Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45
The UK is gettig pretty measly about bandwidth these days -- what's the point of advertising speeds of 20 / 50 mbs and then applying by the back door "Fair usage policies" which don't say on the contract exactly what you are entitled to.
Actually in the UK SKY seem to do a reasonably unlimited broadband service and speed is fine at 8mbs. I know people have a thing against Murdoch but I am satisfied with both the service quality and SKY SPORTS in general.
BT or B/S Telecom are a also DISGRACE -- anybody using them i the UK should SWITCH ASAP. I was at an apartment in the UK and after some minor downloads (legal) the speed was capped to something even a Tortoise would have had no trouble outrunning.
It's not so much the Fair usage, as it is traffic shaping. I'm sure you already know this Jimbo, but for those who don't, traffic shaping is the policy of giving some internet traffic (say streaming) priority over other's (say torrenting/downloads).
BT's traffic shaping is a joke. Most UK ISP's have what they call a "dynamic traffic shaping" system, where IF the extra bandwidth is available, they make it available to lower priority traffic, and if it's not, they don't.
BT on the other hand, arbituarily limit traffic, even when not at peak times. Basically, the only time you can expect to see decent speeds is between 12am and 12pm. After that Traffic shaping kicks in big style. Add to this their terrible network (and unfortunately, alot of us, even on other ISP's are forced to use BT's network, as they basically own most of the telephone network in this country) and terrible customer service, well it's a recipe for disaster.
A company I would actually highly recommend for Home Broadband is a company called Plusnet. Oddly, they are actually owned by the BT group, but their customer service is second to none. I live in an area where it is "BT Only" so I have to pay a bit extra with another ISP because they "rent" BT's network, but honestly I can't fault Plusnet. Although they do traffic shape, they are completely transparent about it, (and I believe they are the only UK ISP who are) and tell you exactly what the "worst case" scenario is for different traffic speeds, although in truth, I have very rarely seen it hit them.
Even more ironically, Mobile broadband is now actually seeming to be the way to go. Despite having a reputation for being expensive (£15 for 3GB is the going rate atm) 3 have just launched a Pay As You Go mobile plan, which gives you 80GB worth of data a month for £15. I just top up my sim on my phone, stick it in my dongle, eh voila. Even better, no traffic shaping on Mobile broadband, although Ping times are terrible, except I don't game, so I don't really care
Oh, and the so called "Up to 8/24 Meg" on BT's network is a damn lie. You can never ever hit those speeds due to the "IP Profile". This is basically a "cap" on your download speed, and the excess is meant to be for overheads, (you never hit your sync speed due to the 10% or so needed for overheads) except the overheads come out of your profile, not your sync speed.
Example: I sync at 8096Kbps (max rate for my line, no ADSL2 yet) but my IP profile is 7Mb, this extra 1Mbis MEANT to be to cover the over heads, so I should within theory get near enough the full 7Mb, except I don't. The overheads come out of my 7Mb, so I actually get nearer 6.3