Frequently Asked Questions

Here you can find answers to some of the most common questions asked about John Lewis Broadband and our services.

John Lewis Broadband is a trading name of John Lewis plc, but the services are provided by Plusnet plc and the contract for these services is between you and Plusnet.

In these FAQs, "we", "our" and "Plusnet" means Plusnet Plc.


Important news about John Lewis Broadband

Find out what this means for you in our FAQs



Broadband speeds

What is my Line Speed?

Your line speed, also known as your sync speed, is the maximum speed at which your router can connect to the Internet.

Line speed can change over time and you may find that it can change each time you re-boot your router. The distance from your home to the exchange or cabinet will affect it, and temporary factors like severe weather can degrade the quality of the line.

Your line speed will always be higher than your actual ('throughput') broadband speed, because it's far less liable to signal interference than the wireless connection within your home. This is why if you run a speed test over Wi-Fi you'll find that the speed test results will always be less than your line speed.

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What is my Throughput Speed?

Whereas your line speed is a measure of how well your line can carry data to your router, the actual speed you see when you're online depends on many other factors. Most speed checkers will show the speed at which data is downloaded to your PC, laptop, tablet or phone - this is known as your throughput speed.

Throughput will always be slower than your line speed. It can be affected by different things, like the website you're on, your Wi-Fi connection, if you're online at a busy time (things tend to get busier on the network at peak periods 8pm - 10pm), how many people are sharing your connection, and the quality of your line.

You can run a throughout speed test at BT Wholesale.

If the results are slower than the estimate we gave you when you first signed up, have a look at our problem-solving tips.

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Why might my download speed vary?

Wi-Fi in particular can really affect the speeds you get. Try putting your Hub or router in a central location in your home and make sure you're using the fastest Wi-Fi capability of your devices. Household appliances such as baby monitors and microwave ovens can often cause interference and slow your speed down.

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What speed can I expect from my broadband service?

Your broadband speed can be affected by many factors, and will also vary to help give you a stable connection. Your actual speeds can be affected by the quality of your telephone line, location and weather conditions, network congestion at your local exchange or the strength of your Wi-Fi signal. There's more information on our Speed Guide.

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What if I am unhappy with the speed you are providing?

If we can't provide a speed equal to or better than the Minimum Guaranteed Speed we promised you, you should contact our support team and we'll work with you to try and get the matter resolved. You can see Ofcom's Voluntary Speed Code of Practice for more information on what this means.

If we're not able to resolve your fault within a minimum period of 30 days, you have the right to leave without paying any early termination charges. If you want to do this you should speak to our Customer Options Team.

We may provide offers, but these don't impact your right to leave your contract if your speed is consistently less than your Minimum Guaranteed Speed.

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What happens when the network is really busy?

Our broadband service is provided over our own and our suppliers' networks. Our total bandwidth (the amount of data that can be transmitted on any one connection) is shared between everybody who's connected to the network.

We're constantly investing in our network, and so as customer numbers and usage grows, we increase the capacity of our network to make sure there's more than enough bandwidth for all our customers.

In exceptional circumstances the network could become much busier than expected. This could be due to a major news event leading to a huge amount of online traffic, or in the rare case of network failure for example. In these situations, we would prioritise traffic on our network to help ensure that you get a great service no matter how busy it is.

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What does the Minimum Guaranteed Speed mean?

When you start your broadband service with us, change products or move house, we provide you with a download speed estimate in the form of a range of values in Megabits per second (Mbps). Under normal circumstances your speed should fall within this range.

Under Ofcom's Voluntary Speed Code of Practice we aim to make sure you're aware of the estimated broadband speed you should receive and have the opportunity to end your contract without paying an early termination charge, if you don't receive your Minimum Guaranteed Speed.

If your speed consistently falls below the Minimum Guaranteed Speed you should contact us. We'll try to fix the issue and aim to get your speed above the minimum and, if possible, within your original speed estimate range.

If we can't get this resolved within a minimum period of 30 days you can discuss the issue with us. You'll be given the opportunity to leave your contract without paying an early termination charge.

If you signed up, changed products or moved home before 31st May 2017 then you wouldn't have been given a Minimum Guaranteed Speed, however we will always do our best to make sure your broadband speed falls within the estimated speed range for your line.

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How we provide your speed estimates

When you check availability using our website we'll provide an estimate of the broadband speeds your telephone line will support and give you a Minimum Guaranteed Speed.

If a customer has an existing Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) service and uses their telephone number to check broadband availability, their actual (observed) speed will be used.

We apply a series of calculations to account for peak-time conditions and throughput overhead. Under normal circumstances the broadband speed you get should fall within the speed range we give you.

For customers with standard broadband, if you use a postcode to check broadband speed, or who are currently without a broadband service, we will continue to use estimates from Openreach. These estimates are based on the performance of similar broadband connections across the country.

More information is available from Ofcom's website.

How we calculate throughput overheads

The speed estimates provided by Openreach are known as sync speeds. To more accurately represent what you would see by running a speed test on your line, we apply an overhead value to the sync speed estimate. To calculate this value we use the high level testing principles set out in Annex 5 of the Voluntary Code of Practice.

  • We use data from more than 35 thousand lines on the BT network each month to calculate by how much speed is affected by peak-time and IP overheads
  • We partner with SamKnows to provide the speed tests we carry out
  • Our test panel covers all our main products including standard broadband (ADSL2+) and Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC). This represents our product base across a range of exchanges, network status and line speeds
  • Test results are updated quarterly
  • We run tests throughout the day. Peak time is 8pm to 10pm
  • If we detect more than 160Kbps of traffic on the line, we won't run the test. This reduces the impact on our customers and avoids negatively impacting the results
  • The speed test runs a 3-thread TCP test to determine the speed of the broadband connection
  • We compare the throughput result to the sync speed at the time of the test. This helps us work out the normally available and maximum overheads for our products. We then remove these peak-time overhead amounts from the relevant sync speed provided by Openreach to provide the estimates we show you
  • Speed tests are measured to test servers located off of the BT network, with no favourable traffic routing applied

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Wireless explained

How does wireless work?

Wireless networking (also known as Wi-Fi) works in the same way as your cordless phone. It uses radio signals to transmit data from the different devices on your network.

To create a wireless network you need to have a wireless router. If you use the router we provide with your John Lewis Broadband service, you can create a wireless network in your home.

We offer a wireless router with both our broadband and fibre services.

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What are the advantages of a wireless network?

  • Easy installation
  • Increased mobility - your router doesn't necessarily need to be plugged into the socket closest to your PC
  • Reduce clutter - fewer wires invading your workspace
  • Scalability - great for families with more than one computer, where it's not practical to get online via the same socket

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What routers are provided?

We will provide you with a new wireless router, with 4 ethernet ports for wired connections.

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Email virus protection

How does John Lewis Broadband protect me from viruses?

You need to make sure you're protected from any malicious attacks on your computer. The majority of viruses are transmitted by email, so we employ state-of-the-art anti-virus technology to protect your emails. Any email sent to your John Lewis Broadband inbox containing a known virus is automatically deleted, and we'll then let you know who the contaminated email was from.

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What is Webmail?

Webmail comes as part of the John Lewis Broadband package. It lets you send and receive emails from any internet connection, wherever you are in the world. Webmail also gives you access to useful features, such as an address book and a free spam filter. You can log into Webmail directly

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Fibre broadband

How fibre works

A modern network of fibre optic glass cabling runs from the local telephone exchange sending data at the speed of light to a green cabinet located much nearer your home. A short copper cable then runs from your nearest green cabinet into your home. This shortens the distance the signal travels along the copper wire increasing the possible speeds.

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Information for Waitrose and Greenbee customers

How do I access my Waitrose or Greenbee email or account?

Once you've transferred your service to John Lewis Broadband, you will continue to use the same email address as before to access your email. You can also use webmail to access your email.

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Can I keep my Waitrose or Greenbee email address?

Yes, if you're moving from a Greenbee or Waitrose broadband account, you'll keep your Greenbee or Waitrose email address rather than getting a John Lewis Broadband email address. It is not possible to retain this email address though if you choose to move to another provider at some stage in the future.

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Can I keep my Greenbee or Waitrose webspace?


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Can I still receive invoices by post?

No. As part of our ongoing commitment to minimising our impact on the environment we've introduced paperless billing. John Lewis Invoices are available in My account and can be downloaded and printed out, if you wish to retain a paper copy.

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Can I get a new John Lewis Broadband email address?

No. You'll keep your existing Greenbee or Waitrose email address.

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John Lewis Broadband Rewards

Broadband Rewards

What are John Lewis Broadband Rewards?

Some of our offers include a John Lewis e-gift card, or a device, which will be sent to you once your service has activated. You will normally receive your reward, whether this be an e-gift card or a device, within 60 days from activation. That means you don't need to 'claim' or redeem them. If there is a redemption process, we'll make it clear in our terms and conditions when you sign up.

If you sign up via a cashback site (for example Topcashback) the cashback will be subject to their own terms and conditions, however, the John Lewis reward itself will be issued via John Lewis Broadband automatically.

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Who's eligible for John Lewis Broadband Rewards?

You can only claim a reward if you've completed an order that includes taking a John Lewis e-gift card or an incentive as part of the offer. Changing to a different product or deal during sign up may mean you're no longer eligible for the reward, or you're eligible for a different reward. There may be different eligibility criteria, e.g. a requirement to sign up online, but we'll tell you about these when we offer each reward.

Sometimes, different rewards are available through different channels (e.g. whether you sign up directly via our website, or via one of our partner's sites).

If you try to sign up for multiple rewards you'll only be entitled to one (normally the last one you've chosen). We reserve the right to refuse to provide any rewards if we think you're deliberately trying to claim for multiple rewards.

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When will I receive my Reward?

John Lewis e-gift cards will be sent to the email address entered during signup within 60 days of the activation of your broadband.

Any devices will be sent via post to the address on your account within 60 days of the activation of your broadband.

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Can my Reward be sent to a different person and / or address / email address?

If you need the reward sending to a different address to the one we have on the account, please contact us to let us know before activation of your broadband service.

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E-Gift Cards

How do I use my e-gift card?

You will need to download your e-gift card when you receive the email. Your four digit pin will also be revealed once you select 'Collect your e-gift card' in the email.

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Where can I spend the money on my e-gift card?

  1. The John Lewis Partnership e-gift card can be redeemed in John Lewis or Waitrose shops and online at or as part or full payment for goods (exclusions apply).
  2. You can spend your e-gift card at or, just select e-gift card, then enter the 19 digit number and PIN at the checkout.
  3. You can spend your e-gift card in John Lewis shops (exclusions apply). Simply present the downloaded e-gift card on your phone or a printed copy of your e-gift card.
  4. You can spend your e-gift card in Waitrose shops (exclusions apply). Simply print a copy of your e-gift card at home before shopping. Waitrose shops can only accept printed e-gift cards. It will not be possible to print the e-gift card for customers when in store.

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How long is my e-gift card valid for?

The gift card will expire 24 months from purchase or last use. Making a purchase or a balance enquiry refreshes the 24-month expiry period.

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What happens if I don't spend the funds before the e-gift card expires?

The funds on the card are available to you for 24 months from purchase or last use. If your card expires, any remaining funds on the card will no longer be available.

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If I don't receive my e-gift card who do I contact?

If you have not received your e-gift card within 60 days after activation of your broadband, please check your junk / spam email folder.

If this time has passed and you are unable to locate the reward, please contact our support team:

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If my e-gift card doesn't work, what do I do?

If your e-gift card has been activated, you've retrieved your PIN but it still doesn't work, please contact our support team:

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E-gift card Terms & Conditions

  • The John Lewis Partnership e-gift card can be redeemed in John Lewis or Waitrose shops and online at or as part or full payment for goods (exclusions apply).
  • Protect this card and treat it as cash; lost, stolen or damaged cards will not be replaced.
  • The e-gift card will expire 24 months from purchase or last use. Making a purchase or a balance enquiry refreshes the 24-month expiry period.
  • E-gift cards can be activated with a minimum value of £1 and have a maximum value of £2500.
  • This e-gift card cannot be exchanged for cash. We do not give change, cash or debit/credit card refunds on e-gift card transactions. Any balance will remain on the e-gift card and may be applied to future purchases, provided that the card has not expired.
  • This card cannot be used to discharge indebtedness in respect of an account card or credit card issued by John Lewis plc, Waitrose Limited or John Lewis Financial Services Limited, nor can it be used for the purchase either directly or indirectly of any financial product or service.
  • For full terms and conditions and balance enquiries visit

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If I don't receive my device who do I contact?

If you have not received your device within 60 days after activation of your broadband, please contact our support team:

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If my device doesn't work, what do I do?

Depending on the device, you will need to contact one of the below:

For support with any Google products, please visit

For anything else please contact John Lewis directly on

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