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SSE Broadband

SSE is better known for being one of the “Big-6” energy providers but more recently joined the broadband market in 2015, when they famously gave out 2 years of broadband free for all their existing energy customers.  These days SSE is charging for their service, but offer affordable packages on 18-month contracts using BT’s Openreach network.  But are they any good?

OVERVIEW

Download Speeds35 & 63 Mbps
Upload Speeds9 & 19 Mbps
Type of broadbandFibre (FTTC)
Home Phone/TV PackagesYes/No
CostFrom £23.00/month

SPEEDS

Download speeds

SSE doesn’t offer Openreach’s basic speed package that uses a copper cable, instead, SSE offers one type of connection with two different speeds available. 

Their introductory package is called “Unlimited Fibre” which like its name suggests uses a fibre connection, (FTTC) and has unlimited data allowances. This offers download speeds of 35Mbps, and would be a good choice for a small family or a couple with many connected devices. Fibre broadband is still not available to all of the UK though, so be sure to check whether this is available in your area.

Additionally, SSE’s fastest offering is called “Unlimited Fibre Plus” which offers speeds of up to 63Mbps similarly using a fibre connection. This package should offer enough bandwidth even if multiple people in your household wish to stream shows at the same time. 

Upload speeds

For the vast majority of us, our internet usage is mainly download-oriented – accessing info like pictures, videos, or files from the web so upload speeds aren’t all that important.  But with upload speeds generally being around a third of download speeds, SSE’s speeds could be considered to be in the low range, however they are higher than some of their Openreach competition. 

  • Unlimited Fibre: 9 Mbps
  • Unlimited Fibre Plus: 19Mbps 

Therefore, the speeds that SSE should be satisfactory for most of us. To name a few examples, for a high quality connection, Zoom would needs and upload speed of 1.2 Mbps. Furthermore,  a 100MB file would take 1.5 minutes to upload at 9Mbps while it would take 42s at 19Mbps. 

ROUTERS

SSE broadband offers a Technicolor TG589vac Wi-Fi router with all their broadband packages. This should be fast enough for most users and is sourced to complement their broadband offerings. With it being an entry level router though, it may experience a common issue of not working too well once more than 10 devices are connected to it. 

INSTALLATION

If you have an existing landline, switching to SSE will take an industry standard of around 10-14 days to switch you over to their network. Within this time frame, they will send you your new router, free of charge. Following this, it will be a relatively simple process of plugging in your router and getting online on the allotted date. 

If you don’t have a landline however, you will need to arrange an installation with them, and expect to pay an installation fee of £60.00. Similarly, this is also the case for all of SSE’s Openreach competitors. 

CUSTOMER SERVICE

As of December 2021, SSE as a whole (including their energy division) has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 on Trustpilot. Overall this is a high rating, particularly as Trustpilot famously tends to attract an overwhelmingly negative bias as customers are a lot more likely to leave a negative review than a positive one.

Looking through many reviews it seems customers issues tend to be centred around energy prices as well as some billing issues. While people who choose to leave a positive review overwhelmingly write about how happy they have been with SSE’s customer service.  
Their customer support team is all based in The UK and can be contacted via phone or email or live chat.
You can call SSE on 0345 071 9886, Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm & Saturday, 8 am to 2 pm. They also have an email function available on their website.
SSE also offers a 60-day “Happiness Guarantee” in which you are free to cancel your contract without incurring a fee in the first 60 days. 

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS

What we likeWhat we are not too keen on
Discount for energy customers  No speeds offered at the lower or higher ends of the market
60 Day Happiness GuaranteeNo TV bundles 
Great Trustpilot scoreBasic router

If you are looking for a simple no frills internet provider, SSE broadband is certainly a supplier to consider. SSE has a solid offering that meets industry standards while managing to undercut much of their competition. While most of their packages don’t offer ultra-fast speeds, what they do have available will suffice for most of us.  They are also in a very small minority that offers energy bundles alongside their broadband, which, let’s face it, is probably a little more useful than selecting a TV package. 

Finally, if you haven’t decided whether to switch to SSE or another broadband provider, check out our switching site for good deals.

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