Ever since Telewest’s (now branded Virgin Media, or as most customers seem to refer to them – utter crap) dismal performance in January when I was left without a phone line for over a week, I’ve been steadily working on moving my business away from the company and back into the waiting arms of BT.
It has to be said, BT has been pretty good so far. Even the engineer from BT Openreach (engineering infrastructure division) got on with things after only minor complaining and managed to compete a complex, non-regulation reconnection wiring job free of charge to bring me back into the BT fold.
So my phone is back with BT, and now I am looking at pulling my broadband away from Virgin as well.
It has to be said, the broadband service has been pretty reliable ever since I first had it, and I was among the first Telewest broadband customers in the country. But at ₤37 a month for around 10Mb, albeit with the promise of a hike to around 20Mb in July, its proving a little too much money for what you get. And so, I’ve had Sky’s heavily-subsidised DSL broadband enabled on my BT line.
I’ve opted for the uncapped up to 16Mb service for ₤10 a month. Customer service sucks, but with these cheaper-than-cost DSL deals, you get what you pay for. Or rather, you don’t get what you don’t pay for.
At present, I’m achieving around 6.5Mb, but with some tweaking at the exchange (which I’m trying to get Sky to do) I know I can get more for my money. I’ve also had to spend a little bit on hardware. Sky supplied me with a free wireless four-port DSL router, a rebadged Netgear unit. It is rubbish. Very unstable and somehow managed to achieve a very slow connection irrespective of the actual line capabilities. ₤20 later and I’ve acquired a DSL modem router (not wireless) made by Linksys which is proving much better and is significantly more reliable than the rebadged Netgear unit. Eventually, the Linksys box will be mated with my existing wireless router in place of the cable modem currently connected to it.
For now, the cable modem remains in situ, until the 20Mb upgrade is completed. By then, I’ll be ready to make a final decision on which service to dump.