O2 has been rated Britain's best broadband provider, but the scores tell a different story. Between September 2009 and February 2010, just over 100,000 visitors to broadband comparison site Broadband Expert were asked to rate their providers. According to the site, O2 was top, with an average satisfaction rating of 77 per cent …
A mere 20% spread? Ha!
Looks to me like the average consumer doesn't understand what good and bad service are. Perhaps because they've not used more than one broadband provider, and assume that they have a typical experience — be it good or bad.
I've personally had service from three of these companies, as well as knowing of others' experiences with them. The approximately 10% spread across my current provider and the others does not do justice to the black-and-white nature of the difference.
o2 and Be use the same network - so should be merged into a single entity... although I guess you do have slightly different t&c for each.
Having been with Be, o2, Virgin Media, Sky and a few others, I can say:
1 - Both o2 and Be were the same decent service, although they occasionally fell over the odd evening every few months. Having said that, they were always honest about projected speeds.
2 - Sky (the max/unlimited one), once crappy router issues were sorted (they sent me a netgear finally) were solid and cheap, and probably my choice of adsl isp. Only issue with Sky was their door salesman arguing with me about how I could have 18mb in my house if I signed up with him, even though I'd told him several times I'd done a line check and it was max of 3mb.
3 - Virgin have been a solid 19mb for the last year, without a single days outage.. unlike their crappy v+ box, it's reliable. Although, having had a history of crappy service with NTL years ago, it took me being forced into choosing 3mb max over adsl in my area or 20mb with cable to try them again, but I'm glad I did.
It would be nice to have a choice
I have been with O2 for a while now and of all the ISPs I've had over the years, O2 is by far the best. Of the worst ones, BT were a disgrace and two others I had went bust. It would be good to have a choice of something faster than the 300-year-old copper line strung above the road outside my house, but Virgin haven't ventured this far so far, down on the coast of East Sussex. On a good day I can get around 3 mbps, which is, for example, fast enough to stream different shows to a couple of machines simultaneously. I'm too old to play games online and get thrashed by 14-year-old kids in Hamburg or Kyoto, so that's not a problem.
My wife and I have O2 mobiles so we get a pretty persuasive discount and our service is a little over £7 per month. We haven't had an outage in an age - unlike BT who seemed to specialise in service breaks several times a day but who charged the earth for it anyway - and on a couple of occasions when I needed some techie assistance, the people I spoke to at O2 were not only able to resolve the issues pretty much immediately but they spoke English as their first language. I have nothing against companies using services in India and wherever else, but they can go to hell. Indian accents can be terribly difficult to understand.
From the grey days of Compuserve, the original AOL and several now defunct cheap and cheerful providers, O2 has so far been the best. If Virgin or someone else who wasn't going to go bust the next day were to open up an affordable cable service round these here parts, I'd be off there like a shot. For now, O2 does a pretty good job and I don't have to sell the kids to be able to pay for it.
It might be worth remembering that Virgin & BT, as well as most of the others, offer aggressive minimum term contracts, so if you choose to sign up, you're stuck for 12-18 months. O2 and Be, however, tend to offer more flexible, shorter term contracts.
I expect that this will have some sort of an impact....
Cable > ADSL
Seems fairly clear cut to me. If you're in a cable area you're going to take cable, even though the service might be crappier than some of the ADSL providers. If you're outside of a cable area, only then would you consider ADSL.
Satisfaction ratings have nothing whatsoever to do with picking the best service that's available in your area.
As I said if only... used to live in the uk for 10 years moved back recently and I must say service from the main ISP here Telkom or rather “helkom” I long for the days of simple All-Inclusive <a rel="follow" href="http://www.mrmail.co.za" >ADSL Broadband</a>,<a rel="follow" href="http://www.mrmail.co.za" >Internet Access</a>, but who knows now that we have a company named neotel who knows....