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EE Broadband (2022) review: Room to improve

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
21
per month

Good services with excellent support, but customer satisfaction isn’t what it could be

Pros 
Excellent bundled router
Impressive customer service scores
Wide range of high-speed packages
Cons 
User recommendation scores aren’t great
Reliability and value scores aren’t so competitive
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Between the high-street stores and those Kevin Bacon ads, it’s inevitable that EE is usually seen as a mobile network. Yet it’s also making waves as a broadband provider, coming from a slightly different angle than its parent company BT as a reliable, high-performance option with some useful extras.

Most of these focus on existing EE mobile subscribers, who get a 10% discount on their broadband and up to an 20GB boost to the data allowance for their 4G or 5G plan. EE also throws in an Xbox Games Pass Ultimate subscription with its high-end Full Fibre plans.

EE hasn’t come away with any awards in this year’s Expert Reviews Best Broadband Awards, though it did win a Highly Commended for its customer service. What’s slightly worrying, though, is that it’s slipping behind the competition on customer satisfaction. Just over half (54%) of EE users surveyed would recommend it to a friend, against 73% for Plusnet and 62% for Sky and BT.

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EE broadband review: Standard Broadband

EE’s cheapest service, Standard Broadband, is your basic ADSL2+ connection promising average speeds of 10Mbits/sec. That’s perfectly fast enough for web-browsing and downloading apps and games but it might start to lag if you want to do lots of things while watching high-definition video and it won’t cut it for 4K streaming (Netflix recommends at least 25Mbits/sec for that).

The service costs £21.00 per month on a 24-month contract including line rental, which is cheaper than most equivalent packages, though Plusnet is slightly cheaper on its 18-month ADSL plan. It also comes without any start-up costs.

EE broadband review: Fibre and Fibre Plus Broadband

EE’s basic fibre broadband service gives you 36Mbits/sec average download speeds from £25 a month over 24 months. That’s slightly less expensive than the equivalent BT package and competitive with Sky’s, though Vodafone and Plusnet are even cheaper. What’s more, there are no upfront setup fees to pay. The service also comes with EE’s Smart Hub Router; a high-spec unit combining 802.11ac with 4x4 MU-MIMO and four Gigabit Ethernet sockets. It’s definitely a cut-above the routers you get with some basic broadband packages.

Meanwhile, you still get the 5GB of extra data if you’re an existing EE mobile subscriber, along with a year’s free subscription to Norton Security Premium. It’s also worth noting that, if you’re charged for leaving your existing supplier early, EE will throw in £50 of credit to help make things right. What’s more, you can upgrade the basic service with an Apple TV 4K package - complete with BT Sport - for an extra £15 a month. EE also has a whole home Wi-Fi option, Smart Wi-Fi, with a mesh router and disc-shaped mesh extenders, for an extra £10 a month.

If your line will handle it, EE can upgrade you to its Fibre Plus broadband package for just £2 extra – and still without any setup costs. This takes average download speeds up to 67Mbits/sec, which should have most households covered, provided you’re not planning to watch multiple 4K streams or mix 4K Netflix binges with 4K game streaming at the same time.

READ NEXT: The best broadband providers in the UK

EE broadband review: Fibre Max Broadband

If that’s your bag or if every last Mbit/sec counts, then EE offers its Full Fibre Max Broadband 100, 500 and 900 options in those areas where you have G.fast tech or FTTP to support them. At the moment that’s around 6 million plus UK premises. That’s a lot of speed for more demanding users, and the prices, at £31 for 100Mbits/sec, £40 for 500Mbits/sec and £49 for 900Mbits/sec, aren’t exorbitant. In fact, they undercut Sky and BT.

READ NEXT: The best broadband deals from EE, Sky, Virgin Media and more

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EE Broadband packages and prices

Standard BroadbandFibreFibre Plus BroadbandFull Fibre Max 100Full Fibre Max 500Full Fibre Max 900
Price per month (inc line rental)From £21From £25From £27From £31From £40From £49
Upfront costFreeFreeFreeFreeFreeFree
Average speed10Mbits/sec36Mbits/sec67Mbits/sec100Mbits/sec500Mbits/sec900Mbits/sec
Usage allowanceUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Contract length24 months24 months24 months24 months24 months24 months

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EE broadband review: Coverage

EE runs on the same Openreach network as EE and most other UK broadband services, which means it has exactly the same coverage. Fibre services now reach 93% of the UK population, while over 6 million homes are able to connect to a full-fibre FTTP network. Openreach hopes to connect up to 25 million homes via FTTP by December 2026.

EE broadband review: Performance and customer support

Although they run across the same core network, EE’s basic fibre services are a little faster than those of Plusnet and BT, at least according to the latest Ofcom tests. Where Plusnet shows a mean 24-hour download speed of 31.3Mbits/sec, with BT at 28.5Mbits/sec, EE hits 32.2Mbits/sec, just behind TalkTalk at 32.9Mbits/sec.

On faster services, things are tighter, with EE hitting 60.6Mbits/sec and BT 60.8Mbits/sec, while Plusnet and TalkTalk hover just below 60Mbits/sec. We don’t yet have figures for the Full Fibre services, but it’s safe to say that they should be competitive with those from BT and Virgin.

However, our Best Broadband Awards research shows that EE customers aren’t always satisfied with the speeds they’re getting. In fact, only 63% describe themselves as quite or very satisfied, against 70% of BT customers, 73% of Vodafone’s and 78% of Virgin’s. Our results for reliability are also disappointing. Only 61% feel satisfied here, compared to 74% with Vodafone and 75% with Sky. Perhaps this explains why EE also trails BT, Sky and Vodafone on customer’s likelihood to recommend, and Vodafone and Plusnet on value.

Yet EE’s customer service scores show that it’s still doing some things right, and that’s backed up by Ofcom’s latest research, with low call waiting times, a higher overall satisfaction score and fewer complaints per 100,000 subscribers than its major rivals.

EE broadband review: Verdict

There’s a slight sense that EE has fallen out of the front ranks in this year’s Broadband Awards. Perhaps expectations are higher, but user satisfaction isn’t as high as we might have expected, and BT, Vodafone, Sky and Virgin all seem to be pulling ahead. That’s a shame, as some price adjustments have made EE less expensive, and it seems to be delivering good customer support – an area where some competitors are falling short. It’s a good option if you’re after a solid and reliable service, but look elsewhere for maximum speed or value.

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