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SSE Superfast fibre broadband review

Friday, November 13th 2015

SSE is widely known as an energy company, responsible for bringing gas and electricity to your home. But that’s not all it does. It’s also an internet provider, and this package is its cheapest option for fibre broadband and phone.

So how good is this package? On the surface it shines, with a low monthly cost and decent download speeds. But, as ever, things are a little murkier beneath. Here is everything you need to know about SSE fibre broadband.

Cable.co.uk overall rating
2.6

It’s a no-frills fibre broadband package with an up to 38Mbps download speed, unlimited usage, and an anytime call plan that occupies the comfortable middle ground when it comes to price. Traffic management applies, and installation takes at least three weeks.

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Speed & usage

Rating

3

The advertised download speed of 38Mbps is standard for UK fibre broadband packages as a whole. It’s unlikely that you’ll get this speed however, as weather, line quality, distance from the nearest telecoms exchange, and many other factors all play a part in dictating the actual speed you’ll receive. Basically, expect it to be slower.

The absence of a usage limit makes this plan an attractive option for regular internet users. If you enjoy watching films online, listening to music, playing games, or browsing for hours on end, unlimited usage removes the worry of having to keep a close eye on how much data you’re using.

But while it’s unlimited, SSE fibre broadband isn’t ‘truly’ unlimited. Traffic management is in effect. This slows down your internet performance at certain times of the day (usually peak times, in the evening), or when engaging in certain online activities, such as updating software. Time-critical activities, like online video chats, are given high priority.

Advertised download speed Up to 38Mbps
Average downloads (off-peak) Not available
Average downloads (peak) Not available
Advertised upload speed Up to 10Mbps
Monthly usage limit Unlimited
Traffic management Yes
Static IP No
Minimum contract 18 months
Router Technicolor TG582n
Public wi-fi No
Prices from £38 per month
Info

Scroll horizontally for more information.

What you can do with it

Advertised

Actual

The ‘Actual’ speeds are those reported by Ofcom.

Call plan

Rating

3

SSE has several different call plans. This package comes with Talk Anytime calls. You can choose to upgrade to Talk Anytime Plus for an extra £2 per month, which gives you international calls and cheaper calls to other mobiles as well as landline calls.

Inclusive calls last for 60 minutes. Once this period has passed you must hang up and redial to continue making free calls – otherwise you’ll be charged extra per minute.

Extras

Rating

2

Extra features are thin on the ground with SSE fibre broadband. As with most providers, you get the obligatory free wireless router (though the model leaves much to be desired), and you also get 18-months free subscription to SSE’s security suite. This contains antivirus, firewall, and parental control software to help you, your computer, and your children stay safe when online.

There are several accessibility extras for those with physical impairments. These include braille bills and Textline compatibility. You can also call SSE’s customer advice helpline if your broadband connection is giving you trouble. It’s based in the UK, and it’s free to call.

It’s not super expensive, but SSE’s fibre broadband package isn’t the cheapest option either. However, there are frequently special offers that cut the price for an introductory period. If you want to upgrade your phone plan, the price of your monthly bill will increase.

Line rental for this package costs £16 per month, which is slightly cheaper than many competitors. If you want to change the calls package in any way, you will need to call the customer service team and speak to an advisor; you can’t do it online.

The 18-month contract is fairly long, but again is average for fibre broadband packages. Don’t forget that if you cancel before the end of the contract you’ll have to pay cancellation fees. These can be expensive, and are best avoided.

  • Broadband
    Max download speed17Mb
    Max upload speed1Mb
    Monthly usageUnlimited
    Home Phone
    Daytime calls12.00ppm
    Evening calls12.00ppm
    Weekend calls12.00ppm
    Pricing & Contract
    Set-up cost£0
    Contract length1 month
    First year cost £252
    (if taken over 12 months)

    £21
    per month
    includes line rental

  • Broadband
    Max download speed76Mb
    Max upload speed19Mb
    Monthly usageUnlimited
    Home Phone
    Daytime calls12.00ppm
    Evening calls12.00ppm
    Weekend calls12.00ppm
    Pricing & Contract
    Set-up cost£0
    Contract length1 month
    First year cost £360
    (if taken over 12 months)

    £30
    per month
    includes line rental

  • Broadband
    Max download speed38Mb
    Max upload speed10Mb
    Monthly usageUnlimited
    Home Phone
    Daytime calls12.00ppm
    Evening calls12.00ppm
    Weekend calls12.00ppm
    Pricing & Contract
    Set-up cost£0
    Contract length1 month
    First year cost £288
    (if taken over 12 months)

    £24
    per month
    includes line rental

SSE secures its position as a bargain broadband provider with the inclusion of the Technicolor TG582n router, the same box used by nearly every low-price broadband company in the UK. It’s an unremarkable bit of kit. There are four 10/100 Ethernet ports on the back (this means it won’t be able to handle speeds above 100Mbps), and it only has a single wireless antenna (which means your wi-fi connections will be subject to interference more frequently). It’s also rather unattractive, resembling a piece of defunct hospital equipment rather than a state-of-the-art broadband router. However, if all you’re looking for is a box to get you online, then the Technicolor router will suffice.

Installation for fibre broadband is usually £50, but when you purchase it with a call plan the installation fee is waived. SSE states that installation will take at least three weeks – so don’t expect to be able to get online until the second month.

SSE - Technicolor TG582n Router

Overall Rating

2.6

The cheapest of SSE’s fibre broadband deals is suitable for almost anything you want to do online, whether that’s stream films and music or just browse websites. Line rental is relatively inexpensive, and the monthly price of the package is fairly low. The inability to choose a cheaper call plan without ringing SSE customer services is still a thorn in the side, however.

Overall, SSE Superfast fibre is definitely a no-frills broadband package. But if you just want a basic, stripped back fibre plan, it presents a solid choice.

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