BT is a natural first stop for anyone looking at broadband and phone, because most of us still have our phone line provided by BT, but these days it has to compete with a huge number of other broadband providers.

BT Retail, which sells services to consumers, has to buy capacity from BT Wholesale like other broadband and phone providers (except Virgin), and its prices reflect that.

There’s a range of phone packages, high speed broadband going up to BT Infinity’s fully fibre-optic connections, and digital TV through BT Vision. BT is also part of the YouView consortium, which is behind the technology in BT TV. BT's also spent a lot of money on BT Sport, which includes live Premier League football matches, rugby, tennis and more.

Like many providers, BT has simplified its phone tariffs to a simple line rental-only, evenings and weekends, and anytime calls, with options like discounted international calls on top. However, it’s also insisting on lengthy 18-month contracts for broadband.

BT’s broadband has been upgraded aggressively, with high speed ADSL2+ available to most of the UK, and a commitment to making fibre-based services available to 66 per cent of UK homes and businesses by 2015.

It’s also doubled the speed of its basic fibre service from up-to-38Mbps to up-to76Mbps, which is sure to give Virgin Media a fight.

In selected areas, BT has also launched even faster fibre services which provide speeds of up to 160Mbps, with 330Mbps available in a few areas.

The Home Hub 4 is a cut above the usual broadband modem/routers supplied free, and includes USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet support and WiFi N for high speed connections. It’s one of a basket of free extras, which notably include security and family protection, unlimited WiFi at BT Wi-fi hotspots, and online storage.

The BT TV package is the weakest part of BT’s offer, since it's split between the outdated BT Vision+ box for those who want Sky Sports, and the new BT TV based on YouView for those who want BT Sport and a wider range of streaming TV channels and on-demand, including the full Freeview HD channel range and BBC iPlayer-type catch-up TV for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

Ofcom’s research into customer service satisfaction in 2012 showed overall continued improvements for both BT’s phone and broadband. Overall, around two-thirds of BT’s broadband and landline customers said they were satisfied with its customer service.