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Broadband Telecoms Talk

Compare UK Broadband and Telecoms

With broadband and telephone providers for YOU to compare and choose from!! Finance Central provides advice for those of you who need help in choosing a telecoms provider.




Broadband and Telecoms Deals

 

 

About broadband

Broadband is a way of connecting to the Internet. It is called broadband because it provides a high-speed connection when compared with previous ways of connecting to the internet which were then termed as narrowband.

Broadband benefits are usually related to the speed of the internet connection. If you are currently using or have used a dial-up Internet connection, you already know that webpages, pictures and emails take ages to load. Broadband connections make these things happen much more quickly and you can also do many things at the same time. You can even let several people use the same Internet connection at once if you have more than one computer in your home and they are networked together. The faster speed of broadband lets you enjoy services such as streaming live TV and music. Those of you that play online games will also have great benefits.


How fast is Broadband?

Broadband connection speeds vary and are based on many different things including where you live and which broadband provider you choose. Usually broadband speed will be between 512k and 10 meg (meg = Mbps - Megabits per second), but faster connections than this are possible. Dial-up connections are 56k, so a 512k broadband connection is nearly 10 times as fast. 10 meg broadband is roughly 180 times faster! It’s like driving a sports car compared to walking.


Getting Broadband

To get broadband you have to find out what is available to you. Broadband is provided using the BT telephone network and is available to 99.9% of households in the United Kingdom, so you should be able to get it. You do not have to sign up with BT to get broadband. Cable modems are also popular as an alternative in areas where Virgin Media have a TV network.


Choosing a Broadband Service Provider

Find out what is most important to you, if price is a deciding factor then you can find that you can get a cheaper service by going with a supplier you already use. Orange and Sky could offer you a cheaper service if you already have a TV or mobile phone contract with them. There are currently two types of charging schemes used. One is a generally fixed-speed service that is based on your broadband connection speed and the other is usage charging, where you are charged by the amount of actual data that you transfer. Providers offer different qualities of service and you usually get what you pay for. Cheaper broadband providers sometimes put minimal investment into providing their services. No provider has a perfect record, and this is often evident with larger providers where there is always some negative feedback.

If you have a Virgin Media service or are in Hull and surrounding areas, you are limited to using Virgin Media or Kingston Communications (Karoo) as your broadband provider unless you get a BT phone line installed.


What Equipment Do I Need?

You will require a modem or router to connect to the Internet. A modem connects your computer to the internet usually using a phone line. A router lets several computers to connect to the internet at the same time. If you have a few computers you could consider a router or wireless-router. Broadband normally co-exists with your telephone service so you can still make and receive phone calls while you are using the Internet.

Virgin Media provide a cable modem for you and other providers usually offer a free modem/router or allow you to buy a compatible one from them. PC World and online computer stores sell them and some routers/modems have different features and are easier to setup than others. If the provider you choose offers a modem or router, it is best to get one from them because they can usually assist in helping if there are any problems. Also check with your provider to see what level of support they offer before signing up.

If you are also using a phone line you will need a microfilter for each device plugged into a phone socket (fax machines, sky box and telephones etc.). A microfilter is a small device that plugs into the phone socket and filters the broadband signal from the telephone signal so that you can use both the phone and broadband at the same time.


Data Usage

If broadband is new to you, you will probably be a light or medium user. But if a few people in your property share the connection then you would be better off with a medium-usage broadband connection. If you download lots of music or films or watch live video content this will increase your usage.

 


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