AROUND 700,000 BT broadband customers will have their speeds boosted for FREE so that they’re five times as fast.
These households and businesses currently have their broadband delivered through older copper broadband lines.
But BT says it will upgrade these lines by next summer to fibre cables, which means customers will benefit from faster and more reliable broadband, as well as better Wi-Fi connections.
The move will see average speeds for these customers rise from 10Mbps to 50Mbps.
And better still, BT says it won’t charge users for the upgrade or move them onto pricier monthly packages, although it points out that these customers currently pay varying prices.
Philip Jansen, chief executive of BT, said: “ “We’re helping families and communities across the UK, and companies in Britain and around the world, to remove the barriers of today to realise the potential of tomorrow.”
How do I get the upgrade?
If you’re one of the people getting the upgrade you’ll be notified in advance by BT either by letter or email.
You’ll then get a new broadband hub sent to your address with instructions on how to install it.
Once installed, an email will be sent to Openreach which will complete the upgrade for you.
Once this has happened, you’ll be moved to a new broadband plan and you’ll see this detailed on your bill – but BT says your monthly price will not change.
We’ve asked BT to confirm if your contract length will also remain the same and if any other BT products you have are affected and we’ll update this story as soon as we get a response.
BT says there will be no downtime to your broadband connection while the switch takes place though.
It’ll begin moving customers this month with all eligible households expected to be upgraded by summer 2020.
For now, BT says the upgrade just focuses on those with copper broadband.
What if I can’t get fibre broadband?
If you’re one of the 10 per cent of BT’s customers who can’t get fibre broadband because of where you live, BT will automatically cut the price of your broadband bill.
BT wouldn’t tell us how much bills will fall by, only saying that it will use all the technologies it can to provide the fastest broadband connections to these customers.
The telecoms giant will also stop selling broadband packages using its copper network to 90 per cent of the UK – only selling it to the 10 per cent who can’t access fibre broadband.
BT made the announcement today as part of a wide-ranging package to improve its service for users.
As part of the announcement it also revealed that BT mobile users in 20 major cities across the UK will get access to 5G from Friday.
While BT brought forward by a year plans that will see all of its customer services teams based in the UK from 2020.
Under the government’s “universal service obligation”, which takes force next March, you’ll be able to demand broadband speeds of at least 10 Mbps, and upload speeds of at least 1 Mbps.
You can also now cancel phone, broadband and TV contracts for free if firms don’t fix faults and problems, as well as if speeds drop below promised levels.
But BT, Virgin Media, and TalkTalk have been accused of STILL overcharging loyal customers by up to £236 a year.