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back to article O2 to raise broadband prices by up to 27%

O2 is putting up its broadband prices again, just a month after increasing them in line with the rise in VAT. Existing customers are particularly hard hit. A subscriber paying £7.66 a month after January's VAT rise will pay £9.50 after 31 March - an inflation busting increase of 24 per cent. Pay £10.21 a month now, and come …

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Low inflation?

Low inflation some other time...

In any case, as they are the only carrier in the UK that does not bleach markings (and even tries to follow them to some extent) they can charge more or less what they please. If you run VOIP, have suffered from Virgin and never want to see them again and use your line for business your choice is pretty much O2 or O2.

Oh well, it is like with the tomatoes. The "Value" brand may be cheaper, but nobody wants to eat them. So you end up paying for the super-duper organic stuff if you do not want them to end up in the bin.

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Compare

I don't have it on me to quote from, but the current issue of Custom PC does a comparison of the top broadband suppliers with details on their traffic shaping policy.

Well worth a gander if you need one type of traffic to be more reliable.

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Choice

No. If you can get O2 LLU you can get Be LLU as well. They aren't putting their prices up and they still offer a truly unlimited service. Not a particularly cheap service but then again you get what you pay for. As a country we'd have a far better network if people hadn't been encouraged to expect low prices by Ofcom.

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Anonymous Coward

And both Be and O2 LLU uses guess whom for backhaul

Both Be and O2 use Be unlimited for backhaul and share most of the infrastructure.

The differences are getting to be more or less cosmetic as time goes by.

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Technically..

Both Be and O2 use BT for backhaul. The network was apparently set up in the early days using BT's BES/WES service. Be just rents capacity.

But I agree that it's another concern about Be. Another concern to add to the many I've heard (and even suggested myself) over the four years I've been a customer. Somehow though the service continues to roll along offering a truly unlimited service and encouraging its users to download to their heart's content.

I don't pretend to understand how Telefonica put up with it but perhaps Be gets a free pass because of its wholesale service.

I think that FTTC will be a telling factor. Will Telefonica allow Be to launch an unlimited FTTC service?

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Happy

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

> Both Be and O2 use BT for backhaul. The network was apparently set up in the early days using BT's BES/WES service. Be just rents capacity.

Erm yeah, but no, not quite - a BT BES / WES circuit, is just that - a point to point circuit. When you purchase a (for example) 1Gig Circuit, you get a Fibre connection that will run at 1Gbps - exactly the same speed as if you'd laid the fibre yourself.

You are technically correct that BT 'Owns' the fibre, but it isn't a case of buying capacity in the same sense that BT resells ADSL. The BES/WES circuits are uncontended, which is the important bit, and BT has no say whatsoever about what data can run over the fibres.

I'm quite certain you knew that, but didn't want others to shun Be on the premise that it's just another Resold BT service.

I've been with Be for several years now and am very happy - Regularly get 2MiB/s download... that's right MEBIBYTES - roughly 16.7 Mbps

I'm more than a mile from my exchange too. It isn't cheap (£17.50 pm) but worth it in my opinion for the unrestricted downloads, great speed and a /29 subnet of static IPs.

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Anonymous Coward

What do you get for £18 a month?

If it's the same quality service as you would get from Be for that money then it's still worth every penny and I wouldn't complain.

If O2s service is somehow inferior to Be's £18/mo package then you'd be doing well to switch.

Don't be afraid to pay more for quality. It's either that or BT/Stalk Stalk. I'm sure they'll do you a £4/mo "service" that's not worth toilet paper.

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service

In my experience the service is very similar to Be, network speeds are identical and you get the same rubbish Thomson router. I think it's just the branding and call centre that are different.

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Thomson routers are fine!

Why is it that people have so much bad to say about them? I've always found them to be fine, for years. Two office installations (Be Unlimited) and one at home (O2), long lines, short lines, configuring the firewalls for VPN etc., never any serious hassle. They feel like the best this side of Draytek to me!

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Re: Don't be afraid to pay more for quality

That's fine for those that can afford to pay more. Plenty of people are already cutting back on a lot of stuff just to make ends meet. The pretentious gits around here who keep telling me "you get what you pay for" and "quality counts" are really starting to get on my tits. Presumably there has been no recession in your little worlds?

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Unhappy

O2 -> Be

In true Be style (where they don't seem to be able to employ any sys devs), they're currently unable to transfer O2 customers to Be. You have to cancel and re-join up. During which time, you'll be without Internet, and if you were on a congested exchange, may not be able to join again (if the DSLAMs are full - Poplar for example)

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Anonymous Coward

"rubbish Thomson router"

I have to agree. The bundled router is worse than hopeless. Flaky as hell, firmware that somehow manages to be complicated without giving you any real options for anything, insecure. An all round piece of shit.

I advise my friends to go with Be if they already have a decent router or don't mind buying one. I wouldn't wish that Thomson crap on anyone.

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package costs

A customer paying £10.21 would only go up to £18 if they no longer had an O2 mobile. the actual rise would be to £13.00

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Are you sure?

Are you sure those details are correct? I have o2, and pay 10.21 a month now, but that's because I'm an o2 mobile user, and get £5 a month discount. When the price goes up, I'll still get the fiver discount, so the price will only be £13 a month not £18. So the price would only go up from £10.21 to £18 if you cancelled your mobile contract at the same time. Not really a true comparison.

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have used O2 for years

my bill has gone from £10.21 per month up to £13 apparently (or will soon anyway). I will stick with O2 though as I have never once had any sort of problem with the service, never had any down time, customer service is good, speeds are good etc. My friend recently signed up with TalkTalk (I advised him against it, but he did it anyway) and it's been hell right from the off. I think he's not actually even got a connection yet and it's been over a month...plus they charged him all sorts of extras he wasn't made aware of. Made me very glad to be with a decent provider and reinforced my intention never to switch.

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RE: have used O2 for years

"Made me very glad to be with a decent provider and reinforced my intention never to switch."

It's not always possible to stay with a decent provider. My small, local, ISP which was run by techies for techies got swallowed up, first by Pipex and then by Talktalk.

Getting a migration code from them was a battle but the process of switching is then pretty painless. Having just come out the other side, I'd recommend voting with your feet if you're unhappy: it's not as bad as you think to move!

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Custiomer service is variable

I once tried to tell them that Roadrunner (3rd largest ISP in the states) was bouncing all mail from one of the O2 mail servers due to some spam incident and they should investigate and ask for the block to be removed.

After about 20 minutes I gave up trying to get them to understand what I was talking about and pass the information on to someone who could do something about it.

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Zen

Zen seem to be doing fine, and have tech support who don't mind when you say 'I have a Linux router, and wireshark says your DHCP server isn't answering'.

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We didn't see it coming!

"Internet use has changed dramatically over the last few years and this is likely to continue. We need to increase our prices so we can still give you the level of service you’d expect from us."

So, assuming there's no conspiracy, why did they set their prices as they did if they know that internet use has been changing dramatically?

What a bunch of schmucks.

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Grenade

Retentions, people

I said it on Bitterwallet and I'll say it here. I got this note, so I called customer services with the intention of telling them to cram this price change in the same orifice they use to produce their excuses.

Retentions basically stuck be right back on the same deal as I had before. Back to 7.50 a month. A bit more pressure and they said if I move my line rental from BT to them for 7.50 a month, they'll throw in the top-of-the-range broadband for nothing for 12 months.

Bottom line, do not go gently into that sea of bullshit. Pick up the phone and tell them that unless they put you back to 7.50, you're off to BT.

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Anonymous Coward

and here come the downvotes

cue the circus music.

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Not a coherent price hike then

My £10.21 service is 'only' going up to £13, according to the email I got.

Still, it's cheaper than a new customer would pay, and my connection will remain unthrottled and unshaped (unlike any new account or any upgraded/downgraded existing connection) .

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Big Brother

capitalism = profit before people

This is the second time in 3 months that prices have been raised!

more money for a reduced service, sounds like capitalism to me!

http://www.o2.co.uk/broadband/

lol i see O2 are still advertising their service as "Download as much as you want" feckin scum bag lairs, maybe its their own fault for leading ppl on & underinvestment that has led to network congestion? maybe instead of rubbing their greasy hands on all their profits they should give something back to the people.

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Stop

Actually

O2 only put up the price once. The other time the government increased it's portion (VAT)

Please ensure you share your blame appropriately

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Joke

Where would the fun be..

..in apportioning blame appropriately?

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"Internet use has changed dramatically"

So for the extra cash customers will get extra bandwidth per month, right?

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Paris Hilton

Forcing out current subscribers

The tiny price rises for customers on the new packages indicate what the plan is here: to force anyone on the old O2 broadband plans to leave or swap to the new packages.

The reason being, if you signed up before they had a fair use limit on the 'unlimited' packages, it really was unlimited. I had this confirmed by O2 tech support, who said they cannot impose any kind of traffic shaping or speed restrictions on customers with older accounts, no matter how much you download.

I suspect many current subscribers will now be looking elsewhere, relieving O2 of the burden of true unlimited broadband. So if you're with them at the moment and don't mind paying extra for a proper unlimited package, stay where you are.

Paris 'cos she's got plenty of capacity to handle heavy traffic.

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Nope...

They reserve the right to change their terms and impose a 40Gb a month limit, even on old 'unlimited' packages as I had for 3 years. Going over this limit 3 times (53Gb for me on the third occasion) results in termination.

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"You are free to leave"

Except I won't because their quality of service has been pretty much spot on and their prices aren't outrageous when you consider the alternatives.

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Unhappy

They just called...

They are cancelling the existing packages and trying to get everyone to move to the new ones.

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Interesting.

They haven't called here yet. £7.50pcm for a genuinely unlimited connection has been most agreeable. Sic transit …

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Grenade

*whew*

Good job they cut me off a couple of months ago for 'exceeding their fair use policy' on their supposedly 'unlimited' package

Dodged a bullet there...

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Anonymous Coward

staff deals....

the staff deal is going up as well, by over 60% but it is still cheap for truly unlimited and unthrottled usage (if you have the old "pro" package). You can change to a newer similar package for the same current price, but then you lose that nice "unlimited" feature that is almost impossible to get anywhere else. I am not moving and will pay the extra.

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Yup

I think i've seem marketing saying Be==O2 for the service. Always wondered why the O2 customers got away with paying half what I did.

All in all, it's great service and i'd prefer a price increase to maintain that (and their profitability, that's important too) rather than creeping restrictions / slowdowns like the other lot.

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76% You are joking!

O2 have not raised anyone's broadband line costs by 76%, where are you getting this from?

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Hmmmm

I have O2 broadband, but I also have an O2 phone, so I pay about £7.50 per month. Looks like mine will be going up two pounds. I can live with that, as they have never seemed to have capped me when I download lots of multi-gigabyte games and demos on PS3 and 360, and the connection is as good as I can expect for my area.

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Go

£18 a month?

I'm paying £10.21 for the old "premium" package - going up to £13 a month from 31st March. I'm assuming the price mentioned subscriber received didn't include the £5 o2 mobile customer discount.

Frankly this is the first (non VAT) price rise o2 have implemented and their service is top notch compared to the likes of Talk Talk or Orange so I've no complaints.

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Still its not that expensive

Ive been an O2 phone customer for over 7 years now and have found their service to be excellent. Ive been an O2 broadband customer for 2 years and again, their customer service has been excellent. In fact, during my first year, they gave me an entire 12 months broadband with them for free.

£9.50 a month for decent broadband and more importantly, excellent UK based customer service in my opinion isnt that expensive, though granted, percentage wise its quite a large leap!

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Be = O2

They are one and the same. O2 broadband customers are actually on Be infrastructure. Switching wont actually gain you very much ;)

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Go

Be = 02

Switching wont actually gain you very much ... apart from an unthrottled connection

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There is a difference

Ibe customers get to talk to Bulgaria for help. O2 keep the call in the UK.

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Another bad point for O2 then.

The guys and gals in Bulgaria are bloody brilliant. I'm not saying that O2's people aren't (never spoken to them) but nearly everyone on the Be forums praises our tech support staff. To be honest most of my conversations have been on their forums where I help out occasionally. The service is so good that I've hardly ever needed to call for help myself.

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well your over looking a couple of things really

If you have a o2 mobile linked to the BB acount thopse prices automaticly drop by £5 and the older packages are still unlimted, unlike the new ones which have both traffic management and download limits.

So yes people on the old packages will be paying more than people on the new packages, but they are alos less restricted so I don't see the problem.

As for the VAT increases? Yes they passed those on just like thay passed on the VAT decrease when it happened. Lets not foeget the support line is a UK based freephone number.

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Get on the phone to them!

I had this email this morning. Got straight on the phone to the cancellation team and said I was unhappy with the price rise and thinking about leaving - after a little bit of negotiation, a £3 a month retention discount was applied to my account (on the £18 "All-rounder" package) and I'm actually paying 50p less a month than I was previously!

Win-win!

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re: Nope

"They reserve the right to change their terms and impose a 40Gb a month limit, even on old 'unlimited' packages as I had for 3 years. Going over this limit 3 times (53Gb for me on the third occasion) results in termination."

Maybe on the other packages. Someone at O2 itself told me they could not restrict older Premium accounts.

I exceed 40GB within a week, my usage is typically in the hundreds per month. Never heard a peep from them.

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Megaphone

O2 != Be

It's probably worth clarifying that the deals O2 offer aren't quite the same as Be. True, they use the same infrastructure but the new O2 packages are throttled / traffic shaped to an extreme degree. The older unlimited O2 packages aren't throttled in any way but you can't get 'em any more!

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Anonymous Coward

Hmmm

Currently with O2 (LLU line), so far no email or letter... Maybe it's only some customers?

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be not magic bullet

To be fair, I was with be a couple of years back. They were starting to have issues with the number of people on the infrastructure due to O2 back then. In the end though, I ended up switching to virgin because of the one thing be couldn't affect; namely my buildings godawful phone lines and ADSL speed (even with virgin's customer service ineptitude, 2.5 meg or 20 meg is a no-brainer)

Be also lost respect from me when they redesigned their website to look like a 1995 era Geocities page.

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Stop

Careful now!

Keep an eye out if you're on one of the 'Legacy' (pre-September 2010) contracts, they're blessed with truly unthrottled connections. Not sure if these prices are changing too (I haven't had a an e-mail of letter yet though)

Once your fixed 12 mth is up you're on a 30 day rolling thing.

Oh yeah and don't take the Home Phone if you don't have it already or they'll switch you on to the 'new and improved terms' traffic shaping contracts.

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