Anyone got any new insights into the broadband market?

What are these new/non standard companies like Origin, John Lewis, Shell, SSE, Zen etc actually like?

Are Vodafone bb any good?

Is Talk Talk still absolute crap with THE worst customer service in the world?

Currently thinking the move back to Plusnet from BT is looking like the best option. Slightly better package that £5-6 cheaper than current. Hard to know what speeds i can actually get down here as opposed to advertised.

Guess the fibre deals from Sky, Plusnet, Talk Talk, BT etc will all be the same into the house. It’s down to the quality of the router? Anyone up on router technology?

Put it this way. I used to work for one of those that may or may not be in Newbury, had staff discount and still went with Virgin. :laughing:

With any of the MVNO, you will be beholden to what service the actual NO can provide, and that’s usually where it gets sticky.

With the whole WFH thing right now, I’m not prepared to mess with any of my connections for the sake of a few ££. Consistency is king atm.


We’re with Vodafone, as I get free line rental. It’s about on a par with all the other big providers tbh. In my experience they will all p*** you off at some point.

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BT have been decent on the whole, but the past couple of months especially it’s been patchy. There always seems to be an engineer in a hole around the corner these days, odn’t know if that’s linked or not?

I guess what i’m trying to work out is are the providers just a ‘face’ and it’s all the same infrastructure etc behind the scenes anyway? Or do, say BT, hold back more bandwidth and capacity for their connections, and feed the other providers the dregs? That’s a really lay person way of explaining it, and don’t even know if it works that way or not./…

Do a speed checker on your line, checkout Topcashback to who will give you the most back vs. cost of the service and go with what you need.

I left Talktalk (yes, shite CS) to go to NowTV. NowTV is part of Sky and their routers are good compared to most ISP supplied ones and I get better speeds all for a few quid more but then I got £80 cashback which made it much cheaper.

They all give you a guaranteed minimum speed below which they have to refund you or fix the issue.

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The lines to your house are operated by Openreach (other than Virgin and others like Hyperoptic if you can get it). There may be a difference in the equipment hosted in the exchange depending on the operator, most of the smaller cheaper ones are MVNO like fatpom said and they just piggyback on someone else’s network.

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Good call. I forgot about that one. I’d trawled the various comparison sites etc and the Topcashback one actually offers £85 cashback on the Plusnet one i’m angling towards - the cahback maxed out at £55 elsewhere.

I have everything with BT, phone, broadband, TV etc. It’s not the cheapest but my logic is that if anything’s not working it’s their fault and they can’t blame someone else.
Never had any real issues with them over a many years, lost TV channels once and they sorted it pretty quick.

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since moving here 5 years ago, we were with BT to start with but I switched to Plusnet a couple of years ago - they are a subsidiary of BT but charge less than their masters.

Zen have a very good reputation but are more expensive so I didn’t switch to them when I was shopping around.

the service we get can be patchy - seems to be worse when the weather is bad - which we think is down to some old junctions between our place and the green road junction box, although lately it’s been fine.

you’re not obliged to use the supplied router - you can go with any make really as long as it’s set up correctly but loads of online tutorials on how to do this.

Ordered with BT on August 6, still waiting for the fibre to be connected from the pole 10 feet from my house to another pole 12 feet from my house and then to my house.

Pole one is over the road and from pole one to pole two involves going over the electric cable which supplies the house so we need traffic lights to close one side of the road and two cherry pickers - luckily we are still in touch with the real world with sky until we do finally get connected

Kind of yes and kind of no (that’s helpful). A bit like mobile, you can be on the same network but get different levels of service depending on cost and provider. It’s called ‘optimisation’ and this is basically the ability for a provider to turn on ‘smarter’ bits of their equipment.

The reason they don’t just switch it on for everyone is cost. The licences for fully optimised features are more expensive, as id the HWAC ( hardware activation code, which is like a key).

Also, remedy KPIs will be more robust for the NO than a cheaper MVNO.

So yes, in many cases, it’s a ‘face’ to a provider’s infrastructure but it doesn’t always follow that because you’re on that infrastructure that you get all the benefits.

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Face it…


That was another of my concerns - is it like the mobile providers situation, where they’re all different kinds of crap that have us bent over a barrell at all times!

they might all be rubbish but it’s the level of rubbishness that you’re willing to accept that is key.

as @FatPom says, if you go with a NO rather than MVNO then it should be better and more “reliable”.

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ok thanks all. I’ve gone with the cheaper option from Now TV, as with them and PlusNet it didn’t look like either could acutally provide the higher speeds! So that’s a coiuple of quid p/m saved.

Originally selected PlusNet as there wee pennies in it, but their order form kept crashing. I gave it three goes and they lost a new customer, so went straight over to Now Tv and all sorted in minutes.

Cheers for the input

Anyone know if you can speedcheck another address?

I’m house searching and I
a - don’t believe the vendors “oh yes it’s fine, perfectly fast”
b - the agent - see above quote
c - vague ‘postcode speeds’ can be wildly inaccurate

You put in the address, it gives you what’s available.

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Virgin currently trying to bend us over… so any recommendations out there at the moment for a new supplier?

What are your requirements…

Or of course, just cancel Virgin, and wait a week for their best offer, which’ll be much the same as the current one.

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Yeah just browsing and there’s plenty of decent virgin offers out there (tho I’d also like a new router as part of the deal).
100mb minimum, not fussed about contract length, cheaper the better - reliable (obvs that ones impossible to know till you get it).