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back to article Line rental cost a barrier to broadband

Over three-quarters of respondents to an online survey have said an increase in line rental charges would discourage them from getting DSL broadband. In addition, nearly all of the respondents (96 per cent) said they would be unwilling to pay for any future increases in the cost of line rental, while 25 per cent said they were …

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True

I recently switched to cable largely because of line rental charges. I had cable tv and phone (the tv was thrown in with the phone), plus BT DSL. This meant I had to pay line rental to BT for a phone I had no use for. Once the contract ran out, I cancelled all the BT stuff and switched entirely to cable. I now have much faster DL speeds and save about £15 a month, plus I only have to deal with one helldesk.

BTs line rental charges are redundant if you're not actually using their phone.

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Please warn about non-UK stories...

As this is (or at least used to be) a UK based site, it would help if you could flag non-UK stories

This isn't me being parochial, it's just that when you have an article on a UK news site talking about the price of phone line-rental going up and this putting people off buying DSL - most readers would assume that you are talking about BT.

I know that you buy these articles in and do little more than skim them for profanity, but can't you start the article with "News from Eire:" or similar?

I was confused until the last couple of paragraphs when it became clear this was a foreign news story.

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I can quite believe it

I work part-time for a small business (Firstmile Community Broadband) supplying wireless broadband in a rural area. People beyond the reach of conventional broadband complain about the lack of service, and say how they'd love to have high-speed Internet Access.

So we tell them we charge £25 pcm - usually with a minimal installation fee - and they bitch about the cost!

There's something about the Internet that seems to make most people think it should be 'Free', and anyone attempting to make eke a living from it is some form of crook. It's the same attitude that drives P2P etc.

But not on our network ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

For me line rental isn't the problem

It's the line quality that causes me headaches. I'm only a couple of miles from the exchange, but due to the poor quality of cable, I'm only just about able to get 2meg (and that was only recently). Some days it's okay, other days it drop a dozen times or more.

I've heard mutterings of "Aluminium pairs" from BT engineers.

What we really need is someone with some foresight (that rules HM Gov out then!) to upgrade the local end of the network. Fibre looked promicing until they suddenly stopped a mile short of my town when they realised they'd run out of money.

Of course they'll also have to upgrade the backbone to handle the new improved local loop of course. We already have too many cow boys trying to squeeze far too many people onto their networks. *cough* Tiscali *cough*

Now if only we could find a way to promote highspeed residential internet as a cure for terrorism, HM Gov would throw bucket loads of cash at it... Well for a start I guess with that kind of access you wouldn't be seeing many teenage boys on the streets, so maybe it's a cure for hoodies!

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Line rental is part of the cost!

Since you can't get ASDL without a BT line how do all the broadband providers get away with ignoring the £11ish charge for it when advertising, particularly when comparing prices with cable where you don't have to pay it. I understand there needs to be a charge to cover line rental but the way it is sold makes me feel I am paying for a phone I don't want or need. Especially when my line only seems to be able to carry a small fraction of what it should.

If only I had cable in my street, I’d be straight there poor customer service or not!

Re: upgrading the local networks – that would cost so much money, think about how many homes there are in the UK, how many miles of cable, who would pay?

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Anonymous Coward

So can you get ADSL without line rental in the UK?

Anyone know if this is possible or do you have to sign your life away with BT for the usual (lack of) service?

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Interesting first point.

Sorry, the authors of this study have lost me with their first point...They're saying that increasing the cost would mean fewer people buy the product..?

My head hurts.

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Silver badge

Blow the cost...

I'd be happy if I got what I paid for, absent 'up to', 'fair use', and 'traffic shaping'.

If it says '8Mb' on the tin, 8Mb is what I should receive, 24/7. Traffic should be limited by the source, not the conduit - it's not like there's a shortage of dark fibre... roll up 'last mile' optical solutions.

Neil

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You can get unlimited ADSL

It's just that no-one, bar businesses, wants to pay the 80 quid a month for it.

Either buy a big allowance, a business account or cable broadband.

I pay 25 quid a month for unlimited 512Kb/s ADSL, which is expensive, but reliable (and also, no longer available to new users).

I also agree about making it clear this is a (southern) Ireland story, rather than a UK one. I suppose other people could be tipped off by the euro pricing and the name 'eircom' but please remember this is a UK site.

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@GettinSadda

"...it's just that when you have an article on a UK news site talking about the price of phone line-rental going up and this putting people off buying DSL - most readers would assume that you are talking about BT."

As the saying goes, "assumption is the mother of all f*ckups."

"I know that you buy these articles in and do little more than skim them for profanity, but can't you start the article with "News from Eire:" or similar?

I was confused until the last couple of paragraphs when it became clear this was a foreign news story."

And I thought Americans were self-centered. You sound like a jingoist -- "If it's not news from my homeland, I don't want to know about it!!" Classy.

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So your coverage is 100% then?

"while 25 per cent said they were unaware broadband could be accessed without a landline."

Maybe 25 per cent knew perfectly well that the non-landline options weren't available in their area? I live a mere six miles out of Cambridge, but the cable companies don't venture into the fenland wilds. Here ADSL is the only option and BT have us over a line-rental shaped barrel.

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Broadband in Ireland is even worse than in the UK.......

I think the story could have been developed somewhat to emphasise what happens when an incumbent (Eircom in this case, but equally as valid BT in the case of the UK) is privatised and does not have the incentive to supply decent reliable services to their end users in a cost effective manner that people are willing to pay for. It may seem unbelievable- but broadband provision in Ireland is even worse than in the UK........

In Ireland for example- the incumbent is only really challenged by BT, who are far and away their big competitor in ADSL provision nationwide. However- they insist on changing your phone number if you change providor, and even then it can take weeks to change providor, possibly with several days without landline telephony at all- so, is it any wonder that the public in Ireland view internet access with a glacial attitude?

What we need in the UK and Ireland is the provision of Wi-Max or similar technologies cheaply to the masses, whenever and where-ever they want it. I have to use a 2.4Ghz external aerial to pick up a HSPDA signal where I am writing this at present- and I am less than 10 miles from the centre of Dublin (I dumped my landline altogether a long time ago- following my attempts to report a line fault to am imbecile who was clearly reading a script from a computer screen and had no intention to send an engineer to sort it).

The only thing of any interest to the public at present- given that we have largely given up on hopes of cheap reliable ADSL, is the new products that are being developed by the mobile phone companies. Unfortunately try telling the mobile companies that a 2Gb per month (or even 10Gb) allocation is unlimited though........

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Anonymous Coward

ADSL with a number

Yes in the sates you can get ADSL with a phone number .

Funny thing though . I had friend who had that. When ever he had a problem with the DSL line they would ask for the phone number associated with the DSL line . The tech were running around like a chicken with their heads cut off when he tried to explain that he had a dry pair line for his DSL.

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Euro telekoms

It never ceases to amaze me how much power the telecoms have in euroland and how they bend over the masses hardcore. IMHO the greatest thing Reagan did was bust up AT&T (that and the worthless unions but that is another story). In effect the telecoms are just another pseudo government entity and basically put a tax on all of society. This has to have a knock-on effect on the economy as cheap data/communication is vital these days to being competitive. Not so sure about the UK, but Deutsch Telekom makes Microsoft look caring and competent.

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Facinating bit about the AT&T break-up by Reagan

AT&T split up into the various Bell companies (who did local service) and AT&T (who did long distance). Twenty years later, the competition has gotten so prevalent that the Bells and AT&T were allowed to re-merge-and our prices are still dirt cheap.

Always found that merger ironic, but fun.

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Anonymous Coward

lovely Sweden

I pay something less than 16euros for 8Mbits DSL. No line fee, no nothing. That's what I pay, and the speed is 24/7. Get to a fast site (apple.com/downloads) and you will download a big file at a constant rate of 1MB/s.

PS: one company that I know of offers 100Mbps for something less than 40euros a month.

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RE:Please warn about non-UK stories... & RE: lovely Sweden.

To the first, Yes I was similarly somewhat confused and agree with the idea of flagging stories. Maybe literally, with country flags?

To the second, I am so jealous. I pay that much for 8 Mbps. Oh well... I would like to see a reasonably priced 4-8 Mbps SDSL line though.

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Irish Internet

My mum and dad live in Ireland and they can only get 9.6kbps dialup. it's like being in 1992 when visiting them... not even worth it.

so they shouldn't be moaning at the fact they have to pay for BB... they should be delighted they can get it!

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