Archive for the ‘B’ Category

Satellite Broadband

April 12, 2007

To access broadband via satellite you need a dish with an antenna receiver, which connects with a satellite.

One-way and two-way satellite broadband services are available. A two-way service uploads and downloads via the satellite. A one-way service downloads via the satellite – but to upload you also need a dial up service. Two-way systems are fast but can be much more expensive, and so are a better option for businesses rather than residential broadband users.

Satellite broadband may be useful if you live in an area of the UK where broadband via cable or a phone line is unavailable, or if ADSL broadband performance is compromised in some way.

Drawbacks to satellite broadband include slow service at busy times, and poor weather conditions affecting the service. Latency, when there is a delay between trying to do something and it actually happening, can be a problem – particularly if you are a home or business user requiring online interactive services such as web conferencing.

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer

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Cable Broadband

April 12, 2007

Broadband can be delivered via cable instead of via your phone line. Cable is available in mainly urban areas of the UK – if you live in a rural area it is very unlikely you will have access to broadband via cable.

There are two cable broadband providers in the UK – Virgin Media and Wight Cable (operating on the Isle of Wight). Virgin Media was recently formed from a merger of Virgin Net and the two main cable providers NTL and Telewest. Cable networks were only installed in the UK relatively recently (in the last 25 years).

Cable broadband download speeds can go up to 20 meg with the right package (ADSL Max only goes up to 8 meg).

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer

Cheap Broadband

April 12, 2007

There is no specific definition of what constitutes a cheap broadband package, but generally, broadband packages costing £15 a month or less are considered good value, and those under £10 a month excellent value.

Cheap broadband packages tend to have slower download speeds (often 512kb, 1meg or 2 meg) though some offer fast broadband up to 8 meg.

The cheapest broadband deals are often part of a bundle, or the low price may be an introductory offer for the first few months or first year.

Before signing up for a cheap broadband deal you should check what is included, and factor in other costs such as any connection charge, or charges for extra download allowance if you download more data than your package allows.

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer

Broadband Contracts

April 11, 2007

Broadband packages are usually sold on 12 month contracts. After the first 12 months, you are usually free to move to another provider.

Some providers – both business and residential broadband providers – will offer broadband at a cheaper monthly cost if you sign up for 18 months instead of 12 (eg BT Total Broadband Option 1).

Switching broadband providers? Chech that you’re out of contract before you switch, or your original broadband provider may ask you for payment for the final months on your contract.

Some ISPs offer shorter contracts. Fasthosts, offers one-month contracts for new connections. AOL will offer broadband with no commitment if you switch to them and bring your own modem (AOL offer ends 29/04/07).

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer

Bundles

April 10, 2007

Bundles are made up of more than one communications service. Usually they include broadband and another service or services, such as a phone package, digital TV, and even a mobile phone deal. Some of the best broadband offers are only available as part of a broadband bundle.

Bundles are increasingly popular, for consumers as well as broadband providers and ISPs – according to Ofcom’s Digital Progress Report, at the end of 2006, over 40% of all adults with broadband available at home took other communications services from the same provider. For many users, the ability to bundle was the most important factor when choosing a broadband provider – 27%, the same percentage who saw price as the most important factor in their choice.

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer

Sam Knows – The Broadband Resource

April 6, 2007

The Broadband Resource, also known as SamKnows, is an established not-for-profit website providing UK broadband availability information to consumers and businesses in the UK.

The site has been a resource for many organisations who campaigned for broadband availability before it became available across the UK. SamKnows continues to provide industry information, comprehensive broadband availability checkers, coverage maps, FAQs, broadband acronyms, and more.

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer

Broadband Availability Checker

April 6, 2007

A broadband availability checker, sometimes simply known as a broadband checker, is a database of broadband packages available in the UK. By entering your BT phone number or post code you can find out which broadband packages are available to you.

It is always worth searching on your BT number and your postcode to ensure you can receive your preferred broadband package. Searching on your BT phone number will bring up accurate information on which broadband packages can be delivered to you via your BT phone line, as your BT number is linked to your local exchange – and ADSL packages, ADSL Max packages and broadband packages delivered via local loop unbundling companies (where they put their own equipment in a BT exchange) can therefore be “matched” to your BT phone number. However cable broadband (from Virgin Media or Wight Cable) is not based on telephone exchange areas.

Broadband providers and ISPs will have availability checkers on their own websites which will tell you if you can receive internet access from them. Broadband comparison websites, including my own website, UK Broadband Finder (see Blogroll, right) can provide information on a range of broadband packages and broadband providers (though not necessarily all available packages in your area).

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder

Free Broadband

April 3, 2007

Free broadband was launched in the UK by telecoms provider TalkTalk (owned by independent mobile retailer The Carphone Warehouse) in 2006, and it is now offered by other providers including Sky. It has had the effect of commoditising broadband, and had a huge impact on the broadband market.

The broadband service is free when taken with another service or services, eg a phone line.

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer

ADSL2+

April 3, 2007

ADSL2+ is next-generation ADSL with increased bandwidth – allowing theoretical download speeds of up to 22 or 24 Mb.

Providers include UK Online and Be – both of these companies have been rolling out their LLU (local loop unbundled) networks across parts of the UK. Coverage is now much improved.

Most domestic users are unlikely to need such fast download speeds at this time, and even those who can sign up for an ADSL2+ broadband package will have to be near to the exchange to get really high speeds.

However for businesses ADSL2+ could make quite a difference to download speeds on their networks. Additionally, ADSL2+ has some dignostic capabilities. ADSL2+ may well come into its own for residential broadband customers as IPTV, or Internet Protocol TV, becomes more widely available. (IPTV allows users to watch films and programmes on demand from thousands available). The extra speed available with ADSL2+ may make it much more attractive, especially as many people will also be using their broadband connection for VoIP, internet gaming, and more.

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer

Super Fast Broadband

April 3, 2007

Superfast broadband usually refers to broadband with a theoretical top download speed above the standard ADSL Max 8 Mb.

It is ideal for some online interactive tasks and for downloading lots of very large files and applications. High speed packages tend to also include higher upload speeds.

Superfast broadband is delivered via cable or using broadband providers’ own equipment in BT exchanges (known as local loop unbundling), as their modern equipment allows faster speeds.

Providers of superfast broadband in the UK include Virgin Media (up to 10 Mb) , UK Online (up to 22 Mb), and Be (up to 24 Mb).

Up to 24 Mb broadband is delivered via ADSL2+.

By Sarah at UK Broadband Finder
Read my Broadband Glossary disclaimer