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Standard User mynameisiona
(newbie) Tue 12-Mar-19 17:39:35
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No Openreach fibre available - which ISP?


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I'm currently with Virgin Media. Constant price rises and regular downtime (at least a few hours every week with no apparent urgency to fix) mean I'm looking to move on.

The difficulty is that Virgin is the only ISP offering 'fibre optic' speeds in my road. Openreach fibre doesn't 'reach' here for some reason and the maximum ADSL speed is 12Mbps. I don't have a BT line and would need one fitted, presumably at my expense.

I can also get a great signal from two 4G networks - EE and Three - as there is a mast extremely close by. A speed test on my phone shows ~40Mbps on 4G which is more than enough for me. Is this a viable option for home broadband in an underserved area? I'm not a heavy user - I use about 50GB per month.

I'm leaning towards 4G at present, partly to save the hassle and expense of getting a BT line fitted (days off work to wait for engineers etc) and the flexibility of being able to take the service with me if I move, rather than being tied into a contract and going through the same faff again in a new place.

What would be the best option for me? Are there any landline ISPs in particular that are good for non-fibre services? I really just want to be free of Virgin.
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Tue 12-Mar-19 18:17:48
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Re: No Openreach fibre available - which ISP?


[re: mynameisiona] [link to this post]
 
I ditched my FTTC mid-December and my landline at the end of January. See my sig for speed test speed range.

I too was using about 50GB per month, on FTTC. My Three SIM is £20pm with unlimited minutes; unlimited texts; unlimited data. It was a Black Friday deal that ran for a few weeks, then another fortnight a bit later. Currently available at £27 on a 12-month contract, or £22pm including a Home Wifi router on a 24-month contract.

It sits in my mobile which provides a mobile hotspot to my two laptops, (I have a local webserver running on one for me to test web apps on my LAN running through the phone before uploading them to hosting servers), and my iPad.

The only drawback I know of is doubled latency, which is also highly variable so would not suit an avid gamer. It took me a couple of weeks to get used to it, but I don't regret the move at all.

A long thread about it, with several other people deciding to try it too.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - Three 4G, tbb tests normally 35-45Mpbs down, 65Mbps off-peak, 9-24 up.
==================================================
If you never think of anything off the wall, you'll never think of anything original.
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 12-Mar-19 18:56:31
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Re: No Openreach fibre available - which ISP?


[re: mynameisiona] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by mynameisiona:
What would be the best option for me?

One of the 4G providers could be good. You will find you have the choice of either using a mobile phone as a "hot spot" as RobertoS does, or you can buy a 4G router, which can replace your cable router and works in the same way, but uses a 4G signal.

Then you fit the router with a SIM card from the provider you want to use, on the right price plan. Three have an unlimited offer at £27/month today.

plusnet 80/20 (2/jun/14) at 470m - Sync history highest: 64/9 (Sep/17), 54/6 (Jan/19), 51/6 (Mar/19)
20 years of broadband from 1999's ntl:cable modem trial - Live BQM


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Standard User mynameisiona
(newbie) Tue 12-Mar-19 21:43:25
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Re: No Openreach fibre available - which ISP?


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
Thank you both for your valuable input.

Using my phone as a hotspot is fine as a short term stopgap during the regular Virgin outages, but I don't think I'm quite ready to use it as my main home connection so I'll look into the Home Wi-Fi router.

I am no gamer, so latency isn't vitally important to me. It's certainly not a dealbreaker - Virgin's latency is nothing to write home about anyway and this hasn't affected me at all.

How unlimited is the "unlimited" on Three's 4G broadband plan? I've scoured their website terms and conditions and can't find anything to suggest it's not actually unlimited. I'm not planning on pumping huge traffic through it, but want to make sure I won't get a bill shock if I have a heavy month.
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Tue 12-Mar-19 22:02:06
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Re: No Openreach fibre available - which ISP?


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by jchamier:
Then you fit the router with a SIM card from the provider you want to use, on the right price plan. Three have an unlimited offer at £27/month today.
That confuses me smile. Though technically correct.

SIM only, use in anything you like including a third-party router that takes a SIM. Or in any dongle with equivalent flexibility. Or your phone, like myself. £27 on a 12-month term.

Or £22 for the on a 24-month contract for SIM + router from also from Three.

In terms of the SIM+provider combo, however it is used, EE probably has better coverage. I wouldn't look at outside those two.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - Three 4G, tbb tests normally 35-45Mpbs down, 65Mbps off-peak, 9-24 up.
==================================================
If you never think of anything off the wall, you'll never think of anything original.
Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 12-Mar-19 22:08:28
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Re: No Openreach fibre available - which ISP?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by RobertoS:
In reply to a post by jchamier:
Then you fit the router with a SIM card from the provider you want to use, on the right price plan. Three have an unlimited offer at £27/month today.
That confuses me smile. Though technically correct.

Why confusing? You buy a router from Amazon, perhaps one of these desktop models:

1 - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unlocked-Configuration-Requ...
2 - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Huawei-UNLOCKED-300Mbps-mob...

and then you obtain a SIM either pre-pay, or contract (30day or 12month) from the mobile network operator that has coverage and pricing you prefer, and "fit the SIM" to the router.

You can buy better LTE routers in the portable domain, those above are 300mbps so LTE Category 4, which probably won't do Carrier Aggregation (often known as 4G+) A router such as this:

3 - https://www.amazon.co.uk/NETGEAR-AC810-100EUS-Broadb...

is LTE category 11 and handles 4G+ so for some people in urban areas can give significant speed benefits. Testing is required, as is positioning in the home. Sometimes external antenna will help.

SIM only, use in anything you like including a third-party router that takes a SIM. Or in any dongle with equivalent flexibility. Or your phone, like myself. £27 on a 12-month term.
Very true, but many many many people already have a phone service sorted, either PAYG or contract, and don't necessarily want to share the data allowance.

Or £22 for the on a 24-month contract for SIM + router from also from Three.
True, but its a tie-in for 24 months. End user choice. (It is not clear what LTE category the Three or EE home routers are).

In terms of the SIM+provider combo, however it is used, EE probably has better coverage. I wouldn't look at outside those two.
Not always the case. I have a friend in a very urban area whom indoors gets okay signal on Three, awful on EE and O2, and exceptionally good on Vodafone. Vodafone do offer a 100GB SIM only option.

Testing is essential (perhaps with PAYG) before signing long term contracts - and I would recommend the highest LTE category device (phone, router, handset, tablet) you can find / afford.

plusnet 80/20 (2/jun/14) at 470m - Sync history highest: 64/9 (Sep/17), 54/6 (Jan/19), 51/6 (Mar/19)
20 years of broadband from 1999's ntl:cable modem trial - Live BQM

Edited by jchamier (Tue 12-Mar-19 22:09:09)

Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Tue 12-Mar-19 22:11:31
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Re: No Openreach fibre available - which ISP?


[re: mynameisiona] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by mynameisiona:
How unlimited is the "unlimited" on Three's 4G broadband plan? I've scoured their website terms and conditions and can't find anything to suggest it's not actually unlimited. I'm not planning on pumping huge traffic through it, but want to make sure I won't get a bill shock if I have a heavy month.
Completely unlimited. The only possible restriction that is currently in force from Three is that consistent usage over 1TB per month could be taken as commercial usage, which is not allowed in the T & Cs of the non-business product this is.

I've probably got links/quotes of that in that long thread I linked to. It was quoted as being said by Three in an ISPreview article.

There was a previous Three product offering much the same, at a time when it was even further ahead of the game compared to other providers. "All-you-can-eat" or something, and IIRC "One " in its name. That had to be pulled and users kicked off it. The impression I got was that some idiots were using it in the way DSL unlimited was abused in the past, and Three just hadn't geared up their backhaul to cope.

My belief is they now have that sorted.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - Three 4G, tbb tests normally 35-45Mpbs down, 65Mbps off-peak, 9-24 up.
==================================================
If you never think of anything off the wall, you'll never think of anything original.

Edited by RobertoS (Tue 12-Mar-19 22:22:34)

Standard User jchamier
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 12-Mar-19 22:13:00
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Re: No Openreach fibre available - which ISP?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Not 1GB - but 1000 GB - in other words - 1 TB.

Also you can get radio spectrum congestion as well as back haul congestion. They appear similar, but one is easy to fix (leased lines), the other much harder and expensive (spectrum).

plusnet 80/20 (2/jun/14) at 470m - Sync history highest: 64/9 (Sep/17), 54/6 (Jan/19), 51/6 (Mar/19)
20 years of broadband from 1999's ntl:cable modem trial - Live BQM

Edited by jchamier (Tue 12-Mar-19 22:14:36)

Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Tue 12-Mar-19 22:21:57
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Re: No Openreach fibre available - which ISP?


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
Agreed that testing is vital. I used £1 SIMs from the newsagents to test out O2 and Three. At the time my mobile monthly contract was with EE SIM-only so I already had that info.

I also covered myself by keeping the landline for several weeks after termination AAISP FTTC. I would have been able to start a new contract with them with no setup charge, on a 12 month term, at the same price as I was on. If the mobile idea hadn't worked out I would have lost less than £105 over the year, £240 for Three versus £136.56 on the EE continuation.

But every month I survived saved £35 for AAISP, and from 1 Feb £14pm from Pulse8 for the line. So almost zero overall financial risk.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - Three 4G, tbb tests normally 35-45Mpbs down, 65Mbps off-peak, 9-24 up.
==================================================
If you never think of anything off the wall, you'll never think of anything original.
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Tue 12-Mar-19 22:23:24
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Re: No Openreach fibre available - which ISP?


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
Correct. 1TB. Error corrected smile Thanks.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains, site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - Three 4G, tbb tests normally 35-45Mpbs down, 65Mbps off-peak, 9-24 up.
==================================================
If you never think of anything off the wall, you'll never think of anything original.
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