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BT Rolls Out Free 20Mbit Broadband Upgrade

Gordon Kelly


BT Rolls Out Free 20Mbit Broadband Upgrade

If you chose British Telecom as your ISP I suspect there have been more than a few occasions where you've thought "Why?!" Fear not, the former monopolist is about to reward its long suffering customer base...

After its June preview, BT is finally launching full ADSL2+ services with speeds of up to 20Mbit for its 8Mbit customers. Uploads speeds will also more than double from 448Kbps to a potential 1MBit. The best bit? BT Retail is offering the faster speeds at no extra cost, with the cheapest broadband option just £7.78 a month for the first three months.

The faster speeds will initially be made available through 549 exchanges which serve 10m UK homes and businesses - roughly 40 per cent of the population. This will increase to 55 per cent by March 2010. In an effort to avoid the adverse publicity that has struck many 'up to' 20Mbit services BT will also off the 'BT Broadband Accelerator' (previously known as the BT i-plate and worth £15) for just the price of postage. It plugs into the master socket, cleans the line and ensures you get the maximum speeds possible for your home in respect to its distance from the exchange.

"The BT Broadband Accelerator can make a big difference to the speed of your broadband," said BT consumer division MD John Petter. "We think it is so important we've taken the decision to offer it to our customers for just the cost of the postage.Between that and us more than doubling headline speeds for millions of homes and businesses, most customers should start to see a rapid boost in the performance of their connection. We have a track record of not charging customers any more when we increase the speed and this time is no different. BT broadband customers won't have to pay any more to get higher speeds."

All seems fair enough to us. You see, you stuck it out with BT for a reason... (or so you can now tell yourselves!).


http://www.btplc.com/news/articles/showarticle.cfm?articleid={c99564f3-a92a-450c-8c8f-9cf2395ea451 Press Release}


August 18, 2009, 7:14 am

Well before this BT said I could get 5 Mbs, now with this 'upgrade to 20 Mbs' I can get 7 Mbs. I am currently getting 16Mbs from O2.

Tony Walker

August 18, 2009, 9:03 am

Sounds like BT are being honest and telling you what speed they expect to be able to get from your line. What actual speed are you getting from O2 - I presume you are on their "up to" 16mb offering.


August 18, 2009, 11:08 am

I called BT to cancel so I could switch from their Option 3 (up to 8Mbps) package to BeThere's up to 24Mbps service, which actually costs less. The person at BT simply couldn't understand why I wanted to change. Duh...

My g/friend also has BT Option 3 and lives just 2 Km from the exchange. She only gets between 600Kbps and 1Mbps!


August 18, 2009, 12:12 pm

Have been with BT for a number of years and still there mainly because the local exchange has not been unbundled.

Originally i was getting close to 3mb now am lucky to get 1.5mb.

Strangely when i enter my full postcode into the BT broadband speed estimator i should get 6mb, enter my telephone number and it drops to 1.5mb.


August 18, 2009, 2:44 pm

It seems the quality of the line on your actual street is extremely important. I'm with BT up to 8 meg, and I was lucky to get 1.5, less than a mile from the exchange. Then BT 'upgraded' the phone line on my street, and overnight the connection went to 4 meg.

I'd be interested to see if other ISPs would have shown the same poor performance.

Dean 2

August 18, 2009, 3:59 pm

I have been with BT for 14 months, 12 months on option 3, they originally told me the fastest speed I would get was 256kbp/s but after complaining of only getting less than half of that even in the early hours of the morning (3am) my speed jumped from 160kbp/s to 424kbp/s (connection speed showing on the homehub) then on new years day after 4 months of been connected that speed without a problem my connection drops and reconnects at 160kbp/s with speed tests showing a download speed of 0.09kbp/s to 0.1kbp/s.

Why is it that small communities seem to be the ones to miss out on any upgrade to the speeds? On my investigations I have found that where I am no matter how much an increase in speed is advertised I will not be able to get an increase in my present speed on my BT line even by 2012


August 18, 2009, 4:59 pm

As this presumably means that BT has ADSL2+ equipment in these exchanges, is this also available to other ISP {if they want} that use these exchanges that haven't LLU your line? Some of these other ISP are even owned by BT e.g. PlusNet


August 18, 2009, 5:32 pm

I signed up for my free upgrade, and almost immediately got a warning about reaching my Fair Use Policy limit. Seems that once you sign up, BT are a little harder on the FUP than before.

My downloads were always scheduled for late night anyway, so as not to get in the way of gaming, and to just be a good netizen. The new way BT deal with FUP though is to wait till you hit their limit (100GB), and then ruin your connection. Not that they care how much you download (it being an unlimited service I'm on), just that they don't want you to use it. So I'm now on 1mb connection, during any hours that I'm awake and not at work. What can I do though? Pisses me off. I actually have a worse connection than before.


August 18, 2009, 5:47 pm

@Tony, I am actually getting 16Mbs from O2.

Dave W

August 18, 2009, 5:57 pm

I guess this is why Sky have emailed me about the same free speed upgrade then.

Jim 8

November 11, 2009, 4:18 pm

if you can't fit an accelerator try taking out the <a href="http://broadband-speedup.blogs... Wire</a> does the same thing.

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