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Standard User Ewok
(fountain of knowledge) Sun 18-Feb-18 17:06:02
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selecting a 76mb FTTC isp


[link to this post]
 
I currently have VM 200mb and love it, 220mb every day, every night with zero slowdowns. However I am moving house in a couple of months. I am literally moving 1 road over, but it seems VM do not cover that road (it is still the same exchange but I assume that road was never cabled when VM took it over from C&W and VM have done nothing to it since).

That leaves me with various FTTC options. The checker says I can get 43-61mb. I am well aware they are all going to run at the same speed *to the exchange*, what I am more interested in is throttling and the quality of their network/peering which will ultimately affect the connection. And I assume once the connection gets past the exchange, it then moves over that isp''s own network, producing different speeds and quality of connection depending on their network and how good their peering is.

So I now have to select from BT, Sky, plusnet, voda, zen, aaisp, talktalk, idnet.

I am trying to weigh up the pros and cons of each. I play online games where ping and quality of connection is essential as well as download a fair bit (nothing huge, maybe 200-300gb in a big month, I use the 4k netflix as well). Any supplied router will be used in modem mode as I will use my own router.
Voda - £27 but known for terrible service and I am not sure their network will be particularly good as they are not a proper isp
Talktalk - £30, 12 months. Not sure how good their network is or how good their service is, guaranteed no price rises and this looks like a strong contender.
Sky - £30 but 18 month contract instead of 12. the best tv supplier in the country but not interested in that at this point. not sure about strength of network or service.
plusnet - £31.99, well known good isp, i would expect their network to be good but they are also quite cheap so not sure how good it would be for stable low pings and peering. customer service has gone down but probably still better than most.
zen £43.99, very expensive but should provide a very good network and very good service
aaisp £45, most expensive and provides no modem and no phone line either, will provide top network and service, but i seriously doubt it is worth £15per month more than talktalk, sky or plusnet, assuming those provide a good service.
BT £44.99 but drops to £35 taking into account the £175 gift card over the 18 months. potentially good network due to close links with openreach and being a long established isp I would expect good peering too. Not particularly cheap even with the gift card, known for poor service but better than voda.

I am struggling to pick a winner from that lot. Ordinarily ignoring price I would have just gone for AAISP, and then Zen (coming from Nildram back in the day, I am used to top notch connections and paying extra for it). But I think they have both priced themselves out of the market and I don't think I can justify paying £45 a month just for the broadband which is a 50% markup on the likes of talktalk and sky when I don't know I will get ANY benefit from it what so ever AND be stuck with a 200gb usage cap which isnt enough.

I have done a bit of reading and all I see is various comments about them being the same due to them all using the same openreach product, without addressing the fact that each isp will have their own network beyond the exchange and their own peering arrangements. So does anyone have any insights that might help me make a decision here?

I think it is likely to come down to BT, plusnet, IDNET or AA.

Edited by Ewok (Sun 18-Feb-18 20:44:30)

Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Sun 18-Feb-18 17:45:52
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Re: selecting a 76mb FTTC isp


[re: Ewok] [link to this post]
 
Have you checked the speed estimate for the address you are looking at, since to get the best speeds you need to be close the VDSL2 cabinet

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User Ewok
(fountain of knowledge) Sun 18-Feb-18 18:22:20
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Re: selecting a 76mb FTTC isp


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Yeah it says I should get around 61mb max and 43mb min. I am sure it said I would get 64mb a couple of weeks ago. Either way it seems to think I won't get near the 76mb but should beat the 52mb easily enough. I hope its a conservative estimate and I would get nearer 65mb+ but I can get what I can get, so nothing I can do about it either way I think.

Having read some reviews of AAISP I am starting to lean towards them, despite the high cost. But I am still not sure the cost will be worth it due to the limits of speed on the line being identical for whoever I go with. If AA could get me a sigficantly faster speed from the line then it would definitely be worth it.

Edited by Ewok (Sun 18-Feb-18 19:56:24)


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Standard User Realalemadrid
(member) Sun 18-Feb-18 18:27:17
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Re: selecting a 76mb FTTC isp


[re: Ewok] [link to this post]
 
I seem to remember reading on their Community forum that since PlusNet moved to their new network, which is dedicated BT wholesale backhaul, the traffic prioritisation has been removed, possibly because the equipment they were using was incompatible with the new network. You could ask on the forum, anyone can create a username, you don't have to be a customer.
Standard User brookheather
(newbie) Sun 18-Feb-18 18:50:20
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Re: selecting a 76mb FTTC isp


[re: Ewok] [link to this post]
 
I renewed with Plusnet last week and they matched the current Vodafone offer of £27 per month (if I was a Vodafone mobile user they would have matched the £24 offer). I like the call bundles that Plusnet offer such as anytime minutes to mobiles and international calls which seem to be cheaper than other providers including related ISPs BT and EE.
Standard User Ewok
(fountain of knowledge) Sun 18-Feb-18 19:00:03
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Re: selecting a 76mb FTTC isp


[re: brookheather] [link to this post]
 
Good price, better than new customers can get at £30! I wonder what they would offer me as a current VM customer who gets 200mb, the middle tv package, line rental and weekend calls....for £30 tongue If I could stay with VM then I would but it seems they can''t be bothered cabling 1 road over to pick up the few hundred extra customers they could potentially get.
Standard User Ewok
(fountain of knowledge) Sun 18-Feb-18 19:01:24
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Re: selecting a 76mb FTTC isp


[re: Realalemadrid] [link to this post]
 
If they have a new network that sounds promising, I would assume it has good bandwidth and peering if its new too.
Standard User steve195527
(newbie) Sun 18-Feb-18 20:26:32
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Re: selecting a 76mb FTTC isp


[re: Ewok] [link to this post]
 
I know in theory all the suppliers should give the same speed on the 76mb fttc service but I have used sky,plusnet and ident of the cheaper ones plusnet was the best, of the 3 thoughi idnet is fastest and most consistent and with far lower pings but is more expensive
one thing to consider is how they are when things go wrong,I had long standing issues on my line hence the move from sky:-they didn't get it sorted,plusnet also didn't get things sorted so tried idnet ,they identified the issue and using the same openreach service (just as sky and plusnet did for over 3yrs combined!)got the problem sorted within a month!It helps having support who know what they are doing and looking for when things do go wrong,they also answer the phone within about 30secs not 30 mins like the other 2!(even at 2am when I had done something stupid to my router!)
Standard User ukhardy07
(knowledge is power) Sun 18-Feb-18 20:29:00
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Re: selecting a 76mb FTTC isp


[re: Ewok] [link to this post]
 
I have had BT, TalkTalk and Sky.

BT and TalkTalk service wise it was perfect. Sky has been a bit hit and miss at 3 properties of mine now, struggling to reach 4K streaming which needs approx 15Mbps, but it would only reach streams of around 3Mbps at peak hours (720P), has gone down twice this year alone at around 1AM, but still have an IP and Sync to the exchange (weirdly it did this at my other 2 properties time to time, one 75 miles away). Definitely not an issue my end based on the sync being up.

BT has better customer service and a good escalation process for complaints. Sky are very nice, friendly, but my experience has been they don't fix the actual issue, they just speak good english.

TalkTalk customer service was absolutely horrendous, but the connection was just fine and as reliable as BTs. All the way up to the Exec team they are dire for customer service.

In my view, your choice is to pay more for BT, or pay less and know full well you have very bad customer service.

Personally I say avoid the following, based on congestion posts I have seen: SSE, Zen, Vodafone, Post Office. Others often complain I bash these providers, but fact is there are a bunch of congestion posts.

Never used PlusNet but over the years it seems to have been a bit mixed.

AAISP is a very good choice if you want to spend more and have excellent support.

Out of all the mass market ISPs BT has by far the best router in terms of WiFi range and overall speed. It is an AC2600 device, usually £150+ new for a same spec device in currys etc.

Edited by ukhardy07 (Sun 18-Feb-18 20:32:58)

Standard User Ewok
(fountain of knowledge) Sun 18-Feb-18 20:40:40
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Re: selecting a 76mb FTTC isp


[re: steve195527] [link to this post]
 
I am definitely considering AA, and I could probably stretch to the pricing of their 200mb package which will end up at £45 after paying £10 for the copper, but it's the 200gb limit that kills it. If it was 400 then sign me up now, but I don't want to constantly worry about the usage and at 200gb I would have to, plus usage is going to continue going up as higher quality streaming gets more and more common. The 300gb package is simply not worth it since that would be £55 with a 1tb package "only" £60 making the 300gb package pretty pointless. But I wont pay £60 a month.

Looked at idnet, they seem good and are unlimited. But they will be £50 and as far as I can tell are not quite as good as AA.
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