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April 30, 2010

O2 tops best broadband satisfaction charts

O2 Broadband has topped the “best broadband provider” charts once again in the latest customer satisfaction survey done by uSwitch.

In the 11 different categories that each broadband provider was rated in O2 Broadband was top in 10 and second in 1.

o2 logo O2 tops best broadband satisfaction chartsIn the “Overall Satisfaction” category which O2 won, they received a huge 92% rating, Plusnet came in second with 87% and Sky Broadband with 86%.

Overall Plusnet were the second best performing broadband provider through most of the categories with Sky and then Virgin Media based on how they were ranked in all the categories.

The study looked at various different aspects which included value for money, customer support, technical support, quality of connection and broadband speed offered amongst others.

Other interesting things the study found was that compared to 2009 the average price of broadband has come down by 4% to £13,95 per month (167.40 per year) and the average speed increased from from 4.24Mb to 5.65Mb making it 33% faster, yet the satisfaction of broadband speed is actually down slightly.

The study was done by using over 7,500 adults between 1st-6th February 2010.

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Ofcom’s findings of broadband speed estimates from ISPs

Ofcom performed some mystery shopping tests with the various UK broadband providers to check how many were following the “Broadband Speeds Voluntary Code of Practice” (COPBB), this is where customers are given a broadband speed estimate at the point of sale amongst other things.

For telephone calls, an average of just 43% were given the estimated broadband speed when signing up to a broadband provider over the telephone without having to ask for it.
O2 broadband led the way with 54% given this broadband speed without needing prompting, BT were at the opposite end of the sale in last position with just 28% of calls being given this information without needing to ask for it.
Customers who requested the estimated broadband speed they would receive changed who lead the way, with Plusnet providing overall 93% of lines with their estimated speeds through either voluntarily or requested broadband speeds.

The broadband providers who were included in the results were done so only when there was enough data to give an accurate conclusions and these included: Plusnet, Talk Talk, BT, Orange, O2, Sky and Virgin Media.

For those mystery shoppers who went online to do their research overall it found that 66% were given a broadband speed that was not the headline speed and 21% not able to get a broadband speed online from the broadband providers website.
Virgin Media came out worst in this test finding that they just gave their headline speed to 35% of website users and just 34% given a single figure and 30% not given any speed at all!

The Voluntary code is designed to try and make it clearer for new broadband subscribers what broadband speed that they are likely to receive when signing up to a broadband provider instead of just seeing the advertised headline speed which most users will not receive (unless they live pretty much next to the local telephone exchange).

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April 28, 2010

Virgin Media gaining plenty of new customers

Virgin Media added 72,300 new  cable broadband customers in the first quarter of 2010 according to their latest results out today.

The new subscribers joined Virgin Media at a faster rate than ever before, so much so that they had a 53% increase compared to the previous quarter, even more good news for Virgin is how popular their bundled services are.
They currently have 61.9% of customers on triple-play services, such as broadband, Digital TV & Phone, with 11% on quad-play services.
Virgin Media broadband is available with a headline speed of 50Mb.

Virgin Media Chief Executive Officer, Neil Berkett said:

“This quarter, we added cable customers at our fastest ever rate. A combination of higher gross additions, low churn and increased ARPU enabled us to deliver year-on-year cable revenue growth for the fourth consecutive quarter. This has driven the growth in total revenue and, with solid cost control, a double digit year-on-year increase in OCF for the second successive quarter.

“We are developing our services to exploit our natural network advantage, both now and in the future. More customers than ever before are choosing faster broadband and every day millions of our customers are enjoying the benefits of the video-on-demand revolution we are leading. On average our customers pressed “play” more than two million times a day, every day in the last three months. The latest addition to our set-top box range, the V HD Box, will also enable more Virgin Media customers to enjoy HD television without an on-going monthly fee.”

Earlier this week Virgin Media launched a new online movie service called “Virgin Media Online Movies” which allows users to watch hundreds of movies online, on-demand. 2 big titles to start the service with include “Fantastic Mr Fox” and “District 9″.
The service will allow users to watch the films as many times as they want over a 48 hour period and even stop, pause and rewind the films. It even allows the film to be watched wherever the user logs on, be that at home or at work!

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- Filed under: News
- Tags: Virgin broadband, Virgin Media, Virgin Media latest quarter results
Author: Sheri @ 12:40 pm

April 26, 2010

Copper cable theft cuts broadband for 2,000 in Farningham, Kent

Around 2,000 BT network broadband and telephone customers in Farningham, Kent have lost their broadband connections after the copper cables have been stolen by thieves.

On Wednesday thieves cut six cables in five places and stole the copper cable, which is the second time in a year that this has happened in this area. The total length of copper cable to be replaced is around 2 miles and everyone is hopefully due to be back online by the end of today (Monday).

A statement from BT to the BBC said:

It is a very complex and time consuming repair job. We are doing all we can to restore services as quickly as possible. Up to 2,000 customers were affected and services have now been restored for nearly half of them. We hope to have completed the work by end of Monday.

Copper is highly sought after as it’s price has shot up in recent years which makes it a target for criminals to make money on.

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Sky broadband free speed upgrade to 20Mb

Sky is to offer all it’s Sky broadband customers a free broadband speed upgrade to 20Mb from 1st June.

The move will also co-incide with Sky streamlining it’s broadband offers to just 2 options, either the Everyday Lite which is free to Sky TV customers who also have Sky Talk, or £5 if it is a customer who only takes the broadband but is capped at 2GB of data transfer per month or the Unlimited plan which costs an extra £7.50 per month but does not have any restrictions in place and is supposedly fully unlimited with no traffic management or fair use policy’s.

The 20Mb broadband will be using ADSL2+ technology and like with current standard ADSL the broadband speed you actually receive will depend on your distance from the telephone exchange and the quality of the line.

Both the broadband deals are available on a 12 month contract.

New subscribers online can currently also receive a free £25 M&S voucher of they sign up to a Sky TV package online at www.sky.com.

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April 22, 2010

BT to add 150 more exchanges to ADSL2+

BT are set to upgrade 150 telephone exchanges in the UK which would increase the broadband speed available for those people connected to these exchanges up to 24Mb broadband.

bt broadband BT to add 150 more exchanges to ADSL2+The upgrade will be applied to the selected 150 exchanges so that they are on the Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC) service which offers ADSL2+ technology.

BT are aiming to have ADSL2+ available to 75% of UK homes and business by the spring of 2011 which will hopefully benefit 16.8 million UK homes and businesses.

BT are currently also investing in their own fibre optic network which will be able to offer broadband speeds of up to 40Mb.

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April 20, 2010

TalkTalk to increase fibre broadbanf network

TalkTalk are set to increase their own network by unbundling even more exchanges and giving them 90% coverage of the UK in the next year and to also get customers onto fibre broadband.

TalkTalk currently have 1700 exchanges in the UK unbundled and plan to add an extra 300 which would take them over 2000 in total around the UK.

On the TalkTlak blog it said the following:

“We’ve currently unbundled just over 1,700 phone exchanges around the UK, meaning that our customers near these exchanges are on our own fibre network rather than on BT’s legacy infrastructure. This gives us coverage for about 80% of the UK population but our aim is to increase this over the next year. We’re planning to unbundle a further 300 exchanges, taken us to over 2,000 in total, and pushing us to coverage of nearly 90% of the population.

We’re also upgrading the capacity of our network in anticipation of ever-higher internet usage. The industry expectation is that consumption of data online will increase by a whopping 50% year on year over the next few years. We’re enhancing our network to cope with this explosive rise in demand.

This upward trend is being boosted by the rise of online TV and video services like BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and, of course, YouTube. Soon these will be joined by Canvas, the online TV service we are a part of, which will provide an iPlayer-style catch-up service on your TV set, while also giving you additional content and features.”

Lats month TalkTalk also announced that all it’s customers would receive a free upgrade to their 24Mb broadband speeds offered by ADSL2+.

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April 14, 2010

Villagers raise £3,000 to install fibre broadband

The village of Lyddington, Rutland has moved into the broadband fast lane with the installation of fibre broadband available to the 200 homes.

It  may be surprising that a village of just 200 homes would already be having fibre optic broadband installed ahead of much larger towns and cities but the super-fast next generation broadband was done and funded by themselves.

11 local businessmen each put in around £3000 to help raise the £37,000 needed which they have used to create Rutland Telecom and who then used a local ITC company that resells BT’s broadband to have their new cabinet installed and fed with a fibre optic cable.

Being in a rural area meant that the village was quite a distance from the local telephone exchange and it would also put them towards the bottom of the pile when it comes to having fibre broadband installed from companies such as BT and Virgin Media as for them it would be uneconomical to do so due to the lack of return on their investment.

The villagers will now be able to have fibre broadband access with speeds up to 40Mb, which is hugely faster than the 0.5Mb that they were previously achieving.

Already 50 homes have signed up to use the new fibre broadband being offered by Rutland Telecom which is being charged at £30 per month for line rental, broadband and UK phone calls. The 11 investors should make  back their investment within an estimated 3 years.

Rutland Telecom have been approached by around 40 other rural community groups who hope to follow by their example and see if they can also self fund a fibre broadband roll out to their villages.

For many rural areas who want next generation fibre broadband sooner rather than later could look at setting up similar schemes. The government have put on hold plans to introduce a 50p per month “broadband tax” to find the roll out of next generation broadband to rural areas for the time being, although should Labour win the General Election next month it is likely that this will be set back into place.

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April 13, 2010

3 months free on BT Broadband and Calls bundles

BT Broadband are offering 3 months free on all services in it’s broadband and calls bundles.

The offer which is only available online (Visit www.bt.com) will allow customers who choose the “Talk and Surf Plus”, “Talk and Surf Unlimited”, “Talk, Surf and Watch Plus” or the “Talk, Surf and Watch Unlimited” bundles to get the first 3 months of each of the services (calls, internet and TV) for free while only having to pay for the line rental at a cost of £11.54 per month.

  • Talk and Surf Plus
    • £19.99 per month
    • Unlimited UK anytimes calls
    • Up to 20Mb broadband with 10GB usage
  • Talk and Surf Unlimited
    • £27.99 per month
    • Unlimited UK anytime calls
    • Up to 20Mb broadband with 1Unlimited usage (fair use policy applies)
  • Talk, Surf and Watch Plus
    • £33.99 per month
    • Unlimited UK anytime calls
    • Up to 20Mb broadband with 10GB usage
    • Vision+ box with freeview access + 4 viewing packs
    • £45 one off Vision+ box fee
  • Talk, Surf and Watch Unlimited
    • £48.99 per month
    • Unlimited UK anytime calls
    • Up to 20Mb broadband with 1Unlimited usage (fair use policy applies)
    • Vision+ box with freeview access + 6 viewing packs
    • £45 one off Vision+ box fee

All the above bundles also come with a free BT Home Hub.

These BT bundle 3 months free offers are only available online until 31st May 2010 and only available to new customers who sign up for an 18 month contract.
Anyone taking out the “Talk, Surf and Watch Unlimited” could make a huge saving of £146.97.

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April 9, 2010

O2 top broadband satisfaction charts

A broadband satisfaction survey has found O2 Broadband leading the way.

o2 logo O2 top broadband satisfaction chartsA survey done by broadband comparison website “Broadband-Expert” that had over 100,000 consumers taking part in found that 77% of O2 Home broadband customers were satisfied with their broadband provider. Coming in in second place with 73% satisfaction was BE Broadband. BE Broadband are owned by O2 and so it is probably not a coincidence that these two broadband providers are topping the charts and goes along way to show that they have clearly got a good customer orientated service on offer with their broadband products.

O2 broadband regularly tops satisfaction charts since they have launched into the home broadband market.

The survey found that compared to the same time last year that customer satisfaction across the board has risen around 7% and hopefully goes to show that the broadband providers are taking a greater interest in their customers satisfaction, a rather important factor in making sure customers don’t jump ship and change broadband provider.

AOL were once again at the bottom of the satisfaction charts with a customer satisfaction rating of just 56%, with Orange not far in-front on 59% and BT Broadband also in the bottom three with a customer satisfaction rating of just 60%.

O2 Broadband currently have an offer running at the moment where new O2 broadband subscribers can receive 3 months free broadband when they sign up to one of it’s home broadband package (www.broadband.o2.co.uk)

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