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(Unregistered)Fri 04-Feb-11 19:48:46
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F2S > Opal >TalkTalk Business > where now ???

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Having been well and truly shafted with this change 4 days ago (endless trouble: hundreds of our email address flows simply stopped, unable to login to Account and Billing webpages, plaintext passwords in http streams driving our IDS/IPS mad with alerts when logging onto their "accounts website", a sudden 40GB limit per month imposed, bad peak-time slowdowns, unreachable Customer Support for 4 days now, the list goes on)

Can anyone recommend an equivalent business ISP for mainland UK use comparable F2S or F2S/Opal? My management blacklisted TalkTalk group companies today, so I'm looking for reasonable reports.

400+ Work-From Home users, currently Ex-F2S/Opal/TalkTalkBusiness" ADSL over BT (none are LLU as far as we know, nor are many of them on LLU exchanges) on semi-rural ADSL1 exchanges.

All are North of England and Southern Scotland.

36 Town-Centre offices ( of these 35 are dual-homed with CARP failover to A&A already).

We have our own CPE deployed and have 24hour staff cover for ALL tech.

We don't need BGP, or anything fancy, just reasonable ADSL with a hands-off approach,

We failover (automatically) to PSTN dialup on an "adjacent" PSTN line, that currently has no ADSL provision except in the Town-Centre locations.

We're also required (by one of our contracts) to be IPv6 reachable at most locations by end of Q3/2011, although we could tunnel it for a few month beyond that because the endpoints are Debian workstations and a few NetBSD printer/cutters.

Traffic at most locations is around 120GBs per month, 95% of it in the daytime, with around 20GB per month upload for backups flowing out after midnight.

IPv6 will become the predominant transit in 2012 because of the nature business we will be handling (we're currently tunnelling it with HE) because the latest batch of work is done on IPv6-only accessible kit at the far end. Thought on this are encouraged, we can't tunnel forever, but we apparently can't afford A&A with that level of average traffic.

Thanks in advance chaps and chapesses

Roger M.
Standard User vivaciti
(fountain of knowledge) Fri 04-Feb-11 20:51:28
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Re: F2S > Opal >TalkTalk Business > where now ???

[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
Is that around 120GB per month x 400?
Vivaciti Broadband
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Standard User krazykizza
(fountain of knowledge) Fri 04-Feb-11 21:13:13
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Re: F2S > Opal >TalkTalk Business > where now ???

[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
My management blacklisted TalkTalk group companies today

Does that even include Tiscali wholesale?

but we apparently can't afford A&A with that level of average traffic

Your right, 120GB monthly per premises would be very costly for your business on A&A.

Have you considered looking at a L2TP connection for all of your businesses to tap into? You'd buy the Mbps you need and then provide access to your locations like a virtual reseller.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
AOL > Virgin Media > Tiscali > Falconnet > UKFSN > Norfolk Internet
2mbps > Shapped 512k > 1mbps! > 6.5mbps > 4.5mbps > 6.5mbps
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Standard User yarwell
(sensei) Sat 05-Feb-11 11:21:31
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Re: F2S > Opal >TalkTalk Business > where now ???

[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
you could become an Entanet partner and "resell" to yourself. Business 135 / Business 180 packages at under 40 and under 50 per month using Max Premium or EBE. Numbers are peak GB 0800-2000

Enta are active in IPv6 not sure of exact status.

At 400+ users I would expect you to be negotiating a deal rather than picking off price lists.


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Standard User Drew_M
(learned) Sat 05-Feb-11 11:37:20
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Re: F2S > Opal >TalkTalk Business > where now ???

[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]

If that is really 120Gb per site, then you have a large requirement and for any ISP on BT Wholesale's network that is going to cost.

From our point if view, to cover off the easy bits first:

IPv6: We run native IPv6 and our network is dual stacked v4 & v6, no tunnels. In the next two weeks we will be providing all our customers with IPv6 IP address allocations as standard (See this link).

ADSL Connection types: We only use BT based connections, so can offer ADSL Max, ADSL2+ & FTTC in either single or bonded options, depending on what is available at your local exchange and in line with our commitment

For your requirement, I would be happy to look at some kind of vISP style arrangement. As one poster suggested you could go for L2TP feed but this has set up costs and a need for routers, co-lo etc which might be a step too far for you but I would be happy to discuss this as an option.

The alternative, which might give you a suitable compromise, would be buying the connections in a wholesale style, so a price per tail and then aggregating your bandwidth over the connections with you paying by the Mbit/s for the bandwidth used.

You might find that if you have very heavy bandwidth sites, you can get better value (and connection!) from a leased line. This is obviously postcode dependent and a 'call to discuss' option wink

If any of this is of interest, please feel free to contact me.


(Unregistered)Sun 06-Feb-11 05:10:54
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Re: F2S > Opal >TalkTalk Business > where now ???

[re: Drew_M] [link to this post]
Thanks for the input so far, in reply to the questions:

I'd assume Tiscali was a no-no, I'll check with the beancounter early this week, I'm on a weekend maintenance shift right now (5am Sunday morning)
yes, it's an average of 120GB per month incoming to most places.
There's a lot of design stuff flowing in and lots of video scenes (one lot does video enhancement, another does product design) The end-products are usually couriered or posted out.
The town offices are unrelated (in business arm terms) to the heavy users but do have 20-30 users 9-5 Mon-Sat doing your average "stuff". No voip though. Ntop keeps an eye on abuses quite nicely for us there.

For reference, the "old product" is/was F2S "unlimited" ADSLmax Premium 8M down / 800k up for about 19+VAT per month, all non LLU. We haven't had a single "heavy use" type letter/email in 5 years of continuous running under F2S.
At the start of the month it's was rebranded TalkTalkBusiness - then suddenly throughput at all sites seems hard-capped at half a meg down, the domain email has simply stopped, the user pages are innacessible, customer support is 9-5 Mon-Fri only. We spent all day Thursday and Friday on hold.
Thankfully we don't have any business-critical domain-based email with them but it's a huge shock compared to 5 years of quiet bliss. It feels like we've had our throats cut.

The reason for the comparatively huge traffic per site is largely down to the fact that F2S used to be quite a cool ISP a few years ago, apparently large hunks of traffic like that is OK for domestic endpoints (we're talking about before Tiscali/Pipex/Opal got their sweaty mitts on F2S - before my time but around 2004 was the start of the homeworker programme I think).
When the DSLmax products came out (and the workfromhomers became more organised) the remaining lines were migrated into F2S. Bear in mind the traffic is heavily policed by our office, work owns the CPE and PC kit and if the worker wants non-work internet they must buy their DSL down their personal PSTN line - our lines are paid for by work and are off-limits for the snivelling pirating porn-grabbing kids smile

A&A would be the Dream Team as they speak our natural lingo but the cost is huge; another worry is an incoming DDoS or SIPflood eats units (we've had a few nasty surprises on the A&A failover links this last year - paying for unwanted incoming SIP packets to be dropped at the CPE gets expensive)

Actually, I wasn't aware we were in negotiation territory, everything has been off-the-peg F2S until now (decision by my previous boss) but have been (very!) cheap and no trouble at all, until they changed to TalkTalkBusiness. I even had one of my own home lines on F2S, only one real problem (email server restored (to baremetal?) from backups) in 4 years.

That said, I didn't really think 120GB was a lot of traffic on a business line, most of my sysadmin mates top 200 per month at SOHO sites under their remit. I'd guess the majority of that is damn iPlayer and Youtube.

Bulk / vISP/ reselling to self is certainly viable, it's just I simply didn't realise we were into that territory yet, given we have such a disparate spread of sites over 3 vastly different business sectors. I'm hands-on not a negotiator, I just do what I'm told and they sort the money stuff smile
L2TP sounds fine to me and would be very little setup here as our kit is centrally managed and monitored (by me and my little gang), though we don't have any presence anywhere useful. We're all 857/877's with centrally rolled-out Linux/BSD so a lot's doable for very little config work here.

Thanks for suggestions so far, I need to talk to the bosses this week it seems. Links duly noted.
Standard User cavillas
(knowledge is power) Mon 07-Feb-11 20:20:58
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Re: F2S > Opal >TalkTalk Business > where now ???

[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
Check out Idnet they have many business packages and have been a business supplier for over 12 years.
Uncontended Business
Standard Business

Hope this helps.

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I am in no way employed or connected with IDnet other than as a customer.

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Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Tue 08-Feb-11 12:42:18
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Re: F2S > Opal >TalkTalk Business > where now ???

[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
£19+VAT a month is really just a residential service with a business label.
120GB a month on IPStream or WBC is going to cost short and simple, you have been lucky in escaping until now.
Considered Zen Office 200GB per month at £45+VAT

Personally I would avoid Tiscali Wholesale, is all really part of TalkTalk

Andrew Ferguson, - formerly known as
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User krazykizza
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 08-Feb-11 13:05:56
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Re: F2S > Opal >TalkTalk Business > where now ???

[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
They wouldn't of gone to the effort of breaking their wholesale network though surely? That was my whole thinking.

I personally think OP is better off buying bandwidth via L2TP.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
AOL > Virgin Media > Tiscali > Falconnet > UKFSN > Norfolk Internet
2mbps > Shapped 512k > 1mbps! > 6.5mbps > 4.5mbps > 6.5mbps
ADSL Joy. 31db att, 9db SNR, EntaFail.

Edited by krazykizza (Tue 08-Feb-11 13:06:54)

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