Monday, 30 March 2015

My Broadband upgrade

Superfast Fibre Optic Broadband finally became available in my village early last year, and thenceforth BT were pushing it at me. It would come free. But I wasn't inclined to sign up at a superfast speed. Early adopters rarely get a keen deal.

So far as I could see, the real speed from a fibre optic connection wouldn't be as spectacular as claimed, nor would the improvement in service be terribly significant for my kind of usage (blogging, ordinary email, and some streaming of catch-up TV). I wasn't a family. I wasn't into endless downloading of stuff from the Internet, nor massive Cloud storage. Above all, I absolutely wasn't going to sign up for an all-inclusive BT package that linked up every Internet-receptive device I possessed, TV included - clearly what BT really wanted me to do, once I had Superfast Broadband on tap.

With regard to cost saving on my present Broadband bill, I would be paying £18 per month - £3 less than on my current, 'outmoded' deal (BT Broadband Option 2), set up back in 2012. It seemed hardly worth the effort of changing. I chose to sit tight and ignore BT's persuasive blandishments.

But now, in early 2015, the Superfast deal had improved so that I saved £6 a month in the first year, and the original £3 a month thereafter.

Ah, that was a bit better. And I'd get up-to-date equipment - even though, as a late-joiner, I'd have to pay for the delivery of the latest BT Home Hub 5 router (£6.95) and for an 'activation charge' (£30.00), which together negated any overall cost savings for the first seven months. Never mind; before the end of 2015 I'd be ahead on costs, and almost certainly getting a more useful and reliable service. My experience with BT, dire in past years, had been rather good since rejoining them in 2012. I had reason to be hopeful.

So a few days ago I went online and fixed up the basic Superfast deal (BT Infinity 1), which gave me 20GB a month of data usage and free weekend landline calls thrown in. More than enough data allowance when my average usage was less than 8GB. The calls did not matter at all. I very rarely made landline calls, and in fact had long ago disconnected the handset and put it away in a cupboard.

The new equipment was due to arrive today. It did. It was a doddle to remove the old Home Hub, then set up the new one. The process seemed much, much quicker than before, and largely automatic. On the PC screen, they wanted to know only the new password for the Home Hub 5, and after that which bundled services I required. Parental Control? No: give me all the awful things to be seen on the Internet, please - I am not a child, I can cope. BT Wi-Fi when out and around? No: there's no point in public Wi-Fi nowadays, not if you can get 4G. Besides, it's always flawed in some way, and it's insecure. I skipped all the other offerings too. 'Bare bones only' is best!

And voila, there I was, getting the Internet on my PC. Wow. So little difficulty!

And the same with my mobile phone and my tablet.

This was of course the existing old-fashioned Broadband, but using new equipment. I wasn't going to get connected to Superfast Broadband for another couple of days. But the service already seemed better - definitely zippier - improved electronics, I suppose. It was especially noticeable on my ageing tablet, which was suddenly getting the home Wi-Fi signal twice as well as before, and was indeed now able to stream things to my recliner in the lounge on the BBC iPlayer very smoothly. (Lately it had lost that ability)

Hmm...impressive. And I'd soon have the full-on lightning-speed Broadband that I'd signed up for! That might be amazing. I will report shortly.


  1. Lucy, I am puzzled as to how they get the optical signal down the old wires.

    BT here was an acronym and not a good one for ghastly service even though I could hit the local exchange with a tennis ball from where I sit! Good luck, for me it has arrived too late, much cheaper super slow would serve my purposes now...

  2. I'm puzzled too. Even if their road-digging has got marvellous fibres to their street boxes, the connection from there to my house is the same as it ever was. We shall see!


    1. Well your reply came pretty zippy!


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