Posts Tagged ‘broadband bundles’


For most people in the UK, the deciding factor when choosing a broadband package is the speed of the connection, as this is what enables the efficient use of rich media such as videos and photos, and faster downloading.  All this talk of connection speeds leaves people wondering, ‘have I got fast broadband in my area?’.

Checking speeds

One of the best ways to check the connection you already have is with an online speed test which determines how fast your broadband really is, rather than the ‘up to’ speed the provider tells you that you can get.

These tests can scan your connection and the broadband exchange to find out what broadband speed you receive. Some of the top broadband providers in the UK have been under fire recently after a campaign was launched to prevent them from telling customers what speed they can get ‘up to’ because the reality is often much lower.

Broadband speeds are often dependent on where you live and the type of broadband you have, so just because your friend down the road says “I have fast broadband in my area” doesn’t mean that you will. Broadband speeds are notoriously faster in urban areas and if your home is closer to the telephone exchange.

Slow connections

Even top broadband providers in the UK cannot prevent your connection slowing in the evening because ADSL broadband is a shared service. The more people using the connection at once, the slower it will become. This is why you will find that your fast broadband slows down at peak hours and performs better throughout the day.

If you feel that you have a slow connection and would prefer to able to get fast broadband you have two options: you could optimise your computer and broadband connection (for example, you could look into whether you could switch to a cable connection which is typically faster than ADSL) or compare best broadband and phone deals on offer to find a new provider.

Comparing broadband and phone deals

Should you decide that you would prefer to switch to a different broadband package, you should compare broadband and phone deals first, as you will often get better value for money if you take out a combination package, or ‘bundle’. There are plenty of offers available from a variety of providers and one of the best ways to narrow your choices down is by comparing the top broadband providers in the UK.

An online broadband comparison tool will allow you to get an impartial overview of the broadband market, what speeds are available to you, and how much you should expect to pay. However, don’t forget that if you are already signed up to a broadband package, you may have to pay an exit or cancellation fee.

You should also be wary of broadband providers who claim that you can receive ‘up to’ a certain speed as  this will often depend on how fast broadband is in your area. Some online tools will show you results based on the speeds that are achievable in your postcode catchment area, giving you a more realistic idea of what to expect.

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The lack of a consistent high speed broadband service across the UK is depriving the country of £1.3 billion of revenue, according to eBay, the leading auction site. Research from the online auction company has found that unless the UK upgrades to the best broadband, the country will continue to lose out on over a billion pounds worth of income.

16 per cent of the UK has no high speed broadband

The research from eBay found that 16 per cent of the UK is in an area where it is not possible to undertake a transaction on a mobile telephone – a so-called ‘not-spot’.

While rural locations such as the Outer Hebrides have no coverage, other areas including Jersey, the Isle of Man and Inverness were identified as ‘not-spots’ by the eBay research. The auction company claims that ‘more than a third of consumers have failed to complete a purchase on their mobile due to issues with mobile broadband’.

eBay has urged Ofcom to make sure that the new 4G networks are set up so everywhere has access to the best broadband speeds available. The Daily Telegraph reports that ‘mobile shopping could deliver a £4.5 billion boost to Britain’s economy by 2016 and a further £13 billion by 2021.’

Angus McCarey, UK Retail Director for eBay UK, said: “Consumers and retailers are missing out as the cost and reliability of mobile broadband prevents shoppers from spending. High quality and reliable mobile broadband coverage throughout the UK has to be our ambition.”

Broadband only deals offer high speed broadband at a low cost

If you’re looking to get the best high speed broadband then there are two ways that you can go about finding it:

•    Broadband bundle comparison
•    Broadband only deals

A broadband bundle comparison involves researching the costs of accessing a range of home media services from the same supplier. For example, you might compare bundles including satellite TV channels, a home landline and broadband.  You will often find that buying multiple services from the same provider will save you money.

Alternatively, you can research broadband only deals. As well as comparing the monthly cost of these deals, it’s important to compare both the speed and the reliability of each broadband service.  Sometimes it is worth paying a little bit extra every month in order to benefit from a faster, more reliable broadband service.

If Ofcom heeds the eBay research, the choice of high quality broadband could improve over the next few years.

Rory Stewart, MP, commented on the eBay research: “This is another fantastic example of why we must take this opportunity to expand mobile broadband coverage as far as possible.”

Marzena Lipman, digital expert at Consumer Focus, agrees: “Mobile commerce offers consumers another choice on how they shop. This broadband lottery is particularly worrying as online deals are often the cheapest around and can help customers save much needed cash. The Government must ensure reliable broadband is available to everyone regardless of location.”

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Did you compare broadband deals before you signed up, or did you simply take a package with your existing TV or telephone provider?

Recent subscriber figures from Sky, one of the UK’s leading broadband providers, show that more and more people are switching to the satellite TV provider for their broadband. Sky signed up 155,000 new broadband subscribers in the first three months of 2011 taking its total number of internet subscribers to 3.2 million.

While more and more people are turning to their TV and phone providers for broadband, it’s vital that you undertake a broadband comparison before you sign up.

Broadband bundles through your existing phone or TV company

The recent subscriber figures show that one in four Sky households now receives broadband, TV and a landline from the company. So-called ‘broadband bundles’ are often popular with consumers as buying multiple services from one provider can sometimes save money. Indeed, Jeremy Darroch, chief executive of Sky, recently stated that many consumers are looking to save money by signing up for broadband bundles.

However, to get the very best deal it is important that you compare broadband deals before simply signing up with your existing TV or phone provider.

Undertake a broadband comparison before committing

There are plenty of websites that now let you compare broadband deals so that you can get the best price and the best high speed broadband. Quality, reliability and service vary from provider to provider and, depending on your household’s broadband needs, you may find that factors other than cost will determine which provider is best for you.

While over three million people believe that getting broadband as part of a deal with their TV provider is the right thing for them, you should always undertake a broadband comparison rather than simply signing up for a deal you have been offered as an existing customer.

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First it was dial-up through a modem, then wired and now wireless broadband.

Accessing the web has become easier and easier over recent years thanks to technological advances and improved Wi-Fi access. There are loads of advantages to using the internet via wireless broadband and it may not be nearly as expensive as you think.

Advantages of wireless broadband

Firstly, wireless broadband allows for increased mobility. You can access the web from anywhere you get a wireless signal, which is generally anywhere in your home or garden. You don’t have to run cables through walls or floors as the signal is beamed wirelessly from your router to any PCs/laptops/netbooks within range.

In addition, technological advances in amplifying wireless signals means that wireless broadband technology can now match the speed of a wired connection. And, if you use the best broadband you can enjoy easier access to shared devices such as faxes and printers. Everyone within range of the peripheral device can connect using a wireless connection, resulting in fewer wires and cables.

Compare broadband to get the best deal

There are lots of broadband packages available and they are offered by everyone from your home landline provider to your satellite TV company. The easiest way to find the best wireless broadband deal for you is to head online and compare broadband prices on the web. Many comparison sites allow you to compare various broadband prices and speeds at the click of a mouse.

Many broadband suppliers offer excellent deals if you buy more than one telecommunications service from them. For example, you may choose to buy your home or mobile phone calls from the same company or you may sign up for a subscription television service. These so-called ‘broadband bundles’ can help you save a substantial sum on your monthly telephone and wireless broadband costs.

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Saving money on financial products has become second nature to many people.

However, while many of you may not think twice about getting a better deal through switching your car insurance, changing your gas and electric supplier or transferring your credit card balance, fewer people take advantage of the savings on offer through switching their home telephone or broadband service.

There are some great cost savings to be made from finding the best broadband, and you may also improve your service.

Here’s why you should consider spring cleaning your broadband this year:

Switching to the best broadband is simple

More than 18 million households in the UK have broadband and many more have a home telephone service. One of the reasons that many people don’t even consider switching their provider is that they are worried that they may be without a broadband or telephone service for days or weeks.

However, the process for switching to the best broadband is improving all the time and there should be no reason why you would have to endure a break in your telephone or internet connection.

Compare broadband online to find the best deals

The tools available to compare broadband have also improved significantly in recent years. It is now possible to find all the best broadband deals in one place on the web. As well as comparing prices, you can also compare the reliability and speed of the best broadband products.

In addition, competition within the home telecommunications sector has meant that many providers now offer discounts if you buy multiple services through them. For example, you may be offered cheap landline calls if you buy broadband. Or, you may also benefit from some low cost subscription television services by buying a so-called ‘broadband bundle’ of various services.

Switching to the best broadband is easy and you could save yourself a considerable sum. Head online to compare broadband today and you may also enjoy a Spring reduction in your phone and TV subscription bills.

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Finding the best broadband isn’t always easy.

There is a mesmerising selection of broadband packages available in the UK today. Everyone from your supermarket to your television provider now offers broadband, making it tough to know where to go for the best deal.

It’s no surprise therefore that websites have sprung up to guide you through the minefield and to help you compare broadband deals on the web.

Here are three reasons you should use the internet to find the best broadband product:

1. Comparing broadband online saves you time

One of the main advantages of comparing internet or mobile broadband deals online is that the various products are all in one place. You don’t have to trawl up and down your High Street or navigate dozens of different websites to find the various deals.

You can now find the best deals for you at the click of a mouse – all on one page.

2. Online broadband comparison is available 24/7

Not everyone has the time to head into their local retailer or to take time off work to speak with their telecoms provider. With changing shift patterns and increasingly busy lives, having the ability to compare broadband deals at any time of day or night is a huge benefit.

That’s where the web comes in. If you need to, you can scour the net for the best broadband in the middle of the night.

3. You can find exclusive broadband deals using the internet

If you compare broadband deals online you will often find that there are ‘exclusive’ deals, only available to customers that apply for packages online. As broadband suppliers don’t have to pay expensive retail overheads when promoting their services online, you can often find that you get a better deal by buying your broadband on the net.

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No UK city features in the worldwide top 100 list for the speed of internet access. That is the damning outcome of a recent global report into broadband speeds that has found that the UK is lagging behind many other countries when it comes to high speed broadband.

With the UK’s figures so disappointing, it is vital that you shop around and compare broadband speeds to find the best package.

UK lagging behind the world’s best broadband

According to the figures from web traffic research firm Akamai, the UK has an average internet connection speed of 4 Mbps, placing the country below many other European nations in terms of average speed measured during the past quarter.

The Netherlands had the top connection speed in Europe with an average of 6.3 Mbps, followed by the Czech Republic and Switzerland both with 5.4 Mbps. The Asian nations led the way globally with South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan topping the world broadband speed table.

The highest ranked European city was Constanta in Romania, while no UK cities featured in the top 100 list.

Compare broadband to get the best speeds

There is a wide choice of broadband providers in the UK each advertising various different connection speeds. When you compare broadband providers it is worth considering the quality of their service (speed, reliability) as well as the monthly cost.

While so-called ‘broadband bundles’ – packages which include broadband and home telephone/subscription television packages – may seem like excellent value, you need to be sure that you are going to benefit from a decent broadband connection.

The UK may have plenty of distance to go before it catches up with other nations – South Korea’s average broadband connection speed is over three times what it is in the UK – but you can help yourself by shopping around to compare broadband speeds before you buy.

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Can the UK lead Europe in terms of wireless broadband?

The Government certainly thinks so.

Last month, culture secretary Jeremy Hunt announced that the government intends to provide universal access to 2 Mbps broadband by 2015. However, his plans to make the UK the best broadband network in Europe have been criticised by many leading figures in the industry.

Huge investment in wireless broadband

The Department of Culture, Media and Sports has set aside a budget of £830 million to achieve its goal of universal 2Mbps access, although it has called on private investment to upgrade the existing infrastructure.

However, Antony Walker, chief executive of the Broadband Stakeholder Group, said that limited government funding could put these plans in jeopardy. He commented: “How do you achieve that target whilst also entering a situation where there’s very constrained public spending?”

Mr Walker also added that unless the government throws ‘vast amounts’ at the problem, there is unlikely to be a resolution. According to figures compiled by broadband services advice and information website Broadband Expert, just five per cent of Brits believe that government plans for the best broadband network in Europe are achievable.

Compare broadband to find the best service in your area

In order to achieve the best broadband service for your geographical area, it is useful to head to an online comparison site. Here, you can compare the various broadband providers in your area, taking into account factors such as speed, reliability, download limits and cost.

If you plan to use the web often, you should compare broadband providers offering high speed web access and an unlimited download limit. If you are a casual user you may be able to save money by selecting a service with a lower download limit.

In addition, many wireless broadband providers will also offer savings if you ‘bundle’ other services, such as a subscription television package or your home telephone.

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Finding the best broadband can be tricky. Not only do you need a service that is reliable but you also need to be able to download music and films from the web without reaching your download limit. And, of course, you don’t want to pay the earth.

So, if you are looking to compare broadband, make sure you take these four factors into account:

Download speed

Many of the best broadband packages offer the highest download speeds. The download speed refers to the speed at which data is transferred from the internet to your computer. When you compare broadband, always look for the provider’s download speed, generally measured in ‘megabytes per second’ (Mbps).

Download speed is a very important factor to consider if you plan to use the internet a lot. The speed will also make a difference to how long it takes for very large files to be downloaded.

Download Limits

Usage limits on broadband packages tell you how much data you can download from the internet in a month. Downloaded electronic data, whether it’s music files or web pages, is measured in gigabytes (Gb).

Most broadband packages set a monthly limit on downloads and this limit varies depending on how much you pay. Alternatively, an unlimited broadband package allows you to download as much data as you want, at any time, although ‘fair usage policies‘ usually apply.

Reliability

There is no point paying for the fastest unlimited broadband if the service is unreliable. When you compare broadband, look for reviews online to determine that the service is reliable and also that you can expect it to be working for the vast majority of the time.

Cost

The cost of the best broadband packages can vary significantly. Once you have determined what speed broadband you need and whether you need an unlimited broadband package, head online to compare costs.

Some of the best broadband deals are ‘bundles’. This is where you buy your home telephone service and, often, a subscription TV package at the same time as your broadband.

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Some home broadband bundle providers are starting to create bundles that include mobile broadband in the mix. Vodafone, known primarily as a mobile phone provider, is now offering fixed line broadband in some areas. They have started including mobile broadband in some of its bundles, and it has been quite lucrative for them as higher percentages of the population use mobile broadband on a regular basis. Vodafone estimates that across Europe, some 30% of customers use mobile internet.

BT also has mobile and home broadband packages that they pitch as cheap broadband on the go. These plans generally have limits on downloads, and require the user to purchase a dongle, which is a USB plug-in that allows your laptop to access mobile WiFi. In areas where HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Package Access) coverage is available, BT claims customers can access broadband speeds of up to 7.2Mbps.

Mobile broadband is more likely to be bundled in with mobile phone plans than with home internet, phone and television bundles, although some providers are starting to branch out into mobile broadband. When you compare broadband bundles, if you include mobile broadband, be sure to check on your monthly data limits. If you go over these, the charges can be significant. Mobile phone plans with broadband are more likely to have unlimited or at least more generous mobile broadband data limits.

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