UK broadband powerhouse BT has a new broadband product out. It's called Complete WiFi and it promises to eliminate household WiFi blackspots in a 'world-first' guarantee by an ISP of “strong Wi-Fi signal in every room of their home.”
From 28 November, BT Plus customers can pay an extra £5 a month to get a BT Smart Hub 2 and one Wi-Fi disc, used to extend the range of the Wi-Fi network. BT customers will need to have fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) in their area for the service to work, and those who are not part of Plus will need to upgrade to gain the new kit and be covered by the guarantee. BT Plus is the company’s ‘converged’ service, offering mobile and broadband in a single package, currently costing between £61.99 and £89.99 a month.
As part of its promise of total coverage, BT will send you up to two additional discs to boost the signal through your thickest walls and floors. Their tests indicate that this is as much as even the largest home will need to get wall-to-wall coverage. If this still doesn’t work, they promise to give the user £20 in compensation, or let them cancel the service.
You might assume that BT’s discs are just fancy-looking Wi-Fi extenders, and indeed they behave similarly. However, the key difference is that rather than setting up a second separate Wi-Fi network to help augment the reception in your home, it increases the range, and boosts the speed (by up to 25%) of the existing hub signal. This prevents the need to swap between networks as you move around the house, or the annoyance of automatically connecting to the slower of the two when you turn on a connected device.
BT also promises a super-easy set up via the My BT app. Users can create a virtual map of their house, which the app will then use to work out where the hub and disc(s) should be positioned for optimum coverage. If you run into problems, then the app can make a video call to tech support for some in-person advice.
This comes at the same time as the release of BT’s ‘Modern Families Report’, a study into how households use their broadband. The findings should come as no surprise, with over half of participants saying they would be put off living in a house with lots of Wi-Fi dead spots, that every room of the house sees internet use to at least some degree (bathroom internet usage, while the lowest figure, is still 1 in 10), and that frustrations with streaming, online gaming or arguing about who gets to use the Wi-Fi are commonplace.
For BT, the report underlines how important it is to get good coverage everywhere, and Complete Wi-Fi is a step towards supporting these uses and solving these problems.
Mark Allera, BT’s CEO of consumer business, said ”strong, reliable Wi-Fi has never been so important in the home,” and that Complete Wi-Fi “opens up a world of possibilities for our customers.“