Broadband Again

Some parts of the parish have been able to get the Superfast Broadband for some time now.  And at last BT is not the only provider, I think it is available from Talk-Talk now and will be available from Tesco in the near future.  For those who have been enjoying superfast broadband for some time, how has the experience been?  And the Reliability? I think it is quite expensive, so has it been worth the extra?

For those on normal broadband what is the speed you get and which road do you live in?

For those who are interested in upgrading to fibre I think there are alternatives to BT from Talk-Talk and Tesco and Sky.  Please let me know if you know of others.  Which are the most competitively priced?

The Old Broadband page is still available here.

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This what you say

John from Cavalier Road I’ve been using Claranet (an Irish company, I believe) and currently get a consistent download speed of 38 Mb/s and an upload speed of 8 Mb/s (delivered via BT optical fibre of course). They are by no means the cheapest provider but when I have a question (or when things go wrong) there’s always an informed person on the line without having to wait… worth a fortune for business users!
Steve from Belle Vue Road

I just wanted to share a few comments about my recent experiences at the hands of BT;

Having been working from home in Belle Vue Road for the last 2 years, I have been keen to upgrade from my Sky Unlimited (Copper) service. I have been calling BT periodically to check if fibre optic was available at my address. Up until last December, they had always told me it was not. However, in early December, and elderly Neighbour from 2 doors along, asked if I would help him to set up his ‘Youview’ box that his wife had obtained for him. Of course, I went along to lend a hand. It soon became apparent that he had BT Infinity fibre optic broadband. He explained to me that they had recently upgraded, but at the time they did not take advantage of the offer to add the TV package etc…

Having successfully helped him to set up his kit, I raced home and got straight on the phone to BT. They confirmed that fibre optic broadband was now available for me, so I signed up. The router and Youview kit turned up in advance of the planned changeover date of 11th December. BT had booked a time slot for the engineer’s visit of between 8.00am and 1.00pm that day. Having waited in all day….you guessed it..the engineer called at 12.55 to inform me that he was running late and would not be with me until 2.00pm. At 3.00pm, he arrived.

The engineer looked around the house, and then announced that he would need to run a cable from my main phone junction box to the back of the TV so that he could place the router near  the Youview box. In doing this, he cut the end off of the Sky satellite feed cable and pulled it out so he could use the hole in the wall for his new cable!

Meanwhile, earlier in the day, my Sky broadband had ceased to work. (Obviously I realised there would be a gap in services, but was told this would be about an hour). As I work from home and rely heavily in an internet connection for emails and file transfer etc, this rendered me out of work for the day.

Having connected the cable to the Youview box inside the house, the engineer then disappeared for an hour. He then returned, with his Supervisor, and stood gingerly on my doorstep. They announced that having killed my Sky connection, and my Sky TV connection, there was actually not enough capacity in the roadside cabinet to patch me across to the fibre optic network. I was pretty upset, but told them to put things back as they were……but they were unable to do that as ‘a new job would need to be raised’. I said, ‘ok, please raise a new job and come back later’. This was, apparently, impossible for them to do. They explained that they were ‘Open reach’ and not BT!! (The van graphics are obviously designed to be misleading). So, not only could they not help, but it was up to me to phone BT Customer Services to make a new appointment.

I am sorry to say that, after spending about an hour trying to get through to Customer services, it became apparent that the person on the other end of the ‘British Telecom’ help line was not actually in the UK and had never been! English was a language he only had a passing acquaintance with, and he was unable to pronounce my name or the road I live in……you can imagine the difficulty I had explaining the problem I had just experienced, and in obtaining any answers as to the way forward. Eventually, I got a new date for the connection, of 16th December.

Whilst I work from home, I still need to go out and about to visit customers etc, but I made sure I was around on 16th. The day came and went, and there was no sign of the engineer. Late on in the day, I decided to call the legendary BT Customer Services number. After much frustration, and over an hour later, I was able to establish that the engineer had visited the roadside box, and was able to establish that there was still not enough capacity! I angrily pointed out that extra capacity will now simple grow inside the box and that unless extra lines/equipment etc is installed it is unlikely that there will ever be the capacity required to connect me…..(Meanwhile, let’s not forget, I still have no broadband with which to conduct my business).

Eventually I got a call back from BT to tell me that I had a new appointment for the 20th December. They stated that, by then, a new card would have been installed by the ‘card installation team’ and all would be well. As the 20th approached, I was called to a meeting at Heathrow. Given that the last appointment had been a no-show, I decided to attend the meeting. Just as the meeting was ending, I got a call from the BT (Open Reach) engineer to tell me that he was an hour away. I hot-footed it home. The engineer turned up, had a poke around, and then announced that he would visit the roadside box to patch me across. I waited in eager anticipation until he returned. However, all was not well! He told me that, a new card had indeed been fitted…but it was ‘not sinking’ so did not work! He disappeared (I think having seen the look on my face) in a bit of a rush.

So…..back on the phone to that far flung continent BT refer to as their ‘Customer services’ department. Frankly, it was impossible to get any sense out of them, so I demanded to speak to someone in the UK. Later that day I got a call back from one of the UK team. She explained to me that Christmas was approaching, and therefore they could not get back to me until 10th January….at which time they may be able to get everything working…but could not guarantee this! At this point, I had had enough. I cancelled my order.

I immediately got on the phone to other suppliers. Please note that, whilst other suppliers can and do offer fibre optic broadband they almost all use the BT network to do this! (Virgin are one exception, but they do not have cables in Old Basing…Sky are another. They are working on their own network, but at present in Old Basing they can only use BT’s network)

I (with tail between legs) asked Sky to reinstate my previous (copper) service. They told me that they could do this, but due to Ofcom regulations, it takes 14 days to get BT to release the line back to them. My Sky (slow) broadband service was reconnected last week. (Almost 6 weeks after it was originally disconnected by BT).

I have been receiving bills from BT, and have now received a bag in which I am expected to pack the Youview box and router, and take to the Post Office to return to them. I have enquired about my out of pocket expenses, and the fact that my Sky satellite cable was destroyed by their engineer…….They have offered my £60.

I have rented an office with broadband, as I could not work from home. There were obviously time and fuel costs in getting to this office. My Children both got iPads for Christmas. As anyone who has them will know, they are virtually useless without an internet connection… I had to use my phone as a hot-spot. This was expensive as the data usage was very high. All in all, I reckon it has cost me in the region of £1500 so far. (I have yet to get the Sky box reconnected)

My advice is to think very carefully before jumping on to the fibre optic wagon…..or indeed dealing with BT in any way, shape or form!!

Chris from ?

I’m not sure why there seems to be an “anti” to BT broadband. Although a retired BT employee I am still happy to stay loyal to them although I admit they do have their faults (don’t we all). – the better the devil you know?
We have recently moved to Old Basing and had BT broadband and then Infinity at our old address (south of Winchester) and have Infinity here. The Infinity in Old Basing is twice as fast as we had previously for the same cost. For the “techies” we get around 36Mb download speed on the basic Infinity package.
Our daughter who lives in Lychpit had Sky for several years with poor speeds and reliability and has now switched to BT infinity with excellent results.
One way we reduced costs was to pay our line rental 12 months in advance – this gave us a significant saving.  The broadband and calls are still paid monthly.

Michael from  Linden Avenue

I moved to Sky Fibre (Exchange to Cabinet) 6 months ago. I also have Sky Talk telephone.
The move was a Sky upgrade to Fibre.
The move went very well. The Router was sent by post and arrived well before the changeover day. The changeover was undertaken by BT Open Reach who used a Sub Contractor. The Sub Contractor was excellent and not only installed the BT Fibre Box but also the Sky Router and re-wired the phone line to put the main box in a more suitable position. In addition, he tested the broadband connection and speed and set up 'privacy filters' as requested.
The change over went very smoothly and I have not had any Broadband problems since installation.
Since installation I had one problem with the phone and the Sky Call Centre answered quickly and established the problem was a line fault which was transferred to BT Open Reach to address and Sky gave me the BT Order No. BT fixed the problem, which was at the Exchange, within 1 day. Sky later sent a text to me to enquire if the fault had been rectified to my satisfaction and provided a phone number to ring if I was not satisfied. Pleased with the response to the problem.

Broadband Speeds achieved:
29/01/2014 @ 16:00
Download 37.3 Mbps - usually averages about 16.0 Mbps
Upload 9.4 Mbps  this is the usual average speed.

Sky Fibre £20 per month
Sky Talk Line Rental £15.40 per month

hope the above helps.

Paul from Belle Vue Road I used to receive about 1.5mbps over my old adsl connection.  I took the opportunity to get Fibre from BT as soon as it was available. I am currently achieving 76mbps down and 10mbps up. This is plenty to run full HD media streaming on the TV, plus the normal day to day activities of the many other devices that the kids use without any problems what so ever.  I service has been very reliable and don't feel any need to think about changing.
Patricia from Olivers Walk I changed from Talk Talk broadband & phone to a BT Infinity & phone package in Oct 2012. We are only about 250 metres from a fibre cabinet. so the service is usually good and the speed excellent compared to what I had before. Yes BT is expensive but I had so many problems with the previous provider I will not even try their fibre optic package. Likewise Sky according to other reports. However I guess this could depend on your location. Only drawback maybe Customer Services?  Extra bonus for sports fans is free BT Sport channels
Susan from Saxon Way We have BT fibre optic broadband with a home hub 5. We have excellent connection, speedy and reliable. We have our phone line with BT as well. Our TV is Sky and we have tried their broadband as well. It was disastrous. As soon as you moved in the chair you lost the internet. I know BT is more expensive but I'd rather pay for the service that you get and can use rather than a less expensive one which has proved unreliable.
Tony from Paddock Fields 500 yards from fibre cabinet close to the Bolton Arms like Phil I have BT (infinity 2) for about two+ years free upgrade with an older hub 3 and receive downloads speeds of around 60 mbs with uploads close to 12 mbs I have excellent service from BT and their diagnostic software works to identifying any issues automatically. Frankly, having had other ISP’s I consider service received by BT far superior and happy to pay extra cost for good reliable service with my line of business.
Phil from Lychpit I have been on fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) Unlimited Infinity 1 for about 3 years. I have found it more reliable generally than ADSL or ADSL2. I think we have had two short outages over the period both due to BT infrastructure issues in their backbone equipment. Flooding and cable theft were the root causes.
In am in Lychpit and my speed was 38 mbs download and around 7mbs upload until 2 weeks ago when I took a free upgrade to double my speed at the expense of a new 12 month contract, i.e. I am locked in again. So am now on Infinity Unlimited 2.
So now I get 69 mbs download and 19 mbs upload. I now also have a new router as part of the deal which is the BT Homehub 5. This has 2.5GHz and 5Ghz wireless bands which helps avoiding adjacent neighbours routers channel  interference. It also has a gigabit Ethernet switch in the router which speeds up wired users particularly when streaming iplayer or similar. We have three users one of which is a heavy user (not me). Usage averages 90 gb /month. I tend to view it like all other services just something that is pretty essential these days. My package includes the phone but not TV other than BT Sport which I do not watch. You also get some cloud storage (50Gb) which is useful for backing up your iTunes music etc.
Hope this updates your understanding of fast broadband around the village.
Kevin from Linden Avenue In November I received a letter from BT about new charges coming into force in January 2014.  Given that my broadband speed was only a mere 1.6 Mbps, I thought it was time to see if I could get the same for less.  In the end I opted for phone and broadband from Tesco, which in the first year would save me £11 a month in the first year and then £7 a month thereafter.  I gave BT fair warning and let them know what I was about to do, but they seemed unconcerned until the process was started.  Why do they only offer "deals" to new customers, instead of trying to keep existing ones?
So, having switched, while I seem to have a better quality phone service with more features for less money, the broadband is very disappointing.  Only 576 Kbps!  A third of what I used to get.  This is simply unworkable these days.  Your PC depends on the internet in so many ways that this slow connection has indeed slowed my PC dramatically.
I've pleaded with the Tesco support team to get it back to 1.6 Mbps, but they seem unable and now just tell me that 576 K is within the original estimate they gave me during the sign-up process.  So in other words, just put up with it!  But as they are renting the line from BT Wholesale, the equipment that Tesco are using was the same as used when I was with BT.  So why the difference?  They won't tell me.
I can upgrade to fibre with them in the second quarter of 2014, but as yet they are only taking on new customers for a broadband only service.
As I am the only broadband user in the household I don't need 38Mbps, 2 or 3 Mbps would be heaven!  But it looks like this is my only option.