BT versus Sky: which is the better broadband provider?

If you’re trying to decide between BT and Sky for your broadband, we’ve done the hard work for you, comparing what they offer, how much their packages cost and any areas where they go the extra mil

how to choose
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BT and Sky are two of the top broadband providers in the UK, with millions of customers between them. 

Remember though, there are numerous different broadband providers to choose from, so just because BT and Sky are two of the biggest broadband names, it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find a better deal for you from an alternative provider. 

Always compare as many broadband providers as possible before selecting a deal, and make sure you choose one which offer the speeds and data allowance you need, at a price that’s right for you.

(MORE: How to find the best broadband deals)

BT

 What type of packages does BT offer? 

 You can choose from either a broadband deal, or a bundled broadband and TV deal. If you don’t use a landline phone, BT offers broadband only deals, but bear in mind that if you choose this option, you’ll have to rely on your mobile to make or receive any calls. 

 What is BT’s availability like? 

 BT claims its broadband is available to more homes than any other provider, with its Fibre packages accessible to 91% of the UK. BT Full Fibre broadband, where the fibre cable connects straight to your home rather than via a copper cable, is currently only accessible to 8% of the UK but is gradually being rolled out to other areas. 

 How much does BT broadband cost? 

 Prices vary depending on which broadband package you go for, but at the time of writing, BT was offering its Fibre Essential deal, which enables you to browse and stream on one or two devices at once for £27.99 a month for 24 months, with an additional £10 upfront ‘activation fee’. 

Alternatively, its Fibre 1 deal, which enables you to browse, stream and download on a few devices at once, costs £28.99 a month with no upfront fee. Several other faster packages are available, including the Fibre 100 and Fibre 250 deals at £39.99 an £49.99 a month for 24 months respectively. 

 What are BT’s broadband speeds?  

 BT’s Fibre Essential broadband package and its Fibre 1 package both have a download speed of between 23Mb and 36Mb, whereas the Fibre 100 and Fibre 250 deals have speeds of up to 146Mb and 210Mb respectively. BT’s faster speeds, up to 900Mb, are available via Full Fibre. 

(MORE: Understanding broadband speed)

 Does BT offer any extras? 

 Yes, if you have any rooms in your home where you struggle to connect to Wi-Fi, you can sign up for Complete Wi-Fi at a cost of £12 a month and this guarantees you get a strong connection throughout your property, or you can claim £100 back. The service works though a Wi-Fi Disc which works with your Smart Hub to create a more powerful network.  

 What is BT’s cancellation policy? 

 Your BT broadband contract will run for a set term, usually 24 moths. If you cancel during this period, you'll have to pay an early termination charge. The amount you'll be charged depends on how long there’s left to run on your contract and how much you’re paying for it. 

 Are BT broadband customers happy with BT?  

 According to Ofcom’s latest ‘Comparing customer service’ report, 80% of BT broadband customers said they were satisfied with its broadband service overall in 2020, and the same percentage said they were satisfied with the speed of the service. The report found that 23% of BT Broadband customers had a reason to complain, which is lower than the 26% market average. 

Sky

 What type of packages does Sky offer? 

 Sky offers three main broadband packages, Superfast, Superfast with WiFi Guarantee, and Ultrafast. You can also choose from a wide range of bundled TV and broadband packages. Most of Sky's broadband packages use the Openreach network, but its full fibre package connect fibre-optic cables right to your home. 

 How much does Sky Broadband cost? 

 Sky’s Superfast Broadband costs £28 a month for 18 months, Superfast with WiFi Guarantee costs £33 a month for 18 months, and Ultrafast will set you back £35 a month for 18 months Each of these deals has a £19.95 set up charge. Sky’s bundled TV and broadband packages start from £43 a month for 18 months up to £69 a month for 18 months, depending on which channels you want. Set-up costs for broadband and TV packages are up to £49. 

 What are Sky’s broadband speeds? 

 Both the Superfast and Superfast with Wi-fi Guarantee have average download speeds of 59Mb, rising to 145Mb if you choose the Ultrafast broadband package. 

 What is Sky’s availability like?  

 Over 95% of areas in the UK has access to Sky superfast fibre broadband, but it has yet to be extended to all rural areas. 

 Does Sky offer any extras? 

 If you want peace of mind that any issues with your connection will be resolved swiftly, Sky offers Broadband Boost which you can add to your package at a cost of £5 a month. This means you get engineer visits at a time that suits you, and Sky will also run daily checks on your line, pledges to fix any problems identified quickly. If you lose your broadband connection at any stage and you have Sky Mobile, you’ll get an additional 2GB added to your allowance.  

 What’s Sky’s cancellation policy? 

 If you want to leave your contract before the end of its term, Sky will charge you early termination fees. The amount you’ll have to pay is determined by several different factors, including how long you’ve got left of your contract, the days you’ve already been billed for in advance, and the products you subscribe to, plus the price you pay for them. If you are out of contract, then you can switch to a new broadband provider without penalty.

 Are Sky Broadband customers happy with Sky? 

 Ofcom’s latest Comparing customer service report found that 80% of Sky’s customers were satisfied with its broadband service overall in 2020, and the same percentage said they were satisfied with the speed of the service. The research found that 24% of customers had a reason to complain about Sky broadband, which is very slightly higher than the 23% of BT customers who felt they had a reason to complain, but still lower than the 26% market average.