UK provider EE increased its broadband prices by 14.4% for almost all customers from 31 March 2023.
It’s the joint-biggest price rise of all the major broadband providers in the UK, with EE's sister brands BT and Plusnet increasing their prices by the same amount. It's tied with the 10.5% inflation rate announced in January 2023 and it applies to both people who are in-contract and out of contract with EE.
But crucially, if you are in-contract, you aren’t allowed to leave your contract early as a result of this price rise without paying a penalty charge. So, unless you signed up to a new EE broadband deal in March 2023, or you’re on the EE Basics social tariff, your April bill was likely 14.4% higher than before.
Why does EE increase prices, even for mid-contract customers? And can you do anything to avoid the price increase altogether? Find out in our guide.
Yes, EE is planning to bump up prices for most of its customers, whether they're in a contract or not, starting from March 31, 2024.
Predicting the exact size of these price jumps isn't easy. They're tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate announced in each December. Providers like EE tend to reveal these changes around mid-January 2024 once those official inflation figures are out.
As of September 2023, the CPI rate was at 6.3%. EE typically adds its own price hike of 3.9% on top of the inflation rate. So, if that inflation rate doesn’t change much until the end of the year, you might see a hike of around 10.2% come April 2024.
This expected increase is lower than the provider’s record 14.4% amount from 2023, but it’s still higher than what we've seen in the years before. Keep in mind, though, that the inflation rate can wobble in the run-up to January. So don't take this as the final word on the exact price bump you'll get.
For a deeper dive into how EE deals with these yearly price shifts, read more about its 2023 price changes.
14.4% is the highest annual price rise amount ever charged by a broadband provider. The reason it’s so high is largely due to the inflation rate, which was 10.5% (Consumer Price Index) in January 2023.
Most broadband providers increase their prices in line with the inflation rate each year, plus their own amount of about 4%. This is mainly so they can keep up with rising prices in their industry. So while they’d still be unwelcome for many customers, normal price rises wouldn’t often rise above 4-5%.
But, given the huge rise in inflation in the last year, 2023’s price increase is stinging a lot harder — and at a time where monthly costs for other services are already very high.
Here’s how a 14.4% price increase could change your monthly broadband bill:
If you'd like to know how much all broadband providers have increased prices by this year, take a look at our in-depth guide.
If you'd like to learn more about mobile network price rises in 2023, read our guide on what to do when your mobile contract's price increases.
Almost every EE customer was affected by its 31 March 2023 price increase.
EE mentions in its terms and conditions - and in a one-pager of charges you’ll be sent when you sign up - that it will increase prices each year in-line with the CPI rate of inflation, plus 3.9%. So unfortunately, you would have accepted these terms when you took out your last contract with the provider.
The only named customers that aren’t affected by the 2023 price increase are:
Social tariff customers using EE Basics
Any EE customer who signed up on or after 28 February 2023 (roughly within one month of the price rise date)
Unfortunately, if you’re currently in-contract with EE, you won’t be able to leave your contract early without paying an early exit fee.
This is because you would have agreed to EE’s terms & conditions when you signed up for your current service. These terms state that the provider will increase your monthly prices by the CPI rate, plus 3.9% on 31 March each year.
So even though the increase rate was much larger than previous years, you will unfortunately still have to pay the extra amount. And if you want to cancel your contract, you’ll need to pay out the rest of your contract in early exit fees.
However, this all changes if you’re out of contract. If your minimum term with EE has finished, you are well within your rights to switch to another provider straight away, without any charge.
In this case, you are likely paying more than you need to for your service already. EE would have raised your prices to an out of contract rate after your contract ended, which could have been an even higher increase than this one.
But there’s good news: this also means you can switch to a better broadband deal at just 30 days’ notice. So, if you want to avoid both this price rise and its out of contract prices, you can compare deals with Uswitch right away.
EE increases its prices annually for the same reason most other providers do. These annual price rises are said to cover two things: rising business expenses and network upgrades.
The way most providers do this is by tying their price rise to the CPI rate of inflation, plus their own set amount. In EE’s case, this is an extra 3.9%.
When inflation is at a normal rate (let’s say, less than 1%), this normally means an annual price increase of about 4-5%. So, even though you’ll still end up spending more than you initially chose to per month, these annual increases are usually a little easier to swallow.
However, inflation has skyrocketed in the last year or so, causing providers to raise prices up to 15%. This is the highest annual price hike ever seen for broadband, and it’s come at a time when many other costs are higher than usual, too.
On this year’s much higher price increases, Uswitch telecoms expert Ernest Doku has said:
“If you are worried about how these price rises affect you, review the terms and conditions of your contract or double-check with your provider to see what might be in store.
“Mobile and consumers cannot predict the scale of these rises when they sign up for a deal, which places all of the risk onto the customer. We firmly believe providers who impose inflationary increases should allow them to leave their contract early without penalty, or offer contracts where the price remains fixed for the duration.
“Customers who find themselves facing rises should also be ready to vote with their feet. If you are out of contract on your deal, now is the perfect time to refresh your deal or move to a new provider altogether.”
If you want to find out which broadband provider is best for your needs, take a look at our in-depth provider reviews.
If you’d like to reach out to EE as a broadband customer, there are lots of ways you can do this. You can contact them to find out more about how this year’s price increase will affect you, or even attempt to negotiate a better deal with them.
Phone: Number: 0800 956 6000 | Opening hours: Monday-Friday, 8am-9pm and Saturday-Sunday, 8am-8pm
Website: Log into your account on My EE Broadband
Twitter: Get a response from the EE customer services team on Twitter
If you’re looking to reduce the amount you spend on your next broadband package, take a look at our range of cheap broadband deals.
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