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Krister's Blog
krister at hallergard dot com


Last Updated:
2017-02-01
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Changing ISP again - back from BT to TalkTalk

A year ago I changed ISP from TalkTalk to BT and now I will be changing back to TalkTalk on 2017-02-08. The reason I changed a year ago was that I wanted another YouView box, and the (mal-)practice of the ISP:s to give discounts to new customers only (but not to old customers).

It is not that I am unhappy with BT, on the contrary it has been a very smooth year, but if I do nothing there will be a price hike of 17 per month from BT, but with TalkTalk I can lower the cost with 8 per month, fixed for 2 years.

BT Sport Pack at 6 per month is presently free - but I hardly ever watched it! Entertainment Plus at 10 per month - got the new YouView box now, so I don't really need that type of package anymore.


ISP pricing

In addition there is one time setup charge of 25 which includes the router delivery.
Broadband

One issue was weather I really needed the fast "fibre" broadband up to 38 Mbps, or if up to 17 Mbps was sufficient, since I am not into gaming. For the Faster Fibre Broadband which I am getting, TalkTalk claim a maximum speed of 39 to 40 Mbps in our area and guarantee minimum of 30 Mbps. For the Fast Broadband they claim a maximum speed of 13 to 21 Mbps and a minimum of 8 Mbps. Below the minimum you are allowed to cancel without penalties. In both cases it is unlimited, no download caps.

An alternative would be to go with SKY Broadband Unlimited. Line rental 17.40 per month and free broadband (discounted with 10 per month for 12 months). They claimed a minimum 16.5 Mbps and maximum 23 Mbps - ie much better than TalkTalk. When I rechecked this figure, I was told that the maximum speed would be 16.5 to 23 Mbps and the minimum 12.3 Mpbs. But maybe SKY is right that TalkTalk is very congested in our area?

In the end I chose TalkTalk because it felt wrong to downgrade the broadband speed. And I preferred TalkTalk's International Boost.

Telephone

Is it not amazing how expensive local phone calls have become! If it was not for getting broadband (in the UK ADSL is dominating), I would be prepared to skip the landline.

For International Calls we try to use Skype or Hangouts, but Sandra has an old friend in Sweden, who has nothing digital. TalkTalk's International Boost reduces the variable costs significantly. Although it works differently from BT's Family Cheap International Calls, they both work out the same totally, to about 5 per month incl. our variable costs.

To get cheaper international calls with SKY, I would have to get their Anytime Extra at 8 per month and International Extra at 4 per month, i.e. completely free phone calls for 12 per month. Interesting, but we do not phone that much - we rather use Skype or Hangouts (or mobile).


Call Charges


Streaming Media

Even without paying for an Entertainment/TV package, the YouView Box will give access to all of the FreeView Channels including catch up services through the BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub etc, with local content and international movies, especially on BBC4. This means that other streaming services and devices get low priority. We still feel that Netflix and Amazon Prime are not as good as their American counterparts, probably for copy-right reasons, but they have improved. We are now getting Netflix (7.49 per month) for more than a month or two at the time and consider alternating with Amazon Prime, half a year each at the time. With BT we got Netflix as a paid-up service on the YouView Box, but for Amazon Prime we have used the PC's Home Theatre Setup.