Broadband

Who owns Plusnet?

Plusnet broadband
In the family: BT owns Plusnet

Plusnet likes to market itself as the chummy, Yorkshire-based broadband provider, but it has long since stopped being an independent ISP. It is, in fact, owned by BT.

When did BT buy Plusnet?

Way back in 2007, when the deal was approved by the Office of Fair Trading.

To be fair to Plusnet, it did operate with a degree of independence for about a decade after the takeover. However, in 2018 it was subsumed into BT’s consumer division and over the next couple of years all of Plusnet’s senior management were transferred to BT contracts. Plusnet is, in effect, just another BT brand now.

There are some key advantages to Plusnet being part of the BT family. For example, Plusnet users are able to get BT Sport as part of their broadband package. (Although at the time of writing, there are rumours that BT Sport is being sold off.)

Which other broadband providers are part of the Plusnet group?

Plusnet has over the years been the parent provider for a series of virtual broadband providers that use the Plusnet infrastructure. These include:

  • John Lewis Broadband
  • Madasafish
  • ic24
  • Metronet
  • globalnet
  • FreeNetName
  • Force9
  • Dabs Online
  • Vodafone@Home

Many of these brands no longer exist as separate entities.

Which network does Plusnet Mobile use?

It’s not only fixed-line broadband and phone lines that Plusnet sells. Plusnet Mobile also offers mobile call plans and data to customers.

That network is provided by EE, the mobile network that BT bought back in 2016. BT’s tentacles stretch far and wide!

The PlusNet website has a mobile coverage checker if you want to see what reception will be like on that network, although these maps aren’t always as reliable as you might expect.

Is Plusnet cheaper than BT?

Yes, it often is.

For example, at the time of writing, Plusnet was offering a 66Mbits/sec ‘Unlimited Fibre Extra’ connection for £24 month including line rental, on an 18-month contract.

The equivalent connection on BT Broadband would cost £32.99 on a 24-month deal!

It’s odd that two brands owned by the same company vary in price so markedly, but it’s definitely worth checking out Plusnet’s prices if you’re considering a broadband switch. The latest Ofcom research suggests there’s not much difference at all in the performance of BT Broadband and Plusnet, as you would probably expect. In effect, you’re paying more for the BT name.

Click here to find out how your broadband speeds compare to the UK average.

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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