John Lewis is well known in the UK as a department store, but it’s also a broadband provider. Well, sort of. As you’ve probably already guessed, John Lewis Broadband is really just the slapping of the brand on somebody else’s network. So who provides John Lewis Broadband?
John Lewis Broadband is actually provided by Plusnet. (Plusnet is owned by BT, so you’re ultimately a BT customer!)
John Lewis is pretty up front about this on its website. In fact, it seems John Lewis Broadband customers really have very little to do with the company itself. As the website states:
“John Lewis Broadband is a trading name of John Lewis plc, but the services are provided by Plusnet and the contract for these services is between you and Plusnet plc.”John Lewis Broadband website
In other words, don’t turn up at the store in Oxford Street if you’ve got a problem with your internet speeds!
Which router does John Lewis Broadband use?
The information concerning routers on the John Lewis Broadband website is less than helpful. The website’s FAQ includes the question ‘what routers are provided?’, which is answered with:
“We will provide you with a new wireless router, with 4 Ethernet ports for wired connections.”
That could basically describe any router from the past 20 years.
It’s safe to assume, however, that you’ll be provided with the regular Plusnet routers, which are rebadged versions of the BT Hubs. You can find out more about the Plusnet routers here.
How good is John Lewis Broadband?
Of course, what we’re effectively answering here is ‘how good is Plusnet?’. The answer is mixed.
In the reader-voted PC Pro Technology Excellence Awards, Plusnet was the third highest rated broadband provider in the UK, with an overall satisfaction rating of 68%. (For comparison, winner Zen Internet has an overall satisfaction rating of 94%).
The readers of ISPReview are not fans of John Lewis Broadband. There the company scores 2.5 out of 5 stars, although that’s based on a small sample of 17 customers. However, PlusNet fares even worse, with a 2-star rating from almost 250 reviews.
Regulator Ofcom’s research doesn’t paint a much rosier picture for Plusnet, either. Plusnet comes fifth in the table of major broadband providers, based on the number of customer complaints Ofcom receives about them. Plusnet attracted 13 complaints per 100,000 customers in Q3 2021, which is worse than the industry average of 10. EE is best here, with an average of 4.