/ Broadband Provider
Who do you use and are they any good.
Have been with BT the last few years and apart from being it would seem twice as expensive as everyone else they are not doing a very good job of actually providing a reliable service.
EE - owned by BT, same line etc but MUCH nicer to deal with and free 5gb extra data on mobile contract. Previously had a fibre only package with Virgin that was good and cheap but had friends who have had issues with them and billing.
Plusnet owned by BT, service is good, but can't get a VAT receipt without going for a business package
Was with BT on infinity 2 for ages. Eventually ditched them because they expected me as a long term customer to pay significantly more than a new customer and refused to price match themselves, which is a charmingly archaic.
I’m now with Virgin. The speed is much much faster (circa 200mb) and it’s cheaper. I would say it’s less robust though. There is the odd outage and when it’s working there are intermittent issues that seem to me like network issues.
No clear recommendation.. they’re different but no clear winner.
Currently with Plusnet, who have been pretty decent with fairly reliable service, and not too expensive.
About to change to Vodafone for their Gigafast, this week, but a bit worried it'll turn out to be rubbish.
I’ve been with Vodafone for a couple months now. Minimum speed “guaranteed” on my package is 55mbps. As a general rule I’m seeing 70+ which is great, although it drops off occasionally to way below 55.
I’m happy with it but the initial experience of ordering and setting up makes me suspect their customer service will be awful if anything goes wrong - they seemed pretty useless.
Reliability comes down to how good your local infrastructure is. It's how they deal with problems that count. I have had bt in the home and the call centers are useless, doesn't matter what the problem is if they can't fix it by following the script of turn it off and on, unplug it then try again they bounce you to a different department who have the same script, repeat this cycle a few hundred times and it might get sorted.
> makes me suspect their customer service will be awful
Mines been a lot worse than awful.
Thanks for the heads up! They’ve never had a good reputation for customer service so I knew it was a risk. Fingers crossed I don’t need to find out for myself
Good to hear yours is going fairly well thanks.
From what I've heard it's quite variable - they haven't handled demand wel in some areas, leading to lower speeds and bad contention, but it's fine in others.
I've yet to hear anything positive about their customer service...
I use Andrews & Arnold (https://www.aa.net.uk/). You will find cheaper but I'm pretty confident you won't find anyone any better for customer service. I use them at home, work & for my parents. They will sell you a bare copper pair, without an associated phone line.
They are an independent ISP and use wholesale lines provided by BT & Talktalk. They have a constant 1 ping per second monitoring of all the lines they provide. You have full access to all the data monitoring for your lines and are free to alter anything you want. They aggressively hassle BT & Talktalk on your behalf whenever there is a problem. They also have a strong privacy & internet neutrality policy, and have argued the case before select committees. They have not implemented any of the torrent/porn filters imposed by the larger ISPs. A firm run by nerds not shareholders.
They have an impressive 'we will fix your line' policy. If you have a problem line with another provider, you can transfer it to them and they guarantee to take on the fault and sort it out. They will force BT to re-cable your house and swap exchange hardware if necessary.
The best thing though is that they have no call centre. You call them and a network engineer answers the phone. They have diagnosed and fixed awkward firewall rules for me, remotely, in seconds. I had an outage on my parents broadband line a few months ago. I could check online using their diagnostics tools to see how long the line had been down, I could reset their router remotely. I couldn't find the problem so I called them. Engineer answered immediately and within 2 minutes he had extracted the cause of the fault from the BT Openreach system. It was damage to some of their hardware in the street. He had direct access to their logs and could tell me the anticipated time for the job to be fixed.
I'm a Virgin. They have exceptionally crap Customer Service and you have to haggle every year to keep prices down but who else is going to give me fibre optic broadband?
My mate has been a Virgin, the same length of time as me, about 14 years. However he ditched Virgin last month and went with Sky. Halved his contract and gets about 70mbps speeds.
Maybe next year, I'll ditch Virgin if they ask for too much, which is their normal business plan, and go with Sky.
Why should I show brand loyalty if its not reciprocated by ISP's?
Moved from Virgin Media (got fed up with their continual price hikes and having to renegotiate a new contract every year) to Vodafone.
Vodafone give us about half the bandwidth we had with Virgin, but still perfectly acceptable and most importantly it doesn't drop to unusable in the evening which was happening with Virgin as they'd taken on too many folks in our area.
We have been with BT for ages, ie from back in the days of dial up. They are more expensive than some others and I'm more than a bit annoyed by their fibre policy in our area.
About 6 years ago we were asked to express an interest in fibre, which we did. It got as far as BT giving a date for fibre in our area. Unfortunately that was as far as it got. Now there is no indication on the BT website of when fibre might come to us. A couple of years ago Virgin put fibre in the street and I'm guessing BT have now just given up on providing fibre here. We are about 8 miles as the crow flies from Trafalgar Square so I think there would plenty of potential customers for BT fibre, if they could be bothered to do it.
I could move to Virgin but I have read quite a bit about lost connection and bad service from Virgin. The only thing that has kept us with BT is the reliability. I think, in 20 plus years, we have lost the connection twice. However, this is getting more difficult because on a good day download is 6Mbps and upload is usually less than 1Mbps.
> A couple of years ago Virgin put fibre in the street and I'm guessing BT have now just given up on providing fibre here. We are about 8 miles as the crow flies from Trafalgar Square so I think there would plenty of potential customers for BT fibre, if they could be bothered to do it.
Does that mean that, even though there's already a fibre cable along the street, any other company would have to lay its own parallel cable to be able to data-serve customers in that street?
In which case that's mad. It's like building a road, charging a toll and then forcing people to build another parallel road if they think the toll is too high or the road maintenance not good enough.
Whatever is government for if not to coordinate infrastructure for the common good?
Being "bothered to do it" is an accurate description. Anybody who has ever seen how the fibres are joined together will understand why Openreach have zero interest in connecting rural areas or urban areas where they can't efficiently connect, say, an entire building in one go. In a rural environment they have to dig the trench and install the conduit then blow the cable through then set up their tent over the manhole and actually micro-weld the tiny glass fibres together using a precision welding instrument. Sitting at the exchange box a good technician can join about 100 in a day but a slow distracted one manages about 25 a day. This interesting video will give you an idea how enterprising villagers in the Trossachs have dealt with the problem:
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