PlusNet Broadband review
This review was updated in July 2011 to reflect the findings of our latest survey.
PlusNet is owned by BT but it's run as an independent subsidiary. Its close relationship with BT may have something to do with its ability to offer aggressively low pricing on both standard and fibre broadband packages.
A certain distance from its parent company seems to be good for it, though – for the second year running, PlusNet has outperformed BT in our broadband satisfaction survey, particularly for technical support and overall customer satisfaction.
The Value package only includes 10GB a month, but it's a 20Mbit/s connection for just £6.49 a month once you've paid the £25 installation fee. The Extra package raises the monthly allowance to 60GB and costs £11.49 a month. That's plenty for most people, especially as all PlusNet packages are unmetered between midnight and 8am. Both of these deals are among the best around.
Opting for PlusNet's phone service waives the £25 installation fee. Given that it's cheaper than BT's line rental, there's no good reason not to. Meanwhile, those who don't need a free router can opt for a one-month rolling contract rather than a 12-month fixed term.
An extra £5 a month will get you the PlusNet Pro traffic prioritisation bolt-on. It’ll automatically prioritise your connection over other users who haven’t invested in the Pro add-on. This might be tempting for demanding users, we're concerned that PlusNet seems to be charging customers to take bandwidth away from other customers. If the majority of users go for this bolt-on, it could become a necessity in order to get any sort of decent connection speeds.
PlusNet also resell BT's fibre-optic service with downloads up to 40Mbit/s. Once again, it undercuts its parent company on price, charging just £16.49 a month for the Value Fibre service that's capped at 40GB per month, and £21.49 for Extra Fibre with a 120GB monthly limit. However, these prices are only available in certain designated "low cost areas". Elsewhere, they rise to £23 and £28 respectively, which is a little higher than BT's prices. Most homes won't be able to get this fibre-optic service at all.
If you opt for PlusNet, make sure you don’t go over your package’s download limit – you’ll be charged an extra £5 per 5GB. If value is a priority, though, PlusNet's revamped prices definitely hit the spot. The £6.49 PlusNet Value package lives up to its name – it's a Budget Buy. Meanwhile, PlusNet Extra is also an excellent choice.
See the next page for a full break-down and individual ratings of T-Mobile's services and the results of our broadband survey.