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Standard User njs
(newbie) Tue 06-Mar-12 11:45:08
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Confused foreigner trying to pick an ISP


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Hi all,

I've just moved to Edinburgh from the States, and am trying to work out a reasonable way of getting broadband to our new flat. We seem to have BT wiring, but that's all I know -- certainly we aren't paying for a line of any kind right now. The postcode checker says we're on the Waverley exchange. BT's online checker claims that we can get ~17Mbps now, and that FTTC will be installed at the end of this month (31/3/2012). We don't need phone or TV service. I'm not sure how many GBs we pull down in a month, but we don't watch streaming video so I doubt we're in the top 10% these days.

From some browsing of the forum here it looks like my best bet is either Sky, or one of the small resellers like ADSL24, Vivaciti, Xilo?

Things I am wary of: 12 month contracts (not necessarily ruling these out, but it's also possible we'll be moving again in 6 months once our first lease runs out, so... and there's this FTTC thing dangling temptingly...). Punitive costs/limits on daytime usage (my wife will usually be at home and online all day).

Things I like: minimal throttling/blocking/BS. Low latency. IPv6 for the nerd cred. Upload speed might be nice for off-site backups.

Things I am confused by: "Line rental" -- most of the packages I'm seeing are broadband-only, does this mean I also need to order a phone line from BT or something? "Cease charges" -- I thought the difference between a contract and month-to-month was whether you had to pay a fee to leave early, but apparently both types of services have such fees now...? Vivaciti's website -- is there something wrong with using tables to compare things side-by-side? wink

I'd really appreciate it if you all could give some advice. Or even just explain in small words exactly how much it would cost, end-to-end, to take some arbitrary plan or two for, say, 6 months. Thanks in advance!
Standard User john2007
(legend) Tue 06-Mar-12 15:23:18
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Re: Confused foreigner trying to pick an ISP


[re: njs] [link to this post]
 
You'll need to pay for phone line rental (approx. £12 per month) in addition to your chosen ISP's broadband charge.

I never remember if you currently need to have a minimum of 12 months line rental or not.

Have you plugged a phone into the BT socket? Do you have a dial tone?

I think it costs of the order of £100 for the line to be reactivated for phone (and ADSL). That charge may be avoidable if you have a dial tone.

In the first instance I'd look at Vivacit and Xilo for broadband. At a guestimate that'll be £20 a month.

Also expect to pay of the order of £30 start-up and £30 cease fees for the broadband.

These are ALL ballpark figures.
Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Tue 06-Mar-12 15:57:34
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Re: Confused foreigner trying to pick an ISP


[re: john2007] [link to this post]
 
Post Office Telephone is monthly.

Plusnet is 10 days but requires the new customer to take Plusnet broadband as well.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk
My domains,website and mail hosting - Tsohost. Internet connection - Plusnet Value Fibre.

"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.


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Standard User john2007
(legend) Tue 06-Mar-12 16:03:25
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Re: Confused foreigner trying to pick an ISP


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
So that means line rental from the Post Office and broadband through Plusnet would make sense. Certainly worth looking at Plusnet.
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Tue 06-Mar-12 16:33:52
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Re: Confused foreigner trying to pick an ISP


[re: john2007] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by john2007:
So that means line rental from the Post Office and broadband through Plusnet would make sense. Certainly worth looking at Plusnet.
Nut their adsl offerings are subject to throttling and bt dlm, plus the iwf filter and any other censoring they may or may not perform after all they are owned by BT
Standard User john2007
(legend) Tue 06-Mar-12 16:37:26
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Re: Confused foreigner trying to pick an ISP


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
I guess you mean throttling of P2P. If you don't use P2P it has no effect. At least Plusnet give clear guidance as to how they prioritise various type of traffic.
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Tue 06-Mar-12 16:39:25
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Re: Confused foreigner trying to pick an ISP


[re: john2007] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by john2007:
I guess you mean throttling of P2P. If you don't use P2P it has no effect. At least Plusnet give clear guidance as to how they prioritise various type of traffic.
I wouldn't use em,
Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Tue 06-Mar-12 17:17:17
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Re: Confused foreigner trying to pick an ISP


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Anonymous:
Nut their adsl offerings are subject to throttling and bt dlm, plus the iwf filter and any other censoring they may or may not perform after all they are owned by BT
The Pro option at £5pm makes everything line speed, and I think also gets the prioritised routing from BT Wholesale. The ADSL2+ DLM is pretty good since it was revised/replaced. Instant profile changes, at 88.2% of sync, and an automatic 3dB noise margin on stable lines. Only the 20CN one is still the rubbish you are thinking of.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk
My domains,website and mail hosting - Tsohost. Internet connection - Plusnet Value Fibre.

"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.
Standard User njs
(newbie) Tue 06-Mar-12 19:49:40
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Re: Confused foreigner trying to pick an ISP


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Thanks, this is all very useful!

Ok, it sounds like we do have a dial tone, and 17070 gave me a number.

So if I'm understanding right: if I want to get month-to-month service, then two options that have been mentioned are:
1) Get phone+internet from Plusnet. This would be £13/mo line rental, £11.50/mo broadband, £5/mo to disable throttling, so £29.50/mo would be the total charge. (Mostly making sure I understand what the pieces of the bill are, not asking anyone to actually check these numbers.)
2) Get phone from Post Office (£12.25/mo) and then that would let me get broadband from anyone (so a monthly bill of £12.25+whatever).
These both seem like plausible options.

Is there such a thing as FTTC broadband that doesn't have a 12+ month contract? What does happen if you sign up for FTTC and then move...?
Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Tue 06-Mar-12 20:07:03
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Re: Confused foreigner trying to pick an ISP


[re: njs] [link to this post]
 
Is there such a thing as FTTC broadband that doesn't have a 12+ month contract?
Quite a few are 18 months. BT Infinity and Plusnet Fibre for starters.

But that isn't quite as bad as it sounds. For instance, on my Plusnet Value Fibre connection I can cancel at 10 days notice. I would have to pay £40 for the "free router" if that was within my first 12 months, and £4 for every outstanding month of the eighteen. Which is a darn sight better than the outstanding months at £16.49.
What does happen if you sign up for FTTC and then move...?
No idea. On ADSLx most companies allow one free move per year but the costs to them of an FTTC move would be higher. There is also the question of whether FTTC was available at the new location. If it wasn't, I would expect you to be offered ADSLx at the price for that or cancellation at your expense as above.

That's what happens with things like O2 LLU. Move to where there isn't O2 LLU and you go onto the far more expensive rubbish O2 Access service. Or pay to leave. Of course, a downgrade from FTTC should end up cheaper rather than more expensive.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk
My domains,website and mail hosting - Tsohost. Internet connection - Plusnet Value Fibre.

"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.
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