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EE standard business broadband review

EE is the UK’s largest mobile phone network and it offers a range of broadband services too. EE standard business broadband is the entry-level plan for small companies, featuring a standard ADSL connection and choice of two call plans.

Despite dabbling in the business broadband market, EE comes up short on the features important to most firms. There’s no static IP (free or otherwise), but you do get around the clock support and a choice of several calls plans. So is the right internet solution for your business? This review helps you decide.

Cable.co.uk overall rating
2.8

This broadband plan is pretty basic when it comes to servicing the needs of modern businesses. It may be suitable for home workers but larger operations will find it lacking on speed, features and overall online support.

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Speed & usage

Rating

2

EE’s basic business broadband is an ADSL2+ service with an optimum speed of 17Mbps. This is adequate for very small firms with modest internet demands, but add in lots of people multi-tasking online at the same time and you might find it achingly slow, with buffering and long waits for files to download. However, the same can be said for any standard non-fibre service so if your firm spends a considerable amount of time online, consider a fibre optic connection instead.

There’s no usage cap on the service so you can upload and download as much as you need to without restriction – in theory. However EE runs a traffic management system during peak hours – that’s 4pm to 1am Monday to Friday, and 1.30pm to 1am on Saturdays and Sundays. While these are peak hours for home users and shouldn’t have too much impact on businesses that keep standard office hours, if you work during evenings and weekends, you could experience slowdown at these times.

Advertised download speed 17Mbps
Average downloads (off-peak) 9.4Mbps
Average downloads (peak) 8.7Mbps
Advertised upload speed 1Mbps
Monthly usage limit No
Traffic management Yes
Static IP No
Minimum contract 12 months
Router Bright Box
Public wi-fi No
Prices from £13 per month
Info

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What you can do with it

Advertised

Actual

The ‘Actual’ speeds are those reported by Ofcom.

Technical support

Rating

3

EE has a UK-based customer service centre for business customers, offering 24/7 support. Next day care is included as standard with EE business broadband services, which means the provider will aim to resolve any issue by the next working day (although not available on Sundays or bank or public holidays). Alternatively, you can upgrade to same day resolution for an additional £12 per month. This service aims to resolve line faults within eight hours of EE accepting the fault, and is available seven days a week.

Another feature of EE broadband is that in the rare event of network overload, business internet traffic will be prioritised over consumer traffic during office hours (9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday).

Extras

Rating

3

EE business broadband is available as a standalone broadband-only service, or together with a choice of five call plans. Line rental costs £12.50 per month, plus the price of your chosen call plan. The options include pay-as-you-go, national calls, national and mobile calls, national and international calls and all calls. Call divert is included in the middle three plans, while the latter option also includes three-way calling, call waiting and ring back.

Two useful apps are available to add to your broadband package. First up, Norton 360 security software protects up to five different devices from spam, malware and unsafe websites for a small additional monthly fee. Next is the option to add Office 365 for access to day-to-day office tools through the cloud, so you and your team can access them anywhere, on any device. It allows you to work on documents in real time and keeps everyone in sync and on schedule with shared calendars and contacts. Prices start from £100 per year. Unfortunately, there is no option to add a static IP address, which is a basic requirement for many business customers.

Value for money

Rating

3

EE business broadband is pretty cheap at £13 per month, although they are equally basic packages around with an even lower price. The monthly price quickly creeps up when you add a call plan and the extra features that many providers include as standard. Having said that, the package has vastly improved from its former guise, when it was pretty much just a replica of the EE home broadband service with a different name.

The advertised prices include a £5 monthly discount for existing EE customers (mobile and home broadband), so you’ll need to add a fiver onto each price if you’re not with EE for these services.

Equipment & installation

Rating

3

A Bright Box router is included free with all EE services. It houses four Ethernet ports and sends out a fast wireless signal so you can connect multiple devices at once within a range of 250m. It’s small enough to slip through the letterbox and features a unique password and remote assistance should you hit any problems. It’s simple enough to set up yourself by just plugging in the phone socket and connecting your devices wirelessly, so there’s no need for an engineer to visit.

EE - Bright Box Router

Overall Rating

2.8

This is EE’s introductory business broadband and phone service, and it certainly feels that way. The standard connection with 17Mbps download speed will be adequate for most home workers and very small operations with a couple of devices linked up, but any more employees and you’ll find it too slow. The call plans, 24/7 support and extra features are certainly useful, but they are pretty basic compared to rival business packages. It’s a reasonable price however, so could be the ideal service to get a small enterprise online.

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