Doing away with BT. Is there a viable alternative? (1 Viewer)

JockandRita

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At home, we are currently with BT for our broadband and phone.
Our contract expires on 6th October 2022, and TBH, we are no longer happy with the quality of the broadband, causing streaming TV to buffer in the evenings, and constant delays in security door bell camera response.

A. Is there a better alternative to BT?

B. Having set up our own WiFi on the MH, can we do the same for the home, providing quality internet and WiFi for the security alarm, cameras, communications, and streaming. I think we would need more than just a decent MiFi with a decent sim card data allowance.

We don't subscribe to viewing platforms such as Sky, Amazon Prime, and Netflix but we do have access to the latter two.

Doing away with the house phone line is not a problem, as it is hardly used. Also, we are away from home for an accumulation of several months a year.

Any ideas or experiences of setting up one's own broadband and WiFi at home, as an alternative to BT would be welcome. :)

Cheers,

Jock. :)
 

DBK

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You need to find the best providers for your area. You could use a mobile phone and buy a few PAYG sim cards from the likes of EE, O2 etc and do a speed test, there's an app available for this.

If you have a good signal a broadband router on its own may be all you need. If you need a better signal an external directional antenna pointing at the local mast may be the best solution.

Then all you need to do is to get the best unlimited data deal. :)

I've looked at doing this at home but our local signals are rubbish due to a hill in the way. :)
 

Coolcats

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At home, we are currently with BT for our broadband and phone.
Our contract expires on 6th October 2022, and TBH, we are no longer happy with the quality of the broadband, causing streaming TV to buffer in the evenings, and constant delays in security door bell camera response.

A. Is there a better alternative to BT?

B. Having set up our own WiFi on the MH, can we do the same for the home, providing quality internet and WiFi for the security alarm, cameras, communications, and streaming. I think we would need more than just a decent MiFi with a decent sim card data allowance.

We don't subscribe to viewing platforms such as Sky, Amazon Prime, and Netflix but we do have access to the latter two.

Doing away with the house phone line is not a problem, as it is hardly used. Also, we are away from home for an accumulation of several months a year.

Any ideas or experiences of setting up one's own broadband and WiFi at home, as an alternative to BT would be welcome. :)

Cheers,

Jock. :)
It’s mainly the same kit between the exchange and your home so if it’s a network issue whoever you go with you will have the same issue. personally I would push BT/Openreach to prove where the fault lays

We have Halo 3 with the unbreakable package if there is issues with the broadband it goes straight to the EE Wi-Fi it’s slower than broadband but fast enough for video conferencing etc.

Edited to say alarm and camera work on broadband and Wi-Fi
 
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JockandRita

JockandRita

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I forgot to add, we are currently paying BT £35 a month, for broadband (up to 32Mbps) and call plan.

I'm sure we could do better for less. :(

It’s mainly the same kit between the exchange and your home so if it’s a network issue whoever you go with personally I would push BT/Openreach to prove where the fault lays
I spent over an hour on the phone a few months ago with a very helpful lady from BT, who tweeked this and that, and carried out various tests and channel changes, but TBH, it's really no better. :(

Jock. :)

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Dec 24, 2014
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I'm thinking the same. My BT bill is always around £230 a quarter with zero cost for calls.
The landline rings or I use it to call out maybe only three times a week, but the laptop needs good broadband for websites and email. I never stream anything like films etc. I do have fast and reliable fibre.
 
Oct 18, 2021
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Check if you're eligible for City Fibre. I changed to them from Virgin and have no complaints, £75pm for broadband, TV and phone, down to £25pm for just broadband and phone. Outgoing calls extra though but we just use free mobile minutes anyway.
 

suavecarve

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We have a rather large bungalow and have to have 3 of those boosters as they guarantee wifi in each room.
Part of the bungalow is the annexe where the in laws live (when they arent motorhoming) and we just cancelled their Wifi to remain with BT and this halo booster system. We have 3 to 4 Tvs streaming, a couple of laptops and maybe 6 phones using the internet in the early evening and it is only on ITV hub that you know the use is heavy and I cant change the TV quality to standard from High Definition

I think its about 55 nicker a month including phone which for 2 houses and full coverage isnt that bad we think
 

Happy Jim

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As above, if your copper line is crap then it will be crap no matter who you take it from. Your only options are a Fibre optic line from one of the smaller network builders if they are in your area (Swift, Greyshott gigabit, City Fibre, Zzoom etc etc), OR, Virgin media (make sure it is theirs and not a re-sold copper line) or Openreach FTTP (sold by BT/TalkTalk/Vodafone/Zen etc).

FTTP is pretty awesome to be honest.

Jim
 

Langtoftlad

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When my Plusnet contract expires, I'll seriously be considering one of the two pure fibre companies that have been cabling the village for the last few months. One is Upp, the other is Lightspeed.
Prices are comparable to my current service (which I have no issues with) but at least 4x the speed.

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Stealaway

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I forgot to add, we are currently paying BT £35 a month, for broadband (up to 32Mbps) and call plan.

I'm sure we could do better for less. :(


I spent over an hour on the phone a few months ago with a very helpful lady from BT, who tweeked this and that, and carried out various tests and channel changes, but TBH, it's really no better. :(

Jock. :)
I have a deal with the Post Office - now Shell Energy for landline rental only at £17.99 per month. The average speed is around 12mbps and more than enough for broadband and TV streaming at our house.
 

Coolcats

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I forgot to add, we are currently paying BT £35 a month, for broadband (up to 32Mbps) and call plan.

I'm sure we could do better for less. :(


I spent over an hour on the phone a few months ago with a very helpful lady from BT, who tweeked this and that, and carried out various tests and channel changes, but TBH, it's really no better. :(

Jock. :)
OK so we pay similar, and get 50Mbps we were promised 51 Mbps, engineer's came out 3 times now we get 57.777 Mbs from the network but coming out of the router is 50, BT was going to send another engineer but I said we were going to become a nuisance customer and as BT guaranteed 51Mbps and I was only getting 50 could I have the £20 they said I would get if it didn't meet the guaranteed speed....they gave me the £20.

Seriously though Engineers need to be sent out do not accept someone remotely checking you need a proper network test, sometimes when an engineer is working on a cabinet it can disturb existing customers wiring, it has happened to me. It needs a manual check right up to the Box in your home (last point of delivery) Open reach even changed that Box for the latest version even though there was nothing wrong with mine.

The following is what is coming in to my Smart hub 2 but that hub looses 7.7Mbps I am tempted to change the smart hub to something else but if I do that I will be responsible for its security and as competent as I think I am I am happy for BT to keep it secure and provide updates for me.

Screenshot 2022-09-29 at 19.40.05.png
 

Coolcats

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I have a deal with the Post Office - now Shell Energy for landline rental only at £17.99 per month. The average speed is around 12mbps and more than enough for broadband and TV streaming at our house.
Which is probably a BT wholesale white label product as are many other providers so its important JockandRita get the network sorted first.
 

TheBig1

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My daughter just upgraded her Three mobile broadband package to 5g unlimited data. Under £20 a month and the speed rivals my cable broadband. Bonus for me is you can pop it in the van when you go away. Obviously it leaves no broadband on at home to stream video, but there are options you could use
 

Stealaway

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Which is probably a BT wholesale white label product as are many other providers so its important JockandRita get the network sorted first.
I would have thought that whatever network speed he is getting he would be better of getting it much cheaper. :giggle:
Especially if he doesn't need all that speed

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JockandRita

JockandRita

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Check if you're eligible for City Fibre. I changed to them from Virgin and have no complaints, £75pm for broadband, TV and phone, down to £25pm for just broadband and phone. Outgoing calls extra though but we just use free mobile minutes anyway.
Just checked, and there download/upload speeds are the same as I'm on, having just done a speed test. :(

As above, if your copper line is crap then it will be crap no matter who you take it from. Your only options are a Fibre optic line from one of the smaller network builders if they are in your area (Swift, Greyshott gigabit, City Fibre, Zzoom etc etc), OR, Virgin media (make sure it is theirs and not a re-sold copper line) or Openreach FTTP (sold by BT/TalkTalk/Vodafone/Zen etc).

FTTP is pretty awesome to be honest.

Jim
Due to faults a couple of years ago, and identifying corrosion at the base of the telegraph pole, I was instrumental in getting our copper connection replaced, from the street (fibre connection) box, which involved digging up a pavement, so I doubt it's a crap copper connection at fault.

Seriously though Engineers need to be sent out do not accept someone remotely checking you need a proper network test, sometimes when an engineer is working on a cabinet it can disturb existing customers wiring, it has happened to me. It needs a manual check right up to the Box in your home (last point of delivery) Open reach even changed that Box for the latest version even though there was nothing wrong with mine.
That was all done for me after the cable repairs, including a new BT Hub 5, and compensation by way of a 3 x figure sum credited to my account.
Re mobile networks, Vodafone and O2 appear to have the best 4G coverage. 5G not available nor planned yet.

Jock. :)
 
Nov 13, 2011
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I will be dumping BT when contract ends in January. I have a TP-Link Mr600 and a Poynting antenna. I tried O2, EE and Vodafone by buying a pay and go sim with just a few GBs on. The EE was best but not by much. I decided on the O2 via Tesco as they do a deal if you have a clubcard which costs £17.50 per month for unlimited data.
I have placed the router in the loft and antenna on a pole on the north wall facing the mast.
So far we get on average about 40 times the BT download speed, having said the BT could only supply .9mbs because of the rubbish cables and distance from exchange. I have a few tree branches to remove later in the year as they are blocking the direct line of site to the mast and are probably interfering with the signal. For most of the night we get 100% signal which drops to 75% during the day, I think this is due to traffic on the network. I still have a few more months to carry out trials before it is 'Goodbye BT'.
Openreach have tried to get us abetter service and recently received a £246 rebate from BT for lack of phone & broadband, so should pay their bills until 'D' day.

Geoff
 
Oct 18, 2021
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Just checked, and there download/upload speeds are the same as I'm on, having just done a speed test. :(
Then there is something wrong.
I stream 4K TV and have 3 people on devices all at the same time with no issue on their 100Mb service.
 
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JockandRita

JockandRita

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Then there is something wrong.
I stream 4K TV and have 3 people on devices all at the same time with no issue on their 100Mb service.
I typed in City Fibre, entered my postcode, and up came this, ie, 15 - 18Mbps. :(


When my Plusnet contract expires, I'll seriously be considering one of the two pure fibre companies that have been cabling the village for the last few months. One is Upp, the other is Lightspeed.
Prices are comparable to my current service (which I have no issues with) but at least 4x the speed.
I too was looking at either of those providers Stephen, with Upp providing 200Mbps for only £1.00 more a month for Lightspeed's 100Mbps.

I will be dumping BT when contract ends in January. I have a TP-Link Mr600 and a Poynting antenna. I tried O2, EE and Vodafone by buying a pay and go sim with just a few GBs on. The EE was best but not by much. I decided on the O2 via Tesco as they do a deal if you have a clubcard which costs £17.50 per month for unlimited data.
I have placed the router in the loft and antenna on a pole on the north wall facing the mast.
So far we get on average about 40 times the BT download speed, having said the BT could only supply .9mbs because of the rubbish cables and distance from exchange. I have a few tree branches to remove later in the year as they are blocking the direct line of site to the mast and are probably interfering with the signal. For most of the night we get 100% signal which drops to 75% during the day, I think this is due to traffic on the network. I still have a few more months to carry out trials before it is 'Goodbye BT'.
Openreach have tried to get us abetter service and recently received a £246 rebate from BT for lack of phone & broadband, so should pay their bills until 'D' day.

Geoff
I do like the sound of that setup Geoff, but having been away for the last 6 x weeks, I've not left myself enough time to sort it all out. :doh:


By the time I've bought the router, antenna with wall mount, and cable, plus the monthly charge for the sim card, it'll work out about the same as taking out a fibre contract with Upp for 12 x months. That'll give me time to sort out a setup like yours. (y)


Jock. :)
 

Justus3

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Not surprised re City Fibre it’s owned by BT so users same connection. Other providers just piggy back on it. We looked into it and was all ready to switch only to be told that they cap speeds at a level not advertised. So stayed with virgin after getting a discount now pay less then we did 3 years ago.

You could have a look at three they do home broadband as well as mobile one.
 
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I typed in City Fibre, entered my postcode, and up came this, ie, 15 - 18Mbps. :(



I too was looking at either of those providers Stephen, with Upp providing 200Mbps for only £1.00 more a month for Lightspeed's 100Mbps.


I do like the sound of that setup Geoff, but having been away for the last 6 x weeks, I've not left myself enough time to sort it all out. :doh:


By the time I've bought the router, antenna with wall mount, and cable, plus the monthly charge for the sim card, it'll work out about the same as taking out a fibre contract with Upp for 12 x months. That'll give me time to sort out a setup like yours. (y)


Jock. :)
I have no fibre option, too far into the sticks.
BT say there are no plans to run fibre this far out, so goodbye BT.
Depending on your proximity you may not need an external antenna. My router gives me all the stats via my tablet, so I could move the router all around the house inside and outside recording all the stats for any given location, using different sims. Then I introduced the antenna and quickly found a worthwhile increase in signal strength, so positioned it high up on the north wall. Strangely the signal degraded if I went above the roofline, so I am obviously benefitting from some reflected signal from the house. It is a bit of a dark art.
By the way I also tried 3 as they are competitive on price, but useless round here.

Geoff
 
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JockandRita

JockandRita

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Check if you're eligible for City Fibre. I changed to them from Virgin and have no complaints, £75pm for broadband, TV and phone, down to £25pm for just broadband and phone. Outgoing calls extra though but we just use free mobile minutes anyway.
If this is the company you referred to Miggs, then it's a no unfortunately. :(


Vodafone broadband is a contender....

We used them in Suffolk, great service
Not available in my area Mick. :( I checked earlier.

Jock. :)
 
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If this is the company you referred to Miggs, then it's a no unfortunately. :(



Not available in my area Mick. :( I checked earlier.

Jock. :)
Just noticed you are on the Lincs/Cambs border. I am in PE12, probably not too far away.

Geoff
 
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JockandRita

JockandRita

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Depending on your proximity you may not need an external antenna.
You might be right there Geoff, as I am about 150 - 200 yards away from the exchange, where there is a mobile mast. :)

Jock. :)

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Coolcats

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I would have thought that whatever network speed he is getting he would be better of getting it much cheaper. :giggle:
Especially if he doesn't need all that speed
We all get hooked on speed and it depends on what services you need we run a business from home so we need a reliable service provider. We also use the cloud storage which is secure etc. looking at the £17 post office offer it seems it’s for 12 months then £30
 

Stealaway

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We all get hooked on speed and it depends on what services you need we run a business from home so we need a reliable service provider. We also use the cloud storage which is secure etc. looking at the £17 post office offer it seems it’s for 12 months then £30
As with most of these deals you have to renew your contract each year. If you don't do it on time the monthly charge does double.
I've been renewing on time for the last three years so have never fell for their stunts.
Other than that I have been completely happy with the service.
 
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Slight thread drift, appologies, but interesting, as those areas with a weak media signal might be getting a Pole stuck outside their house, like it or not!
There is a company named Toob that installing new "9mtr high media poles" outside various homes here is Surrey.
They stuck a lamp post notice of impending work to install a 9mtr high pole on the pavement outside our neighbours house within the coming weeks.
My neighbour complained like many would, that they had not been consulted on the installation outside their house of this ugly new "Media Mast".
Many home owners in Frimley, Camberley have complained about these poles, and raised their objections to their council & MP to try and put a stop on them fitting them.
When asked why they were digging up roads & pavements everywhere, and why they could not use existing cable ducts from Virgin Media or BT, they answered that there was no permission available to share these ducts with anyone else.:rolleyes:
As this is part of the Govs Pledge to increase broadband availability across the country (levelling up term was used) this company does not have to seek planning permission from the local council, they just give the council an idea of where they intend to fit their eyesore poles, and get on with the job.
Update:
My neighbour recieved another text from Toob yesterday to say they were doing trials on a new underground system that did not require mast poles, but would have to see if their new approach would work or not.:unsure:
You would have thought that any agreed system would have been fully tested, and approved/budgeted for before they were given the go ahead.:rolleyes:
LES
 

Minxy

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Which mobile data provider you can use at home will depend on the quality of their service in your area, you can't trust the coverage checkers as even if you're in a good area you could still be in a bit of a dead zone so actually testing, by using PAYG sims, is a good way to do that, an alternative is to sign up for one and test it out, if it isn't good then simply cancel and return the equipment within the cooling off period (usually 14 days).

We supposedly have good coverage for Three/ID but I can tell you it's turned out to be pants, EE isn't too bad, neither is O2 but the best is Vodafone, if they hadn't stopped including roaming we'd have stuck with them.
 

Abacist

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I have Virgin fibre at home for TV, Phone and Broadband. However the Moho is beside the house with a HUAWEI MIFI in it and the computers/phones in the house often pick up the signal for emails and internet browsing. Its a Vodafone unlimited data contract for £28 per month so could happily run the home system with an aerial on the roof!

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