All you need to know about Shell Energy Broadband
Shell Energy is the broadband provider formerly known as First Utility. Shell Energy broadband offers a straightforward selection of broadband deals with low prices and no end of contract price rises. It also boasts an “award winning” UK customer service team and offers discounts on petrol.
What happened to First Utility, and how is Shell Energy different?
Shell announced its acquisition of First Utility in 2017, and completed the takeover in early 2018. However it only rebranded First Utility to Shell Energy in 2019.
Shell Energy offers roughly the same kind of broadband services as it did when it was known as First Utility, with a choice of ADSL and fibre optic internet, for around the same cost and with the same Wi-Fi router. The major difference, aside from the name, is that you can now claim a discount on petrol.
What does Shell Energy Broadband offer?
Shell Energy uses the Openreach (BT line) telephone network to deliver its broadband services. This puts it in line with almost every other ISP in offering the same choice of either ADSL or fibre optic broadband.
Line rental is included with all Shell Energy deals. Shell does not offer broadband only: you must take the phone line with the broadband (but you can port an existing number). There are no inclusive calls as standard, but if you do use the phone regularly there is an option to add evening and weekend calling, anytime calls or international calling, for an additional monthly fee.
Shell Broadband coverage and speed
Shell keeps things simple with just three packages offering a choice of speeds that should suit most households:
- Fast Broadband: 11Mb average download speed
- Superfast Fibre: 35Mb average download speed
- Superfast Fibre Plus: 63Mb average download speed
These speeds are approximately the same as most other ISPs using the Openreach telephone network. Some providers advertise slightly faster fibre speeds, but as these are averages the actual performance could be slightly quicker or slower than quoted.
As it uses the Openreach network most homes will be able to get Shell broadband. ADSL is available to almost all premises, and the vast majority can now get fibre optic too.
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Shell Energy Broadband usage limits and traffic management
All Shell deals have unlimited usage, and Shell says it does not use traffic management. However, its terms and conditions also state that Shell may “change your Service, (including without limitation, your broadband Transmission Speed)” for use of “an application or program that places excessive bandwidth demands on the Broadband Service for continued periods”. While this may only apply to a very small percentage of users, other unlimited broadband providers clearly state they have no limits regardless of how much you download or upload.
Shell Energy Broadband - the Broadband Genie review
Shell deals, while not the very cheapest you can find, are good value, especially as the price does not automatically increase at the end of the contract which means you may not need to switch after 18 months to get the best price (but it’s always worth seeing what else is out there). The 3% discount on fuel could also be a welcome bonus if you regularly fill up at their stations.
The most notable downsides are the outdated single band Wi-Fi router and a vague usage policy which, while it probably won’t impact most home users, could trip up anyone expecting to take Shell’s offer of unlimited broadband at face value.