Broadband Disaster

Mike0001

Well-Known Member
Indeed. But they are more expensive than Plusnet with less bang for your buck.

When I was with them for 3 months a few years back, Plusnet were ridiculously slow. Sometimes I was getting download speeds as low as a few kB/sec on their premium package. (I kid you not!) I queried this and they said their contention ratio was about 20:1, but, being as not everyone was using all that 1/20th capacity all the time(!) they operated a further 20:1 contention contention ratio on top of that. (400:1?) When I pursued this on their forum, they banned me from it. I changed back to BT, and all those slow speed problems vanished!

I suppose they are better now. I live in Sheffield, by the way, home of Plusnet.
 

gomezz

Well-Known Member
I am trying to decide between sticking with 8Mbps ADSL for the same money I pay O2 or switch to fibre for about double the money for a claimed 67Mbps. The lower speed is plenty for for my current needs though so a tricky one to call.
 

socrates

Member
I've been with Demon for years - not the fastest ( 4 - 5 Mbps ) but absolutely reliable. I can't recall ever losing service for more than a couple of hours. However they are expensive at around £24 pm. They are now offering an 'upgrade' to ADSL2+ with an unspecified increase in performance and unlimited data for around the same price. I currently use nowhere near my 60Gb monthly limit and from what I read ADSL2+ on the poor quality lines we have locally can actually lead to worse performance. So I too am looking for a good alternative.

Some of the cheaper ones have low limits which may be restrictive now I'm starting to stream more video. Others have service and reliability issues. I took the step of getting my own domain for email purposes some time ago in readiness to move isp but so far inertia has prevailed. So if anyone can recommend an isp with a long term reliability record but a better price I'd certainly be interested.
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
The problem I have is that (apart from the excellent relationship I have had with their customer support, on the rare occasion I have needed it) I get a discounted price for O2 broadband as a package with my mobile phone contract. OK, it's gone up from the £7.50 per month I was paying, but it's still only £10-ish for 2.5Mbps (which has been clocked at 3Mbps) and is fine for my needs.
 

gomezz

Well-Known Member
I am in the same boat on that one. Does not that discount form part of the T&C of your contract and hence cannot just be done away with unilaterally?
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
It's not (as far as I know) part of the contract for the provision of mobile phone services, it would be in the broadband contract - but I'm sure there will be a get-out clause. The phone companies have, after all, been able to wriggle out of fixed monthly charges even within the duration of the contract.
 

socrates

Member
I presume BH's issue is not T&Cs but aversion to Sky.

I have a good phone package with BT so could probably get a good broadband bundle - the only question is the very mixed reviews it gets. Mind you, Demon gets some poor reviews too and my only complaint is price. I guess it's just the usual problem of only those with problems speaking out.

A good modem makes a hell of a difference. I used to get<2Mbps like all my neighbours. I put in a Billion modem and now get between 4 and 5 Mbps. ISP supplied modems seem generally poor.
 

Mike0001

Well-Known Member
I presume BH's issue is not T&Cs but aversion to Sky.

I have a good phone package with BT so could probably get a good broadband bundle - the only question is the very mixed reviews it gets. Mind you, Demon gets some poor reviews too and my only complaint is price. I guess it's just the usual problem of only those with problems speaking out.

A good modem makes a hell of a difference. I used to get<2Mbps like all my neighbours. I put in a Billion modem and now get between 4 and 5 Mbps. ISP supplied modems seem generally poor.

I get over 40Mbps, and that is over a WiFi router, too, connected to the modem at the other end of our house via Homeplug! (For historical reasons, out telephone line comes in via an upstairs bedroom which I used to work from.) Can't be bothered to go upstairs and connect directly to the modem to see what speed I really get, but my theoretical limit on this contract is slightly higher.
 

socrates

Member
Mike - you don't say who your ISP is.

Unfortunately such speeds are just not on offer in my area. Though as I am currently able to stream video quite comfortably I'm not sure I would get much benefit from them anyway - I'm not into online gaming and suchlike.
 

Mike0001

Well-Known Member
Mike - you don't say who your ISP is.

Unfortunately such speeds are just not on offer in my area. Though as I am currently able to stream video quite comfortably I'm not sure I would get much benefit from them anyway - I'm not into online gaming and suchlike.

BT Infinity. I don't do online gaming.
 

socrates

Member
BT is looking good. I'm currently paying about £45pm in total for my BT unlimited call package plus the Demon service whereas adding the unlimited broadband option to my BT package gives a total of about £22. Just need to unpick the offers a bit - they anticipate broadband users adding phone but not vice versa. And for an extra fiver or so I could get Youview - or maybe not.

Demon have offered a reduced rate but they'd have to be virtually free to compete.
 

Mike0001

Well-Known Member
BT is looking good. I'm currently paying about £45pm in total for my BT unlimited call package plus the Demon service whereas adding the unlimited broadband option to my BT package gives a total of about £22. Just need to unpick the offers a bit - they anticipate broadband users adding phone but not vice versa. And for an extra fiver or so I could get Youview - or maybe not.

Demon have offered a reduced rate but they'd have to be virtually free to compete.

This is good

Broadband Speed Map
 

socrates

Member
Mike - yes I use that map. It suggests I'm firmly in the mid band for the area, with no clear performance leader apart from the lucky few able to get BT Infinity.

It can also be difficult to draw conclusions - eg some of the more popular ISPs show some poor performances but is that because they have more of the less technical users who just use the supplied router on an extension line? Certainly seems to be the case with some of my neighbours. Although we share the same crummy lines my performance is now much better due to the modem upgrade.
So looks like BT for me ( o2 looks competitive but there's the Sky thing - would it still perform given a bargepole of infinite length?
 

AndrewB

New Member
I'll give a shout for Plusnet... I'm on their "unlimited" contract, the "up to" 16Mb/s one.

In terms of contention ratio and transfer rate: I'm a typical out-of-office-hours user, but I can always saturate my line speed - i.e. I have no speed restriction due to contention. Caveat: due to my distance from the exchange (and some dodgy aluminium-cored wiring locally) my line speed is only get around 3Mb/s, so perhaps that's easy to saturate anyway.

In terms of customer service: we've been on Plusnet for many years, as has my mum. We've found the call centre to be superb whenever we've had any trouble, so I couldn't fault the customer service either.

Oh, and they do a discount for people who successfully refer new customers ;-) See, at least I'm honest and declare it..!

But full marks to Black Hole for looking around, rather than just automatically paying Murdoch for his broadband.
 
OP
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I received my first email from Sky today:
As you may well know, we've now bought O2 and BE home broadband and home phone businesses, and we're really excited to welcome you to Sky.

We'll be bringing your services over to Sky's network starting later this year. Until then, you'll continue to get exactly the same home broadband and phone service (if you have it with O2 or BE) as you do now. Right now, you don't need to do a thing.

If you have any questions, you can find more information and details on how to contact Sky here

We'll shortly be sending you a welcome pack in the post, which will explain what's happening in more detail. But for now we just wanted to say hello.

Kind Regards,
Sky Home Communications Team
If they're excited to have me, just wait 'til they find out how excited I am to have them...
 
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