Best broadband deals

Best broadband deals – cheap broadband or Free Sky TV?

Working from home on the internet, one thing you absolutely have to to depend upon is a reliable and fast broadband connection. It’s a serious matter to consider changing Internet Service Provider(ISP) and start looking around for the best broadband deals.

For example it’s no use being a cheapskate and putting up with an average or poor service when it comes to having an efficient tool for the trade. On the other hand, whilst the cheap broadband options are sure to be compromised at some point, the most expensive broadband isn’t always the best broadband.

I mentioned on twitter that I’m looking for the best broadband deals and was then recommended Tiscali. I found out that my current ISP has actually been taken over by a company which has been subsequently bought up by Tiscali, so I’m already a customer of theirs by default, yet their website tells me my phone line is ineligible?!

Shifting Marketplace for cheap broadband

This is a constant change scenario. A few years back I was lucky enough to live in an area where the revolutionary Homechoice were piloting a new service. This included fast 1Mb broadband internet at a time when everywhere else was limited to 256 or 512K, bundled in with an on demand TV via copper wire (almost IPTV) which was superb in functionality.

Homechoice best broadband deals

As a broadband service provider this was easily the best deal available but they never managed to raise the cash to buy enough content to take off. That was before the unbundling of the local loop for telecomms, so BT were able to hold things back for them. Unfortunately Homechoice pulled out of my area when they moved on to the next generation of the IPTV service, and have since been acquired by O2. So I would not recommend using any of the smaller companies because you never know who you are going to end up with.

Free SKY TV

This history means that I am amenable to the idea of fast broadband internet being bundled in with a TV service, which is why I’m looking at SKY digital TV and broadband. The interesting broadband deal on offer currently is the basic SKY TV and broadband package for £16. You can look at that as either a free SKY TV service, bundled in with what you would normally pay for cheap broadband only, or as a free broadband offer for people who have always wanted the huge number of extra TV channels. If you have internet access out at work and mainly only use the home connection for browsing in the evenings and weekends then the best broadband deal is probably the SKY broadband Base package, whereas a home business worker or gamer would probably need to upgrade to the even faster speeds with totally unlimited bandwidth for an extra £5 or £10 a month.

SKY + and SKY HD

I’m not that bothered about the additional entertainment channels on offer at £1 a bundle, nor the premium films or live football but I must admit I’ve always been interested in the huge number of niche channels which become available free to air, upon becoming a SKY subscriber. Turkish TV, Punjab, Arabic and NTV for a start, and then the enormous back catalogue of nature documentaries and comedy which are not always available anywhere on freeview for example. And the geek in me is dying to have a play with the extra technology that can be added as a one-off. The SKY PLUS (SKY+) box which gives TIVO like functionality (pause and replay live TV, record one or two channels while watching something else) and clever software to record linked series. The Sky Multiroom client server network could be fun or the High Definition TV Sky HD box. There’s not much point in getting the HDTV though without getting a new TV set to do it justice, but if a new TV is on the cards then it might be worth making sure the best wiring and connections are installed ready for it as part of the setup deal.

Best Broadband Deals

Back to the broadband though, which could be the real justification for subscribing to SKY. I’ve noticed that the free basic broadband package is at 2Megabits per second, which is actually twice as fast as my old Homechoice connection used to be. The one that everybody envied. So that might well suffice given that a lot of what I do is text and graphic based interaction and browsing. It’s probably only if a lot of large downloads or streaming video are required that the upgrades would be required, but that’s completely flexible on a month by month basis anyway, so for the advantage of getting all those extra TV channels, functionality and gadgets the free broadband ‘base’ has to be one of the best broadband deals around. That’s without even mentioning the free weekend and evening telephone calls, cheaper than BT Together for calls to mobiles and international numbers, nor the “SKY Anywhere via TV” on-demand service which is included with any SKY+ box.

Reservations

My only reservations are that satellite TV is perhaps not the future. In the longer run, some people think that TV channels wont exist in the present format at all. It will all be “on demand” so nobody is ever watching the same programme at the same time. But the availability of on-demand music hasn’t killed radio has it? I have a theory that channels will be with us for a long time to come, alongside all of the personalised browsing, on-demand, skip and fast forward stuff. Besides it’s still the best broadband deal that is the main consideration for business, with the free Sky TV as a nice bonus for myself.

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21 Responses to Best broadband deals

  1. I used to get badly annoyed whenever anybody rang the doorbell or called in the middle my favourite telly, but now I can just put it on pause while I get rid of them, and I haven’t missed anything. So deffo get the sky plus box.

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  3. I added this comment over at pyjamanation

    i was very disappointed that their package as you detail above added on and extra £17 per month for the Mid Broadband – it seems I live in the wrong area. I don’t quite understand why ther is a difference – I thought Sky used the same wires that BT supply

  4. ffxi gil says:

    We have BT Broadband, renewed the contract recently to get free BT Vision (a freeview version of Sky Plus). We’ve decided not to install it right away as we live in an old building and don’t have a digital aerial (having previously only had Sky TV).

    In 3 months, we’ve received 10 phone calls asking why we’ve not installed BT Vision and when we expect to do so. They’re not offering to install it for us, but they seem very anxious to know we have installed it. Very strange.

    I would recommend BT Broadband – quite consistent, though the customer support is quite poor.

  5. Simon says:

    Personally I’m a cable broadband man. After living for a number of years with both ADSL and Cable, there really is no comparison. The connection is noticeably snappier and just seems a whole lot more stable. I’m actually getting 2.5Mbps download speed at the moment, even though this cable connections is supposedly slower than my old ADSL connection and the max I ever got out of that was 800Kb.

    The only two drawbacks are that you have to be in a cable area and you do pay a premium over adsl. I’ve also heard that the Virgin support isn’t great, but I’ve not had to deal with them yet. And either way, they can’t be as bad as the BT people I’ve had to deal with previously.

  6. Tradleg says:

    trouble with sky is that you have to use their email service and no-one elses

    • Once you are connected to the internet, whichever broadband deals you choose, you can then use any web based email service you like eg googlemail.com or receive POP3 emails into any email address you own using an installed email client program such as Thunderbird or Outlook.

  7. Tradleg says:

    correction accepted……but I think you have to use sky’s outbound pop3 email.

    • JJ Malo says:

      Hi

      they are all crooks

      BT, Tisculi and virgin them are specially

      All of them try to cheat you they make things go wrong so you have to call their customer services by this way they make additional money from your call. (0871 etc numbers)

      they advertise “ONLY £4.99 Broadband” but they add in small print, after 3rd month £29.00 some don’t even do that and you only see it much much later

      they make you pay £11 for phone line even if you don’t want or need it

      Its all a fraud

  8. Chris says:

    Hi, I am shortly to move to a new flat and am disabled, I contacted BT about a line and they said that I must pay the £120 to connect a line. Why is it that BT have the monopoly on phone lines, also do I have to have a contract with them for 12 months before I can change to another supplier, as usal BT were very unhelpful. I use broadband 24/7 due to my disabilities for emailing and contacting people as I find it easier then useing a text direct (minicom).I am looking for a good supplier of broadband with fast connection, also I do not use a phone so perhaps someone could sugest a reasonable supplier. I am currently living with my carer who broadband connection I use at present which is Tiscali, but they are a utter waist of time as there call centre is in India and ask a question via email, and they send you a load of unexplainable rubbish back and not answered the question you sent them. So that has knocked me right off there broadband service. If anybody can make a sugesting then please leave some details and advise on here

  9. Ricky says:

    Whatever any one cdecides never get virgin ;;; it’s got to be the most expensive Broadband on the Planet… today’s qoute £25.00 for 4mb direct from their sales team…
    Typically Branson.. Rubbish !!!

  10. RichP says:

    I’ve just switched from post office broadband which was afwul to O2 aftter reading really positive reviews about them on Broadband Expert and I have to say I’m really impressed so far. It’s been easy to set up, speeds are really good (I ran a speed test and got 7.2Mb and only used to get around 1.5Mb wiht the Post Office) and the connections not gone down once. I’ve not been with O2 long but I’d definitely recommend giving them a go based on my experience so far.

    I’d agree with Simon’s comments that cable is better than ADSL in many instances (particular if you live a long distance from the phone exhange suppling your adsl connection). I’ve used cale in the past too and speeds where excellent though the connection dropped a few times and I don’t like Virgin’s customer support, or lack of!! Providers like O2, Be and UKOnline use ADSL2+ which delivers similar speeds to cable and would be my choice given the opyion and assuming you don’t live 3 miles plus away from the phone exchange which (with ADSL or ADSL2+ the further you are from the phone exchange the slower the speeds).

  11. Nel says:

    Will we ever have the great combination of a fast connection with unlimited downloads??

  12. Molly says:

    Not everyone unfortunately can take advantage of the great deals on offer with Sky due to Geography. I only have access to Sky Connect for which they charge £17 per month and as I also want the phone and already have the Sky TV this would prove a hefty bill for a speed of less than 2mgb.

    Surely it’s time they expanded the network to include potential customers who REALLY want to join but at a reasonable charge.

  13. McDudeqq says:

    Dear Ricky you are slaking the most productive fellow on the planet (arguably) saying Virgin Broadband should not be touched with a barge pole of whatever length and its a very scathing comment you then go on tO encompass the whole Corporate entity that is Branson. Having said that I can’t agree with you more and wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment in its entirety having experience of that about which you speak. DOWN WITH VIRGIN !!! (especially the broadband bit!!). (all comments are made on an entlrely alleged basis and no reference to any person or thing is intentional and any resemblance to any thing, living, created or imagined is entlrely coincidental).

  14. bob foster` says:

    I was interested in your link to give an opinion on a provider. I read the article for a while wondering why I did not recognize any of the companies. I wondered what U.S. city you were in. Ah, when I saw pounds, I realized Great Britain. Enjoyed.

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  16. Johny says:

    Personally, I have just taken out virgin cable broadband, after I checked my options over at ukbroadband. To be honest I didn’t really notice much of a difference from my old, ADSL based (BT) service.

    After a while though, I have noticed that although the speed is not that much faster (I didn’t go for a 50mb deal!) – I do notice that the speed is more, don’t know how to say this… stable? (I hope that makes sense!)

    Basically, during peak hours, the broadband speed doesn’t seem to drop as much as with my older, ADSL service… Is it just me, or does this actually make sense from a technical standpoint?

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