EE is recognised as one of the UK’s biggest mobile networks, but in recent years, it’s also become known for offering an impressive range of broadband deals.
Powered by UK telecoms titan BT Group, EE is known as the speedier option of its broadband providers - which also include value supplier Plusnet.
The provider mainly wants you to get as much out of your broadband connection as possible. That could be by using dozens of devices in your home at the same time, streaming and gaming in the highest quality, or apparently helping to land a plane from the comfort of your own home…if that’s something you’d like to do.
But how well do these claims stack up in real life? And what is EE’s service like, aside from its internet speed? Read all about my experience with EE broadband in this review.
Our 2023 broadband customer survey shows that EE is one of the most favoured broadband providers in the UK.
According to average ratings from 20,000 broadband customers, the provider has a particularly good reputation for customer service, value for money and how it communicates with its customers. But despite EE’s focus on broadband speed in its adverts, it didn’t score as high as the top providers for internet speed or Wi-Fi equipment.
That said, its overall score in the survey was noticeably higher than most other UK providers. So, it’s safe to say EE customers are broadly happier with their service than other broadband customers.
Here are the top-line things to know about EE broadband.
EE is a relatively new mobile network brand compared to the UK’s other big-hitters of Vodafone, O2 and Three. It formed after the mobile network Orange UK merged with T-Mobile in 2010 and was officially named EE in 2012 after launching the UK’s first 4G mobile network.
In doing so, it also adopted nearly a million Orange home broadband customers and started to offer superfast part-fibre broadband services on the Openreach network. It was then acquired by BT Group in 2016, joining forces with BT and Plusnet (as well as broadband network Openreach) under the same umbrella company.
Since then, EE has continued to offer consistently faster services, both in broadband and on mobile. It was the first mobile network to roll out 5G in the UK in 2019, and it joined other providers in offering full fibre broadband connections in 2020.
My EE broadband package is its discontinued Fibre Max 1 plan. I signed up for it in 2019, as it was advertising 145Mbps average broadband speeds, which was incredibly fast at the time.
These speeds are usually reserved for full fibre broadband, but my speeds are powered by a rare Openreach connection called ‘GFast’. This is still a part-fibre, part-copper package. But it’s been given a speed boost at my local broadband cabinet, making the data that travels across my copper phone line much faster.
This was great to experience at the time, but with full fibre on the rise and the removal of less-reliable copper phone lines across the Openreach network as a result, this type of connection is fast becoming obsolete.
Since I got this deal, I’ve been waiting for a proper full fibre connection to become available at my home because that’ll provide a much stronger, more consistent connection than sped-up copper.
As a result, I’ve been reluctantly out of contract on the EE Fibre Max 1 package for a number of years because I’d like to instantly switch to a full fibre deal once it becomes available. It’s something I wouldn’t recommend anyone else do, because I could have moved onto a shorter contract within this time and probably saved some money.
Despite my advertised download speeds of 145Mbps, I rarely ever see this speed at home. While this might sometimes be when I’m using my device in a different room of my home, I hardly see 145Mbps even when I test my speed right next to my router.
Once again, this could mainly be down to my connection only being a part-fibre package with a GFast boost. Copper phone lines are more inconsistent than fibre cables. So, while I can occasionally get faster speeds than standard part-fibre deals, the levels I get regularly fluctuate quite a bit.
I often get about 60Mbps download and 19Mbps upload when I run a speed test, which is far below what EE advertised when I signed up. And it’s a lot closer to the average speeds that standard part-fibre connections offer.
While my Fibre Max 1 product is no longer available to new customers, EE offers a wide range of internet speeds for different households’ needs, depending on what’s available to them.
Fibre Broadband: 36Mbps download, 9Mbps upload
Fibre Plus: 74Mbps download, 18Mbps upload
Full Fibre Max 100: 100Mbps download, 28Mbps upload
Full Fibre Max 500: 500Mbps download, 48Mbps upload
Full Fibre Max Gigabit: 900Mbps download, 48Mbps upload
EE currently supplies two types of broadband - part-fibre and full fibre - both via the nationwide Openreach network.
Its part-fibre deals (Fibre Broadband and Fibre Plus) are available to over 97% of UK homes, so you’re highly likely to be able to get those. But its full fibre offers are less widely available because they rely on Openreach’s growing FTTP network - which currently only covers around one-third of UK properties.
As mentioned, my package is technically ‘GFast’, which is a third type of broadband that EE used to offer. But this technology, which was essentially part-fibre broadband with a speed boost, was discontinued for new customers in 2021.
Openreach plans to fully retire its copper cable network later this decade. So that explains the shutting down of technologies like GFast and the fast rollout of full fibre cabling, which can also host digital home phone services.
EE has given me the most reliable, consistent broadband connection I’ve ever had. Despite my Wi-Fi being slower in certain areas of the house, even that internet speed is fast enough for me to do basic online tasks without any issues.
I used to be on a cable broadband connection that promised much faster speeds than my current EE package. But I only occasionally got to enjoy those speeds because the internet was constantly cutting out - whether it was due to an outage or just generally poor connection strength on my line.
However, since switching to EE broadband, I’ve had almost no issues with my connection.
The only time I noticed the odd issue with my internet was when my Openreach signal box started to get quite old and stopped working so well. This led to a few blips in my connection while trying to work from home.
It didn’t continue for too long, though. And I never actually reported it until the box (along with other Openreach equipment on my street) was fully broken by a thunderstorm very close to my home. But even with all of that damage, I was able to report my equipment as broken, and it only took two days for Openreach engineers to not only fix the street-level equipment but install a brand-new box in my home, too.
EE’s customer service has been impeccable during my time with the provider. Thanks to its reliable connection, I’ve rarely had to report issues or contact its customer service team. But whenever I’ve needed to, my problems have been resolved quickly and effectively.
Using the above example, the thunderstorm completely broke my Openreach signal box, and I had to go two days without internet. While it was obviously frustrating being without broadband for that time, I was able to report my issue and get information on the street-level damage immediately.
Plus, two days to fix a lot of street equipment and multiple homes’ signal boxes seems fair to me, given the work required and the unpredictable event that caused it. I certainly never felt that they were dragging their feet to get it sorted, at least.
Of course, a lot of this was thanks to Openreach engineers rather than EE. But I still have EE to thank for regularly providing helpful updates on the situation. It would’ve been a lot more frustrating if they were hard to get in touch with during that time.
One bit of feedback, though - EE should make it easier for customers to log into their online accounts.
When trying to log in, you’re asked to provide your account number to access the site. But there’s no easy way to determine your account number if you haven’t previously written it down. It’s not even on the monthly bills that are emailed to me.
Essentially, EE should better display customers’ account information in their regular communications so they can access their accounts without so much fuss.
EE offers many extra services and perks you can take advantage of when signing up. I personally don’t use any of them, but here’s a quick explainer of what you could also benefit from with an EE broadband contract.
EE broadband deals don’t come with a home phone service built-in. But if you still use your landline for calls to friends and family, EE offers additional home phone packages that you can select for an extra monthly fee. You can choose between:
Anytime calls to UK landlines and mobiles
Inclusive UK landline calls
1,500 minutes to call UK mobile phones
£10.44 per month
Anytime UK and international calls
Inclusive UK landline calls
1,500 minutes to call UK mobile phones
Calls to other landlines in 50 countries
30% price discount for landlines in the rest of the world
£15.67 per month
If you want to make landline calls without buying one of these add-ons, you’ll be charged EE’s standard home call rates.
And if you still heavily rely on your landline phone for lots of calls throughout the day - especially if you’re using it for work - EE offers an in-depth calls service known as Call Plus. This is said to act like ‘your own personal receptionist’, with features like three-way calling, call divert, reminder call and anonymous call rejection.
If you’re an EE mobile phone customer, you’ll get several benefits for signing up for one of its broadband deals, too. Its broadband packages will unlock a 10% monthly discount on your EE mobile bill, a mobile data boost and Apple TV 4K as inclusive extras.
EE’s 36Mbps and 74Mbps broadband options come with a 5GB mobile data boost, and its 100Mbps, 500Mbps and 900Mbps deals provide a 20GB boost to your data allowance.
The offer works the other way around, too. So, if you’re currently an EE broadband customer, you’ll also get the same benefits for signing up to EE’s mobile service.
EE doesn’t run its own TV services, but it offers a great deal for Apple TV 4K with BT Sport if you sign up to its broadband service as an existing EE mobile customer. It’s available to all existing EE customers who are either on a 12-24 month pay monthly contract or 12-24 month SIM only contract.
Even with its own original content getting better and better, Apple TV doesn’t offer the widest choice of content compared to the likes of Sky, BT or NOW TV. But with EE, you can also get BT Sport (soon to be rebranded as TNT Sports) as an inclusive extra. This will give you access to exclusive Champions League, Premier League and Europa League football matches, plus a range of other top-flight sports competitions.
Plus, Apple TV’s original content is getting better and better, with recent series and films winning a number of Oscars, Emmys and BAFTAs. So if you’ve always wanted to check out Ted Lasso, Silo, Severance or The Essex Serpent, Apple TV is the only place to access them. And much of this programming is available in high-resolution 4K, too.
It’s not the most extensive TV package you could buy. But since it comes free for EE broadband and mobile customers, it’s still a nice bonus to your package.
Switching to EE broadband was surprisingly smooth, especially since I was moving from a Virgin Media package onto a rare GFast connection.
Usually, changing back to a normal part-fibre (also known as fibre-to-the-cabinet) connection is super simple because it works via the copper phone lines that most homes already have installed. And because GFast is still part-fibre, I was worried the changes that needed to be made to my local street cabinet would mean a slightly longer setup time - and a longer period without internet for me.
But thankfully, there was almost no switchover time whatsoever. All I had to do was disconnect my Virgin socket and plug my new EE router into my existing Openreach box on the day my connection was activated.
Much of this would have been down to Openreach, rather than EE. But it’s still reassuring that I was able to sign up to a brand new provider without a hitch. Setting up my account was also very easy and my router arrived in time for my start date.
Setting up my EE router was very simple. Everything had been done on Openreach’s end prior to my start date, so it was just a case of plugging it into my broadband socket and connecting my devices. No extra effort was needed.
I’ve had some issues with previous broadband routers where I couldn’t quite get a connection in every part of my home. But EE’s router was the first I’ve ever used where I’ve got a decent signal in every part of my house. The speed dips a bit below the promised 145Mbps if I’m far away from my router, but it’s still a very workable connection.
I’ve never needed a Wi-Fi booster with EE, but the provider does offer some if you live in a larger house, or if you need to put the router in an obstructed location like a cabinet. You can get them through the EE Smart Wi-Fi add-on, which I’ll go into more detail about next.
EE doesn’t offer a specific Wi-Fi guarantee, but for an extra £10 per month, you can sign up to EE Smart Wi-Fi. Not only will you be given a Wi-Fi booster to improve the signal throughout your house, but you’ll get exclusive access to the EE Home app. This will let you monitor your wireless devices and their connection strength more closely.
If you’d like more than one booster, you can get up to two more without an extra monthly charge, but you’ll need to pay a £6.99 delivery fee for each.
You’ll also be given a 4G Wi-Fi device with 2GB of preloaded mobile data, which you can take with you and plug in if you need to get online while on the move.
The 4G works as a backup at home, too. So if your broadband connection ever cuts out, the routers will default to a 4G signal and EE will increase the mobile data cap to 250GB until your internet is fixed.
It’s great to have the reassurance that, if needed, EE can ensure your internet is as robust as can be. But my standard Wi-Fi setup works just fine, so I don’t see the need to spend an extra £10 per month on something I don’t need.
EE’s prices aren’t the cheapest on the market for the speeds it offers.
As of July 2023, its slowest package with 36Mbps speeds was a surprisingly high £32 per month, although it’s £29 for existing EE pay monthly mobile customers. And its fastest 900Mbps package was £58 a month for non-EE mobile customers.
Comparing its prices to offers from Sky, Plusnet and Vodafone, EE’s prices actually seem noticeably more expensive than many other widely-available broadband deals.
But given it’s often topping customer surveys for things like customer service and connection strength, you might find its packages are worth the higher cost.
EE has some of the most expensive mid-contract price increases out of all UK broadband providers. Along with Vodafone and its sister companies BT and Plusnet, EE increases its prices by the rate of inflation, plus its own 3.9%.
This means that, for spring 2023, when the inflation rate was at its peak, EE increased prices by a huge 14.4% for all customers, regardless of whether they were in contract or not. Given that I was already paying an expensive out of contract rate, that meant my monthly price went up by about £7 per month, just from one annual price increase.
Inflation is expected to be slightly lower by the time 2024’s price rises come around, but it’s still going to be quite high compared to previous years. So another expensive price hike is due for me and most other EE customers.
EE doesn’t offer social tariffs, but eligible customers can sign up to a BT Home Essentials tariff instead.
Social tariffs are discounted broadband deals that people on Universal Credit or other forms of financial support can take advantage of. They have low monthly prices and they’re not affected by annual price rises.
EE’s sister company BT will take on eligible EE broadband customers for its Home Essentials social tariffs:
Unlimited Fibre Essential: 36Mbps | £15 per month
Unlimited Fibre: 67Mbps | £20 per month
Call Only plan: Unlimited anytime UK phone calls to mobiles & landlines | £10 per month
Learn more about all the different social tariffs offered by UK broadband providers with our guide.
EE broadband is a really good choice for people who value a strong, reliable service above anything else. This includes those who:
Are already an EE mobile customer
Live in a busy household with lots of devices
Want a consistent connection for working from home
Need any broadband issues to be fixed as quickly and effectively as possible
Regularly watch TV and play online games in high quality
However, if you’re looking to save some money on your bills, or if you’re happy to just pay for a simple broadband deal, there may be better options out there than EE.
Lots of providers will offer packages with similar speeds for a considerable amount less per month. So if your main concern is getting online for some basic internet tasks, a provider like Plusnet, NOW Broadband or TalkTalk could offer more of what you need.
The same goes for if you want to hold onto a big pay-TV package from the likes of Sky, Virgin or BT. You won’t be able to access as much content with any add-ons you get from EE.
That said, EE is very well-regarded for customer service and reliability. So you might find yourself with far fewer issues during your contract if you opt for one of its slightly pricier packages.
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