full fiber: Yes
TV packages: Yes
BT is one of the most popular internet service providers in the UK. It’s easy to see why customers are also happy to work with BT. After all, the company offers a fantastic selection of speeds and a large collection of TV and broadband offerings. However, the supplier is not perfect and the company’s offerings are on the more expensive end of the scale. In addition, many of his contracts are for 24 months and come with high cancellation fees.
- Large selection of speeds
- Internet and TV packages
- The best router in its class
- Deals are expensive
- 24 month contracts
- Full access to fiber is limited
full fiber: Yes
TV packages: Yes
Although EE is still best known as a mobile network, the company is making a name for itself in the broadband space. So current EE customers can expect decent speed and discounts.
EE is actually a member of the BT family, so most of its available rates are similar to those offered by BT. This means that customers can look forward to a large selection. However, its rates are expensive unless you are a current EE mobile customer.
- Large speed range
- EE Client Benefits
- Good customer service
- Expensive for non-EE customers
- TV packages are not the best
BT and EE are the two most popular Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country for many reasons. Both companies offer a wide range of speeds ranging from basic ADSL options to 900Mbps packages that provide some of the highest download speeds available on the market today.
In addition, both companies are known for offering some of the best broadband deals on the market and providing excellent customer service.
After the merger in 2016, EE became part of the BT Group. This means that there are not too many differences between the two providers. However, both brands are positioned differently and there are certainly reasons why you might prefer to partner with one over the other.
Unsure which ISP is right for you: BT or EE? Well, we have put together this detailed guide that directly compares the two providers. We also came up with the final verdict on which is the better of the two. Read on to find out everything you need to know.
EE vs. BT: broadband options
As we mentioned above, as a result of the merger in 2016, EE is now owned by BT. In fact, when you visit EE’s broadband website, it proudly states that the company’s broadband is “BT-powered.” As a result, the provider says its customers are “using the same reliable broadband technology that also keeps millions of BT customers connected.”
As a result, the two broadband providers offer the same speeds and packages to customers. However, while the options available are broadly similar, there are some subtle differences that you should be aware of.
For direct comparison, BT provides all of the following broadband speeds:
- BT unlimited broadband: 10 Mbps average speed (this is only available in areas that cannot receive fiber speeds)
- BT Essential fiber: 36 Mbps average speed
- BT 1 fiber: 50 Mbps average speed
- BT Fiber 2: 74 Mbps average speed
- Full fiber BT 100: 150 Mbps average speed
- Full fiber BT 500: 500 Mbps average speed
- Full fiber BT 900: 900 Mbps average speed
In contrast, EE offers the following speeds:
- Unlimited broadband access: 10 Mbps average speed (this is only available in areas that cannot receive fiber speeds)
- Fiber Broadband: 36 Mbps average speed
- FiberPlus: 74 Mbps average speed
- Full Fiber Max 100: 100 Mbps average speed
- Full Fiber Max 500: 500 Mbps average speed
- Full fiber, max. gigabit: 900 Mbps average speed
As you can see, both BT and EE offer a great range of fiber and full fiber speeds. In addition, both ISPs also offer a package that provides an average download speed of 900 Mbps. On the opposite end of the spectrum, BT and EE also offer an ADSL option (though it’s only available to customers who can’t get a fiber package). This means that both providers offer an option that will suit almost every client.
In addition to this, it is worth noting that both providers use the Openreach network and specialize in 24-month plans. As you might expect, in a scenario where one company is owned by the other, there is very little difference between the two providers in terms of packages offered and speeds available.
EE vs BT: broadband coverage
As we hinted above, there are also very few providers to separate them in terms of coverage. This is because both BT and EE use the Openreach network. This means that both ISPs can provide a reliable connection to almost anywhere in the UK.
The Openreach network is used by most of the nation’s leading ISPs, although Virgin Media is one notable exception to this rule. Over the past few years, the Openreach network has significantly expanded its reach and has undergone a number of important upgrades. Now 96% of the UK population can connect to the FTTC. This means that almost everyone in the country can access the fiber rates we mentioned above.
In addition, around 8 million UK homes can access the full fiber rates we have allocated. This number is also growing every day as Openreach expands and upgrades the network as quickly as possible. The current goal is to provide “ultra-fast all-optical broadband” to 25 million homes and businesses by December 2026.
But while the Openreach network is strong and reliable, it cannot offer the highest speeds available on the market today. This is because parts of the network are still using old copper cables. As a result, companies using their own networks, such as Virgin Media, can provide gigabit speeds that are higher than the 900 Mbps listed above.
EE vs. BT: broadband and TV bundles
BT offers a wide range of internet and TV packages, including packages that include BT Sport and access to Sky channels.
For example, Sky Cinema is available with BT’s “Big Entertainment” package. Alternatively, if you’re a sports fan, you can add every Sky Sports channel with the Big Sports package. If you want complete channel listings, BT’s “VIP” package is the way to go.
However, while these packages give you great access to TV and especially Sky channels, they are very expensive (a VIP package and a Full Fiber 1 connection can typically cost over £100 a month). So, if you’re set up to receive Sky channels, then it’s more than likely that a Sky broadband package and a TV package will better suit your needs because it’s likely to be cheaper. Since Sky also uses the Openreach network, you will be able to access the same connection and speed as with BT.
In contrast, the EE TV service is based on the Apple TV 4K streaming box, which is different from the set-top box. However, the Apple product streams in 4K and has a nicely designed interface that makes it easy to access both streaming services and live channels.
Also, with EE, you can add and remove passes based on a perpetual contract. Plus, you also get BT Sport for free, as well as access to an app that lets you watch content on the go.
However, you can only get EE TV if you also sign a mobile phone contract with EE. This means that if your mobile data plan belongs to another provider, you will not be able to tie internet and TV together.
EE vs BT: the cost of broadband
When it comes to cost, things get a little confusing. Even though EE is owned by BT, the two brands price their packages differently.
Of course, the exact amount you pay for your internet will depend on the offers available when you decide to buy. However, in terms of the top end, BT prices are on the pricier end of the spectrum. After all, the company’s Full Fiber Essential package costs £27/month (currently on sale at a discounted price of £30.99/month). Meanwhile, the company’s Full Fiber 900 package costs £55.99 per month. In addition, many of the company’s packages also include setup fees ranging from £9.99 to £29.99.
Things get complicated by the fact that EE offers two different pricing structures: an option for people who have a mobile contract with EE, and an option for those who don’t. For example, the company’s Fiber Broadband package (which is directly comparable to BT’s Full Fiber Essential package costs £24 for EE customers on a monthly basis and £27 for new customers. EE customers also get a 5GB increase in mobile data and the ability to add an Apple TV .4K
Meanwhile, the company’s Full Fiber Max Gigabit package, which is directly comparable to BT’s Full Fiber 900 package, costs £55 for new customers and £49 for EE monthly customers. In addition, monthly billing customers also get a 20GB mobile data boost, an Apple TV 4K option, and an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription at no additional charge for 12 months.
Ultimately, unless you have a phone contract with EE, there is very little difference in price between the BT and EE offerings. However, if you are currently an EE paying monthly customer, you will find that it is cheaper to get broadband from the company.
That being said, neither of the two providers is the cheapest, and offers from other ISPs like TalkTalk are usually cheaper.
EE vs. BT Broadband: Customer Service
When it comes to customer service, both vendors perform well, but we think EE just has the upper hand.
Looking at Latest data from Ofcom (will open in a new tab), we see that BT is doing better than the industry average as the company only receives about 10 complaints for every 100,000 customers. However, the same study found that EE received only 7 complaints for every 100,000 customers. In fact, this means that the company is the second best in the UK (Sky took first place).
In a more detailed analysis of the data, both companies generally show good results. For example, not only do very few customers complain about the services they receive, but customers who want to file a complaint also face relatively short waiting times. Again, both providers outperform the industry average in this regard.
In truth, it looks like you can’t go wrong with any of the companies when it comes to customer service. However, EE faces slightly fewer complaints than BT, and the average call waiting time is about 30 seconds shorter, so we give it the edge in this category.
At the start of this review, you may have noticed that we gave BT a slightly higher score than we gave EE. This is what we support, although we admit that it is close and there is not much choice between the two.
Both offer the same number of packages for the same price and also provide an excellent level of customer service that is above the industry average. However, we give BT the edge because it offers an additional fiber option and a wider choice of TV and internet packages.
However, if you are a current monthly EE customer, we will probably recommend that you choose EE over BT as your discount will make your chosen offer cheaper.
That said, we still think both providers are solid options, and since BT now owns EE, it’s honestly not that much to choose between.