Sunday, July 03, 2011


OK, I'm completely sick of paying far too much to my shitty boutique ISP and BT for crackly steam voice and ADSL2+ that regularly provides between 400 and 600 Kbps downlink and 30-100 up. Right here in London. The SNR margin, attenuation, etc look normal and the modem trains to over 10Mbps, but there is reliably 1-3% packet loss so TCP never actually breaks out of slow-start mode.

I have some options.

Go to another ADSL op - well, the danger is that they'll just port the hank of copper flapping in the breeze, leaving me no better off, rather than replacing it completely.

Get BT FTTC service whether from BT or someone else - the problem is that our exchange was originally planned for the 31st December 2010 (at the time this was a horses' birthday, used for all areas where there was a planning permission fuck-up), and has since been sliding right. The last update pushed it from June 2011 to September 2011, although BT is claiming that "Lower Holloway" can have it now. But there is no such exchange.

Also, data bundle sizes for FTTC service are all incredibly stingy.

Bury the hatchet and get Virgin cable service - this eliminates the fritzing, bent-safety-pin mess that is BT's aerial plant around here, although some of the cable installs are worth seeing, and would probably get us much, much more bandwidth. Also, cable has been installed here before so they might let me off the install fee.

However, reading their tariff, I can't make any sense of what it actually costs. Everything's "FREE! for the first six months thereafter suchandsuch", or "NOW! MORE TELLY for just £5", or "FREE! with a Virgin Phone line for £12.99 a month". A Virgin Phone line? Is that a thing? On the principle that people who won't actually name a price are ipso facto lying, I'm not keen.

Also, no IPv6, daft adverts about "fibre optic broadband" when it's not, etc.


NomadUK said...

If your wire is good, you could try BEThere ( I'm getting phone and broadband from them for half the cost of my BT phone service alone, and speed 50% faster than Eclipse was giving me.

I'm in Oxfordshire, not London, but I'm in a barn conversion with dodgy electrics, and I'd've thought London was a bit more up-to-date than we are.


Son_et_lumiere said...

Yeah, i'm on Be Broadband, the up to 24 meg unlimited service. It's really good, I get 16 mbp/s according to, which i'm more than happy with seeing as the uptime is basically 100%, and the service is faultless, no throttling or traffic shaping at all.

Anonymous said...

For a non-technical reason to leave BT, you could always go with the fact that BT Group CEO, Ian Livingston, was one of 35 signatories to a Daily Telegraph letter back in October in support of the ConDems' "growth through closing libraries" austerity malarkey:

Time for a little bit of News of the Screws-inspired BT boycotting, perhaps?

I've even got the slogan for it:

"BT - it's good to walk."

bert said...

Be broadband is basically o2 repackaged, as far as I can tell. Run from a mews house in Lancaster Gate. If you're prepared to bundle an o2 mobile contract, you can get the same deal direct from o2, £5 a month cheaper.

kostenloser Counter