SSE, formally Scottish and Southern Energy, is one of the UK’s best-known energy providers and is often talked about as one of the ‘Big Six’ of energy suppliers. It was formed in 1998 following a merger between Scottish Hydro-Electric and Southern Electric. Its headquarters are in Perth, Scotland and the company employs around 12,000 people across the UK and Ireland. SSE started selling home phone services in 2003 and broadband deals in 2008.
SSE is best known as an energy provider but its broadband services are available to large parts of the UK as well. It promises ‘frustration-free broadband’ which plays into the company’s wider ethos of finding ways to help its customers money and make their lives easier.
SSE’s frustration-free broadband means no price rises during your 18-month contract, no broadband connection charge and no postage or delivery charges.
SSE Broadband offers a simpler pricing policy than many other major internet providers and all of its broadband deals include line rental. SSE offers good value unlimited broadband and phone packages and its energy customers benefit from additional discounts and freebies through its Reward scheme. Its ‘Happiness Guarantee’ also offers customers the chance to cancel without a penalty in the first 60 days and its no-price rise for the 18 months of your contract is going to appeal to many customers.
*Reviews on this page are randomly selected and sourced from an anonymous feedback survey of 7,681 broadband customers conducted by BroadbandDeals.com in July 2020.
SSE offers three different types of broadband packages over an 18-month, fixed-term contract using the Openreach network. All of the packages come with a free wireless router and the promise of no price increases during the length of your 18-month contract.
There are no upfront charges and no exit fee if you decide you are not happy within the first 60 days.
This ADSL package comes with unlimited downloads and an average speed of 11Mbps. This is a perfect package for everyday internet use, browsing, speaking with friends or watching films.
With unlimited downloads and an average speed of 35Mbps, this makes a good choice if your household is regularly streaming, downloading HD movies or files, watching catch-up TV or online gaming.
With unlimited downloads and an average speed of 63Mbps, this is perfect if your internet is being used at the same time by multiple users in your house. You can be safe in the knowledge that you will be able to download big files even if someone else is watching a film in Ultra-HD.
Actual speeds are dependent upon the length and quality of the copper line between your home and the exchange or street cabinet as well as congestion on the service you are accessing.
Of its three packages, the unlimited broadband option is the slowest and most affordable. But with an average speed of 11Mbps it is good enough for casual use of the internet and can handle streaming services like Netflix or NOW TV on one device.
If you have a larger or more demanding household when it comes to playing online games or downloading large files at the same time, then the ultimate fibre deal is for you, with speeds of 35Mbps. The faster plus package, which has an average speed of 63Mbps, will be the best choice for the most demanding households who spend a large part of their lives online.
One of the advantages of choosing SSE broadband is that it uses the Openreach telephone network, which most homes across the UK are able to access. You need to have, or be able to install, a telephone line and be within a range of a telephone exchange which supports it.
You have a choice of four phone options with any of the broadband packages.
Line rental only: All of the calls that you make are on a ‘pay-as-you-go' rate, so you only pay for what you use.
Evening and weekend: Inclusive local, national and UK mobile calls from 7pm to 7am weekdays and anytime at weekends up to midnight Sunday. Maximum duration for inclusive calls – 70 minutes per call. Standard charges apply thereafter.
Anytime: Inclusive local, national and UK mobile calls at any time. Maximum duration for inclusive calls – 70 minutes per call. Standard charge applies thereafter.
Anytime Plus: Inclusive calls to local, national, UK mobiles and to 35 Band A international destinations at any time. Maximum duration for inclusive calls – 70 minutes per call. Standard charge applies thereafter.
SSE Broadband customers receive a free, easy-to-set-up, wireless router when they sign up to help manage their connection.
The Technicolor DWA0120 high-performance router, with its strong signal, security and transfer speeds, uses both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency with band steering technology for optimal performance. You can even share media content with your connected devices via a USB drive.
Sign up to SSE broadband and you'll get access to their Rewards scheme. This gives you benefits for events at The SSE Arena, Wembley, and The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, including access to tickets before they go on general sale, upgrades to SSE lounges, and competitions and prize draws.
Wide coverage — SSE broadband is available anywhere there's a BT telephone exchange.
Fixed price promise — One of SSE’s best selling points is its fixed price guarantee. Only changes to VAT or another relevant tax or levy can increase the monthly cost within your minimum contract period.
60-day Happiness Guarantee — If you aren't happy with any part of your deal, and SSE has been unable to fix the problem, you can leave without penalty in your first 60 days.
Free connection — There are no connection charges or delivery fees for most customers. The exceptions are if you need to have a BT line installed, or if you're in one of SSE's areas where you may be liable to pay a one-off conversion charge should you be switching from a provider not on the Openreach network.
Switching to SSE is quite a straightforward process. Choose your preferred package, sign up and SSE will arrange the switch from your current provider (unless you are on a broadband network outside of the Openreach network), it will email your important documents and let you know if you will require an engineer visit. You’ll then receive a wireless broadband router. Just plug it in on the day of the switch and you’ll be connected and ready to go.
SSE will check which phone and broadband products are available and the speeds available at your new address.
Transferring your existing package is easy. You need to contact SSE and give them your account details, move date, new address and contact telephone numbers and they will help you make the transfer. Moving home with SSE can take around 18 days, so letting them know as soon as the move date is known is best practice.
SSE wants to make moving over as easy as possible. That means there’s no need to order a new router and you can keep your Wi-Fi settings and password the same. When you move, SSE asks you to take your wireless router, filters and cables with you to the new home. Then simply plug them in on the day your new broadband service starts and you will be online.
If your existing router is not compatible with the service you have chosen for your new home, then SSE will send you a new router to arrive three days before your broadband starting date. Then all you have to do is follow the quick setup guide SSE provides and you will be connected within minutes.
If you don’t have a suitable phone line at your new home, SSE says it can install one at no extra cost.
SSE does not charge you for moving your phone and broadband as long as you choose an SSE phone and broadband package for your new home. The only time you will pay extra is if your new package is more expensive than your old one.
However, if you choose not to continue with SSE, you might have a remaining charge to pay on your current contract. Switching your broadband and phone takes around 18 to 20 days.
Once you have moved, SSE will update your account with your new details and send all the phone and broadband bills to your new address.
If you cancel your broadband order with SSE before your service start date, there will be no charge unless you have received your router and you do not return it to them. Once you have told SSE about your cancellation, it will send you a prepaid postage envelope for the return of the router. If the router is not returned within 30 working days an equipment charge of £54 will be added to your account.
If you want to terminate at any point between the broadband service start date and the end of the 18-month contract, there is an early termination charge for every day remaining on the contract.
The packages are covered by the ‘Happiness Guarantee’ promise, which waives termination charges on your contract if you decide to leave your SSE broadband service but only to the first 60 days of the contract.
SSE offers phone support between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday and on Saturdays from 9am to 2pm. You can also use an online contact form to get in touch in writing.
SSE broadband has a single point of contact for both customer service and technical support queries and can be called on 0345 071 9890. The SSE broadband customer service email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
SSE bundle deals are available to new and existing SSE customers as long as you pay by Direct Debit. It means you can choose a bundle with energy, plus broadband and phone or a boiler and heating product. All of the products in the bundles have 12-month fixed term contracts.
If your bundle package includes broadband and phone, SSE will let you know if you need an engineer to visit. They will then post you a wireless broadband router and all you have to do is plug it in on the day of the switch and you are ready to go.
Yes, SSE runs credit and fraud prevention checks on its customers.
SSE is one of a few broadband providers that still operates a traffic management policy. This means it prioritises certain types of internet traffic over others when the network gets busy.
All SSE broadband customers qualify for free internet security software, as well as the chance to buy pre-release concert and sport tickets for events with the SSE Reward scheme.
Free calls are also included with all SSE home phone deals, although the ‘free period’ depends on the package you have signed up for. Select packages also include half-price calls to mobiles and free calls to 20 international destinations.