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EE Fibre Broadband Unlimited 38Mb review

Wednesday, November 4th 2015

Not content with providing fast 4G signals to phones and tablets, EE can provide fibre optic broadband to your home as well. There are two levels to choose from and this is the entry-level service with a download speed up to 38Mbps.

Here's a detailed look at the ins and outs of this fibre optic package to help you decide whether it’s the best fibre broadband for you.

Cable.co.uk overall rating
3.2

EE 38Mb fibre broadband is a solid fibre optic service. The router is pretty good and there are some nice extra features, but the company does not have a good reputation for customer service and there is no official speed data available as yet.

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Speed & usage

Rating

3

EE has based its entire ethos, not to mention its advertising, on being really fast and enabling you to have the internet at your fingertips. The speed theme continues in its home broadband packages, with two speeds of fast fibre optic broadband on offer. This review looks at slower and cheaper of the two, the 38Mbps package.

When it comes to the actual speed of its package, the latest Ofcom figures reveal that you can expect an average of around 34Mbps on its 38Mbps package. EE operates a traffic management system, which will limit your usage between certain hours, but this only really affects peer-to-peer file sharing, with online gaming given priority status.

Advertised download speed Up to 38Mbps
Average downloads (off-peak) 33.3Mbps to 35.2Mbps*
Average downloads (peak) 32.9Mbps to 34.8Mbps *
Advertised upload speed Up to 10Mb
Monthly usage limit No
Traffic management Yes
Static IP No
Minimum contract 18 months
Router EE Brightbox 2
Public wi-fi Yes (in London Underground stations only)
Prices from £28.50 per month
Info

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What you can do with it

Advertised

Actual

*Average speeds for EE fibre broadband available from Ofcom.

Call plan

Rating

4

EE's 38Mbps package is available with three different call plans, the cheapest of which, Weekend, comes with inclusive weekend landline calls. The next step up is Anytime calls, which comes with anytime calls and mobile calls – this includes landlines and 0870 and 0845 numbers, as well as 1,000 minutes to UK mobiles and international calls to 30 countries. The top package offers International calls to even more destinations, as well as the UK landline and mobile anytime calls.

EE also offers a Call Features bundle – with Call Waiting, Anonymous Call Reject and Call Diversion – which can be added, at extra cost, to any broadband deal. These services can only be added to your account when you join or when you upgrade. A cancellation fee applies if you decide you don’t want them any more before the minimum contract term ends, so make sure you’re certain before you sign up.

Extras

Rating

3

First, you’ll receive an EE Bright Box router and anti-virus protection, which you need to apply for and register on EE’s website. Second, you’ll have the option to add EE TV to your broadband package (providing you have an EE, Orange or T-Mobile mobile plan as well). EE TV is a set-top box and content-streaming service that is compatible with smartphones and tablets in addition to your main TV. It provides 70 Freeview channels, catch up TV and a terabyte of memory for content storage (equivalent to around 212 DVDs). There’s also a ‘flick’ feature that lets you transfer video from your mobile device to your TV by sliding the video towards the screen with your finger. EE TV is free to EE broadband and mobile customers and you can sign up online or in store.

This EE broadband is discounted for an introductory period, which makes it very good value to begin with but not so much so when the promotion ends. Then there’s the £50 connection fee and £6 router delivery fee to factor in too. The option to add free EE TV is a nice bonus for those who don’t already have a digital TV package, although it doesn’t compare to the likes of Sky and Virgin Media in terms of channel choice and optional extras like Sky Sports and Sky Movies. The lack of official speed test data from Ofcom also means you’re taking a leap into the unknown with regards to what download and upload speed you will actually receive.

All EE’s fibre customers will receive the Brightbox 2 router, a simple plug-in-and-play device that is slim enough to fit through your letterbox and is powerful enough to support all your Wi-Fi enabled devices. The router is free, but subject to a small delivery charge.

Installation should be fairly painless. You will be charged an initial fee to be connected to the fibre optic broadband network and, if your phone line is incompatible with EE, you’ll be required to pay an additional fee for an engineer to visit.

EE Router

Overall Rating

3.2

EE 38Mb fibre broadband is an average service: it has some good features but there are certainly some drawbacks. The Bright Box 2 router has won awards for performance, ease of use and set-up, and the addition of EE TV is a nice freebie for those who also have a mobile plan with EE, Orange or T-Mobile. However, EE doesn’t have the best reputation for customer service and there’s no performance record from Ofcom to show what level of broadband speed customers can realistically expect.

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