Right guy's... as you may know I am moving from Sky Broadband to o2 Broadband, not because Sky has been bad (in fact it's been amazing) but due to me almost leaving Sky Digital due to me not using it much, and also because o2 have some feature's which already have become very handy for my buisness, of which I will explain more later!
As the Sky Broadband thread has proved very helpful to some people, and hopefully will to other's in the future, then I thought it was best to run a similar one for o2.
First of all I will take a look into the o2 Broadband service, what it offer's, why I am taking it, and how it is run. About o2 Broadband
I know many people will be wondering how and why o2 got into the broadband market... well basically, what happened was they bought a company called Be* last year (also known as Be Unlimited or bethere). Be* are a smallish ISP although they have been around for about 4 year's, and were iirc, the very first company to roll out LLU ADSL2+ service's nationwide (Bulldog and Homechoice already offered such a service, but due to BT they were confined to 35 exchange's in London at the time).
Some people may remember it as it was announced on the BBC website, and many people were talking about it at the time, basically because they were offering, what at the time seemed like insane speed's and at stupid pricing (bear in mind the average speed people could get was 512Kbps and I was paying £44.99 per month for Bulldog 2Mbps) like 8Mbps for £14 a month and even speed's right upto 24Mbps!!
Anyway, Be* have grown from stregnth to stregnth, a nice growing customer base and revenue and in 2006, Telefonica o2 (ie. o2) purchased Be* for £50million. So similar to when Sky purchased Easynet (See the Sky Broadband
thread for detail's on that) it was almost inevitable that one day, o2 would be offering some sort of broadband service alongside their core product, which is of course mobile phone's.
Anyway, fast forward to 2007, and although the Be* service continue's to gain customer's and is generally successful in a very tough and competitive market, Telefonica are not too happy with o2's performance in the UK (they can't really increase profit's due to the mobile market being mature), they began to look for more way's to gain revenue and increase profit's and realised that they are probably sitting on a gold mine in the fact that their sister company has a massive broadband network, which will cost o2 practically nothing to tap in to, yet will gain tonne's of customer's solely because of the o2 brand, if they could link it up somehow with their mobile network.
So o2 Broadband launched late on last year, around October or November I think, and is basically the Be* service, but with different product's, different pricing, under a different name and with a few o2 perk's.
The main thing to be aware of is that o2 Broadband is currently available to around 75% of the population with Be* having so far enabled over 850 exchanges and o2 Broadband is the first major brand to offer a "general public" (ie. you don't have to be an o2 customer to take their service) ADSL2+ LLU service.
It should also be noted that Be* continue's to operate as a seperate brand from o2 Broadband, at least for the time being, probably because the Be* service has such a strong reputation and a very loyal customer base, and it's going back to the old saying, dont try fixing something that isnt broken.What o2 Broadband Offer's
o2 Broadband is a bit complex at first glance, but once you understand the basic's its pretty simple. The reason why it first look's a bit complex, is because there is two pricing schemes. One is for contract customers (not Simplicity customers) and one is for non-contract customers (this mean's anyone, not just o2 customers).
Basically though, even if you are not a contract customer, I think you will agree that the plans, at present due to a launch price reduction, offer excellent value, and almost certainly beat any alternative product price wise and speed wise.
With o2 Broadband you get the following included:
- o2 Broadband Box ADSL/ADSL2+ Wireless Router
- 10 Email Accounts
- 1GB Email storage for the first account, then 200MB for all others.
- McAfeee Personal Internet Security
- 100 Web Text's
- 1000 Email's to Text (only to o2 mobiles)
- 100 day money back guarantee
- Free connection/migration
- 24/7 UK Based Freefone Customer Support (free from Landline's and o2 mobiles)
- Static IP Address for £4.99 per month
- Unlimited Data Transfer (subject to the same FUP as Be*, around 300GB per month, no throttling)
Here is the pricing levels:Download/Upload
------ o2 Contract
------ Std Price
8Mbps/1.3Mbps --------- £7.50 Per Month ----- £12.50 Per Month
16Mbps/1.3Mbps -------- £10.00 Per Month ---- £15.00 Per Month
20Mbps/1.6Mbps -------- £15.00 Per Month ---- £20.00 Per Month
Be* do offer a 24Mbps service, and o2's 20Mbps service is the same, but they have classed it as 20Mbps due to the fact so few customers will actually be able to get over 20Mbps, which I think is quite sensible.
Be* also offer an extreme 2.5Mbps Upload
service, using part of the downstream frequency however, o2 are not offering this as yet, and probably won't at any time in the future. But it is not a bad thing tbh, o2 offer 1.3Mbps/1.6Mbps Upload
, which is far in excess of most competitor's, who usually offer 400/448Kbps, or in the case of Sky for instance, 768Kbps on their "Max" service.Why Am I Moving To o2 Broadband?
I have had nothing but superb service from Sky Broadband during the last year, and did not want to leave to be honest.
However, I was very close to getting rid of Sky, and still may do so in the future, due to lack of use (no point in paying £21 a month for something am not using may as well get a TUTV box for £100 and then pay nothing for the "plus" features). Now with Sky, to take the broadband, landline and talk service, you do need to remain a customer of the Sky Digital TV service to remain eligable. Im not sure why this is tbh, it's all revenue and profitable (especially on their broadband and talk service) but it's the way things are, and if I were to ditch Sky Digital TV, then I would lose the broadband. So I decided it is better to look around and see if there are any alternative's.
Anyway, I noticed o2 Broadband when it first laucnhed, so decided to take a look into it and to be quite honest, it impressed me both feature wise and price wise. And more importantly, some of the feature's will actually help me to run my business better, so it became even more evident that the service was ideal for me, and I decided to move straight away, therefore if in the future I ever decide to ditch Sky Digital, then I have no problems with the broadband aspect of things.
I find the massive Upload
will be helpful for my business, and the email to text will be an excellent step forward as now I get notified of any support ticket's, new order's, support email's etc within second's of them being sent, and can of course respond to them on my phone. This service alone would cost around £100 per month at the rate of 1000 email's, so is outstanding additional value.
I will now start the review of the service in the next few post's, will review each step as it has already happened post by post, and this will take a while as it has been a couple of week's now.