99 problems and my ISP is one
For years I have had internet problems – And its all my fault – And I will tell you why RIGHT NOW seeing as you asked (I know you didn’t ask but what the hell)
I live in Hull – Hull is a great place, it’s about to be the city of Culture (Something you really never thought could happen like EVER! but has…) Hull is something of a backwater we’re not on the way to anywhere – Except a port that really doesn’t shift as much stuff as it used to, we’re on the end of a very bad road – and our traffic is horrendous, If there is a crash anywhere at peak time the whole city just locks up like a computer running Windows Vista.. but Hull is amazing.. people are ace.. friendly (unless you are gay or foreign – Ed) – we have Chip spice.. but what we also have is a stupid Telecoms company that has a monopoly – they say they don’t of course, because it’s against the law to have one, but they do – realistically no other company can afford to come into Hull and lay cables, and if they did – it would cost them millions – and for what? They wouldn’t make any money – SO we have deadlock – a telecoms company that can basically charge what they want – and we have to swallow it.
A brief history of Telephone boxes
Years ago we were separated from The Royal Post office telecommunications system, and we were allowed to have our own telephone boxes, it was because we really didn’t trust phones in Hull – the rest of the country had them, but we preferred to shout at each other from white boxes, eventually however we had to give up and get phones because people in Barnsley couldn’t hear us shouting that we thought they were idiots (or something) I don’t really know what happened, this is clear – but basically we didn’t get B.T. – we’ve never had it – in the early days of the internet I had ISDN before any of you British Telecom people had it. I used to run a BBS – This was when the internet was made out of ASCII and not Cats and You Tubes…
This was great, I could stay on the internet all day for 5p, Anyone on BT (before there were even other options) had to pay by the minute… People ran up thousands and thousands of pounds to look at animated GeoCities websites full of animated gifs that made your eyes vomit, but we were young and we really didn’t know any better – but all this was set to change to when finally “dial up” people in BT got 0800 internet – They could now stay on the internet for an hour before having to try to reconnect to the number again.
ISPs like Redhotant came and went, eventually the world caught up with us on ISDN, their dial ups became ISDN too! then they got ADSL – and we never – it took us a lot longer to get it than BT – the rest of the country raced ahead, we couldn’t capitalise on our lead – at the time KC was owned by the Council and it really didn’t have to compete, Upgrade everyone to ADSL? why? it would cost us money, we’re already getting money! so they never… As the rest of the country finally went to ADSL+ and a lot of people were getting speed in excess of 20Mbs – our internet really wasn’t cutting it, and eventually KC shifted to ADSL – but it was never as good as ADSL+ in other cities.
As I sit here now, If i moved to ADSL+ even though I am less than a mile from the exchange and should get speed theoretically in excess of 20Mbs – I can get a MAXIMUM of 7Mbs! this is a joke, bear in mind if i were in Leeds and I went with TalkTalk or BT we could get ADSL for about £18 a month – that’s an 18 month contract with speeds “Up to 17Mbs” 12 months half price… a free router.. a you view box worth 179 quid and a £75 high street voucher! compare that to KC internet bundle.. I want Unlimited – You can’t have it… HomeXL is 750Gb a month… “You can receive Broadband with speeds between a minimum of 5.7Mbps and a maximum of 7.5Mbps.” the speed checker tells me I root about on their website and can’t see ANYWHERE – maybe that’s a failing of me, but any other ISP I can find the information I need – so how much is my 750Gb limited internet? well its a bargain price of £45.99 a month! that includes VAT of course… so it’s a bargain – You also have to pay £7 for your router to be delivered to you – and an 18 month contract (thats the same as the TalkTalk one – so that’s standard) Oh when you order you can get a You View box too, is that free? Like the TalkTalk one? no – Of course it’s not – you can have it for a paltry £12 a month on top! and thats not all – you get Sky movies FREE! for 2 months… so it’s a bargain price of £67! but if you get the you view box you get UNLIMITED internet – I do know this, they don’t tell you anywhere – it’s just something I learnt last time I tried to escape KC and they threw stuff at me – but I am getting ahead of myself! so to sum up
TalkTalk with speeds up to 17Mbs – with YouView – Unlimited – £18*
KC – Speeds upto 7Mbs (I will only get 6Mbs here) with YouView – £67
*Not available in your area
Its ridiculous! – When I had problems years ago in my old flat, I rang them to complain, my ADSL dropped out at least 3 times a day – when I rang to complain the woman said (and I quote) “If you don’t like it, Buy a dongle!” – So I did – I left, and vowed never to return – on pain of death! I did of course – but then I had no choice.
Rise of the WISPs
Eventually I had to move – and I moved to a lovely conservation area – surrounded by trees and Victorian houses and I decided to try a new type of internet – I couldn’t get dongle coverage here, and I had VOWED never to go back to KC – they were incompetent and money grabbing – so I decided to try a whole new kind of ISP that had risen out of the need for people to have fast reliable broadband OUT IN THE COUNTRY – Wisps were basically ISPs that used Wifi networks to deliver the broadband to you from atop a Church in a village – giving you lovely fast broadband so you could look at HD videos of sheep and watch episode of Country File on demand before you ordered a shotgun and ended it all – but WE got them in Hull because people WANTED and NEEDED an alternative to KC – and it worked pretty well for a while – I paid about £250 altogether – a lovely man arrived, put a small dish on my roof, pointed it at the station the other end, and that;s it! 24Mbs internet unlimited up and down! for a YEAR! no more payments required.. it was like heaven… but then summer came, Leaves appeared on the trees and my internet started cutting out – after a long drawn out time, they decided they could no longer supply my internet because trees – and that was it, they came and took my fast internet away – I was gutted… I moved from Wisp to Wisp, but the trees had beaten me – and with no 3G connection – I was screwed – I had to go back to KC!
Again even though i was less than a mile from the exchange with KCs lovely ADSL+ I was only getting 12Mbs – I had been used to over twice that (Up and down) It was reliable enough but it was really expensive, If i were not sharing a house with someone it would have been TOO expensive – I have moved twice since then, finally getting rid of KC for Connexin – which whilst it’s not brilliant (I am having regular drop-outs even though I can see the aerial its pointed at from here, I am having constant DNS issues, My traffic is being packet shaped, Port Forwarding works randomly, peak time speeds are generally not great) It’s so much cheaper than KC I really don’t mind so much – there are ways and means round all the stuff they put in place so I can make my internet work correctly but this brings me to the main point of this article
The main point of the article
All that preamble leads me to this – BT Openreach are fitting the fibre in Hull (Even though we can’t get BT Fibre here – even if we want it) – they are rolling out terrifically slowly but someone on Connexin left today to go to fibre which made me go and have a look again at the cost for it and what i saw nearly made me fall off my chair! If I wanted unlimited Fibre when could i get it? and how much would it cost? and how does that compare to the rest of the country?
How much – Well for unlimited Fibre (we all need unlimited these days) it’s a massive 250Mbs download speed, which is great – Honestly! that really is great – Line rental included – but i have to pay an extra £12 for my YouView box – and I do get Sky Movies for 2 months with that! so it’s a bargain at £76 a month!
Lets now compare that to somewhere in Leeds for instance…
okay I can only get 100Mbs Fibre in Leeds, so yeah its half the speed, but I am going to with Virgin – because I am a HUGE Usain Bolt fan..
With this I get – Tivo box for free – 130+ channels (11 in HD) Free set up… I have a mobile phone – so i don’t need a landline – So I will bin that off right away (K.C. alway say when you ask them why they are SO MUCH MORE that other phone suppliers to check that they are not hiding a line rental charge in there – they are not) so how much is that?
£33.50 a month!
KC costs £42 a month MORE!! ok its twice as fast, but is it REALLY worth that?
BT Infinity broadband – No limits EVER – 50Gb free Cloud storage – and of course FREE BT Sport (if you’re into that) – You DO have to pay line rental with this one, but still – Set top box for free and Tele – for only – £42 a month… that’s saving you £33.50 a month over KCs bundle…
Or you could get Sky Superfast broadband – Unlimited 34Mbs – £71 a month with ALL the Sky channels (including all the HD channels and movies!)
It’s ridiculous that KC can charge twice as much as every other Cable supplier in the UK – and their coverage is really sketchy too – We have no choice to use them or go Wisp – and whilst they do try their best – Broadband over Wifi is fairly unreliable – and 4G at £50 for 50Gb and then £1 per gig thereafter really isn’t an option! (and for some odd reason we got 4G incredibly slowly)
Hull is great city – and really cheap to live in – we could be a centre for E commuting and E commerce in the UK if we could compete on a fair and equal broadband base – but we don’t have one – KC bleed us with high costs and really shabby speeds – and lie about their monopoly and nothing seems to get done about it – and this really irks me! I am not going to slag off Connexin, Pure Broadband or Quickline – I have used all these Hull WISPs over the years and had stellar service off them all – although I have had problems – they have not been insurmountable and they are all indicative of the type of service it is.
Other cities are currently rolling out 1Gb/s internet – places like Glasgow – for less than £50 a month and yet we’re still stuck with expensive broadband with ONE supplier – its a really sad state of affairs and I really no idea what we can do?