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#206623 - 14th Feb 2008 4:33am o2 Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
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.

smile

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#206624 - 14th Feb 2008 4:36am Re: o2 Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: MattLFC]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
31st January 2008 (taken from the Sky Broadband thread):

Well... I have just ordered o2 Broadband! I was going to hang on to Sky as im damned happy with their broadband service, but as o2 will only do the offer of free activation + a 100 day money back guarantee until the end of today, I decided to have a good read around and see what came up.

Some excellent review's about the service, people moving from allsorts of ISP's and getting better speed's, o2 even chasing BT to get a MAC code on behalf of the customer. These things are important to me as im happy with the service from Sky Broadband.

So, the bonus's for me are:

1000 Email - Text per month (handy for my business)
Upto 1.3Mbps Upload (again, handy for my business, sometimes I do a lot of uploading, on Sky it's only 448Kbps)
Still upto 8Mbps downstream
Freephone UK customer support (free from my mobile too)

£7.50 per month as opposed to Sky's £5.00 per month.

So got to phone up Sky now for a MAC code... wish me luck!!

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#206625 - 14th Feb 2008 4:38am Re: o2 Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: MattLFC]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
31st January 2008 (taken from the Sky Broadband thread):

I have recieved 2 texts and an email from o2 regarding the order. Looking like the stories of them keeping you informed every step of the way are true.

Just phoned Sky for the MAC code... £74p the phonecall lmao one thing I wont miss when I move to o2.

Anyway, they will send it via post within 5 working days and I can phone up again in 3 working days (Tuesday) to obtain it earlier.

Find it a bit weird how Virgin managed to produce it within a few hour's and yet Sky take day's, but still, its within OFCOM regulations so I can't complain.

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#206626 - 14th Feb 2008 4:40am Re: o2 Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: MattLFC]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
5th February 2008 (taken from Sky Broadband thread):

Just phoned up Sky... off peak, cheaper you see!

The call was surprisingly under 4 minutes including the menu system, rather impressive tbh... anyway, they gave the MAC code, which I then phoned up o2 for free and gave them.

So the migration is now all set to go!!

Will be interesting to see how it go's... gonna get o2 Mobile Web unlimited if I have any problems during the migration, to ensure I have net access... £7.50 a month and now actually unlimited 3G web not bad imho!

So now I just await an activation date for the broadband etc...

smile

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#206627 - 14th Feb 2008 4:43am Re: o2 Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: MattLFC]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
6th February 2008:

o2 have emailed me and text me to inform me that the broadband service will become active on the 14th February.

They will be sending my box and taking the first payment of £3 odd from my card within the next few day's and will confirm the activation date in writing.

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#206628 - 14th Feb 2008 4:44am Re: o2 Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: MattLFC]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
9th February 2008:

o2 have text me to inform me they have taken the first payment and will be sending out the box shortly, which I will recieve around the 12th February.

smile

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#206629 - 14th Feb 2008 4:46am Re: o2 Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: MattLFC]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
8th February 2008:

o2 sent me a rather weird and unexpected email this morning...

Quote:
Good afternoon, As part of the process of getting you up and running on O2 Broadband as quickly as possible, we have unfortunately sent you two O2 Wireless boxes in error. We are really sorry for any inconvenience this has caused you.

Over the next few days you will receive a jiffy bag from us. Please could you use this to return either of the O2 Wireless boxes back to us? You don't need to worry about which one to send back and which one to use for getting up and running on O2 Broadband as we have taken steps to ensure that either will work.

You don't need to contact us to tell us that you have dispatched the O2 Wireless Box.

Lol, they have mistakenly sent two boxes to me, and I will need to send one back, so they have sent a jiffy bag for me to send it in.

grin

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#206630 - 14th Feb 2008 4:49am Re: o2 Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: MattLFC]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
11th February 2008:

Recieved a text from o2 today... how mint is this:

Quote:
You're o2 parcel will be delivered on the 12th Feb. If you require it to be delivered on an alternative date reply to this text 1=13th Feb 2=14th Feb 3=15th Feb

That is really cool I think!!

smile

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#206631 - 14th Feb 2008 4:52am Re: o2 Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: MattLFC]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
12th February 2008:

Got yet another text from o2 this morning saying:

Quote:
You're parcel 2500869371 from o2 is out for delivery today 12th Feb 2008 and will be delivered to you between 1pm and 6pm.

And sure enough it came at 4pm... two broadband boxes and a jiffy bag to return one of them in haha!

Im going to hold on to both of them until it's activated and running fine just incase one of the boxes is faulty lol!

smile

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#206632 - 14th Feb 2008 4:53am Re: o2 Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: MattLFC]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
So it's the 14th February today... ACTIVATION DAY!!!

Will see how it goes... o2 have informed me by text, mail and email that they will email and text me when the service is activated and ready for use, so I can plug in the o2 Broadband Box and begin using it.

I await with the patience of a saint lol!

smile

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#206638 - 14th Feb 2008 5:32am Re: o2 Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: MattLFC]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Oh yeah, I should really add, that the o2 Broadband box looks ace, is a fair bit bigger then the Sky Modem, but has a lot more inputs and outputs on the rear, and has extra features like direct VOIP etc...

Loads of different colour lights too, looks colourful lmao!!

I have been using the email-text service since I ordered the broadband and it is excellent, very fast (text's within 2 seconds of an email being recieved), so no I get order's, support ticket's, emails etc for my business sent to my phone and it cost's me nothing!!

Big thumb's up from me it is a quality little feature imho thumbsup

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#206675 - 14th Feb 2008 9:07am Re: o2 Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: MattLFC]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Well... I am now on o2 Broadband... noticed I lost connectivity, so swapped to the o2 box and it loaded up straight away no fuss!

Wooohoooo gonna test me speeds in a bit will let it settle first though!

laugh

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#206680 - 14th Feb 2008 9:16am Re: o2 Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: MattLFC]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Wow fook me, this just get's better and better... just checked on the router, and the speed of the line is as follows:

Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]: 1,321 / 11,573

That mean's I have the full 1.3Mbps Upload... but even better, I have over 11Mbps download, even though I am on the 8Mbps!

They must have been notified by BT that the line can only support 4Mbps (thats what it officially can even though ive always downloaded at ~8Mbps from Sky), so they have advised the Openworld engineed to leave it "uncapped" so to speak, to ensure I get as near to 8Mbps as possible... what they aint realised is that BT are way out with their line estimate and I can get the full 8Mbps anyway... this will be fun haha!

laugh laugh

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#206681 - 14th Feb 2008 9:18am Re: o2 Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: MattLFC]
jonah Offline
Forum Guardian

Registered: 29th Nov 2006
Posts: 3992
Loc: 1313 Mockingbird Lane, I live ...
thumbsup sounds like you made a wise decision to move mate....
_________________________

http://www.myspace.com/jonah1974
stevejones74@hotmail.co.uk


"WELL MY NUTS ARE HALFWAY UP MY ASS, BUT OTHER THAN THAT I'M PERFECT.....! "

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#206682 - 14th Feb 2008 9:26am Re: o2 Broadband - Ongoing Review Of The Service [Re: jonah]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Yeah, just doing a load of tests on the speed now... watch this space hehe laugh

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