Broadband in the UK

Recently a few friends have asked my advice on which service provider to go for when getting Broadband internet connection. I have a page on my homepage concerning internet access in the UK, but I did look further into the range of ADSL providers at the moment.

One to check out is: UKFSN (http://ukfsn.org/) who give some of the proceeds to free software development.

See write-ups of various providers at:

http://bbs.adslguide.org.uk/

One thing is there is going to be consolidation as so many providers so don’t get too use to a nice set up one provider has in way of control panel etc.

One provider that can’t be bought up by another is the Phone Coop as it is owned by it’s customers.

http://www.thephone.coop/receive.htm?name=Agent_483&name2=index.html

One thing with the Phone Coop is to take in account on price that one can become a member once a customer and get a quite significant dividend. And it is less likely to go bust as not borrowing from Banks in same way. So over long term may end up actually cheap by price.

Like many others one can switch Phone line rental to them (but there is a breakout fee if had line with BT less than six months), the only reason I can see to stay with BT is if one makes few phone calls and used free caller ID from BT. Remember to resetup premium rate call barring etc if you do switch.

The Phone Co-op provides ADSL at the Indymedia / Free Software Lab in Basement below the Forest Cafe:

http://www.infoseed.org/

It used to used Andrews and Arnold before but they were too expensive as unlike Phone Co-op did not treat small orgs same as residential customers.

The FAQ from one company that supplies ADSL has some interesting info:

http://portal.metronet.co.uk/support/broadband/adsl.shtml

The Register an Online newspaper with interest article concerning ASDL providers: http://www.theregister.co.uk/ (but be carefull as they tend to repeat gossip).

In fact they had an article on Metronet been bought up by another company, as is the trend I pointed out that all the companies will not be around and some consolidation will go on:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/11/28/plusnet_metronet/

LinuxUK:

http://www.uklinuxadsl.net

This one that Jason who does UKFSN used to work for, but left a while ago due to him think they were not handling money to good cause as well as they should, so as I say I would treat them just as any other company on weighting them up.

http://www.jasonclifford.com/uklinux.html (now via web archive)

But they did win an award from some magazines for being a good ISP for what it is worth. But as I said as they are resellers often at mercy of what BT (or Openreach) do as can see in metronet FAQ.

One thing don’t be taken in by free modem offers these are usually low end usb adsl modems, which often don’t work with Linux. I would suggest buying a combined ADSL modem with router if you have more than one computer and with wireless if you have a Laptop.

I am recommending to everyone who uses Internet in uk takes a look at:

http://www.getsafeonline.org/

as there is some good advice there, that echo stuff I say to people.

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