SSE Buyers Guide
Can I get SSE?
SSE are a relative newcomer to the broadband and phone market but are well established in the energy sector, trading in Scotland as Scottish Hydro, South England as Southern Electric, Wales as SWALEC and Northern England as SSE.
Despite only selling energy services in particular regions, SSE broadband is available wherever there's a BT telephone exchange. They offer the same prices regardless of where you live.
In some areas SSE may make savings by using their own equipment installed in the BT telephone exchange, but these savings are shared with all customers. The same standard broadband prices and features are available wherever you live. Fibre to the cabinet services are also available, to get these both your exchange and street cabinet must have been upgraded to support fibre.
You can find out which SSE Broadband products are available where you live with our postcode checker.
What packages are available?
SSE offer standard ADSL and Fibre broadband packages:
- SSE Unlmited Broadband + Line Rental - up to 17Mb speeds with unlimited usage and only pay for the calls you use◊
- SSE Unlmited Fibre + Line Rental - up to 38Mb speeds with unlimited usage and only pay for the calls you use◊
- SSE Fibre Plus + Line Rental - up to 76Mb speeds with unlimited usage and only pay for the calls you use◊
Existing SSE energy customers can get these packages at a fixed price for three years with no connection fee, though new customers can benefit from this deal by signing up for energy at the same time.
The speed available to you will vary based on various factors including the time of day (speeds are likely to be slower at peak times like evenings when lots of people are online), the wiring in your home, and the distance from your nearest BT telephone exchange or cabinet, with speeds decreasing the further away you are. You can find out how close you are to your nearest exchange by using our postcode checker.
Which package should I choose?
If you're interested in a budget provider like SSE, it's likely that cost effectiveness and value for money are important factors to you.
SSE packages cover a range of needs for the budget user. Ultimately your choice will be based on how much you make use of your landline, how big an allowance you need, and if you think a superfast fibre connection is something you would benefit from.
If you're a frequent downloader, rely on Cloud storage or make heavy use of HD video streaming services like iPlayer, Netflix or NOW TV, or you need to make a lot of calls during the week, then the Everyday Broadband option may be a better choice.
For those looking for higher speed fibre packages, the Fibre package offers unlimited broadband at fibre speeds. Be sure to get a speed estimate before you sign up, if your predicted speed isn't much higher than Everyday broadband, it may not be worth the extra cost.
Points to consider before you choose
- Is low price the most important factor for you?
- How often do you use your landline to make calls and at what times of day?
- Are you a heavy user of streaming video or a heavy downloader?
- Do you need the higher speeds offered by a fibre connection and is your exchange and street cabinet set up to support this?
What do I get when I sign-up?
It's always good to know upfront what you'll get when signing up with an ISP so you know what you can enjoy for free, or to budget for any extras you may want.
- Inclusive wireless router - SSE Broadband customers receive a free, easy to set up, N-rated wireless router when they sign up to help manage their connection.
- SSE Security Suite† - The SSE Internet Security Suite includes antivirus, firewall and parental controls, free during the 18 months of your contract, then an extra £2 per month. Users must download the application to receive these benefits, the subscription may be cancelled at any time.
- Free connection for existing energy customers - SSE offer free installations on their broadband and phone packages#, saving on some of the ‘hidden costs’ that ISPs can surprise you with.
What are the benefits of SSE?
The benefits offered by an ISP may be what seals the deal in your decision to buy a package from them.
- Long fixed price plans - One of SSE’s main selling points is the length of their fixed price plans, although you are able to leave at any time with 1 month's notice, the price you'll pay each month you stay on is fixed for a huge 3 year term. Only changes to VAT or another relevant tax or levy can increase the monthly cost within that period.
- Short contracts - All of SSE's packages are on 1 month rolling contracts, including fibre products
- Free UK-based technical support - SSE’s customer support is based in the UK and provided online or via a free 0800 number, meaning that you don’t have to pay to be on hold if things go wrong.
What are the drawbacks of SSE?
Let's face it, not everything can be perfect, and even the best deals may have a downside.
- Few extras - SSE currently only offer a free router and Internet security software with their broadband packages, and lack extra incentives in comparison to many other providers. However, this more 'no frills' approach means they are able to concentrate more on the provision of your broadband and phone services.
- Limited information - There's very little detailed information on the SSE website about telephone support opening hours and the typical ADSL headline speeds. We would usually recommend that customers research these before signing up to a provider, though SSE should provide you with information about what speeds your line can support during the sign-up process.
- The best deal goes to energy customers - SSE's cheapest headline three year fixed price plans are actually reserved for their energy customers, or those who're willing to switch their energy supply to SSE. If you're not wth SSE for gas or electric then you'll find that you have to pay a £30 one-off activation fee and after the first 12 months you'll pay a higher price every month above the 3 years fixed price for energy customers.
Δ The estimate of your download speed is a guideline of what you're likely to experience using the broadband service. Your actual speed may vary due to other factors, such as your home environment, the weather or network capacity.
# 1.Free connection is available to existing energy customers purchasing a fixed term talk and broadband bundle. 2.Subject to availability. SSE have the right to withdraw this offer at any time.
† Internet security suite includes antivirus, firewall and parental controls to restrict internet access to minors. Customers have to pro-actively download the application to benefit from these features. Subscription can be cancelled any time by contacting SSE's customer service line. After the 18 month initial term, the subscription price is £2 per month.
◊ Inclusive Talk calls are for (i) local and national numbers beginning 01, 02 and 03 and (ii) 0845 & 0870 numbers. Excludes indirect access numbers and dial-up internet access. Inclusive calls are free up to 70 minutes. Any call duration over 70 minutes will be charged. Redial before 70 minutes to avoid charges. Fair use policy applies - maximum 1,000 minutes or 150 calls a month; whichever you reach first. If either of these limits is exceeded SSE will charge for these calls at the equivalent rate for non-inclusive periods. Daytime calls mean from 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday; Evening calls before 7am and after 7pm Monday to Friday; Weekend calls midnight Friday to midnight Sunday. For more information about call charges, see the Call Charges and Tariff Information PDF available from SSE product pages.
ºº For more information see the Call Charges and Tariff Information PDF available from SSE product pages.