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September 17, 2013

Ofcom calling for broadband providers to help make switching easier

Broadband providers have been challenged to make switching broadband providers easier for consumers and for them to work with Ofcom to help make this possible.

Ed Richards, the Chief Executive of Ofcom, said in a speech at “Consumers and Citizens in the Communications Sector” conference yesterday (Monday 16th September) that despite the UK having one of the most competitive communications markets in the world that consumers were still not able to take full advantage of it because of the difficulties and process involved with moving between broadband providers.

Initially what is to be done to help make the switching process simpler for broadband providers who use the BT Openreach network is for the broadband provider who is “gaining” the new customer takes control of the switch and processes the transfer for the customer. They will do the work with the “losing” provider to get the customer switched over as quickly and easily as possible. Although this is a start, Mr Richards wants further actions to be done to make the process even simpler and remove any other issues that consumers face such as switching between different bundles and different networks (for example from a BT Openreach network provider to the Virgin Media network).

In his speech, Mr Richards asked of broadband providers:
…to transform switching; to remove the inconvenience, delays and uncertainty that currently can bedevil consumers when trying to change their provider.
He also said:
a system that enables consumers to take advantage of the increasing competition and innovation available“.

Many consumers pay far more than they need to for broadband and communications bundles because they don’t switch, it is recommended after each time that the current deal reaches the end of its contract for consumers to shop around and see if there are any other deals that would work out more beneficial to them.

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- Filed under: Home Broadband
- Tags: Changing broadband providers, Ofcom, Switching broadband
Author: Mark @ 9:23 am

September 9, 2013

Sky use Toy Story characters in latest fibre broadband advert

Sky Broadbands latest advert has the characters from Disney Pixars Toy Story as the lead roles as Sky push their superfast fibre broadband packages.

A number of the Toy Story characters feature in the 50 second long advert, including Woody, Buzz and Jesse, the advert also ties in with the new 30 minute Toy Story Of Terror TV special that will premiere on Sky Movies Disney in October this year.

The advert shows the struggle of an interent connection with their current provider and shows the “Toy Story Of Terror” being watched online stop with buffering before it was suggested by the Toy Story aliens that Sky fibre broadband services could be the answer.

The Sky Fibre Unlimited package is available at the moment for £10 per month for 6 months plus line rental at £14.50 per month and then the monthly price rises to its standard price of £20 per month. The Sky Fibre Unlimited offers up to 38Mb fibre optic broadband speeds.

View the new Toy Story Sky Fibre Broadband advert below:

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August 14, 2013

Switching broadband set to be made easier

Switching broadband provider or telephone provider is set to become much easier and hopefully more seamless with proposed changes by Ofcom to the way these switches take place.

Currently if a customer wants to change broadband provider they have to contact their existing broadband provider and then start the process to move with them, however this has in the past caused delays and problems for customers as it is not overly in the ISPs interest to make it easy for a customer to leave their service. However, under the new rules that Ofcom are hoping to get sorted the customer will only need to contact the broadband provider that they want to move to and then this provider will deal with sorting out the move, and since it is in the new providers interest to get new customers on board as quickly as possible it will likely mean that there are less delays or problems to deal with.

It should be noted that these rules for the telephone and broadband switching are only going to be applicable to people using the Openreach copper network. This will include fixed telephone landline and broadband customers that use copper into the home so that will be for users on standard copper broadband and also those using Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) as this also uses copper cable into the home.

Also, to help protect customers from falling foul of “slamming” which is where a provider will deliberately move a customer without their consent, providers will be required to keep a record of every customers consent for a switch.

Ofcom have left their proposals open for consulting until October 2nd 2013. It is then hoped that the details will be finalised by the early part of 2014 and be implemented fully within a year of that.

Anyone wanting to respond can do so direct at Ofcom.org.uk

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August 1, 2013

BT Sport goes live tonight and is free for BT Broadband customers

BT’s head to head battle with BSkyB starts properly tonight as the new BT Sport channel goes live tonight for the first time at 6pm.

Free BT Sport with BT BroadbandBT (www.bt.com) have put much time and money into their BT Sport channels, first off they secured the rights to 38 Premier League football games per season for 3 seasons of which they will get first choice for around half of their games, next up they then decided that BT Broadband customers would get free access to the BT Sport channels, this resulted with Sky then offering free Sky Broadband to their customers who have Sky TV contracts.

BT has much deeper pockets than other sports channels who have tried to compete with BSkyB for sports coverage in the past such as Setanta and ESPN. BT’s dive into the Sport sector is initially probably less to do with wanting to take over the paid TV market that Sky have most coverage of but to instead help reduce the churn of BT Broadband customers from leaving them for rivals and to entice other broadband customers to join them. Triple-play services such as Telephone, Broadband & TV are what both BT & Sky want from their customers to sign up for so they can take more money from them for having more services but they have to offer deals and enticing offers to make these worthwhile for customers.

BT Sport have not only splashed the cash on getting the live football games but also in building a good team to represent the channels, they got Jake Humphrey from the BBC F1 team to be the main host and they have signed Robin Van Persie, Rio Ferdinand and Gareth Bale as some of the faces to help advertise the channel. Sky have recently launched a new advert with David Beckham to advertise their Sports channels which shows him at home and on the move in studios and a cafe and being able to watch Sky Sports on the go wherever he is.

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June 18, 2013

Sky offer free broadband for Sky Sports customers

Sky have gone back on the offensive to lure broadband customers to them as they go in a toe to toe battle with rival broadband provider BT by offering 12 months free broadband for Sky Sports subscribers.

sky sports Sky offer free broadband for Sky Sports customersBT Broadband started this latest battle by offering BT Broadband customers free viewing of it’s new BT Sport TV channels that will have 38 live Premier League games available that won’t be available on Sky.
Sky have now countered this offer and switched it round a bit and are offering customers who pay for a Sky Sports TV package free Sky Broadband Unlimited for a year, or 6 months free superfast Sky Fibre broadband which usually costs £20 per month. £14.50 monthly line rental will still be charged.

Those who take Sky Sports TV package will receive Sky Sports 1 & 2, Sky Sports News and Sky Sports F1.

The good news for existing Sky Sports customers is that the deal is available for both new and existing Sky Sports customers, Sky are obviously trying very hard to make sure that few of their current broadband subscriber base make the switch to BT Broadband and that also they can maybe try and lure some of BT’s customers over to the “Sky” side.

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May 21, 2013

Sky offer O2 Broadband customers free Sky TV and free broadband

Sky are offering existing O2 Broadband customers free Sky TV and free broadband for a year if they switch over to Sky broadband by the end of June.

At the start of March it was announced that Sky would be buying O2 Home broadband & BE Broadband customers from parent company Telefonica in a deal worth £180 million. A combination of factors may have resulted in Sky coming along with this very enticing offer, one being that of the 500,000 home broadband customers that were with O2 & BE, 40,000 are believed to have ended their contracts with the O2 or BE according to results on Telefonicas latest quarter report and Sky are keen to keep the rest. The other reason could well be because of BT’s latest offer of offering BT Broadband customers free access to BT Sports channels which will include 38 free Premier League games for 12 months, Sky won’t want any more O2 broadband customers jumping ship and going to BT rather than staying for the migration over to Sky.

The offer existing O2 Broadband customers are to receive we believe is the Entertainment Extra+ service which comes with 48 HD channels, plus a broadband unlimited package with both of these being free for 12 months. There will still be a monthly line rental of £14.50 per month or £119.40 if paid upfront which is an extra saving of £50. In total the offer is set to save customers £468 based on it’s current charge of £39 per month (excluding the line rental). And customers who do sign up for it will then have to decide after 12 months if they wish to stay on the package or move to another broadband provider.

It is thought that existing O2 Broadband customers will receive a mail shot in the most with a unique reference number to call up with to claim the offer and so it will be worth keeping an eye out for for any existing O2 Broadband customer who fancies taking up the offer.

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March 4, 2013

Sky to buy up O2 & BE Broadband customers

Sky have agreed a deal with the owners of 02 & BE Broadband to buy up their UK broadband and fixed line business in a deal worth up to £200 million.

Spain’s Telefonica who are the current owners of O2 & BE Broadband brands will initially receive £180 million for the new broadband customers and a further £20 million once there has been a successful migration of customers from O2 Broadband & BE Broadband to Sky Broadband.

This latest acquisition, providing it receives approval from the regulatory body will push Sky Broadband to be the 2nd largest UK ISP ahead of Virgin Media and behind BT. It is estimated that Sky broadband will boost their broadband subscriber numbers by around 500,000 and take it’s broadband customer base to around 4.7 million. Virgin Media have around 4.3 million and BT leading the way with 6.5 million broadband customers.

Sky’s Chief Executive, Jeremy Darroch, said:
Sky has been the UK’s fastest-growing broadband and telephony provider since we entered the market six years ago. From a standing start in 2006, we have added more than 4.2 million broadband customers. The acquisition of Telefónica UK’s consumer broadband and fixed-line telephony business will help us accelerate this growth.

Not only will BSkyB benefit of the extra broadband customers but they will also have a new large group of customers to target with their triple or quadruple play services such as Sky TV.

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April 23, 2012

John Lewis Broadband launches

John Lewis are entering the broadband market and will look to use their great standing as one of the leading UK stores to entice customers to use their internet services.

john lewis broadband John Lewis Broadband launchesFrom what we can see, John Lewis Broadband (www.johnlewisbroadband.com) is being set up to be fairly “black & white” and very customer focused, we don’t spot any “fair use policies” in place on their Unlimited broadband, they have freephone UK customer support and simple 12 month contracts with no hidden catches and all inclusive monthly pricing, along with no activation or set up fees, although a phone option does need to also be taken from John Lewis so users can’t just sign up for broadband only.

There are 3 different packages available to customers, the Standard, Unlimited & Fibre.

Standard broadband – £11 (plus a phone option starting from £13.50) per month, up to 16Mb broadband speeds & 20GB monthly data usage on a 12 month contract.

Unlimited broadband – £18 (plus a phone option starting from £13.50) per month, up to 16Mb broadband speeds & unlimited monthly data usage on a 12 month contract.

Fibre broadband – £25 (plus a phone option starting from £13.50) per month, up to 38Mb broadband speeds & 100GB monthly data usage on a 12 month contract.

Monthly line rental is £13.50 and this includes the evening & weekends phone package included in the price.

All packages also come with Bullguard internet security to help keep computers safe

John Lewis, who own Waitrose will be replacing their Waitrose & Greenbee phone and broadband packages with the John Lewis Broadband deals, any existing Waitrose or Greenbee customers will likely be contacted to switch over their broadband to the new John Lewis Broadband packages as the other deals will be phased out.

Adam Brown, the John Lewis Telecoms Manager, said:
This move complements the range of services and products we offer – over 80 per cent of all our consumer electronics sales are WiFi enabled and we know our customers want the same honest and trustworthy experience from their internet provision as they would expect from any product they buy from us.

“John Lewis broadband gives customers an upfront and transparent price on a range of broadband and phone packages with no hidden terms and conditions, a simple 12 month contract with no hidden catches and the excellent customer service that we are renowned for.

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- Filed under: Home Broadband,News
- Tags: John Lewis broadband, johnlewisbroadband.com
Author: Mark @ 10:13 am

March 13, 2012

TalkTalk launch 80Mb fibre broadband in April

TalkTalk are to start offering 80Mb fibre broadband from April this year they have announced.

talktalk logo TalkTalk launch 80Mb fibre broadband in AprilFrom April, TalkTalk will be doubling the maximum broadband speed it offers via fibre optic broadband from 40Mb to up to 80Mb with upload speeds up to 20Mb.

The faster 80Mb broadband speeds will be available due to BT doubling the FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet) broadband speeds on it’s network, BT announced that these new speeds would be available to their wholesale customers in April. BT themselves have not even announced the faster broadband speeds to their own customers yet so TalkTalk are getting in early with their promotion of the new deals!

Tristia Clarke, Commercial Director at Talktalk, said:

Demand is continuing to increase for superfast broadband as more customers use their internet connections to watch live television, stream HD content, talk to their friends and family or play games that require real time responses.

We expect our new Superfast Fibre Optic Broadband to be very popular as it will allow the whole family to enjoy seamless connectivity and high upload and download speeds for unbeatable value.

TalkTalk’s 40Mb fibre broadband is available for an additional £10 per month on the current Essentials or Plus package price while the new 80Mb broadband will be an additional £15 per month. There is also a £25 activation fee for an engineer visit to set up the service.

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March 7, 2012

Orange Broadband package now comes with inclusive mobile phone calls

Orange have launched what they claim is the first broadband package that offers customers calls to mobile phones included.

orange broadband mobile calls Orange Broadband package now comes with inclusive mobile phone callsThe new package is the Orange “Broadband and Anytime Mobile Calls” which costs £20 per month plus £13.50 line rental, Orange Mobile customers receive £5 per month discount. For this users get unlimited broadband, unlimited UK anytime calls (1,000 minutes fair use policy) plus 1,000  minutes (March 2012 offer) of calls to UK mobiles. For the month of March the inclusive mobile calls has been doubled for 12 months for those who sign up before the end of March, anyone who signs up after March will receive 500 minutes per month.

Along with the included broadband and calls is a free “Bright Box” wireless router and McAfee Antivirus Plus 2012 with parental controls free for a year which is worth £49.99.

Another online exclusive for those who sign up online is that they will receive £60 of M&S vouchers too.

The broadband speed customers can expect is up to 20Mb for those who are on an Orange unbundled exchange or up to 8Mb for those not on Orange Broadband network areas.

The Director of Marketing & Proposition at Orange Broadband, Sylvain Thevenot, said:

We all enjoy the comfort of using our home phone to chat, but sometime a fear of costs can prevent us from contacting friends and family when they’re out and about. So we’ve decided to offer Brits peace of mind and take home phone calling to the next level by creating the UK’s first home phone package that meets customers calling needs.

This comes after Orange point to a YouGov survey that found that 29% of Brits won’t call a mobile from their home phone as they don’t know how much it will cost them and that 55% of Britons with a landline said that they would use their home phone more if inclusive minutes to mobile phones were included in their deal.

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