BT matches Virgin Media with new cheaper broadband, but which should you pick?


From next month millions more BT customers will be able to get broadband pumped into their properties at a far cheaper price. The UK Internet Service Provider (ISP) has announced a new plan which offers those on Universal Credit the chance to get internet access for a price of just £15 per month. That’s around half the cost of a standard connection from the firm. This new option will be available in June and is now in direct competition with a similar service from Virgin Media.

So, if you are eligible for this budget broadband you might be wondering which is best? has checked out these options and here’s all you need to know.


PLAN: Virgin Essential broadband
PRICE: £15 per month
CONTRACT: Flexible 30-day

Virgin Media first launch its Essential broadband plan last year with the promise of cheaper prices, no long-term contract and no annual price rises. It’s available to Virgin customers on Universal Credit and offers speeds of 15Mbps with no limit on how much you can download. As a guide, a 15Mbps connection will allow you to download a full HD blockbuster movie in around 20 minutes.

This plan is based on a rolling 30-day contract which means you can leave at any time or upgrade back to faster speeds as soon as it becomes affordable again. One thing to note is that Virgin’s Essential plan does not include a landline, calls or any TV. This is simply broadband at a cheaper price.

READ MORE: BT broadband will be much cheaper for millions of customers from next month


PLAN: BT Home Essentials
PRICE: £15 / £20 per month
DOWNLOAD SPEEDS: 36Mbps (£15) 67Mbps (£20)
CONTRACT: Flexible

BT has long offered budget broadband to some customers but it’s now expanding this service to anyone on Universal Credit. BT says this could allow around 4 million people to gain access to the web at a much cheaper price.

Like Virgin, BT’s Home Essentials starts from £15 per month although it does come with faster speeds of 36Mbps and you also get a phone line with 700 minutes of free calls each month. BT is also offering a more premium option which costs £20 per month and brings 67Mbps downloads into your property. At that rate, it would take just 10 minutes to download your night’s movie binge.

This more expensive option also features unlimited calls so you chat all day and night without being concerned about any extra costs. Both of these plans are based on 30-day contracts and you can leave at any time.

One final thing to note is that BT’s Home Essentials is available to anyone on Universal Credit and you don’t currently need to be a BT customer to apply.


BT and Virgin aren’t the only ISPs with a discount for those on Universal Credit. Hyperoptic is also offering a similar price plan for its fast fibre speeds.

If this service is available in your area you’ll find you can get 50Mbps downloads for just £15 per month and you can add a phone line for just £3 extra.

There’s also a 150Mbps option for £25 per month which will blast the web to devices at almost three times the current UK average. Like BT and Virgin, Hyperoptic doesn’t force you to sign up for a long-term contract and you can leave with just 30-day notice.

Published at Wed, 05 May 2021 06:26:00 +0000

BT matches Virgin Media with new cheaper broadband, but which should you pick?


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