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Anonymous
(Unregistered)Wed 17-Oct-12 01:06:48
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Fibre or Cable?


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I'm about to move house to an area that has pretty good options all round. Turns out I can get FTTC from both BT and Sky, along with 100 Mb/s cable from Virgin. The exchange is unbundled and has O2 there.

I'm currently an O2 customer in an area without FTTC or cable and have been very happy with them - I live close to an exchange and get a rock solid 20.4 Mb/s down and 2.25 Mb/s up. Going back 4 years when I started with them, that was awesome. Now that's almost retro.

I'm not really sure who to choose. I want fast, so it's probably fibre or cable. I don't know my exact usage, but I've never had moany emails from O2, so I reckon it's under 250 GB a month. I play Xbox Live (well in theory I do, in practice a wife and kids means I don't). I download a fair amount via FTP and there's a lot of SSH traffic to and from servers I run for websites and stuff. I do some P2P, but rather little in the grand scheme of things.

One of the things I've wondered about in reading FUPs for some ISPs is how they throttle P2P traffic. My first experience of throttling was that once throttling kicked in, everything went slower. What about nowadays? If do use some P2P and they decide to throttle that, is it going to affect surfing or Skype, or is that still going to run at full speed? What I find with my P2P usage is that I often seed old things for a long time but use rather little data for them - will P2P applications idling in the background trigger throttling?

On paper, Virgin 100 Mb/s is ~1/3rd faster than 76 Mb/s fibre. And that 100 Mb/s is going to be 120 Mb/s soon. But, in the real world I know contention plays a part - how does it work for cable and fibre? Which is likely to give me the best real world performance?

Performance is my prime consideration with cost being less important (within reason). I'm happy to shift my phone provider as well, but I'm not really fussed about TV (got rid of Sky about 18 months ago) so that's not important.

In my situation, who would you recommend and why?
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Wed 17-Oct-12 09:45:36
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Re: Fibre or Cable?


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
Throttling for P2P on BT (Sky has none) is just the P2P traffic. Virgin Media has the older system where after a certain level all traffic is slowed down including upload.

Compare the upstream speeds, which if doing ssh and uploading media to websites will be a very nice change. If your FTTC estimate is close to 20 Meg then it is double what cable can offer.

Virgin Media generally has less stable latency due to the way it works.

Andrew Ferguson, andrew@thinkbroadband.com
www.thinkbroadband.com - formerly known as ADSLguide.org.uk
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Wed 17-Oct-12 12:47:39
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Re: Fibre or Cable?


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
Plusnet P2P and external FTP throttling is 8pm-10pm only, and restricts it to 2Mbps. Nothing else is affected, and the aim of it is precisely to prevent heavy downloaders interfering with other users' surfing, Skype etc.

On your own connection latency-critical stuff like gaming or VOIP/Skype is prioritised within your bandwidth, to stop your own P2P or streaming wrecking it.

It's an 18-month contract at £19.99 but can be bought out for £6 per outstanding month. Plus if you leave within the first 12 months the "free" router is charged. 250GB peak, unlimited midnight to 8am. Uploads are counted during peak.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk | Domains,website and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - Plusnet Extra Fibre (FTTC). Sync ~ 57.4/14.6Mbps @ 600m. - BQM

"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Allergy information: This post was manufactured in an environment where nuts are present. It may include traces of understatement, litotes and humour.


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Standard User pcoventry76
(knowledge is power) Thu 18-Oct-12 00:48:08
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Re: Fibre or Cable?


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
Id say sky fibre it's the best of those mentioned in this thread. VM have a STM limit twice a day on 100mbps (which you can hit after 13 mins of downloading) and BT have P2P.

As Andrew rightly says Sky have none and it's unlimited

You won't have had any e-mails from O2 as their LLU is also unlimited.

If it was me I would have ( and will have when it comes here) 80/20 from Sky. As VM is a max 12mbps when they upflit everyone.

Oh and the VM service is dire if you want to see look at http://community.virginmedia.com - there are very very few happy customers on there!

Edited by pcoventry76 (Thu 18-Oct-12 00:50:28)

Anonymous
(Unregistered)Sun 21-Oct-12 22:51:22
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Re: Fibre or Cable?


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
Hi, OP again.

Just wanted to say thanks for the responses, I'm glad I asked.

Whilst I knew Virgin had a traffic management policy, I thought it was P2P only and seeing that it applies to all downloads over a period of time sets off alarm bells for me. Buy a boxset on iTunes and bam, that's my hit the download cap. Same applies if I do something like download a CentOS DVD ISO.

Sky work out a bit more expensive if I go for Fibre Unlimited Pro, but it's probably worth it for no limits. I'll consider Plusnet as well as it's only semi limited and I had a good experience with them in the past.
Standard User ukhardy07
(experienced) Sun 21-Oct-12 23:30:37
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Re: Fibre or Cable?


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
I have the Sky fibre unlimited Pro broadband, it's a dream.

I sync at just over 70 Mbps and I get those speeds 24/7. There's often over 10 devices using the service and the router never slows down or gets hot.

It's a great service and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.
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