UK infrastructure owner BT has today announced its new consumer bundle offerings following relaxation of Ofcom competition rules. The headlining £7.99-a-month anytime calls plus broadband is reasonable - but lasts for only 3 months, followed by a 15-month lock-in at an unimpressive £15.99. “Offering a bundle of broadband and …
Oh, another thing....
That price is only available online.
For the rest of the world who doesnt want to buy online, you're looking at the 9.99/19.99 option.
You might find they're more reasonable than you think. A friend of mine threatened to go to PlusNet's £5.99/month service and they matched it! As far as he knows it's indefinite so perhaps these prices are just starting negotiations...
Plusnet is BT.
I know they've had bad press in the past... But I've never had an issue with TalkTalk. £18 all in. No messing, 40gb limit, 4.5mbps at my gaff. All the calls/minutes I could ever want!
How are they still the UK's number two? Should be leagues ahead.
(& no, I dont work for them!)
I've been with them for a few years. I get 5.5 down, and haven't paid anything over the base cost for a long time. Never seen an outage either, though if their outages happen during Mon-Fri 7-6, then I guess I wouldn't.
OK, their tech support is crap ("have you switched it off and back on again?"), but which ISP's isn't?
Because Talk Talk
Are rubbish. Realy painfully rubbish.
I is an IT halfwit....
...welll at least compared to the average Reg reader, I suspect. Still end up helping half the luddites at work with special requests like "how do I do sums in Word like in Excel because I need to do a graph". Sheesh.
Anyway, can any of you nice people expand on Lewis's comment on querying the router to determine max possible speed? Sounded pretty interesting, if true.
Lewis being a bit simplistic
Usually the web server built in to your ADSL modem/router shows you what speed you are connected at, and the standard being used. The normal offering from BT is ADSL at "up to" 8 Mbps. Usually it will be somewhat less than that depending on distance from exchange and other more technical stuff.
However the new offering is apparently ADSL2+, which has a theoretical maximum of 24 Mbps, so saying "up to" 20 Mbps is being a bit more conservative. I get 17Mbps on ADSL2+ (Be, not BT) at 2km from the exchange as the crow flies; it was 6Mbps on ADSL (BT).
There are graphs that show you what your likely speed will be on ADSL2+ given a speed on vanilla ADSL, but it is not quite as simple as just querying your router.
There is a nice graph here: http://www.internode.on.net/residential/broadband/adsl/extreme/performance/
Never mind the prices, wait til you experience the service!
The prices are very much secondary with BT- what you're really paying for is quality of service.
When we moved in to the house my parents had been staying in- which had working broadband - we wanted to move the bill into our names and keep it running. Over the following two months BT routinely connected the internet for a couple of days then disconnected it and told us that the account didn't exist, they would whimsically put a stop on the account and then refuse to remove it. Every time the broadband was disconnected, in spite of the fact it was disconnected as a direct consequence of their immense bumbling incompetence, there was no imaginable way they could get it reconnected in less than ten working days. We went through three different telephone numbers before we were allowed to keep one, meanwhile the broadband account was associated with other numbers that we had been assigned and then inexplicably weren't assigned any more.
Every customer support person we talked to really wanted to help, but it appeared that none of them were allowed to talk to each other or to any other departments so every single phone call put us right back at square one.
Finally we got the broadband running on the right phone number and then it was cut off again because we had only sent them the direct debit details THREE TIMES and they had managed to lose them all.
I'll just point out that the line was working, with fully operational broadband and with nothing wrong with it right up until the point they started to "help" us, so there is no way that this was any kind of problem with the line. My personal view is it was a problem with an organisation who misidentified Kafka's "The Trial" as a how-to manual for customer interaction.
I honestly believe that BT offer the worst possible user experience and the most staggering technical and organisational incompetence I have ever been subjected to. A few years ago I was an NTL customer and thought it could get no worse, but BT really came through with that.
I'm sure investing that heavily in pure, high quality distilled idiocy cannot be cheap.
RE: Never mind the prices, wait til you experience the service!
During the brief period that I was with BT (6 months) they managed to:
1, connect and then disconnect me on the same day
2, connect me a week afterwards
3, disconnect me again the next day
4, send me someone else's bill
5, connect me again
6, give me £110 off my next bill
7, work OK for 4 weeks then a bill for £0.00 arrived
8, disconnect me for not paying my £0.00 bill
9, reconnect me
10, send me a reminder for £0.00
11, disconnect me
12, reconnect me and give me £100 off my next bill
By this time I'd had enough, so I asked to be disconnected permanently. Obviously they then sent me a final bill for £0.00. I moved home soon after but I'll bet they're still sending reminders for £0.00!
Of course, I can laugh about it now but at the time it was happening, I experienced a strange emotion: something like a cross between bemusement, impatience, amusement and rage
Can't agree enough
I also had my brush with NT-hell a few years back, but BT really does take the biscuit.
In the past couple of years I had the misfortune to deal with them with both domestic installations, and with business ADSL: Three months to sort out a house move with a two month head-start; and in the business case, a linesman turns up on an emergency call out despite being booked days beforehand, takes a look at the distribution box, admits "don't know what some numpty's done here" and proceeds to disconnect the neighbouring unit who happen to be a busy marketing company for a whole day. Took three more visits and weeks to get it all sorted. Not a whiff of compensation either.
Do the ASA have *no* say in allowing that one from *any* ISP?
Contract lock in is such an out dated idea given that a large group of people rent and therefore don't know about more than 12 months from now.
Besides BT suck.
You don't mention DPI or behavioural advertising
And I bet BT didn't either.
Integrity? They've heard of it.
About what you would expect from BT
Seems about normal for BT. I switched to an LLU supplier about 6 months ago and have had better speeds since and save money.
So whats Oftel/Ofcom gonna say to this? Competition is thriving eh? B......s all!
Sagged though ...
I happen to like BT Vision and it is a bit of a shame that such stunning technology is in the hands of such a dinosaur like monolith.
Perhaps the nice people at OFCOM might rule that BT Vision should not, will not need a BT landline and BT ISP?
C'mon OFCOM - get on with it?
There are alternatives, but most are shite
I agree, BT Vision is really good and the only people who criticize it haven't used it.
The alternatives are a really poor show and there is no way I'm letting Murdoch's basket of hate into my home.
I'm surprised that so few telcos offer this kind of IPTV/Freeview/sat service.
Better deals available
The advertised deal is awful, but they are happy to offer better ones.
Having moved house I phoned BT up to get line rental sorted so I could get Sky inet + calls. When I mentioned that, they offered line rental, evening and weekend calls, and the 10GB a month inet package for £16.xx a month for 18 months (about a quid more than the Sky deal which has the same 10GB a month limit).
The Home Hub seems pretty decent too (to be fair the Sky Netgear is also a decent bit of kit compared to the trash TalkTalk provided).
They're never going to attract customers with the advertised prices tho.
why do people still get there internet from these jokers?
You can get an upto 24Mbps unlimited (no bw caps) from a number of other suppliers for no more than 10-15 a month.
it just strikes me as strange that somebody would choose to pay double for 10 GB a month.
10GB a month? it's 2010 for crying out loud, what do BT think that people use the internet these day for, these people are stifling web innovation and slowing the progress.
Everybody just stop going with BT.
The misperception of convenience
Easy to say, but when they run the physical line and particularly if you are in a rural area away from any cable provision it's easy to get fooled into thinking that if you use them for the bundle of services you will be up and running sooner and with less hassle. As my previous post on this topic indicates that is a mistaken belief because they are horrendous imbeciles, but that was the reason we chose them at the time.
Switched to Plusnet for everything
I was with Zen, who were brilliant, but the recession bites. Zen were £34 a month for an impeccable service. I really couldn't fault them.
I had a BT phone with associated rental and call charges that was averaging £30 a month.
Total spend was around £64 a month.
After switching to Plusnet, I expect, with call charges, I'll be on £45 a month for broadband and landline - it's a no-brainer.
Time will tell.
BT have a wide range of services and are still very much the dominant force - there's a massive level of consumer apathy - "Been with them for years, hastle to switch"
Once the exchanges start opening up to more competition, BT will be forced to lower their prices - for now, they'll continue to put marketing ahead of value.
Least we forget...
Most domestic ADSL lines are shared with 50 other users.
It's called the ADSL Contention Ratio and few Providers like to talk to you about it.
Imagine if 50 other neighbours decide to go on iPlayer at the same time and watch a programme ?
Then your so called 20Mb/s line can only get 409Kb/s. Bummer.
Try to get a 20:1 or even a 5:1 service if you can afford it.
Better still - go Cable.
Cable isn't always a choice
I remember watching, nearly fifteen years ago now, as the workmen came down our road installing trunk and cable for Nynex. They went all the way along the opposite side of the road and then... well, then Nynex folded and was bought by C&W. Who never came back.
So no cable for us.
Yup, but they won't bloody believe it's not...
We're the only house on our side of the street in our postcode, so guess what the rest of the village can get but we can't? This doesn't stop Virgin Media who, seeing our postcode is in one of their 'enabled' areas, bombard us with flyers and offers.
Thing is, I'd love to take them up on one. We had Telewest (as was) at our old house a few miles away and it was a great service, much faster than the 3Mb ADSL Max that is the alternative, and that was in 2004/5 just before they started the move to 10Mb. But in these non-expansion times I can't see them digging up the road to get service to a single house, even for HD telly, fast broadband & phone at >£50/mo off us.
Not quite right
The contention is done at the exchange, not on your point-to-point line, so what your neighbours are doing won't directly affect you. If you are getting 20Mbps, that is what you will get all the time. What is fed to you from the exchange/internet interface may slow down with contention there, but the line rate won't change.
Cable, by contrast, is a bus system, so you are contending for bandwidth right from the cable onwards, though bandwidth is normally so high on the local cable that it isn't an issue.
You will have exactly the same contention issues as ADSL further down line at the internet interface, unless the cable company guarantees a better than 50:1 contention ratio.
The premium for a business class 20:1 contention ratio is probably not worth it for most domestic users.
Close..but no cigar.
Actually that old 50:1 contention ratio was thrown away when ADSL Max was launched. Contention ratios these days are a more variable and harder to define. In most cases it's a matter for the accountants with the PR department occasionally chiming in. LLU operators have more control but even there it's mostly just a matter of ordering more capacity as/when/if a particular exchange drops below some arbitrary service level.
In any case it was never technically 50:1 - it was more like 5000:100.
Mathematically that might look the same but it makes a big difference to performance. 50:1 means that you can only use your connection flat out if no-one else is doing anything. 5000:100 means that many people can use their connection flat out at the same time.
Put another way:
50:1 implies 10Mb/s of backhaul for 50 users each having a 10Mb/s connection.
5000:100 implies 1000Mb/s of backhaul for 500 users each still having a 10Mb/s connection.
Not great, but good enough
After dealing with the children working in the VM support line, I would rather suffer on ADSL thanks.
When I decided to leave VM and go ADSL with Sky, VM support person spent almost the entire 5 mins "account close" call having a go at Sky's service, their sat boxes, even the quality of the sodding ethernet cables they give away with the modem/router boxes!
My ADSL may be a bit crap, but it's not failed once in 14 months and as I never rip stuff off from the dodgy corners of the internet, the slow connection is perfect for the low bandwidth stuff I access.
Cable isn't uncontended - you're still sharing total bandwidth with as are connected to your local cabinet. That's why Virgin Media advertises its service as "up to" 50Mbit.
Could someone point me in the right direction
to get away from BT as fast as possible?? The problem is i'm in a rural location with a line that will only support 1mb download maximum and no chance of any fibre coming my way for at least 10 years. Despite this I actually do manage to watch iplayer and play a fair bit of online COD MW2 on the PS3 so BT's download limits and stupid prices (as well as their rubbish support and complete general ineptitude) really grind my gears. Ideally i would like a phone and broadband package but Talk Talk add £15 pm for some reason beyond my understanding (something to do with having to pay BT for something?) and I dont fancy Primus because they have phoned me twice despite my TPS status and I had to shout at them. Any other suggestions would be most welcome
If you have 02 mobile (even PAYG) you can get good deals from them
I get 1.2mb (in a village) which turns out about x2 the real speed of Orange (who were utter shit) 1.7mb. Upstream is about 1mb (yes that good).
I pay £7.99 for true unlimeted downloads, but I do belive they have ammended this for newer customers.
May be worth a look.
Hint: may be even worth getting a PAYG phone and only putting a £10 on every few months.
blatantly self serving ad, apologies in advance
pop along to www.moneysaversecret.co.uk
select 'internet', then broadband and phone - more info, then 'check availability'.
Insert your phone No. and it'll tell you if and what services are available to you from the UKs best* phone & internet bundle provider.
*best for customer service, billing & value for money according to a couple of surveys carried out by a leading independent consumer organisation.
This might help
Oh dear, another confused punter
If it wasn't for BT you wouldn't have /anything/.
It isn't to provide services in a remote area and network connectivity is no exception. I don't want to sound like a BT suck-up but people in your situation ought to be grateful to them. They are the only telco in the country that can be bothered to even try.
As for TalkTalk - yes. Basically only BT supply connectivity on your exchange. TalkTalk and all other ISPs would have to use BT's wholesale service. Unfortunately IPStream is not cheap because it's price has to include the cost of remote exchanges such as yours.
The only reason LLU services are cheap is because LLUOs (LLU Operators) cherry pick which exchanges they put their equipment in. If they did what BT did and put their equipment in every exchange in the country their prices (and likely the service itself) would more closely match that offered by BT.
The bottom line here:People who live in the back-end of beyond shouldn't expect the same service as those living in urban areas. They should, frankly, be grateful for what they get.
Totally right. However, it's worth noting that BT Openreach - the bit of BT Group which runs the infrastructure - sells all its services to competitors. So, in theory, any competitor can offer the same services as BT if they're buying them through Openreach (which they are - both TalkTalk and O2 are massive BT Openreach customers).
The existence of Openreach also means that as it rolls out its FTTC and FTTP services, competitors will be able to offer services using them, too.
Look further than just your Routers line clocked speed before deciding...
The router will tell you the clocked speed, BUT that is not actually the throughput you will have been allocated. It is often the case that you will actually be "squeezed" to half of that. BT has a system that messes with your line all the time, and both physical clock and vlan/pvc level. it is to try and make it stable at layer 1/2, however it forgets that IP can survive occasional loss.. (dear BT broadband designers it's called TCP)..but it is way to aggressive. UDP...well... depends on your apps needs.
In addition at peak time there is zero guarentee you will get anything over 2/4meg depending on your package, if you doubt this call customer service you will get a short and sharp answer on that one. If you have a good tool like wireshark you can see this in detail for yourself.
And...if you are on Option 1 you are gonna get dinged to 800k sinbin if you go over your limit.
http://www.speedtest.net/ works pretty well for checking out what is going on. Run it a few times over a few days to see your average.
Beware of just looking at your synced line speed...
A lot of people are still on standard ADSL MAX, which is only ever going to show a maximum speed of 8mbit down/842(ish) up, whereas your line may support quite a bit more than that.
It's not guaranteed though, of course.
If you want a realistic(ish) idea, the calculator at http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/max_speed_calc.php can help, following the instructions on how to get your line stats.
Big Thief are out of their tree.
I got off BT a long time back, sadly I still have to pay them for line rental, but as I don't actually have a phone connected to my socket they can't rape me for any more cash. Their prices have never been competitive and their policies have always been underhand and bad for consumers, just look at their aggressive traffic management.
If you're looking for a good deal I can highly recommend BE or O2 (they're both the same company, but if you like to be able to tinker with your connection profiles BE are really helpful). O2 also offer discounted rates to O2 mobile customers (or even just people that sign up using a friend's mobile number). I don't work for the above mentioned, they've just always provided excellent service to me (and a nice 16Mb connection).
An interesting experience
As Plusnet are owned by BT, it would appear BT are competing with themselves! Last month due to downloading a couple of OS, I was suddenly cut back by Plusnet to a 43Kbps rate. Upon asking Plusnet what had gone wrong, there was no reply whatsoever. I then investigated my terms and conditions, and discovered that due to my inadequacies and not changing accounts for a couple of years, I was limited to 4G per month in daytime hours for a £15 payment and had gone to 4.5G. Obviously I then switched to a 10G per month £5.99 account, which has reduced my outgoings and BT's profit by £108 pa! The only reason that I stay with BT for line rental, is that I use First Telecom for a lot of international and national calls. When I find another line supplier that supports First Telecom, I will be gone the same day! Every time that I see the BT van in my area, I check to see that I still have a line! Frequently I don't. No wonder that their shares are worthless.
Not the only ones
Be and O2 are competitors. They will even offer retention deals to stop you migrating from one to the other. Despite that they are both owned by Telefonica and in fact use the exact same network. In fact I wouldn't mind betting that it's the exact same servers.
Of course that still means that Be offers the best service and O2 users smell :D
BT couldn't run the proverbial in a brewery
ADSL working fine - but no dialtone on the line. Should never have called them. 9 weeks later the ADSL and dialtone came back. And they wanted me to pay for it till my lawyer wrote them a letter suggesting that paying for no service whatever for 9 weeks was not even slightly acceptable. No idea for how long I had no dialtone since i don't make calls from the landline.
Not to mention 11 hours on the phone to their indian call centres who read their totally inappropriate scripts to me every @%^$% time. On a chargeable number.... Just how does one reinstall Windows on a BT supplied router running Linux? With No non-BT equipment on the line at all.
BT cannot go bust too soon for me. QoS? What QoS?
Never thought I'd say it, but ...
... I can't fault Sky broadband. At least, not yet.
Granted, I took the combined TV/Broadband/Phone deal for £40p/m but I'm now getting a steady 3.5Mbit/s down (768kb/s up) compared with the 2Mbit (max) I got when I was with Demon. I'm at a loss as to why there should be such a difference, but I ain't complaining - no bandwidth cap that I know of either, which is nice. Sadly, cable isn't an option where I live.
On the down side, 99% of what's on TV is complete pish and Sky's customer 'service' borders on dreadful.
Comes to something when I'd rather give my money to Murdoch than BT ...
Agree - Somewhat
Sky have been rather better than I feared. I moved to them because well when I moved home and could only get 1 - 1.5 meg if I was lucky paying for the quality service seemed kinda moot.
Finding that my exchange had been unbundled and sky was offering (I had TV with them anyway) then the decision to go with them was made (can't grumble for the cost). The only part with customer service that is annoying is the amount of time it takes to get through.
When I first switched I was getting terrible speeds but Sky were more than happy to up the line rate. This resulted in lots of disconnections and they were quite happy to keep playing with the rate to get me the best stable speed they could.
There have been 2 incidents in a year when the exchange was playing up. 1 lasted all night but the other was fixed in around 30mins (just after I got through to customer support).
So my customer service seems very different from yours. But like you I never thought I would recommend them as such.
one last thing
never mind the relentless shite advertising spend, the "fucked if i care" attitude, the baroque special - ring a friend on his birthday - deals, these arseholes charge you £5 for paying your bill !!!
I'm out on LLU now and vow never to pay them another farthing.
Stop the whining
Think you've got it bad? Try getting yourself a connection in Oz. In the area I live - inner city, 3km from the city centre - ADSL is a no hoper because of the distance to the exchange and I therefore end up on a cable connection for GBP 42/month (at the current rate) for a 12GB limit. Telstra (the antipodean BT) are utter twunts. BT squared.
I laugh in the face of your 27.99 bargain basement pricing.
We used to dream of living an inner city....
Can't you find a friendly city centre dweller where you are and set up a microwave link to share their adsl? Honestly, a pair of directional 2.4GHz aerials will cost you peanuts on ebay, and 3km is nothing. (20km would be stretching it a bit.) Or is there a big hill in the way?
I moved from BT because...
..., some 6years ago, I got a letter from them telling me that *MY* terms and conditions had changed, in respect of the "Unlimited Broadband" package I was "enjoying" - They were going to cap the service to 2GB/month and up the price by 33%. Despite querying and insisting that a contract is a contract, and having checked said contract and schedules for any clause which allowed them to claim it was their right to unilaterally instigate such a change - there was no such clause - I decided to look for alternative suppliers.
So I signed up for my telephone only service with TalkTalk and my Broadband service with Orange: I pay line rental and calls to TalkTalk (<£18/month - LLU Service) and have Orange Broadband (their LLU service), at 8Mb and max contention at 5:1 (actual download yields 7.6mbps, consistently) for £4.99/month - Additionally, I get Mobile Broadband to my (Orange) smartphone as part of the same deal (Uncapped/Fair Use).
If I stayed with BT, I would by now, be paying more than £35/month just for home phone and broadband...
So my advice would be to exercise BT's new-found "competitiveness" and Phorm (Sorry!) a list of alternate providers - These days, you don't need to put all your comms eggs in one basket.
Don pay for what you cant receive? If only
"No matter how your ISP tries, it can't beat that number, so don't pay for more than you can receive."
My house is 7 years old, its two miles away from an exchange that is adsl2 enabled. I should be enjoying nice fast connections, but the max speed my line is capable of is 5MB. In theory I should only have to pay for an 8mb connection which is cheap as chips, but these all come with stupid caps, if I want unlimited (which I do) I have to pay for max speed.
Must say though in the 7 years I have lived there I have lost internet connection once, and that was when I moved from Bulldog to Sky
- Top Gear Tigers and Bingo Boilers: Farewell then, Phones4U
- Breaking Fad 4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
- Updated iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
- First Irish boy band U2. Now Apple pushes ANOTHER thing into iPhones, iPods, iPads
- Stephen Pie iPhone 6: Most exquisite MOBILE? NO, it's the Most Exquisite THING. EVER