BT Broadband - Pros and Cons
BT is the biggest provider of internet services in the UK and here we look at their Broadband in pros and cons to seewhether it really is a provider that we can choose. Around 1 in 10 consumers has an Infinity or Total Broadband package so it’s definitely a firm favourite. Before we get going into the details, let's have a look at the summary of the positives and negatives; just in case you are in a hurry and don’t want to read all the way down to the bottom.
The Positives and Negatives
-With BT, you get the Home Hub 4 as a standard offering.
-There is unlimited Wi-Fi available on all of the BT packages.
-There are over 5 million customers using the service and so it is a trusted provider.
-Normally contracts are for 18 months at least.
-You have to have a line rental package increasing the price.
-There are call centres overseas and not just in the UK.
The Positives in Detail
The Free Home Hub
The free BT Broadband hub is very good and can actually be better at dealing with local interference from electronic and wireless signals than those from other providers.. It costs £99 normally so the “free” price tag is great. Customers only have to pay £6.95 for delivery and sometimes even this is waived altogether.
Are BT Broadband Fair Usage Policies Fair?
This is a very simple question to answer, because BT does not have a fair usage policy at all and you can upload, download, stream, video chat and play online games to your heart's content without fear or restrictions. This is a real plus for the service.
Every package provides the opportunity to get onto free public Wi-Fi and there are around 400 million hot spots around the UK and also around 3 million locations worldwide where you can jump on Wi-Fi. This is a pretty stunning benefit of BT, especially if you find yourself in airports around the world a lot.
Free Line Rental Connection
BT will normally waive the cost of connection, which is up to a £130, if you go for a broadband package with them. You may also not need to pay for reactivation if your line has been disconnected.
BT customer service is available 24 hours a day and so you can talk to someone to help you with your connection just about anytime, anywhere. If you call from your mobile, or a landline from a different provider, then you will be charged for the calls.
TV from just £5
BT Vision is available from just £5 extra per month. You may have to pay postage and package for the box, but overall, the BT offering is extremely cheap to boost your television options.
Available Most Places
Because BT uses the BT telephone infrastructure to deliver their broadband packages you can get it in around 99% of the UK. In some locations, speeds will be below 2mbps, but that will generally be rural areas. Around a third of the country can get BT Infinity fibre optic, but the end of 2014 offering more super-fast broadband availability will see this figure double. Other providers also use the BT Broadband fibre optic infrastructure so the increase in availability will be great news for consumer choice.
The Not So Good
Excess Usage Charges
When you are on a fixed broadband package, you'll be charged £5 for an extra 5 GB of data that you use. This can make your package pretty expensive. You will be charged the first time you go over your limits, but after that you will get an email alert before you start getting charges. The monitor for usage on the BT package isn't actually real time and ends at midnight of the previous night, and, therefore, you can go over your limit even if you are monitoring.
BT does shape traffic in order to ensure that P2P files don't impact on performance. On the top BT packages that cost the most, there will be no throttling of speed at all, at any time of the day.
Contracts of 18 months
Some providers these days offer rolling month to month contracts and some offer 12-month contracts. With BT, you will have to sign up for an 18-month minimum term. There will be charges and exit costs if you want to leave before this period and just 6 months early can mean a £100 bill. This can be a real negative for some people who have a 12-month tenancy agreement for instance.
You Won't Get a Cooling Off Period
BT does not offer money back guarantees and cooling off periods, so as soon as you're activated, you are committed. You should get a 7 day distance selling cooling off period though.
Payments by Direct Debit
If you don't pay by direct debit you will have an extra £1.89 to pay on your monthly bill. Gone are the days where you got a reduction on your price for paying by direct debit. Now, you generally get charged for not doing so it seems.
Overall Conclusion on BT Broadband
BT is a solid name in the industry and has been running for well over a century. The benefits of having the good Home Hub and unlimited Wi-Fi certainly make it an attractive option, but the tie in to an 18-month contract, and the usage policies, and additional data costs on the lower end of the market offerings can restrict the user.
Ensure that you consider your priorities before you go for a package. The top end packages certainly are good, but if you're looking for the best TV to go with your package, you might want to consider Virgin or Sky, although BT is improving their TV offering every month.
Decide on your priorities and ensure they are matched by your provider of choice… then look for value for your hard earned money.
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