Shell Energy Broadband Review

Last updated: 16 January 2024   By Dr Lucy Brown, Editor

Shell Energy offer budget friendly broadband deals coupled with the latest WiFi 6 router.

Shell Energy Broadband plans are competitively priced, but now come with an updated WiFi 6 router.

Price:

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Speed:

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Reliability:

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Customer Service:

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Shell Energy Broadband offers low-priced budget broadband deals from superfast part-fibre to full fibre connections.

Operating over TalkTalk's wholesale network, Shell Energy Broadband full fibre is available to over 12.5 million premises, and their part-fibre is available to the rest of the UK.

Customers can choose from average speeds up to 944Mbps, and all packages now come with an up to date WiFi 6 router.

shell energy broadband wifi 6 hub

At a glance

Price From £24.99
Setup cost Free
Minimum term 18 months
Out of contract price From £36.99
Annual price increase CPI + 3% in April
Broadband connection Copper, part-fibre, full fibre
Download speeds 38Mb, 67Mb, 109Mb, 207Mb, 311Mb, 525Mb, 944Mb
Upload speeds 9Mb, 17Mb, 20Mb, 30Mb, 48Mb, 73Mb, 112Mb
Router WiFi 6 hub
WiFi guarantee Not available
Parental controls Not available
Home phone Part-fibre deals only
Pros Cons
Wide range of broadband speeds to choose from No parental controls
Updated router with latest WiFi 6 support No voluntary minimum speed guarantee
Good availability on the Openreach part and full fibre networks No home phone option with full fibre deals

Current offers


Who is Shell Energy Broadband best suited for?

Shell Energy Broadband is best suited to households on a budget looking for one of the cheapest broadband plans in the UK.

They offer one of the widest ranges of broadband speed options, which allows customers to really fine-tune their broadband deal and pay only for what they want.

Despite the provider's low cost, they've recently upgraded their router to a WiFi 6 hub, which surpasses devices offered by BT, Plusnet, and TalkTalk on their part-fibre deals.

Other features are fairly basic or missing entirely however, with no options for a WiFi guarantee and no network level parental controls either, underlining Shell Energy Broadband as most suited to households happy with a low-cost but 'no frills' service.

Shell Energy Broadband's full fibre deals also come as data-only lines with no option to add a home phone line. While this does keep costs down, it means customers will need to rely entirely on a separate mobile plan for any calls.

Availability for Shell Energy Broadband is good, with most households in the UK able to receive their superfast 38Mb and 67Mb plans, and over 12.5 million premises able to sign up to their full fibre connections thanks to partnering with both Openreach's FTTP network.

Check availability for Shell Energy Broadband in your area.


Shell Energy Broadband packages

Summary: Shell Energy Broadband offer as many as ten different broadband packages, with options varying between locations.

Since launching full fibre deals in November 2021, Shell Energy Broadband now offer a total of ten broadband packages, which is one of the widest ranges of deals of any major provider.

This gives customers ultimate choice on exactly how much they want to spend and how fast they want their broadband to be. It also means customers can access the fastest technologies in their area, as the provider supports part-fibre, G.Fast, and full fibre connections.

Here are all of Shell Energy Broadband's plans - although note that these are dependent on location:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Fast Broadband 11Mb average £19.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Money off for 18 months
Superfast Fibre 38Mb average £23.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Money off for 18 months
Superfast Fibre Plus 67Mb average £25.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Money off for 18 months
Ultrafast Fibre 145Mb average £41.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Money off for 18 months
Ultrafast Fibre Plus 290Mb average £46.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Money off for 18 months
Full Fibre 100 109Mb average £26.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Money off for 18 months
Full Fibre 200 207Mb average £29.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Money off for 18 months
Full Fibre 300 311Mb average £34.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Money off for 18 months
Full Fibre 500 525Mb average £39.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Money off for 18 months
Full Fibre 900 944Mb average £44.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Money off for 18 months

Where full fibre broadband is available customers can no longer sign up to the slower superfast plans, with Full Fibre 100 being the entry-level deal in these areas.

Some customers living in part-fibre areas will be able to get the Ultrafast broadband plans if G.Fast has been enabled on their local street cabinet. G.Fast boosts broadband speeds on part-fibre connections up to 300Mbps, although it's a technology that's now being replaced by full fibre.

Shell Energy Broadband comes with an 18-month minimum term, and there are no setup or activation fees to pay.

Despite previously offering no end of contract price increases, this policy was first scrapped in October 2021, and out of contract prices after the minimum term are now fairly high.

Shell Energy Broadband will send customers end of contract notifications however, along with any deals available to them if they take out a new contract.

Customers will also be subject to annual price rises, with Shell Energy Broadband applying a price increase of Consumer Price Index (CPI) + 3% in April of each year.

One final note - Shell Energy Broadband used to impose a blanket termination fee of £15 on any customers switching away from them. The good news however, is this policy was scrapped in March 2021.

Essentials Broadband

While Shell Energy Broadband are a cheap provider they also provide even cheaper deals for those in receipt of certain means-tested benefits.

These social broadband tariffs allow customers on lower incomes who may otherwise be struggling to pay their bill a more affordable way to stay connected and get online.

Eligible benefits include one of the following:

  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance

Customers can choose between a basic 11Mbps plan for £15 a month, or a faster 38Mbps plan for £20 a month. The plans also include line rental and free calls to other Shell Energy Broadband phone customers.

It's also possible to take a home phone only deal for £15 per month, but this only includes free calls to Shell Energy Broadband phone lines, so customers would be better off on BT Home Essentials.

The deals are available for 12 months, after which the prices go up to £31.03 and £36.99 per month respectively. At this point customers can switch to a standard deal or re-apply for the Essentials tariffs, although it's not clear what the pricing would be in that instance.

Overall, while its good to see Shell Energy Broadband offer a social tariff, which can help provide support to existing customers who struggle to pay during a minimum term, there are better deals out there, including from BT - especially for those who want a phone line.


How does Shell Energy Broadband compare?

Summary: Shell Energy Broadband packages are generally cheaper than the competition, but it's worth comparing deals by area to make sure.

Shell Energy Broadband are typically cheaper than most other major broadband providers. However, since being taken over by Octopus Energy, their prices have gone up and aren't quite as competitive as they were.

Here's how their Full Fibre 100 plan compares:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Full Fibre 100 109Mb average £26.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Money off for 18 months
Full Fibre 150 150Mb average £27 Free 24 months
offer Offer: £2 off for Vodafone pay monthly customers
Full Fibre 145 145Mb average £27.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Save over £12/mth + No setup fee + Exclusive offers and discounts for Plusnet customers
Full Fibre 100 150Mb average £30.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Reduced price for 24 months + (Ends 18/07/2024)

While Shell Energy Broadband are still cheaper than equivalent deals from iTalk, TalkTalk, Direct Save Telecom, and Zen Internet, there are cheaper deals available from other budget providers including Vodafone and Plusnet.

BT's Full Fibre 100 deal is also currently on offer for just £28.99 per month, £1 less than the deal with Shell Energy Broadband.

Customers living in Virgin Media enabled areas can look to M125 Fibre Broadband for an even cheaper deal at just £26.50 per month.

The next cheapest full fibre plan on the Openreach network is Vodafone's Full Fibre 100 package at £26 per month, and then Plusnet Full Fibre 145 for £26.99 per month.

Looking at faster speeds, Shell Energy Broadband's Full Fibre 900 plan is also competitively priced.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Full Fibre 900 944Mb average £44.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Money off for 18 months
Full Fibre 910 910Mb average £42 Free 24 months
offer Offer: £2 off for Vodafone pay monthly customers
Full Fibre 900 900Mb average £39.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Save over £22/mth + No setup fee + Exclusive offers and discounts for Plusnet customers (Ends 17/07/2024)
Gigafast Broadband 900Mb average £43 £5 24 months
offer Offer: WiFi Max just £3/mth + (£5 refundable setup fee for new customers if applicable)

However, at the time of writing it's possible to get gigabit-capable broadband from Plusnet for just £41.99 per month, and Vodafone for just £36 per month.

Virgin Media's Gig1 plan is also cheaper than Shell Energy Broadband Full Fibre 900 at just £45 per month.

Shell Energy Broadband is still cheaper than equivalent plans from BT, Direct Save Telecom and Zen Internet.

Overall, Shell Energy Broadband packages are well priced, often with some of the cheapest prices, but it's always worth comparing deals by area as even cheaper options could be available.


How fast is Shell Energy Broadband?

Summary: Shell Energy Broadband provide packages with average download speeds up to 944Mbps on full fibre connections.

The speed of Shell Energy Broadband largely depends on which package is chosen and also where a customer lives and the technology available to them.

Shell Energy Broadband offer download speeds up to 944Mbps on average, but this is with their fastest plan.

The advertised average speeds of each broadband plan give a good indication of how fast the connection will be as at least 50% of a provider's customer base must receive that speed or faster.

Average download speed Average upload speed
Superfast Fibre 38Mbps 9Mbps
Superfast Fibre Plus 67Mbps 17Mbps
Ultrafast Fibre 145Mbps 25Mbps
Ultrafast Fibre Plus 290Mbps 45Mbps
Full Fibre 100 109Mbps 20Mbps
Full Fibre 200 207Mbps 30Mbps
Full Fibre 300 311Mbps 48Mbps
Full Fibre 500 525Mbps 73Mbps
Full Fibre 900 944Mbps 112Mbps

Shell Energy Broadband do provide estimates when customers sign up online, however they're based on a wide range and don't reflect the specific package chosen.

For example, when we looked at a part-fibre enabled area we were told the property could receive part-fibre broadband speeds between 38 to 76Mbps, although we'd have to get the Superfast Fibre Plus package to get the faster speed from that range.

It's worth looking at these ranges for a better indication of the broadband speed most likely at an individual property.

Shell Energy Broadband haven't signed up to Ofcom's code of conduct on broadband speeds, which means they don't provide personalised estimates for specific packages, and they don't provide a guaranteed minimum speed either.

Providers that do offer this include TalkTalk, Sky, Plusnet, Virgin Media, and BT. Minimum guaranteed speeds mean the provider must deliver this speed and if they don't with 30 days' notice to fix any issues, the customer can leave their contract penalty free.


Broadband router

Summary: Shell Energy Broadband now provide an up to date WiFi 6 router with all their broadband deals.

Shell Energy Broadband launched a new router in August 2023, offering support for the latest WiFi 6 protocol.

The 'WiFi 6 hub' is a branded router manufactured by Sagemcom. It offers dual-band wireless and supports the latest wireless technology, including the new WiFi 6 protocol - or 802.11ax.

shell energy broadband wifi 6 hub

The new router also benefits from upgraded security, supporting WPA3 as well as the older WPA2 encryption.

It's a vast improvement over the previous Technicolour TG588V V2 router, which was a very basic device and seemed to gather complaints on public forums due to the poor quality.

The new WiFi 6 hub is provided for free to customers on all Shell Energy Broadband packages, and existing customers can upgrade if they're willing to take a new minimum term.


Customer service

Summary: Shell Energy Broadband have had high complaint figures in recent years, but the latest report shows improvement.

Shell Energy Broadband has had a somewhat chequered history for customer service, with high complaint levels in Ofcom's official quarterly reports.

However, as of the latest data, their complaint levels have fallen, showing signs of improvement.

Shell Energy Broadband first appeared in Ofcom's complaint reports after their acquisition of the Post Office Broadband in early 2021 pushed their customer numbers over the required minimum.

When they entered the quarterly complaint figures in Q2 2021 they received 13 complaints per 100,000 customers, which was slightly above the industry average.

However, by Q3 2021, this had risen to 17 complaints per 100,000 customers, with Ofcom highlighting 'Faults, service and provisioning issues' as the main driver of the complaints (39%).

Shell Energy Broadband's complaint levels continued to increase, eventually reaching a peak of 31 complaints per 100,000 customers in Q2 2022. This time Ofcom cited poor complaints handling as the main reason for the complaints.

More recent reports have finally shown an improvement though, with complaint levels dropping to 27 at the end of 2022, just 16 in Q1 2023 and 13 in Q2 2023, which was actually fewer than rivals Vodafone, TalkTalk and Virgin Media.

So, while Shell Energy Broadband are still receiving more than average complaints, they have begun to substantially bring them down.


Verdict: Is Shell Energy Broadband any good?

Shell Energy Broadband have some noteworthy pluses to their service, as well as some potential drawbacks that might be worth considering before signing up.

On the plus side:

  • Prices are competitive, with a range of broadband speed options for every budget
  • They've recently upgraded their router to support the latest WiFi 6 protocol, while other providers including BT and Plusnet are lagging behind with older devices
  • They have a very wide range of package choice, which means customers only need to pay for what they want

However, it's worth also bearing these points in mind:

  • If price is the ultimate motivator, it's worth comparing deals as sometimes rivals are even cheaper
  • The service is 'no frills', with no network level parental controls, no speed guarantee, no optional WiFi guarantee, and no home phone on the full fibre plans
  • While they've been improving, complaint levels have been high, so they might not be the provider for someone who wants exemplary customer service
  • After being rumoured, they've now been bought out by Octopus, and while business remains as usual, there is a chance customers could be moved to another provider in the near future

Overall, Shell Energy Broadband manage to provide some of the UK's cheapest prices for both part-fibre and full fibre connections. However, the lack of features may see customers better placed to choose deals from providers like Sky or TalkTalk who also offer low prices but manage to include more services as well.

Comments

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