A couple of weeks ago I changed my broadband provider to Virgin from BT, with whom I had been for the past 10 years. And I didn’t just switch broadband – I changed my landline and my TV package at the same time.
The catalyst for this move?
I’ve actually been quite happy with BT for quite a few years but a few months ago I noticed that the speed I was getting on my supposedly 8mb broadband line was very low – around 1.5mb quite often. I reported it (through BT’s very efficient Indian call centre). After a few days of tinkering around the speed did seem to improve. But then the line started dropping – sometimes four or five times a day, and the line was down for quite long periods of time.
I reported this and they looked into this problem too. Again, the Indian support centre looked into it. This time, though, they said they found the problem. The FUP (Fair Use Policy) had been invoked – apparently we had been using too much bandwidth so our connection had been artificially slowed down and that was causing the instability. I was told that if I contacted the FUP team they would lift the restriction as it was causing technical problems.
So I called. There was a very polite woman on the phone who explained that our usage was quite a bit above average and asked if there was anything particular we were doing with the connection. I explained there were five of us in the house using the connection, two of us playing online games, but nothing special. Then she asked if we had an Xbox. Yes, I said. That explained it, she said. Xbox Live uses a lot of bandwidth sending information back and forth.
So it seems, that if you have an Xbox you need another provider – BT wants the kind of users who use the internet for email and browsing – maybe so that the usage patterns don’t interfere with their plans for interactive BT Vision – interactive TV.
Anyway, I’m happy with my move and with my 50mb broadband – as are the hard-core gamers in my family.