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SSE Broadband Explained

You probably know SSE as one of the 'big six' energy providers. But what you might not know is that it also offers broadband services in competition with the likes of BT and TalkTalk. So, what does SSE broadband have to offer and should you consider it as your supplier?

SSE service

SSE's unique selling point is that its broadband is, 'frustration free'. It guarantees that if you sign up to an 18 month contract, it won't raise your price during that time. If you are unhappy and decide to leave within the first 60 days, it won't charge you an exit fee, an approach it calls its 'happiness guarantee'. Most other providers only offer a 14-day period in which to change your mind.

There are no upfront costs to connect to SSE broadband either; the provider won't even charge you for a router. The only exception to this is if you have no existing Openreach phone line to your premises, in which case there's a £60 installation charge. If you buy both your energy and your broadband service from SSE, you can get a better deal that reduces the monthly price of the broadband.

SSE also runs a reward scheme. This gives you early access to tickets for events at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow and the SSE Arena, Wembley. You also have the opportunity to get ticket upgrades and enter competitions.

Because SSE uses the Openreach network to deliver its service, its fibre to the cabinet services are available to around 95 per cent of UK households.

Broadband offers

According to its website, SSE no longer offers an ADSL broadband package; all of its offerings are now fibre to the cabinet. Currently SSE fibre broadband comes in two flavours. Unlimited Fibre offers average download speeds of 35Mbps. Unlimited Fibre Plus offers average speeds of 63Mbps. Both packages come with a free router and unlimited downloads, plus line rental is included in the price. All of these packages come as an 18 month contract only.

As with other broadband services, the actual speed you can get from SSE will vary depending on where you live and what time of day you are using the service. Although unlimited, the service is subject to traffic management and fair use restrictions.

You can add a call package to your SSE broadband contract if you wish; these include evening and weekend calls, anytime calls, and anytime plus which includes international calls to many countries.

SSE does not currently offer a TV service, nor does it offer mobile services, so if you are looking for a bundle that includes these it isn't going to be for you.

Choosing packages

SSE broadband is very much a 'no frills' service, so if you are looking for lots of extras then it's probably best to look elsewhere. If you just want fibre broadband at a competitive price, however, it's worth considering.

That said, the basic fibre service should offer enough speed and bandwidth for most households and should be able to handle a couple of people streaming or gaming at the same time. For larger households or where you want to make heavy use of cloud services or to stream 4K video then the unlimited Fibre Plus plan will be a better bet.

Consider whether getting a low price deal is the most important consideration for you in choosing broadband. If you don't want a call package or a TV bundle, then you may well find that SSE offers a good deal.

You get a dual-band router as part of the package and this features 'band steering' technology for more reliable connections throughout the house. It also features a USB port, allowing you to attach an external disc drive so you can share files and content easily with all of your devices.

Remember that SSE has a 60-day cooling off period within which you can leave without charge, so you can give the service a test drive without worrying about incurring penalties if you decide to leave.

Things to beware of

In deciding whether SSE is the right supplier for you, there are a number of factors to beware of. After the 60-day 'Happiness Guarantee' runs out, you are locked in for 18 months, so this may not be the right choice if you are looking for flexibility. There is an early termination charge if you decide to leave before the 18 months is up and this is based on the number of days remaining in the contract, so the earlier you leave the more you pay.

SSE broadband offers 'unlimited usage', however, it does operate a traffic management policy which will restrict users it deems are making 'excessive' use of its services. In practice, this shouldn't affect most domestic users and is aimed at curbing the use of peer-to-peer file-sharing services.

You can add phone packages but otherwise SSE doesn't offer much in the way of extras and rewards with its broadband. You may be able to get a better deal if you are an SSE energy customer, however.

Does SSE broadband do credit checks?

Yes it does, the company runs credit and fraud protection checks on its customers.


Are there fair use limits?

SSE broadband uses traffic management and has acceptable use limits, so although it's 'unlimited' it may be capped at certain times or if it considers you are abusing the service.


Is it easy to switch?

Like other providers that use the Openreach network, once you sign up with SSE they will handle the switch with your existing supplier and will notify you when it's complete. You'll get a wireless router through the post with instructions on how to set it up.

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