BT is matching Virgin Media with new, cheaper broadband, however which one must you select?

Starting next month, millions more BT customers will be able to pump broadband into their homes at a much cheaper price. The UK Internet Service Provider (ISP) has announced a new plan that will allow those with universal credit to get internet access for just £ 15 a month. That’s about half the cost of a standard company connection. 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 the best? checked these options out and here is everything you need to know.


TO PLAN: Virgin Essential Broadband
PRICE: £ 15 a month
CONTRACT: Flexible 30 days

Virgin Media launched its Essential broadband plan for the first time last year with the promise of lower prices, no long-term contract and no annual price increases. It is available to Virgin customers with Universal Credit and offers speeds of 15 Mbit / s with no limit on the amount of download. With a 15 Mbps connection, you can 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 anytime or upgrade to faster speeds as soon as it becomes affordable again. One thing to note is that Virgin’s Essential plan doesn’t include landline, phone, or television programming. This is simply broadband for a cheaper price.

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


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

BT has long offered budget broadband to some customers but is now expanding this service to all Universal Credit customers. According to BT, around 4 million people could get access to the internet for a much cheaper price.

Like Virgin, BT’s Home Essentials starts at £ 15 a month, although it comes with a higher speed of 36Mbps and you also get a phone line with 700 minutes of free calls per month. BT is also offering a premium option that costs £ 20 per month and brings 67 Mbps downloads to your property. At this speed, it would only take 10 minutes to download your night’s movie binge.

This more expensive option also offers unlimited calling, so you can chat day and night without worrying about additional costs. Both plans are based on 30-day contracts and can be abandoned at any time.

The last thing to note is that BT’s Home Essentials is available to anyone with universal credit and you don’t currently have to be a BT customer to apply.


BT and Virgin aren’t the only ISPs with a discount for those receiving Universal Credit. Hyperoptic also offers a similar pricing plan for its fast fiber speeds.

If this service is available in your area, you can download 50 Mbps for just 15 euros per month and add a phone line for just 3 euros on top.

There’s also a 150Mbps option for £ 25 a month which will bring the internet to devices 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 as little as 30 days notice.

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