £34.99 per month:

ServiceAverage SpeedContract LengthUpfront PriceMonthly Price
BT
Full Fibre 100
150Mbps download24 month contract£0£34.99/month
BT
Full Fibre 500
500Mbps download24 month contract£0£44.99/month
BT
Full Fibre 900
910Mbps download24 month contract£0£55.99/month

See all BT Full Fibre deals →

The traditional fibre broadband plans like Fibre 1 and Fibre 2 are still available to customers who only have a full fibre (FTTP) broadband connection in their home. In this case, the Fibre 1 and Fibre 2 plans will be delivered using FTTP technology. You’ll continue to benefit from the improved reliability of full fibre technology but you won’t get the faster speeds available.

For more information, see our full guide to BT’s Full Fibre plans.

BT Broadband Add-Ons

Alongside BT’s fibre broadband service, there are a number of additional features you can add to your BT Broadband plan:

  • Hybrid Connect (£7/month): This gives you a 4G-based backup connection for your fibre broadband service. It will kick in automatically if there’s a fault with your fibre broadband connection, keeping you online with “unbreakable home wi-fi”.
  • Complete Wi-Fi (£12/month): This gives you a guaranteed Wi-Fi signal in every room of your home. It uses mesh networking technology to enable this, with up to three Wi-Fi boosting discs. It’s supported by BT’s Complete Wi-Fi Guarantee which gives you £100 back if you’re unable to get reliable wi-fi in every room.
  • BT TV (from £12/month): This is BT’s flexible television service. You’ll get a BT TV set-top box and a choice of television packages including Entertainment and Sport. You can access Sky TV channels as well as BT Sport and more (subject to your TV package).
  • BT Home Phone (from £5/month): By default, BT’s fibre broadband plans now come without a landline. You can add a landline service to your plan from £5/month. This will be provided using a standard analogue phone line or using Digital Voice, depending on what is available in your area. Alternatively, you can get a discounted BT Mobile SIM card from £8/month.
  • BT Halo: You can upgrade to a BT Broadband plan with Halo for access to Home Tech Experts and more. This also gives you double data on all BT Mobile SIM cards, along with access to an exclusive BT Mobile unlimited data plan.

For more information about the individual add-ons, you can read our in-depth guides on each individual feature (linked to above). Alternatively, there’s more information available on the BT website.

BT Fibre Broadband Speeds

The following table shows the average download speed and upload speed you can expect on a BT Broadband plan:

BT Broadband Plan Average Download Speed Average Upload Speed
Standard Broadband (ADSL) 10Mbps 1Mbps
Fibre Essential 36Mbps 9Mbps
Fibre 1 50Mbps 9Mbps
Fibre 2 67Mbps 18Mbps
Full Fibre 100 (FTTP & G.fast only) 150Mbps 30Mbps
Full Fibre 300 (FTTP & G.fast only) 300Mbps 49Mbps
Full Fibre 500 (FTTP only) 500Mbps 73Mbps
Full Fibre 900 (FTTP only) 900Mbps 110Mbps

The average speeds given by BT are based on a national average. The figures are based on what 50% of customers are able to get during peak hours (between 8pm and 10pm each day).

In reality, the actual speeds you can get in your home will also be dependent on the distance to the nearest street cabinet (unless you have full fibre broadband). For this reason, the exact download speeds and upload speeds available at your address may be different to what is listed in the above table.

For a personalised estimate of the download speeds available at your address, enter your postcode on the BT website. You’ll also be given your personalised Stay Fast Guarantee speed when you do this. This is the minimum guaranteed download speed from BT. If your connection drops below this Stay Fast Guarantee speed, BT will try to resolve the problem for you. If they’re unable to resolve it within 30 days, you can claim a £20 credit from them or you can cancel your BT Broadband service with penalty.

Check BT Broadband Speeds →

BT Smart Hub Routers

When you sign up to BT’s fibre broadband service, you’ll be given a Smart Hub router to use with your BT Broadband service. The Smart Hub will connect to BT’s fibre broadband network and will produce a Wi-Fi network from it that you’re able to connect to on other devices. Additionally, you’ll get 4 Gigabit Ethernet sockets, which are handy for connecting wired devices to your network.

On the Fibre Essential, Fibre 1 and Fibre 2 plans, you’ll be given the BT Smart Hub as standard. This will be upgraded to the Smart Hub 2 if you choose the Hybrid Connect or Complete Wi-Fi add-on. Alternatively, you’ll get a Smart Hub 2 if you choose a Full Fibre or BT Halo plan, or if you live in a BT Digital Voice area. The Smart Hub 2 has a newer design and improved Wi-Fi network performance.

The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of the two Smart Hubs:

BT Smart Hub BT Smart Hub 2
Availability
BT Broadband Plans: Standard router on Fibre plans

Available with any of the following:

  • Hybrid Connect
  • Complete Wi-Fi
  • Digital Voice
  • Full Fibre (FTTP)
  • Halo
Connectivity
Dual-Band Wi-Fi: Yes Yes
Wi-Fi Connectivity: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Wi-Fi Speed: Up to 1950Mbps total Up to 2022Mbps total
2.4GHz Wi-Fi: 3×3 MIMO (up to 217Mbps) 3×3 MIMO (up to 289Mbps)
5GHz Wi-Fi: 4×4 MIMO (up to 1733Mbps) 4×4 MIMO (up to 1733Mbps)
Complete Wi-Fi (Mesh): No Yes
Ethernet: 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports
Phone: No 1 FXS phone port (Digital Voice)
2 DECT antennas
USB ports: 1 USB 2.0 port 1 USB 2.0 port
Other: WPA2 / WPA security
Built-in firewall
Automatic channel selection & optimisation
WPA2 / WPA security
Built-in firewall
Automatic channel selection & optimisation
Other
Colour: Black/Grey Black
Dimensions: 41 x 19 x 4.1 cm
More Information: BT Website BT Website

If you sign up for BT’s Complete Wi-Fi service, you’ll also be given a Wi-Fi Disc to go with your Smart Hub 2. This extends the range of your Wi-Fi network, with support for dual-band Wi-Fi 5 technology (802.11ac). The Wi-Fi Disc will also give you another Gigabit Ethernet socket. If required, two more Wi-Fi Discs can be sent out to you at no extra cost as part of the Complete Wi-Fi service.

There’s more information about the Hubs on the BT Broadband website. You can also buy the Smart Hub 2 or a Wi-Fi Disc as a standalone accessory.

Coverage & Availability

BT’s fibre broadband service is now available in 91% of UK homes. It typically uses fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology on the Openreach network. This means a fibre optic cable runs to a cabinet near your home, with a copper connection for the “last mile” between the cabinet and your home.

If you’re unable to get fibre broadband at your address, you may be offered a standard copper broadband plan instead. This will give you average download speeds of 10Mbps using ADSL broadband technology.

In about 18% of UK homes, you may also be offered one of BT’s Full Fibre plans. This uses fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology where a fibre optic cable goes all the way into your home.

To check the broadband plans and download speeds available at your address, enter your postcode on BT’s online availability checker:

Check BT Broadband Coverage →

Switching to BT Broadband

If you’re currently using another broadband provider, it’s easy switching to BT Broadband.

Start by ordering your new fibre broadband service from BT. You can do this on the BT website. If you want to keep your current home phone number, be sure to add a landline to your plan and give your phone number to BT. BT will give you a switchover date for the service, which will typically be in around two weeks time.

In advance of your new BT Broadband service going live, you’ll be sent your new Smart Hub router through the post. On the go-live date, you’ll need to unplug your old broadband router and replace it with the new BT Smart Hub.

In most cases, it won’t be necessary to separately cancel your old broadband service. This is because BT can normally do it for you automatically. The exception to this if you’re a Virgin Media customer, or a customer of another provider that doesn’t use the Openreach network. If this is the case, you’ll need to contact your old provider to cancel the old service for when BT Broadband goes live.

For step-by-step instructions on how to switch to BT Broadband, please select your current broadband provider from the list below:

Switch to BT Broadband
Your step-by-step guide to switching

Select your current broadband provider:

More Options

You can also read our in-depth guide to switching home broadband provider.

More Information

For more information about BT’s fibre broadband service, please see the official BT Broadband website.

Your Comments 4 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 4 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

Leave a Reply