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.
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.
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.