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Fibre/Broadband suppliers


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After being a Virgin Media customer for a good many years, I've decided to ditch them as a supplier and go back to Freeview. Not least because they are putting up my monthly DD from next month, for which I can see no reason as to why (I'm certainly not getting anything extra from them) but also their equipment and level if service has become more unreliable. The router goes AWOL at least once a week and I'm paying for channels which we don't watch or already pay for with the TV Licence fee and which we can get on Freeview. I can even subscribe to a number of other channelsand it will still be about half the cost I am paying Virgin. All we need is broadband, or more accurately, fibre. 

Plusnet seem to be pretty good on the reviews front with Vodafone being a close second choice as I've been with them for 25 years with my mobile and they gave always been good at getting any problems sorted. I would like to know which provider your guys can recommend or, if you use Plusnet or Vodafone, how you have found them.

Thanks in advance, Doc.

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I think a lot depends on your infrastructure. 
 

in my old property I had fantastic speed with normal broadband. When we moved our exchange is now 8 miles away and to get any decent speed we need fibre it’s still then copper from the local cabinet. 
 

Have a scan for local wireless networks and see what people are using

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I have not used Plusnet or Vodafone but was with BT for some years and found them reliable but expensive esp with the line rental, so now gone to Sky for Fibre, phone and TV(all channels exceptsports including a Netflix subscription, also multi room). I have ben with them for about 3 months and so far no issues what so ever, the package is £67 a month. 18month contract.

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We were upgrade to Fibre to the Premises with Gigaclear as part of the governments rural broadband initiative. They are only servicing a few counties at the moment but seem to be very good so far (1 year in). Pay for and get 300 mbs.  £30 something per month 

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Recent experience from Milton Keynes here. 

 

The infrastructure in MK was pants for ages as all the phones were wired through the old town exchanges. BT was really the only game in town and they were extortionate for infinity 2 broadband at £55 per month. 

However they have recently updated the whole network to fibre with cityfibre in conjunction with Vodaphone so I switched as they price was £30 per month for a 500mb connection and told BT to do one. So far with Vodaphone its been great no issues with installation much better router/ wireless and no dropouts so far. 

 

 

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As they all use the same infrastructure (for the most part) you're paying for customer service and the router. The Sky router we had was pants, needing constant reboots to maintain a decent Wi-Fi signal and the customer service was so-so. The TalkTalk router was better, but nothing sparkling, same for the CS. We've just moved and switched to Plusnet, customer services seems decent so far and the router isn't terrible. In a 4 bed, brick built dorma bungalow the boy struggles with a decent connection in his bedroom, as far as you can get from the router indoors. Most "internet" speed problems I've seen are wi-fi related, usually down to an overzealous device not letting go of the signal, dragging the overall speed down for everyone else (especially iPhones)

The reviews show the BT home hub is one of the best supplied routers, but their monthly is expensive.

I bought a TPLink router from Sainsburys that I use as my personal router so the kids don't stretch my Wi-Fi too thin for work.

You'll get slower internet moving from Virgin in most areas, but most people wouldn't notice much difference going from 300mbps to 36/72mbps

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If anyone is having issues with their broadband on Virgin media, check what hub you are using. Few months back mine started throwing a wobbly and loosing connection and after a very brief 20 second conversation they said my Superhub 2 was a dinosaur at 3 years old. 

New superhub 3 put in post and received 2 days later. I've been with them since the NTL days and problems are rare.

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5 hours ago, AVB said:

We were upgrade to Fibre to the Premises with Gigaclear as part of the governments rural broadband initiative. They are only servicing a few counties at the moment but seem to be very good so far (1 year in). Pay for and get 300 mbs.  £30 something per month 

The new house we're building is quite remote so we either have Gigaclear 300Mb (even faster speeds available) or BT 1Mb if you're lucky - so no choice really. Voip is separately supplied by Vonage.

Gigaclear product is very good but install and customer service are beyond dire. 

Vonage is great and we moved an 01234 area code number that we have had for years to a completely different area and any calls auto ring our mobiles anywhere (even out of the UK) - for free. The business line (also 01234) I can add to Vonage when we eventually move in, also for free - so no second line charge.

Edited by Eyefor
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Yes we went for Vonage. Agree install was dire but customer service has improved since live. One bad experience early doors but a couple of good ones since. 

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1 hour ago, captainhastings said:

Plusnet I am with and very good. They have a uk support line though I have only ever called them maybe twice in like 10 plus years. My phone is also with them. They are good at kicking BT into gear if needed 

Plusnet are owned by BT?

We had great customer service from John Lewis Broadband - whose internet service is provided by Plusnet - BUT you get a dedicated John Lewis customer service line with short wait times and JL quality people to speak to.

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I'm with BT, now on their fibre-to-premise service -  BT Full Fibre,  BT quote 900Mb, I'm seeing 920Mb download and 115Mb upload with a 6ms latency.   £57/month.  I don't use any of BT's other services and binned a landline phone 3 years ago.

I've looked at the whole internet access thing and using a another company and there is no escaping the fact there are better deals outside of BT or that they (BT/Openreach) own most of the infrastructure.  It's bad enough having BT working with Openreach - now two separate companies with no commonality of systems.  Openreach have a mobile number for me that I haven't owned for 5 years and I have no way of changing it.   So if you swap to say Vodafone or Plusnet there are then three companies in the loop:

i.e Plusnet/BT Wholesale/Openreach - each can blame the other when something isn't working and for me that just wasn't worth the risk.  

BT, once legendary for appalling customer service with call centres in India, have now moved everything back to the UK so are a whole lot better to deal with.    I did experience a farcical series of events getting the fibre installed - 6 attempts and 75 elapsed days for which they compensated (without being asked) at £5 a day so a £372 refund to my account.   

So BT have sorted their act out - the call centres have some latitude to negotiate over your price and have also offered super keen Black Friday deals too.  I'm going to stick with them. 

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I

Just to update you guys, I rang Virgin on Thursday and gave them notice to stop being my service provider. It was a painful experience, truly. I then got a phone call on Saturday morning from a very nice bloke asking me what they could do to keep me as a customer. I told him I had 3 issues. 1 - Their equipment was garbage as it had to be reset at least once a week. 2 - They were putting my monthly DD up, which really got my goat especially as they weren't supplying anything extra for it, and 3 - Mrs H and I can watch what we normally watch on Freeview. We don't even use the landlines as that was just for the alarm to dial out on if it ever went off, so they are doing away with the phone and the TV package and keeping me as a broadband customer with a new router all for £25 pm for the next 18 months. Happy with that 👍

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16 hours ago, Doc Holliday said:

broadband customer with a new router all for £25 pm for the next 18 months. Happy with that 👍

Good;  Cable-based Broadband is superior to DSL (i.e. comes in via a telephone line) and should be far less flaky.

Having been with Virgin for more than 10years, I've recently moved to a rural location where cable isn't available, and let me tell you DSL is utter pants by comparison. 

Assuming you can have sensible conversations with Virgin re price, think very carefully about jumping in 18mths time.  All DSL offerings are still dependent on Openreach, so support issues can take ages to resolve, whereas with Virgin, you have one company maintaining the entire infrastructure*

'Fibre' of course is the biggest piece of marketing BS ever, product should only be advertised as such if it terminates in your premises.  Anything else isn't fibre.

*Yes I know, more or less, they sub out some of their back end, but still

 

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2 hours ago, udderlyoffroad said:

Good;  Cable-based Broadband is superior to DSL (i.e. comes in via a telephone line) and should be far less flaky.

Having been with Virgin for more than 10years, I've recently moved to a rural location where cable isn't available, and let me tell you DSL is utter pants by comparison. 

Assuming you can have sensible conversations with Virgin re price, think very carefully about jumping in 18mths time.  All DSL offerings are still dependent on Openreach, so support issues can take ages to resolve, whereas with Virgin, you have one company maintaining the entire infrastructure*

'Fibre' of course is the biggest piece of marketing BS ever, product should only be advertised as such if it terminates in your premises.  Anything else isn't fibre.

*Yes I know, more or less, they sub out some of their back end, but still

 

And 5G is far superior to fibre, check your post code to see if you are covered by a 5G….http://www.three.co.uk/store/broadband/home-broadband

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12 minutes ago, old'un said:

And 5G is far superior to fibre, check your post code to see if you are covered by a 5G….http://www.three.co.uk/store/broadband/home-broadband

Brouhahahaha, you're not serious surely?

Ask any network engineer which they'd rather have, Fibre to the premises or a 5G signal.  (Claimed) Bandwidth isn't the only metric.  Uptime, contention ratio, latency....sorry but i'll take a piece of glass (composite) into my house over an EM signal any day.

It cames back to what is being (wrongly in my view) marketed as fibre - i.e. installed as far as your local cabinet (exchange).  That is not fibre, as it is still dependent on ancient, oxidised, poor connection having, telephone cables dangling from poles for the last few kms.  The fact that they are allowed to advertise that as fibre is flagrant false advertising, and confuses the situation amongst less tech-savvie people.

Edited to add:  My original post above was to clarify that in the order of preference of technology delivering an internet connection to your house:

1) FTTP  - Fibre to the Premesis

2) Cable-based internet (Virgin)

3) DSL

Where 5G is on this list is very much TBC, but definitely not above FTTP, because, well, physics...

Edited by udderlyoffroad
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On the FTTP Fibre-to-Premise topic - just to add that very few wireless devices can manage the kind of data transfer speeds available on FTTP from BT - of around 900Mbits/s  so for the 'full fat' experience Ethernet cabling is required to each device.   

Does the average home user need this kind of bandwidth today?  For most, honestly, probably not however looking forward a few years to when 8K TVs are mainstream and we are all streaming media - yeah we will.

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On 19/02/2021 at 07:52, captainhastings said:

Plusnet I am with and very good. They have a uk support line though I have only ever called them maybe twice in like 10 plus years. My phone is also with them. They are good at kicking BT into gear if needed 

BT own plusnet.

They use xactly the same infrastructure, switches. poles, wires, everything but are 5000% better at customer service/sorting out problems. Cheaper too.

BT will not let them sell/have access to FTTP but for FTTC and ADSL they are highly reccommended.

 

18 hours ago, old'un said:

And 5G is far superior to fibre, check your post code to see if you are covered by a 5G….http://www.three.co.uk/store/broadband/home-broadband

Errr NO. 5G uses an 'air interface' which apart from adding delay (latency) also puts several more 'hops' into the mix. Most BSC's (the mux that looks at several towers) also deploy a plesiochronous doppler buffer which ensures the data leaving the BSC is timed the same as that coming in, which adds more delay. Fibre/wires are far far superior to any air interface.

Edited by miki
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