EE home broadband: our review

julia kukiewicz
By Julia Kukiewicz

ee store front

EE have an interesting history when it comes to their home broadband.

Our Rating

Value for money:

Customer service:

3.5 out of 5

As Orange, they had more than their fair share of customer service problems and when they relaunched as EE they lost popularity by withdrawing free broadband and various discounts for Orange, T-mobile and EE mobile customers.

They made up for that in some respects by widening their availability to everyone, not just existing customers - and now they're part of BT, the UK's biggest broadband network.

For the time being they seem keen to keep their separate identity, complete with their own clever little TV service.

Skip ahead: is EE any good on...
Price? more here
Broadband quality? more here
Service quality? more here
Overall? more here

Is it worth joining them? Read on to find out.

Prices: how cheap is it?

Let's start with the basics: here are the standard costs of EE's three broadband deals, all of which come with free weekend calls.

Package Broadband Contract term Upfront price Monthly price
ee EE Broadband + Weekend calls Up to 17Mb
18 months £7 £18.50
for 18 mths,
then £21
ee EE Fibre + Weekend calls Up to 38Mb
18 months £32 £26
for 18 mths,
then £28.50
ee EE Fibre Plus + Weekend calls Up to 76Mb
18 months £32 £32.50
for 18 mths,
then £40.50

Now that EE come under BT's umbrella, they no longer charge extra for customers who would have been considered "off-net" in the days of Orange Broadband. That's a welcome change, as it cost £15 a month more, and came with a 20GB limit.

As their fibre is resold BT Infinity, at the time of this update it should be available in just over 90% of the UK.

Still, it's worth checking whether the service is available using our postcode checker here.

If it is, there are usually a few offers available - and for those who are fed up with their existing ISP, EE offer up to £50 towards exit fees:

EE Home Broadband Latest Offers

£50 early cancellation credit for in-contract customers who switch to EE

Get this deal

Hurry! Offer ends soon!

What's on offer? When you join online for: Need to know:
ee Unlimited broadband only £18.50/mth for 18 months (then £21/mth).
Hurry! Offer ends today!
16 October 2017
EE Home Broadband£7 upfront cost. 18 month minimum term applies. Costs may vary depending on location.
ee Fibre broadband only £26/mth for 18 months (then £28.50/mth)
Hurry! Offer ends today!
16 October 2017
EE Fibre Broadband£32 upfront costs. 18 month minimum term applies.

So that's the prices covered. But here are four other things we think are worth knowing:

  1. Users must take EE line rental: As with most providers, it's not possible to go elsewhere, but at least weekend calls - those made on Saturday or Sunday, not Friday evening or early Monday morning - are inclusive. Getting more will cost from £6.50 a month - more below. But there is a pay upfront line rental option, which lowers the price: more here.
  2. EE mobile customers get an extra 5GB of data on their plan: Back in their early days, EE broadband came with a discount for existing EE (or Orange/T-mobile) mobile. In June 2014 they replaced that perk with more mobile data - but only for customers with 4G phones and contracts - that is, people with EE, not legacy Orange or T-mobile customers.
  3. There are connection fees: Standard broadband doesn't require a sign up fee but people taking fibre face a charge of £25. Customers who have a BT-compatible line (i.e. those moving from Sky or TalkTalk) will be transferred free of charge, but those who need a completely new line for some reason will need to factor in a £60 charge.
  4. There are cheaper ISPs: For a while EE were almost the UK's cheapest ISP, with low line rental compared to the big providers, made even cheaper by a highly competitive upfront deal. But as they've grown they've become more expensive, so now there are cheaper options.

Here's how they compare to the other main providers:

Package Broadband Contract Upfront price Monthly price
ee EE Broadband + Weekend calls Up to 17Mb
18 months £7 £18.50
for 18 mths,
then £21
BT BT Unlimited Broadband + Weekend calls Up to 17Mb
12 months £9.99 £26.99
for 12 mths,
then £40.99
Plusnet Plusnet Unlimited + Line Only Up to 17Mb
18 months Free £18.99
for 18 mths,
then £27.98
Sky Sky Broadband Unlimited + Talk Up to 17Mb
12 months £9.95 £20
for 12 mths,
then £28.99
talktalk TalkTalk Fast Broadband Up to 17Mb
12 months Free £19.95
for 12 mths,
then £25.50

Home phone

As we said above, EE line rental is mandatory and, without paying more, only weekend calls - midnight Friday to midnight Sunday - are inclusive.

Upgrading home phone to unlimited anytime UK landline calls, 1,500 minutes of calls to UK mobiles and up to 1,000 minutes of calls to 40 international landline destinations costs from £6.50 a month.

Alternatively, the International Extra bundle gives customers another 500 minutes of international calls (that's 1,500 a month in total) to another 42 countries (a total of 82 call destinations), plus 30% off calls to all other international landlines, also for £6.50 a month.

For those who stick with weekend-only calls, "inclusive" includes calls to UK landlines starting 01, 02, and 03 for 60 minutes at a time. Calls to 0800 and 0808 numbers are free at all times.

During inclusive periods, EE will cover the access charge part of the cost of calling 084, 087, 09, and 118 numbers, but users will pay the service charge portion. Outside inclusive periods, calls to these numbers will incur an access charge of 11p per minute.

There's a 20p call set up charge for non inclusive calls; calls to landlines will then be charged at 12.5p per minute, while calls to mobiles will cost 15p per minute.

Although it's not obvious from the above tables, line rental from EE now costs £18.50 a month, which puts them at the expensive end of standard.

It's not all that long ago that EE were among the cheapest providers when it came to line rental, because of their upfront payment option.

While some providers have scrapped upfront line rental with the move to all-inclusive pricing, EE still offer it: £199 for 12 months (the equivalent of £16.58 a month) or £299 for 18 months (£16.61 a month).

Weekend calls are still included, unlike with some other providers' upfront deals.

How's the broadband?

Orange broadband didn't have a great reputation for reliability and speeds.

The LLU network sputtered along for a few years before throwing in the towel and switching over to the BT Wholesale network. The deal was signed in April 2010 and the exchange switch was completed in November 2011.

Since then, service has improved somewhat, though EE are still by no means topping any tables.

EE fibre is also a BT Wholesale product.


In the last Ofcom speed tests, published in March 2016, EE had reached the stage where they have enough customers taking each of their three products to provide reliable results for all of them.

Their ADSL broadband is at the faster edge of standard - but the difference is less than 1Mb between them and most of their competition. Their up to 38Mb fibre is also pretty standard in comparison.

But their up to 76Mb fibre is the fastest on average in Ofcom's tests, beating closest rival BT by a good 2-4Mb even at peak times.

Broadband 24 hours Peak time: 8-10pm weekdays
ee Up to 17Mb 8.9Mb to 11.5Mb 8.7Mb to 11.3Mb
ee Up to 38Mb 33.3Mb to 35.2Mb 32.9Mb to 34.8Mb
ee Up to 76Mb 59.9Mb to 64.7Mb 59.2Mb to 64.0Mb

This is despite EE's fibre broadband basically being the same product as BT Infinity. Head over to our review for more.

Unlimited connections

EE broadband is completely unlimited - not a fair use policy in sight.

But while they've ditched the old fair use policy, peer to peer users or other heavy downloaders should note that EE do manage traffic on their ADSL network - and their definition of peak hours is rather broad.

ee router

Good free routers

Like pretty much every big broadband provider, EE offer a free router. There are two versions: the EE BrightBox for ADSL and the BrightBox 2 for fibre connections.

Both BrightBoxes are among the better free routers on the market. They have twin aerials and automatic wireless channel hopping, which can help increase speeds and reliability throughout the home.

In addition, BrightBox has four 100Mb Ethernet ports and one USB 2.0 port.

BrightBox 2 has three Ethernet ports, a USB port, and a one gigabit Ethernet port - but this isn't what really differentiates it.

The BrightBox 2 works with the 802.11ac protocol, which will give faster speeds and greater wireless range, as well as including a VDSL2 modem so fibre customers only need the one box.

In addition, EE say the wi-fi signal from the Bright Box 2 is twice as strong as that from its predecessor - and it was awarded Best Buy 2014 by Which? for ease of use.

How's their TV?

In October 2014, EE launched what they called "the UK's most advanced television service", free of charge for people who took both their broadband and mobile services.

The service is still only available to EE customers, and while the basic package hasn't changed, the price has.

It's now being advertised on EE's website as being available from £5 a month - on top of the cost of our broadband and line rental - despite only being a supercharged Freeview box.

We say supercharged, because it has four tuners and a 1TB hard drive - better than most standard set top boxes from other pay TV providers - and it can stream channels or recordings to up to three different devices at the same time.

With the latest update to the box and app, it's also possible to download recordings to our mobile devices to keep and take with us.

When it was launched it was basically a new way of getting Freeview, giving users access to more than 70 digital TV channels and the usual seven day catch-up services.

Now, however, it's got a few extras added: customers can add a premium channel bundle featuring 25 paid-for channels for £4.99 a month, and among the on demand services are Now TV and Wuaki.TV, giving users access to TV box sets, films, and sports events without subscription.

How's the service?

Orange broadband's customer service was infamous down the years, at least among broadband reviewers, for never quite delivering on its promises.

A couple of years ago the head of Orange broadband even apologised for the poor service customers had received.

"Our objective is to get to a point where we are no longer ashamed of what we are doing to our customers - or, to put it positively, where we are proud of what we are doing to our customers," he said.

So have EE turned things around?

We don't want to jinx things for them, but they do appear to be heading in the right direction.

Ofcom figures looking at complaints up until the end of September 2016 show that EE have recovered significantly from their position as the most complained about broadband provider among the biggest ISPs.

Fixed line broadband complaints per 100,000 customers

ofcom complaints

SOURCE: Ofcom Telecoms and Pay TV Complaints, December 2016. Available here [pdf].

That's testament to the commitment they made in September 2015 to improve customer service, following several years when they were, as their customer service officer Francoise Clemes put it, "simply not good enough".

Even during their worst moments, however, many EE customers have had a decent and hassle free service - and customer numbers continued to rise.

All in all

EE started out as a budget broadband provider, with very nearly the cheapest broadband deal in the UK.

They're no longer at the cheaper end of the market, but they do offer decent upgrades on their basic deal - and their customer service, once a serious concern, now shows signs of being much better.

That said, it'll be interesting to see how they continue to fare now they're a part of BT, given their new owner's own chequered customer service record.

Most people reading this will have had some contact with EE already as mobile phone customers - and we think it's generally fair to base any judgements on that.


24 July 2017

We've had EE for a couple of years now and have never had a problem with either ADSL or their Fibre services. We have just recently switched to fibre about 9 months ago and are getting just above the max speed for our plan (78Mbps). Reliability is very good, we've never had an outage for all I can remember, and receive a low latency of 8ms on our connection.

Prior to EE, we had most major ISPs but were either not happy with the service or price. However, EE meet both requirements and I would highly recommend them.

For reference, I am from the East London area.

16 June 2017

Well our internet has always been fine, and all of a sudden it has stopped working and the woman we spoke to was very nice and said she would ring us back regarding our network, and help us to try and get the internet back working - and she never did!

30 November 2016

I've been with EE Broadband (formerly Orange, and before that Freeserve) for years and really haven't had a single problem. I started with dial-up, moved to ISDN. then ADSL and now fibre. I get the promised speed and have not had any downtime. Highly recommended.

10 October 2016

Horrible experience. People, avoid using this company! Our broadband should have come active one month ago and it never did. Called and called, send us an engineer, send us a new router. Nothing worked! Still problem is not sorted. It's ridiculous! Don't make the same mistake as me!

3 October 2016

Absolutely awful! I mean just stay away. I've been with them nearly 1 year and my goodness their customer service don't care! My download speed is 0.32 upload 0.08!!!

They still think I will pay this month

Constant cut outs, they often give no service for days

20 January 2015

After being with Orange broadband for years my tariff shot up as they said I live outside of their network.
How is this possible as they use BT Wholesale which is all that we have here?

» Read more of the latest news

» Search for more guides on broadband and mobile

Follow us or subscribe for FREE updates and special offers