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Fuel 38Mb business fibre broadband review

Note: This package is no longer available with Fuel broadband. This is the cheapest fibre optic package available from Fuel Broadband (formerly Primus Saver). It has an unlimited 38Mbps connection and a choice of two call plans, and it's cheaper than the majority of comparable business packages out there. But has Fuel forced too many concessions to make this a viable option for those dependent on a strong internet connection?

With a dearth of extras, rudimental technical support and a sub-standard router, Fuel is setting the bar pretty low, but do the connection speed and low price tag make up for it?

Cable.co.uk overall rating
2.4

This is a low-price package that should support a small- to medium-sized business with a modest broadband requirement. Its lack of extras and poor router cause us some concern but there is a choice of call plans and even static IP options. If you can suffer the corner-cutting, there is some value to be had here.

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Speed & usage

Rating

4

Fuel Broadband offers two fibre optic packages for business customers and, at up to 38Mbps, this is the slower of the two. With this speed, you should be able to accomplish a good amount online while supporting a number of additional devices and allowing for multiple users to download large files at once. Fibre optic connections also come with faster upload speeds than ADSL broadband, which means uploading large files will take less time and VoIP services will run more smoothly.

This package comes without a usage limit, which is fantastic if you download a lot and don’t want the worry of keeping an eye on your data consumption. However, it does come with a fair usage policy, which will throttle your service if Fuel deems your usage to be excessive, so that’s something to watch out for.

Advertised download speed 38Mbps
Average downloads (off-peak) Not available*
Average downloads (peak) Not available*
Advertised upload speed 10Mbps
Monthly usage limit No
Traffic management Yes
Static IP Yes
Minimum contract 24 months
Router Thomson TG582n
Public wi-fi No
Prices from £19.99 per month
Info

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What you can do with it

Advertised

Actual

‘Actual’ speeds for Fuel Broadband are not available from Ofcom.

Technical support

Rating

1

Unlike other business broadband providers, Fuel does not offer any support software. However, there are some provisions if you’re having problems with your connection. Your company will be assigned an account manager to be a named contact and someone you can call directly if you have an issue.

If you do develop an issue with your connection, the only real way Fuel will help you is with its customer care line, but there are no promises regarding completion times or exactly what it can help with. There is also a fee of £85 for an engineer callout if it is found that the fault lies with the customer’s equipment rather than the line. These are good assurances, if you’re willing to pay, and should be sufficient to keep you up and running.

Fuel's customer service is hugely underwhelming. The lack of assurance and the total dearth of information is worrying and fundamentally it offers no peace of mind.

Extras

Rating

2

As Fuel Broadband is a budget provider, the range of extras is somewhat impoverished compared with more higher-end providers. There is a choice of call plans that you can couple with your fibre optic connection. The cheaper of the two gives you 500 UK minutes, with calls to UK landlines being only 1p/min after that. The more expensive package comes with unlimited UK calls, although if your call lasts over 90 minutes, you’ll need to redial so you don’t get charged. Calls to mobiles cost 8p/min on both packages.

Fuel does offer a static IP address, which is useful if you want to set up an email client or a web server. This is not available from the website, and customers will have to contact Fuel over the phone to get it set it up. Other than that, you’re pretty much on your own. One of the ways Fuel manages to keep its costs down is by keeping the service as simple as possible, so any notion of apps, public Wi-Fi or access to web space is out of the picture.

Value for money

Rating

3

Fuel’s chief directive is to be cheap, and in that respect it does very well. This fibre optic package is one of the cheapest business broadband and phone deals available. The price rises slightly if you want the unlimited call plan, and you need to add in the £9.99 line rental cost. Other than that you just need to factor in your calls and any additional call features you want.

Other costs you will incur include an installation charge of £80 when you set up your connection, as well as a small fee for delivering your new router. Fuel prides itself on the low cost of its services, but there’s a definite sense that you get what you pay for when it comes to the paltry list of extras. So whether it’s good value for money depends on how much worth you place in all the free stuff often touted by the premium providers.

Equipment & installation

Rating

2

This is a budget package, which is evident in the router supplied by Fuel. The Thomson TG582n wireless router (sometimes referred to as the Technicolor 582n) is wildly sub par, and not particularly fit for purpose. It is a single-band 802.11n 2.4GHz router, which means it can’t carry as clean or as far-reaching a signal as a dual-band router would, and it will struggle to achieve the top speed of the package.

The router does feature four 10/100 Ethernet ports, so you can connect your computers to it via Ethernet cables, which should give you a faster connection. Even so, if you are planning on connecting multiple devices wirelessly, you may want to consider buying a more powerful router to get the most from this package. Installation costs £80 and it will take roughly seven to ten days to get your connection activated.

Fuel broadband - Thomson TG58N Router

Overall Rating

2.4

This is a cheap package that should be capable of supporting a small business with a reasonably fast, unlimited fibre optic broadband connection. The low cost means corners have been cut with the poor technical support, lack of extras and inadequate router, but if you’re willing to sacrifice these things, this package could be worth consideration.

Get Fuel 38Mb business fibre broadband

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Comments (1)

marion
27th January 2015

I have a so called fibre package in my home . From the day we signed with fuel broadband , we have had nothing but bother . We can not download films to watch as it either freezes or it takes nearly 24hrs to download 1 film . We have tried wireless and ethernet connections . Wireless is even more useless than ethernet connection . We are very very disappointed with this company and wish we had stayed with Bt . This company promised we would have exactly the same speed as Bt . That was obviously a lie . We are going to get in contact with Offtell to see if they can help us .

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