Moving in the Digital Age
As part of my degree I moved to Didcot, Oxfordshire in April 2004. It was desired to remain connected to the Internet if possible and have broadband connected quickly.
Nearly ... But Not Quite
Ideally, we would have liked to move straight in with some form of broadband connection available. When we looked at the place, NTL cable was already installed and a broadband modem was sitting on the side. It looked very promising - surely we could just switch the cable back on? Sadly not.
My placement was for 6 months, after which I needed to return to London to finish my degree. NTL, in their wisdom, only offer a 12 month minimum contract. So, rather than give NTL £35 a month for 6 months I had to go elsewhere.
ISP of Choice
For nearly 2 years I have been using Eclipse Broadband at home. They were our first choice for ASDL originally, so I looked to them again. They offer an industrial-strength Anytime dialup service with varying tiers. Our requirement was for reliable, dependable, unmetered dialup access so Eclipse Anytime dial was a good choice at £14.99 per month.
It Could Be Easier...
While I am very happy with the service received from Eclipse, they could make life a lot easier for people awaiting ADSL. I needed dialup for a very short space of time and was going straight for Eclipse ADSL after. I would have preferred to see an ADSL package which gave me Anytime dialup while waiting for installation, even if it was charged at the standard ADSL rate (so my first month of ADSL was covered with Anytime dialup only).
A Lot to Learn
Many of the utility companies make life very easy for people on short lets, with a large proportion having a 1 month minimum contract period. Unfortunately some, like NTL, have a lot to learn. A 12 month minimum contract means they have lost out on my custom for both phone and broadband, despite the cable connection and modem already being in the flat.
One of the best ways to increase your business is by word-of-mouth. Eclipse receive several hundred pounds a month from my friends, family and myself as a result of recommendations that I and other people have given them. If asked to choose between cable and ADSL, I would pick ADSL. My dealings with both BT and Eclipse have been very good and I have never had any experience with NTL at all. NTL have not only lost my business, but follow up business from others as well.
Even with my chosen ADSL solution, there were still times when I found myself saying "Why??". For example, "Why can't I have the phone reconnected and ADSL enabled at the same time?". Failing that, "Why can't I have Anytime dialup as an alternative measure whilst waiting the ridiculous 10 working days for ADSL?"
By Ashley Brown, Email the author