yes i agree zen's tech support is simply great, BUT what about offering services over the be network????
as an example?
What services are you referring to, or do you have in mind? Did you mean Be, as in the ISP, or BT as in typo?
Most of the chargeable services offered by BT can be had for free anyway. The bandwidth allowance is, imho, restrictive and regressive. The TV services are dependant on you having a decent connection. The call services, well, BT is telco first and foremost, the 'niche' ISPs are just that, so its not really an apples-for-apples comparison. However, in the real world people don't make like-for-like comparisons, so I would suggest looking at other call providers and/or VOIP services.
Or, if you can wire up a separates hi-fi system or program a VCR, then you have the skills to home-brew most of the services offered.
TV. Forget Virgin, Sky, BTVision. Many modern sets have freeview and freesat/HD receivers inbuilt. If you need PVR/EPG/multichannel, buy a Dreambox and a hard disk. A Sky box receives around 300 channels. The same dish on Dreamview - 1100 channels. Not enough? Add a motor unit for £50, which the Dreambox can control, and access >22000 channels. There is still nothing to watch, though
Oh, and you can chose the size of hard disk, so not limited to approx 80hours...
Voice. You have heard of Skype, of course. Now add, for free, a full blown PABX. Your own complete voice network out-of-the-box. As many features as you want or dont want, including per-individual voice mail, call forwarding, call logging,IVR, follow-me, accounting, etc etc etc. Asterix, FreeSwitch, PBX-in-box, all do this. And the hardware requirements are minimal. I've seen this running on an old linksys router (!!)
Vault services - online data backup. Google, Microsoft, and others all offer on-line data storage. Most give away 2GB for free. Do you really need more? Then perhaps a 4gb USB or SD card on a keyring might be better - and much faster.
Security services - I wouldn't touch Nortons, McAfees, Panda, or anything else with a bargepole. Avira - free - is much better, and can be un-installed without reformatting the hard disk. And is far less intrusive in use.
Give me a small dedicated ISP anyday.
The views expressed here are mine alone, and do NOT reflect those of my employer, present or previous.