Tag Archives: bt infinity

Broadband dilemma: To infinity, or beyond?

Buzz Lightyear Regular readers and friends know that I am quite a connected person. I use the Internet in more ways than people think it should be possible to use the Internet and so one of the principal aspects of living in the countryside (other than distance from friends and the commute) that I struggle with is the broadband connectivity. I went from a 20meg line in W2 to a 2.5meg line in Hampshire – a mere 60 miles apart, as the crow flies.

I had therefore been hotly anticipating coming out of contract with O2 Broadband so I could stump up the extra cash for BT Infinity, BT’s new vDSL service that – via fibre to the street and a VDSL link, I believe – delivers up to 40 meg download speeds. For me, it’d be a mere 22meg (with 6 meg uploads!), but still – a massive improvement on what I have now.

My contract is due to expire in September so I had planed to hit go this month to get things moving. On looking into it, however, my friends at O2 – which does have really quite excellent customer service and I’ve had no problems with otherwise – have offered me six months free broadband if I renew with them for another year. Which puts the total cost of my broadband service for the year at £75 – given that I already have an O2 mobile as well.

BT’s equivalent Infinity service, whilst obviously seven or eight times faster, therefore costs four times as much! At £28 per month, even with the three months free offer they’re doing – I’ll be facing a charge of £250 for the year. I’d expected a 100% premium, but O2’s promotion has made it significantly more.

I suspect I’ll relent – occasionally working from home helps the self-rationalization, as faster broadband is needed for effective VPN-ning in, not to mention the fact I’ll be able to get iPlayer HD again (I miss it, I do) and get a more reliable Skype Video and FaceTime calling service out of the house.

Does anyone out there have BT Infinity? My previous experiences of BT’s broadband service – admittedly quite out of date – was that it was expensive, has unreachable customer service, and that it hardly ever delivers what it promises. I’d be wedded to their hardware too, as I suspect that vDSL modems are not the sort of thing you can buy from Dabs.com (disclaimer: agency client. And actually, you can, but they cost a fortune).

I’m not in a Virgin cable area so BT have me right where they want me. I wonder how long before someone rules that choice in Next Generation Access is a right of the British citizen and forces BT to open up the market or take its prices down… C’mon Ofcom, rear your regulatory head.