BT offers Full Fibre broadband with download speeds of up to 910Mbit/s and upload speeds of up to 110Mbit/s.

In the UK, BT now offers full fibre broadband with prices starting from £39.99/month. Currently available in around 3 million UK homes, it’s possible to get average download speeds of up to 910Mbit/s. This makes BT’s full fibre broadband around 15 times faster than a normal fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) connection. As the fibre optic cable goes all the way into your home, it should also offer a more reliable service.

In this article, we’ll review the Full Fibre broadband service from BT. We’ll start by explaining how the service works and how it compares to more traditional fibre broadband services. We’ll then look at BT’s full fibre price plans, the Smart Hub and modem you’ll get, and the coverage available on the service. Finally, we’ll compare BT’s Full Fibre service to alternatives like Virgin Media’s Gig1, Hyperoptic Broadband and Vodafone’s Gigafast Broadband.

What is Full Fibre Broadband?

With full fibre broadband, the fibre optic cable goes all the way into your home rather than ending at a nearby street cabinet.

Traditionally, what we know as fibre broadband in the UK is only a part-fibre connection. Technically speaking, fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) is a more descriptive name for this technology. Although a fibre optic connection runs between the telephone exchange and your nearest green street cabinet, the final section (or the “last mile”) between the cabinet and your home uses an old copper phone line connection.

Because fibre-to-the-cabinet uses copper for the final part of the connection, download speeds can typically only go up to 67Mbit/s (with an absolute maximum of 80Mbit/s if you live very close to the cabinet). The connection can sometimes also be susceptible to problems if there’s a fault with the copper cable part of the connection.

In contrast, full fibre broadband uses a fibre optic cable for the entire distance between the telephone exchange and your home. As the fibre optic cable reaches all the way into your home, it means you can get even faster download speeds. Initially, full fibre broadband offers up to a gigabit per second (1,000Mbit/s). In the future, however, even faster speeds will be possible. It’s also more reliable than fibre-to-the-cabinet with less of a need to share resources with other customers.

Today, around 91% of UK households have access to fibre-to-the-cabinet broadband (FTTC). This is still the most popular form of fibre broadband in the UK. More recently, BT has started rolling out full fibre broadband. It’s now available in around 3 million homes, or in around 11% of UK households.

BT Full Fibre Broadband Plans

If you’re living at an address that has access to full fibre broadband from BT, you can currently choose from the following three full fibre plans:

  • Full Fibre 100 has an average download speed of 150Mbit/s and an average upload speed of 30Mbit/s. The minimum ‘Stay Fast’ guaranteed speed is 100Mbit/s.
  • Full Fibre 500 has an average download speed of 500Mbit/s and an average upload speed of 73Mbit/s. The minimum ‘Stay Fast’ guaranteed speed is 250Mbit/s.
  • Full Fibre 900 has an average download speed of 910Mbit/s and an average upload speed of 110Mbit/s. The minimum ‘Stay Fast’ guaranteed speed is 455Mbit/s.

The prices for full fibre broadband currently start from £39.99/month on a 24-month contract. You’ll pay more if you want access to faster download speeds, with the fastest package currently costing £59.99/month:

ServiceAverage SpeedContract LengthUpfront PriceMonthly Price
BT
Full Fibre 100
100Mbps download24 month contract£9.99£39.99/month
BT
Full Fibre 500
500Mbps download24 month contract£9.99£49.99/month
BT
Full Fibre 900
910Mbps download24 month contract£9.99£59.99/month

See all BT Full Fibre deals →

The price of your full fibre broadband service will increase in March of each year in line with CPI inflation. At the end of your 24 month contract, you’ll also be subject to a price increase of £8/month unless you re-contract on a new plan from BT.

All of the Full Fibre plans have a minimum guaranteed download speed and upload speed, which BT calls the ‘Stay Fast Guarantee’ speed. The minimum guaranteed speeds are as follows:

BT Full Fibre Plan Minimum Guaranteed Download Speed Minimum Guaranteed Upload Speed
Full Fibre 100 30Mbit/s download 10Mbit/s upload
Full Fibre 300 150Mbit/s download 10Mbit/s upload
Full Fibre 500 250Mbit/s download 10Mbit/s upload
Full Fibre 900 455Mbit/s download 10Mbit/s upload

The minimum speed is measured to your BT Smart Hub rather than to individual devices. If your connection is slower than the minimum speed, you can claim a £20 gift card from BT as compensation (up to a maximum of four times per year). In some cases, you may also be able to cancel your contract without penalty.

For comparison, you can get a traditional fibre broadband plan for just £24.99/month on BT. This might be a better value option if you don’t need the faster speeds from a full fibre connection.

BT Smart Hub Router

Customers signing up to BT’s Full Fibre broadband service will receive a BT Smart Hub 2 router. This works in conjunction with an Openreach modem (ONT) as described on BT’s website.

This second generation BT Smart Hub 2 router supports Wi-Fi 5 technology (802.11ac) and uses 7 wi-fi antenna to optimise the performance and speed of your network. It has four Gigabit Ethernet sockets for connecting wired devices to your network as well as a USB port for connecting external storage. The Smart Hub 2 can be used with a Wi-Fi Disc from BT to extend a wi-fi network across your home (see our guide to BT Complete Wi-Fi for more information).

Full Fibre Coverage & Availability

BT’s full fibre broadband uses FTTP (fibre-to-the-premises) connectivity from Openreach. At present, around 3 million homes have access to full fibre broadband from Openreach. This equates to roughly 11% of UK households. This includes lots of new build developments as well as older homes in selected areas that have been upgraded to have full fibre broadband.

Openreach are expected to increase full fibre coverage to 4 million homes by March 2021. The ambition is to eventually reach 15 million homes with full fibre broadband by 2025.

To find out whether full fibre is available at your address, use the availability checker on BT’s website. If it isn’t yet available at your address, it’s possible to register your interest for updates by leaving an email address with BT.

Alternatives

If you’re not able to get BT’s full fibre broadband service where you live, it may instead be possible to get gigabit broadband from one of the following providers:

  • Vodafone’s Gigafast Broadband uses the Cityfibre network instead of Openreach. Currently available in 12 UK towns and cities, you can get Gigafast broadband for as little as £25/month. Vodafone offers symmetrical speeds on Gigafast broadband, so you can upload at the same speed you download. For instance, on their fastest plan, you’ll be able to download and upload at 900Mbit/s (this plan is currently available for £43/month).
  • Hyperoptic has their own full fibre broadband network, currently available in more than 500,000 homes across 39 UK towns and cities. The company mainly targets large blocks of flats in major towns and cities. You can get broadband from Hyperoptic for as little as £17.99/month, with the fastest package (Hyperfast) costing £45/month for 900Mbit/s symmetrical download speeds and upload speeds. Other plans are also available from Hyperoptic with speeds of 50Mbit/s, 150Mbit/s and 500Mbit/s.
  • Virgin Media’s Gig1 service isn’t technically full fibre broadband. Instead, it uses older co-axial cable technology with the DOCSIS 3.1 standard. Despite this, you can still get comparable download speeds to full fibre broadband – albeit, with far slower upload speeds. At present, you’ll pay £62/month for Virgin’s Gig1 service with an average download speed of 1,104Mbit/s and an average upload speed of 54Mbit/s. The good news is it’s already available in more than 2 million homes, with this set to increase to 15 million homes (the entire Virgin Media network) by the end of 2021.

The following table shows how BT’s Full Fibre broadband compares to services from rival ISPs:

ServiceAverage SpeedContract LengthUpfront PriceMonthly Price
Vodafone Broadband
Gigafast 900
900Mbps download24 month contract£0£43/month
Hyperoptic
Hyperfast
900Mbps download12 month contract£29£45/month
BT
Full Fibre 900
910Mbps download24 month contract£9.99£59.99/month
Virgin Media
Gig1 Fibre
1104Mbps download18 month contract£35£62/month

For more information, see our in-depth guides to home broadband ISPs in the UK.

More Information

For more information about the full fibre service from BT, please see their official website.

Your Comments 10 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 10 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Open Reach fibre rollout – how soon is “soon”?
    I am in SE14 (London), currently on copper, max speeds on good days, 10M. I learn that we are on the Openreach rollout plan for FTTP, (full fibre) coming “soon”. I’m dimly aware that this rollout has been going on for some years, so I don’t know if “soon” means, next 6 months, or next 6 years. My question to you, do you have any better guess as to what “soon” means?

    PS, thanks for your info here on fibre; so much clearer and to the point than BT’s sales pages.

    • Hi John,
      Thanks for your feedback, and I’m really pleased that you found this information to be helpful! Regarding the rollout of full fibre, I unfortunately don’t have any information about how it affects individual areas. They’ve pledged to deliver full fibre to 20 million homes by the mid-to-late 2020s, which could mean anything from 2025 to 2030 (leaving aside the fact it doesn’t tell you which 20 million homes will be covered, and the uncertainty about how BT/Openreach is going to pay for it all). The best thing to do would probably be just to keep an eye out for local works/news/announcements, and hoping for some good news soon! Alternatively, there are also quite a few other full fibre providers launching in London (Community Fibre, G.Network, etc) so keep an eye out for announcements from those companies as well.
      Ken

  • So I’ve been offered free upgrade no cost for 24 months to Full Fibre 100 (already have FTTC). They dont make is clear whether I can downgrade back to FTTC after 24 months if I don’t want to pay whatever the charge will be then. Also my current number I brought from different property and is on a different exchange to my nearest, so always had slower speeds. Guess this doesnt matter now with FTTP or should I ask to change number to maximise speed?

    • Hi Stwi,
      Thanks for your comment. I believe BT are probably offering you a free upgrade as they want to move people over to their full fibre service. This will ultimately save them money in the long-run as they’re looking to switch off the old FTTC/copper network. For this reason, I’m not sure whether there’ll be a FTTC service for you to go back to in your area in 24 months time! Saying that, they currently offer equivalents of all their FTTC plans through a Full Fibre service so you shouldn’t be disadvantaged by this (i.e. you could get FTTC equivalent speeds through your Full Fibre connection at the exact same cost).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • Unfortunately for me, Virgin Media already service my apartment block, so BT won’t touch it. This infuriates me – it’s like there’s competition, but there’s not. Once Virgin Media had an apartment block covered, no other providers step in to offer an alternative (choice). So for me (and millions like me), there is no competition.

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