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Which of these ISPs?

Discussion in 'Networks & Internet Connectivity' started by CF93, 4 May 2006.

  1. CF93

    Hitman

    Joined: 28 Jan 2005

    Posts: 944

    Right, bit of a saga that has resulted in my parents needing to pick a new ISP. Which although you probably don't need to know I'm going to rant about anyway cause I'm the one that's had to sort it.

    They recently moved house to a rural area in Scotland, and their current ISP - PlusNet - told them they couldn't move their broadband as the new address is a business address :confused: . Totally not true and after a month of wrangling, they agreed to move the connection free of charge and refund the monthly fees for the time they've not had a connection.

    After waiting nine days since PlusNet arranged to move the connection, they've now come back and said :
    "Unfortunately at this time we cannot fulfil your order as the exchange that supports your line is an exchange where we as an ISP have to invest with BT wholesale to get capicity to supply the service, we have decided not to signup to this programme with BT."

    Annoyed as they've known the full address and phone number since the day my parents moved, so why on Earth they didn't look up the exchange and tell us this over a month ago.....grrrrr!! :mad:

    PlusNet has said they can either downgrade the account to dial up or cancel the account. Dial up?? :eek: I think not!

    So, they need a new ISP. According to the BT broadband checker, they can only get a connection with these ISPs:
    Abel Always
    Entanet
    Broadband from BT
    AOL
    Scotnet
    BT Business

    Their PlusNet package is the £21.99 Premier (the top one) and they use their connection for internet and email (about 2 to 3 gig a month) and are about to start video conferencing over MSN (the rest of the family are now a lot further away than they were before!) so they need a package that's either uncapped or has a very high cap, and preferably doesn't cost more than the £21.99 they're currently paying.

    I've looked them all up on ADSLGuide, but I'd like some recommendations or advice from here from people who have used any of these as to who to go with.
    (I've got no intention of recommending they use AOL though!!)

    Any advice or help appreciated!

    Thanks.
     
  2. tolien

    Caporegime

    Joined: 16 May 2003

    Posts: 25,368

    Location: ::1

    It's called Exchange Activate, AKA the Executive coughed up, or the exchange would probably never have got ADSL.

    Suspect you won't get unlimited (or a significantly higher cap) without paying more. Bear in mind you're stuck with (home500) 512kbps too - no faster, no Max.
    AOL will do "unlimited". Enta's a mostly pretty decent ISP (though you'll be looking for resellers, like Evo :eek: and the UKFSN).
    Though Scotnet looks decent enough here. :shrug:
     
  3. CF93

    Hitman

    Joined: 28 Jan 2005

    Posts: 944

    Thanks tolien.

    Having lived in the area myself (many years ago) I know how remote it is, and already warned my folks they'd only get 512k (samknows says they might get 1meg, but BT says 512k.)

    Looking on ADSLGuide, Abel, AOL and BT look all about the same and about the same or slightly worse than PlusNet. Entanet and Scotnet both look better than PlusNet.

    The Scotnet site looks pretty naff - their tech page looks like it's not been updated for years, so I'm not sure about how good the rest of their service is! So I guess I'm looking at Abel or BT or Enta. I guess even if BT aren't rated as the best I'm probably guaranteed to get a connection if they themselves say they provide to that exchange. And it also looks like BT offer the lowest total cost of ownership....

    So here's a couple more questions (sorry)

    How do I find resellers for Entanet? - don't appear to be any listed on their site, or any way to sign up for an account!

    If my parents connection to their old phone has been disconnected, but PlusNet haven't made a new connection, is it possible to migrate to a new ISP, or is it best to just cancel PlusNet and bite the bullett of a new connection charge with the new ISP (whoever that turns out to be.)

    Thanks.
     
  4. tolien

    Caporegime

    Joined: 16 May 2003

    Posts: 25,368

    Location: ::1

    They'll only get 512kbps.

    Be warned the prices aren't necessarily 100% accurate.

    There's the two I mentioned for a start (though Evo's pretty iffy), or you could take a look here.

    No. There'll be an activation fee to pay.
     
  5. weescott

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 25 Feb 2004

    Posts: 9,394

    Location: Heckling for change

    Scotnet are a small outfit. A relative of mine had some billing issues with them and CS weren't great. Personally I would stay clear.
     
  6. CF93

    Hitman

    Joined: 28 Jan 2005

    Posts: 944

    weescott - thanks. I think I might avoid them then, as my folks had billing problems with Tiscali back in the days of dialup and ditched them as a result. Scotnet just don't look "polished" enough from their website, though I know a slick site means nothing really.

    tolien - thanks, I guess then they'll have to bite the activation fee bullett.

    So now I'm looking at Abel, BT or Enta....

    I'm just working out the actual costs from the ISPs websites so that should take care of that problem.

    Anyone else got any recommendations or experience with these ISPs?
     
  7. CF93

    Hitman

    Joined: 28 Jan 2005

    Posts: 944

    Anyone else got any recommendations?
     
  8. CF93

    Hitman

    Joined: 28 Jan 2005

    Posts: 944

    No one got any comments on BT or AOL or Abelnet?

    Been reading a thread about Evo, seems they're pretty naff, and UKFSN looks expensive, so it's down to those three....
     
  9. Skilldibop

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 28 Sep 2005

    Posts: 1,284

    Location: London

    BT i've had both satisfactory and bad reports for, AOL.....just ask anyone about AOL and you'll get a conclusive result tbh. You'll be OK until anything goes wrong. They also don't work with the default MTU on most routers so you need to know what your doing a bit if you want to get the best out of it and not spend hours on the phone to Jack reading a sheet support man.
     
  10. CF93

    Hitman

    Joined: 28 Jan 2005

    Posts: 944

    Wasn't really considering recommending AOL to my folks to be honest, so it really leaves it down to Abelnet and BT..

    Would appreciate if anyone using Abelnet could give me an idea of what they're like?

    Also, do BT offer "proper" POP3 email accounts these days? A mate of mine has a BT account, and had to sign up for a separate Yahoo email account, as his BT account didn't come with email!
     
  11. Skilldibop

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 28 Sep 2005

    Posts: 1,284

    Location: London

    Pass. I think i've seen a few aquainteneces with myname@BTOpenworld or something like that. It normally depends on the service. A "Premium" service would probably have POP3 email, web space the lot whereas a standard, cheap, let me at the interweb style package would just have internet.
     
  12. Usher

    Mobster

    Joined: 30 Dec 2004

    Posts: 3,314

  13. CF93

    Hitman

    Joined: 28 Jan 2005

    Posts: 944

    Thanks Usher, read that at lunchtime.

    It looks like BTs email is provided via a Yahoo webmail and I guess I would just need to set up their Outlook to access it, no major worries there.

    So I've now narrowed it down to these two packages:

    Abel:
    Setup cost: £47
    Monthly cost £22.91
    Speed:512k
    Cap: none(!)
    Contract length: 3 months
    Static IP: Yes

    BT (option 2):
    Setup cost: 0
    Monthly cost 22.99
    Speed: up to 8Meg
    Cap: 6Gig
    Contract length: 12 months
    Static IP: (dunno - probably not!)
     
    Last edited: 5 May 2006
  14. CurlyWhirly

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 24 May 2003

    Posts: 1,429

    Location: UK

    I've just migrated from AOL.
    The broadband service is okay but customer support is dire :rolleyes:
     
  15. Bull

    Gangster

    Joined: 30 Oct 2004

    Posts: 102

    Hi,
    We've recently got broadband here and went with BT. They included email etc. from BT-Yahoo at no extra cost and it works from Outlook express (although the mail server is mail.btinternet.com rather the pop.btin...).

    Out of the two you have listed I'd go with BT every time. Abels web mail, for instance, is terrible!
     
  16. CF93

    Hitman

    Joined: 28 Jan 2005

    Posts: 944

    Thanks all.

    Have discussed the options with my parents and they've decided to go with BT.

    Although it's got a 6gig cap they've only ever used between 1 and 3gig a month so far, there's no setup cost and in the (unlikely) event they can ever get more than 512k, they won't have to change package to get the extra speed (they already use a Netgear DG824M router so don't really need the one BT offers, but it never hurts to have a spare I guess!)

    Thanks for the help!