Slashdot: News for Nerds


Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

True Unlimited Broadband in the UK?

Cliff posted more than 7 years ago | from the isp-fine-print dept.


Tango42 asks: "Next (academic) year, I'm going to be living in a student house with 4 (inc. me) heavy internet users. I can see us potentially using 50-100GB/month. Do you know any UK ISP that will accept that kind of usage without claiming it's abuse under some 'acceptable use policy'? We're willing to pay a bit more that we would on more restrictive ISPs, as it's divided 4 ways, we just don't want to end up getting cut off or throttled for going over the limit on an 'unlimited' account."

cancel ×


Maybe (4, Informative)

x2A (858210) | more than 7 years ago | (#15773353)

I use blueyonder through telewest (cable modem), and we've had our bandwidth maxed out for long periods of time without any complaint ever. I'm not sure how many gigs this translates to per month, but it's about the most you can get with that speed connection. This is achieved through running p2p apps constantly, with a linux gateway/router to give priority to certain packet types (eg, so shareaza doesn't slow down ssh etc)

BY are great (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15773497)

I'm on blueyonder as well & share my connection with 2 others. Maxed out all the time with no complaints.

Best ISP I've ever had. Never had any OS issues before I started sharing either ( never had a windows PC )

Re:Maybe (1)

ShecoDu (447850) | more than 7 years ago | (#15773706)

Could you point me to a place to learn how to set up iptables to achieve those rules?

iproute2/tc, not iptables. (1)

tabrisnet (722816) | more than 7 years ago | (#15773758)

not iptables so much as iproute2/tc. []

Wondershaper can be a wonder, tho I have found that it can be improved somewhat by rewriting the concept in perl (Python should work too), rather than bash. Makes it more flexible. Use your language of choice of course, so that you understand it.

IPtables cannot do shaping, although you can use it alongside iproute2/tc with MARK.

No monthly cap in the US (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15773926)

In the US there are no monthly caps.

Oh, that's right everything sucks in the US what am I thinking?

Well, Americans are the new Der Juden ... everything is our fault.

Be Unlimited 24 Meg Broadband (2, Informative)

Kerr (889580) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774102) [] - If you're lucky enough to live in one of their areas, i'd go for Be. Their pay-per-gb package goes up to 90gb, so their unlimited is for those who will use more? £24 connection fee £24 a month 24mb down 1.3mb up

Re:Maybe (2, Funny)

thelost (808451) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774400)

I can second this. Telewest have provided consistent service for me, the whole time I've lived in Bristol. If it's possible to get them then do, they don't cap the service and I've never had any complaints about bandwidth usage, even when I was living in a heavy usage household which must have been sucking over about 60-100gig a month while we still enamoured of downloading. Eventually, we downloaded the whole internet though. It was quite peculiar, a series of interconnected copper pipes.

Re:Maybe (1)

malkavian (9512) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774513)

Blimey, another Bristolian!
But, I'll add my vote to BlueYonder/Telewest.. Had Broadband in since it started, and not really had any issues with it..
The only ones I did were hardware related (they had a fault due to corroded copper in a service pit just outside the house.. Took about 5 engineer calls until one of them fixed it correctly)..
Last time I checked, the phone in support desk doesn't support Linux, but you just tell them you're using Windows, and answer the questions they have using Linux tools.
Their call in engineers are happy to 'unofficially' sort out the wiring problems no matter what OS you have.. Pragmatic guys.
Had my link maxed out for a few months (pretty much up and down), and nobody batted an eyelid.. So, they're certainly sounding like the best bet..

Re:Maybe (1)

ThaReetLad (538112) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774857)

ditto. Telewest is great, except when some **** cut the cable before the England game last month. I was able to watch it on the bbc website though, which wasn't to bad once I reduced my desktop resolution towards the native stream size.

Re:Maybe (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774406)

I'll put in another vote for Blueyonder. While I was at uni we had 6 of us on a 2Mbit connection averaging around 175Gb/month for the best part of a year and we never had any problems. Very good tech support too, should you ever need it - it's always nice to come across people on 1st line who are smart enough *not* to force you to disconnect your router to diagnose every single problem.

Re:Maybe (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774576)

I used to be on Blueyonder and used 150+Gb/month, same sort of pattern. I moved and had to change to ADSL which is a nightmare in comparison. For heavy users in the UK, cable is the way to go. Totally unfiltered, fast and unlimited capacity.

How public spirited! Thanks! (1)

chiark (36404) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774751)

I just wanted to thank you for running p2p constantly, and also for providing an advert for bulk DVD writers/copiers/duplicators. It's obvious that you're pulling the latest and greatest builds of every distro nightly and are distributing them for free or small amounts of money on physical media

So from everyone, thanks for that!

After all, there's nothing else you'd be doing running P2P and disc duplicators, is there? ;-)

(PS - this is an attempt at humour and should not be taken seriously or internally)

Re:Maybe (1)

thebudgie (810919) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774874)

I just moved out of a place in Edinburgh where I had 2mbit down/256k up from blueyonder broadband. We transferred over a TB in torrents, and god knows how much in websites last year and they didn't even blink. Not only that but if you have a phone line from them, customer service is free to call iirc, and they're really good. The 3 for £30 package is ace too. Cable TV, broadband and a phone line with free weekend calls. I just wish we weren't about 200m too far from their area in this new place...

Now we have Tiscali, and I've never had the download on a 2mbit line maxed out. It sucks.

Re:Maybe (1)

stevey (64018) | more than 7 years ago | (#15775274)

I'm living in Leith and have the 30 quid package, mostly because the previous owner/tenants had all the cabling already installed. I can max out the incoming connection too.

I can't say I've ever had to call their customer support, so I dont know how good they are. But I guess saying that I've had no problems in two years is something.

They have occaisional outages. I think I've seen maybe two mornings where I had no internet in the past 18 months. Frustrating since my neighbours open wireless link also went down ;)

Re:Maybe (1)

Bizzeh (851225) | more than 7 years ago | (#15775005)

There is no maximum to Telewest/Blueyonder, its totaly unlimited.

maybe, maybe not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15773354)

Re:maybe, maybe not (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15773440)

On the other hand, I am a comcast user. I pay for the premium account - 8Mbps. I regularly do 2TB+ per month. Yes, that's over 2 terabytes, almost all of which comes from giganews. And I have been doing that for over a year without a peep from comcast.

I chalk it up to:

1) Competition:
a) DSL in the area is very competitive price-wise, they don't do 8Mbps accounts, but they do 1.5Mbps for under $15.
b) Some bordering communities have FIOS available, mine does not, but Comcast may not be smart enough to distinguish.

2) Partnering: Giganews is Comcast's Usenet "partner" for regular accounts which get a whopping 1GB/month for free. They may have extra provisioning for giganews because of this partnering - traceroute is all which used to own comcast.

3) Low Utilization: I'm in a blue-collar town (see the above about FIOS bordering us, its actually more like they provisioned all the surrounding towns except this one which has the lowest property values) so there may be an excess of available bandwidth for this town and even with my excess usage, they still aren't maxed out and thus they don't really care how much bandwidth any one individual uses.

4) I use port 80 instead of the normal NNTP port. Maybe they are just so stupid they don't count port 80 traffic against you?

Re:maybe, maybe not (2, Interesting)

Millenniumman (924859) | more than 7 years ago | (#15773598)

1.b)They probably are smart enough to distinguish, and smart enough to know if they raised prices, FIOS would likely come to your area. 4. Port 80 is the standard http port, so they will certainly count it.

Re:maybe, maybe not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15773688)

1.b)They probably are smart enough to distinguish, and smart enough to know if they raised prices, FIOS would likely come to your area

FIOS is not here because Verizon doesn't think there are enough people willing to pay a premium for a premium product. Comcast giving me the boot would not change that. Comcast ain't going to raise their price in this town when the price for the rest of the state and probably anywhere within 300 miles is the same price.

4. Port 80 is the standard http port,

No WAY! I had no idea! Thanks for cluing me in!!!!!

so they will certainly count it.

Oh yeah, that really follows. Er, no.

Port 80 being standard HTTP means that it is unlikely to be P2P since most users don't change the port their P2P app uses and of those that do, picking port 80 is pretty rare. If an ISP is looking to cull their heavy users, they might well want to save the heavy web-users for last since for 99% of their population, "the web" is the internet. Take out the P2P and other non-web users first because its unlikely that they were just heavy browsers. That way you have less people bitching about just using the web like the commercials on tv show regular people doing.

Re:maybe, maybe not (1)

spleck (312109) | more than 7 years ago | (#15773798)

I'm in the US.... I regularly peak out my bandwidth for days on end and haven't had any problems. I don't remember the source, but I was told that the bandwidth limits weren't enforced except in areas with lots of customer complaints for speed issues.

Re:maybe, maybe not (1)

JimXugle (921609) | more than 7 years ago | (#15773859)

Lucky You. I may be in the coverage area for a 6MBit/384Kbit DSL Line... if I'm lucky. The cable modem sevice around here is disgustingly unreliable, so I'm pretty much stuck with DSL. Windstream's Acceptable Use Policy [] nor their terms and conditions [] say anything about maximim data transfer. Which is good, because I'm big into the bittorrent.

Re:maybe, maybe not (1)

David Horn (772985) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774686)

Do you ever feel guilty about stealing 1TB(?!!) of movies/music/tv shows/apps every month? Can't be anything else, and don't try the "Linux ISO file" crap.

1TB is approximately 400 movies at DVD quality.

Re:maybe, maybe not (1)

plumby (179557) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774996)

Can't be anything else,
Could be porn...

No (1, Interesting)

nagora (177841) | more than 7 years ago | (#15773360)

That's the simple answer. Apart from the cable companies, who will all kick you for that level of usage, all the other lines are ultimately owned by BT and they don't sell wholesale unlimited lines to the other ISPs (nor do they reserve them for their own customers). There is no totally unlimited bradband in the UK because of this.


Re:No (3, Insightful)

Psychotext (262644) | more than 7 years ago | (#15773403)

As much as I hate to disagree, I've been pulling easily 100gb a month (NTL) for the last year, as have many of my friends (Telewest mostly). [] shows the 10mb NTL package which clearly states that you have unlimited downloads ( Oddly they refer to their user agreement which says nothing about fair usage.

But anyway, don't take the piss with peer to peer maxing your bandwidth all month and I doubt you'll have a problem.

(p.s. Just noticed "unlimited" also applies to the lower connection bands as well.)

Re:No (2, Informative)

Don_dumb (927108) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774423)

I think the gp was talking about lines through their telephone network (which is basically the UK telephone network, there may be some obscure others). The gp may well be correct, in his/her understanding of BT only selling limited lines.
So you rightly have pointed out that perhaps the only truely unlimited service is offered by NTL and Telewest but you are not actually disagreeing. NTL and Telewest are connections not actually made through BT's infrastructure but their own cable (originally TV) network, which has not AFAIK ever been in the control of BT. Do bear in mind however that many people don't, and wont for the forseable future, have cable, perhaps the submitter of the ask will not either.

There is possibly another alternative in Satellite broadband, but I believe that is relatively expensive and requires some DIY.

Re:No (1)

Psychotext (262644) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774752)

I was disagreeing with the statement that 100gb usage will get you kicked off the network by the cable providers (NTL / Telewest). I can't really comment on BT as having worked for them I now avoid them like the plague. :)

Re:No (1)

M1FCJ (586251) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774483)

NTL works fine, I use their middle-speed entry which is 4MBit/s at the moment and I've been on my long-loved quest of archiving Internet to DVDs for years now. No complaints from NTL - yet. :) Simply put, the latest SUSE releases (SLES10 and SLED10) took 4 DVDs and 16 CDs to cover DVD and CD versions of both architectures and even that would blow a lot of companies' download limits and it's a legitimate use.

Re:No (2, Informative)

Badfysh (761833) | more than 7 years ago | (#15775138)

I was on NTL a few years ago, and I seem to remember that they did sneakily introduce some kind of fair use policy. Unfortunately I can't provide links as my source at the time was NTHell, which was bought by NTL and taken down. The impression I got at the time though, was that it was just a way of dealing with the handful of seriously hardcore downloaders, the type of people who sell moody DVD's in pubs. Only about 3 or 4 people on the NTHell forums ever got warning letters, so I suspect that if your usage is high but not outrageous, (as in downloading movies 24/7) they will just leave you alone.

Re:No (2, Informative)

Psychotext (262644) | more than 7 years ago | (#15775279)

That's right, was not long after those usage policies that NTL bought and closed it down. There is still but it seems to lack the same bite. :) The usage policies were widely criticised at the time as most of NTLs advertising was focussed on "wearing out your modem" and stating very clearly that you can, and should download as much as you could. Even their portal site gives information on the best ways to make the most of your connection and gives you a ton of links to high bandwidth media. Don't know if they ever got stamped on by the advertising standards agency, but they should have been.

Re:No (3, Informative)

Ned_Network (952200) | more than 7 years ago | (#15773681)

...all the other lines are ultimately owned by BT and they don't sell wholesale unlimited lines to the other ISPs (nor do they reserve them for their own customers)..
That's utter rubbish.

Whilst all the lines are owned by BT, when they were privatised by Maggie Thatcher in the 1980s they were put under the supervision of OFTEL (now OFCOM, I think) which was given the job of ensuring that BT doesn't behave in a monopolistic manner. For this reason BT have to provide lines to ISPs on reasonable terms - in fact BT's wholesale division are required to treat other ISPs on equal terms with BT Retail (and sometimes maybe they even do!) - and ISPs are allowed to resell services through BT's lines on whatever terms they wish. BT may have the right to charge ISPs usage fees for using their backbone network (between the exchange and the ISP's offices), but since Local Loop Unbunding ("LLU") ISPs are no longer required to use BT's backbone, so cost may not be prohibitive, either.

FWIW I use Eclipse [] (referrer link) for my ADSL. I find them to be very good indeed and those of my customers who have followed my advice (all too few, alas!) have been pleased with them, too.

  • I pay £29.99 for Eclipse's most premium home service. I get 3.5meg down out of MaxDSL & 445k or whatever up.
  • I believe this to be a truly unlimited service, but don't know for sure. I surely hit the 50gig per month that the OP mentions, but maybe not 100gig.
  • If I have technical support problems, Eclipse are brilliant. Their staff are based in Exeter, I believe. My line started giving problems on a Sunday, I called them on a Monday morning and as soon as the girl took my user login she told me she could see that the line was dropping every few minutes, that it was surely a line problem and that she'd escalate to BT wholesale. 2 hours later I got a call to arrange the engineer's visit (it actually took 2 engineers' visits to resolve the problem, as the first one disconnected the ringers of the telephones on my extension lines, but I'm getting used to that). Contrast this with the typical phonecall to BT's or Tiscali's tech support, where the call-handlers barely speak English and always ask you to reinstall the modem drivers. In fact, before now I've had to pretend to reinstall the modem drivers in order to get the PPPoA username & password to install a router, because the call handler didn't understand me when I asked for them (in however many different ways!) but was capable of reciting her script to the point where she could tell me "now type in and fidothedog1".
  • Eclipse technical support managed to talk Mary, the 30-something, god-squad single-mother of 3, how to set up her own choice of email address through their web-based interface, AND THEN how to access it with Outlook Express. They must truly be saints, and deserve your business.


Re:No (1)

RupW (515653) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774630)

I pay £29.99 for Eclipse's most premium home service.
My only niggle with Eclipse is that every once in a while they make their accounts better and cheaper and don't tell you about it until you stumble across it and ask to pay less :-)

Sounds like you're already on their latest accounts though.

Re:No (1)

Kuad (529006) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774832)

I can certainly agree for that. I regraded for free last month and quadrupled my down bandwidth for less money a month. They sure don't go out of their way to tell you that you *can* do this.

I stay with Eclipse because no other ISP has ever given me less hassle than they do. Their only black mark is botching my transfer when I moved houses.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15774816)

That's utter rubbish.

Well, I was reporting on what a friend of mine (who is high up in the tech department of a bank) discovered after being kicked by 5 different ISPs, including Eclipse and NTL, for using too much bandwidth on "unlimited" accounts.

The problem is the phrase "reasonable terms". BT argue that infinite usage is not "reasonable" and regardless of LLU, they still own the exchange and the copper wire and they exert a basic level of control on that as they are the mugs having to run the first and maintain the second. The fact that they are crap at both sadly does not enter into it.

Re:Off topic sig comment. (1)

illuminatedwax (537131) | more than 7 years ago | (#15773757)

"Encyclopedia" is to "Wikipedia" as "Library" is to "A lot of people standing at a bus stop who collectively have read all of the books in the library."

Re:Off topic sig comment. (1)

arose (644256) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774042)

More books then in the library and also recent newspapers.

Re:Off topic sig comment. (1)

illuminatedwax (537131) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774094)

Oh, and they know tons of useless pop culture garbage, too.

Re:Off topic sig comment. (1)

arose (644256) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774203)

Is anime pop now?

Re:No (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774582)

This is simply wrong. Cable on BY is unlimited and there are ISPs who let you do whatever you want such as Zen, albeit at a price.

Re:No (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774599)

As an ISP, BT sell you the line to the exchange, and then the central pipe back to your network.
Ofcourse, since BT are a pain to deal with a lot of ISPs use third parties as the go between with BT, companies such as easynet, griffin and entanet... Who offer a range of plans, both traffic limited (fixed cost for a line regardless of speed, and you pay for traffic usage) and unlimited (where faster lines cost more)...

Currently i have 2mb unlimited, and i run it flat out pretty much 24/7.

Re:No (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774733)

I have unlimited broadband, but that's probably because I don't download continuously all day long. I'm with PlusNet (who are great), and a while back they introduced a 'fair use' policy that caused quite a fuss.

The whole industry is based around buying X mb of bandwidth from BT, and then reselling it on to customers, expecting the customer to use a fair amount of it - not to use all the 2mb that they are given. This overselling is common as you'd be paying £100 a month for a 512Kb connection if they had to give everyone that much. So, they introduced the fair use that said you won't saturate your connection so other users wouldn't be disadvantaged (as the company wouldn't buy more capacity just for the few users who do abuse the service).

That said, they do give several options, and the expensive (£22) connection gives you a lot of bandwidth anyway - 20Gb during peak hours (4pm to midnight) and unlimited at other times. Even then, if you download more, they won't do anything about it until you d/l more than 60Gb. Its more of a reason to stop people who are literally downloading all the time. (hmm, that'll be you)

The fai ruse policy is something every ISP has, to a greater or lesser extent simply because the economics of providing broadband don't allow it otherwise. ainable_usage_guide.shtml []

You might want to check out which has a list of all UK BB providers, you may find a better one in there, or you may want to try the "business" offerings from places as they should be mouch more friendly to your large bandwidth needs. Alternatively, contact the ISP and ask!

Price (1)

ebcdic (39948) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774759)

There is unlimited broadband, it's just expensive. From what I can deduce from comments by various ISPs, BT charges around 1 pound per month per GB of bandwidth. So Zen, for example, who charge 35 pounds for an
ADSL Max service with a 50 GB/month limit are probably not making a huge profit - they're relying on
many customers using less than the limit. They have a much more expensive unlimited "business" version.

ISPs can avoid BT's bandwidth charging by "unbundling" exchange lines: they put their own equipment in the exchange instead of going through BT's IP network. This would require a huge investment from the ISP to cover
the whole country, so is more commonly available in big cities, especially London.

You can find out whether any ISPs provide unbundled services in you area from []

Seems like it shouldn't be a problem... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15773375)

My roommates and I are constantly downloading movies/music/games from bittorrent and I assume that our usage approaches your estimate and we haven't had a single problem from our ISP. I mean I was just tel

Connection Reset by Host - Over Bandwidth Limit

Re:Seems like it shouldn't be a problem... (4, Funny)

Millenniumman (924859) | more than 7 years ago | (#15773614)

The parent poster obviously forgot that the internet is not a truck, and he filled up the series of tubes that make it up. It is a good thing ISPs are cracking down on this, because it recently took 5 days for an internet to arrive when someone sent it to me.

Oh, remember to support bridge building!

Re:Seems like it shouldn't be a problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15774503)

Well Duh... use Fedex when you really need your Internet by the next business day

nildram 50GB limit (3, Interesting)

Jamesie (615784) | more than 7 years ago | (#15773384)

I have the 2MB for £22.12 pcm service and there is a peak limit of 50GB and you can carry any unused over to the next month, all that happens is that they throttle you down to 64 KBs after you use all your peak download bytes. Additional 2GBs for £1.98 at 2MB.

English equivalents of US units (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15773410)

I have the 2MB for £22.12 pcm service and there is a peak limit of 50GB and you can carry any unused over to the next month, all that happens is that they throttle you down to 64 KBs after you use all your peak download bytes. Additional 2GBs for £1.98 at 2MB.

Sir Dude, what's the English measurement for Mega-byte? I mean, that's the US measurement and all, but isn't a mega-byte in the English system like, "X stones per pound per nut of wire diameter" or something?

Re:English equivalents of US units (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774271)

Aren't US measurements the more convoluted ones?

Re:English equivalents of US units (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15775049)

You have heard of Kilobytes right? The 'Kilo' part being the give-away here. That's the metric system you're using.

Re:nildram 50GB limit (0, Redundant)

RelaxedTension (914174) | more than 7 years ago | (#15773433)

I hope you mean £1.98 per 2 MB should be per 2 GB. Otherwise, you're looking at a rediculous amount of money to do an additional 50 gigs,which is easily do-able by 4 people. (over £50,000) Even at almost £2.00 per gig thats an additional £100.00 extra a month by itself.

Re:nildram 50GB limit (1)

Breogan (730642) | more than 7 years ago | (#15773657)

Read it closely: he said 2Gb more at the 2Mb full speed (and not 64kb).

Business plans (2, Funny)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#15773409)

I hear plans for businesses tend to actually give you the limit you pay for, and without throttling... I think the reasoning is that businesses are paying for bandwidth that they NEED for their mission-critical ... things (sorry I only took business 101, and I ran out of buzzwords). Anyways, MY thoughts on this are, if you were an ISP, would YOU want to cut off a business when they might train their lawyers on you? I thought not.

At any rate, you should look into it.

Re:Business plans (5, Funny)

Chris Graham (942108) | more than 7 years ago | (#15773450)

Some buzzword help from a company director...

In order to facilitate the delivery of high-end dependable data services, a forward-facing enterprise connectivity provider will rapidly leverage their contractual provisions to mitigate against otherwise impending client bandwidth-insolvency.

Now the programmer inside me makes me hate myself ;).

Re:Business plans (2, Informative)

ttldkns (737309) | more than 7 years ago | (#15773476)

i would whole heartedly reccomend nildram as an ISP.

my friend uses them and he has an ace connection with low latency and low connection ratios.

their business boradband doesnt seem to have a limit (the 8Mb service) and tbh 512k^h^h^h^h 8Mb should be enough for anyone ;) lock-bbb []

Prodigy Networks (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15773415)

Prodigy Networks [] are the firm you are looking for. They have several good unmetered ADSL packages. Excellent reliability (I've been a client for 3 years and had 8 hours downtime) and English based customer service. Just call and ask for Nick, or sign up online.

It's wires only, so you will need your own filters and modem, but the prices and service are great.


ADSL Guide UK [] has some good recommendations.

Re:Prodigy Networks (1)

NexFlamma (919608) | more than 7 years ago | (#15773954)

Anyone else kinda get the feeling that this AC's real name is 'Nick'?

High Usage (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15773432)

Try purchasing a commercial connection. I know in the states cable companies have commercial lines that they lease at a premium.

Re:High Usage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15773712)

Plan B, get two connections?

Bandwidth is not everything (3, Informative)

Col. Bloodnok (825749) | more than 7 years ago | (#15773444)

I pay 25 quid a month for a half meg connection. I get an extremely reliable service, no contention issues, reliable email hosting, no complaints when I max-out the line for days at a time, and access to *all* the newsgroups. Not only that, if I have any problems with the service, I immediatedly get put though to a northern (England rather than India) bloke who knows what traceroute is. What more could you ask?

Re:How about (1)

Timo_UK (762705) | more than 7 years ago | (#15773525)

what's the name of the ISP? ;-)

Re:How about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15774617)

From the description it sounds like Andrews and Arnold.

100GB/mo == 256kbps (2, Insightful)

billstewart (78916) | more than 7 years ago | (#15773621)

Unless I've dropped some zeros or 8s, 100GBytes/month is only about 256 kilobits per second fulltime (ok, 277 for a 30-day month, but 256kbps is a nice round size that telcos sell.) A business that bought a 2 Mbps E1 line and got spanked for using it more than 1/8 of the time would quickly find another ISP. I don't know the prices for an E1 in the UK; a 1.5 Mbps T1 in the US is typically under $500 including access. Fractional-speed service is more expensive per bit, of course, but you may still be able to find a good price for the box you hang your P2P service on, and then use cable or DSL for web browsing.

Re:100GB/mo == 256kbps (1)

boron boy (858013) | more than 7 years ago | (#15773972)

256/8 = 32 kilobytes/second (MAX)

Assuming 1 megabyte = 1024 kilobytes we get 0.03125 MB/s

0.03125*60*60*24*30 = 81000MB per 30 days. Roughly 81GB.

Of course that is running 24/7 at the maximum theoretical speed of the connection, which is never going to happen.

Re:100GB/mo == 256kbps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15774711)

Bitrates are not measured in powers of 10 (binary), therefore 1MB == 1000KB as the SI prefix would have you believe.

Re:100GB/mo == 256kbps (1)

Peil (549875) | more than 7 years ago | (#15775043)

A business that bought a 2 Mbps E1 line and got spanked for using it more than 1/8 of the time would quickly find another ISP.
Afraid that over here that the cable ISPs will routinely include a caveat in their contract specifying that you cannot use these conenctions for business use, and they WILL kick you if your caught.

Business vs. Non-Business (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 7 years ago | (#15775311)

Yes, that's common over here too, but I'm suggesting the opposite transaction - buying the business-rated service for residential use. You might get overcharged, but you won't get kicked.

don't use tiscali (1)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 7 years ago | (#15773771)

we do because we have to, but they put us on a crap connection (sent us an email saying so) because there are lots of us sharing it and we actually use the bandwidth we bought.

I recomment a QOS Router (1)

BlueCoder (223005) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774030)

I highly recommend that someone setup a QOS router and firewall for the house with five or more NIC's. Everyone will otherwise be complaining about how much other people are pips. Also I think it would be imparitive that you actually get 5 or more real IP addresses otherwire it's will be a bear setting up certain programs.

Re:I recomment a QOS Router (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 7 years ago | (#15775054)

You don't need multiple NICs, I use iptables to classify packets from different IP addresses so they get picked up by different tc rules.

I also set up port forwarding on address ranges to different IPs, for example,
20000-20999 ->
21000-21999 ->

Then, anything that someone wants to run on their machine, they just set the port within that range (most listening programs will let you specify a port to listen on). New services can be added no problem without having to configure the firewall each time.

Get BE 24mb adsl (2, Informative)

tom1974 (413939) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774153)

I have a [] BE adsl which gets you upto 24mb/1024 down/up, depending on distance from the exchange and line quality. I'm around a mile away from the exchange and get ~15mb.

Between the 3 of us in the house, we use around 150~200Gb a month for the past 5-6 months without any complaints from BE.

They've been good to us, give them a try.

Re:Get BE 24mb adsl (1)

Beige (81376) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774883)

I'll second that. We've been using BE for a few months now and easily get the 200Gb the parent mentioned without complaint.

How much are you prepared to pay? (4, Informative)

alanw (1822) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774255)

For £79/month you can have Zen's Office 8000 Max.

One month minimum contract (useful if you are only staying in the house for 10 months)
No bandwidth limit
Excellent technical support
Max ADSL - up to 8Mb/s, depending on your distance from the exchange and quality of the circuit.

Happy Zen Customer (2, Informative)

wild_berry (448019) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774611)

Zen's customer support (home, not business) have been good to me. Their Web Portal's okay for managing your account and their phone support lines have knowledgeable and helpful staff. [] have their users rate the Zen experience as faster and more reliable than any other service I could compare them to.

pissing contest (0, Redundant)

BoneMarrow (577933) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774304)

let it begin around the end of last year something happened at the isp and my speeds suddenly got real fast with no caps I downloaded 110GB that month - all me, all p2p can anyone beat that? (residential adsl)

Plusnet (2, Interesting)

Criffer (842645) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774428)

Plusnet [] rock. Up to 8 meg downstream with no limits for £14.99 a month. And you get wide open ports and a static IP address. Great for bittorrent, hosting your own web server, gaming... And apparently they now throw in VOIP, just for the hell of it.

And the referrals program means you may end up not even having to pay for any of it. Tell them negativezero sent you.

Re:Plusnet (0, Troll)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774485)

Plusnet aren't unlimited. They have a hazy and poorly-defined acceptable usage policy, and a CEO who rants and raves about the top 2% of bandwidth users like he'd round them up, put them in camps, and gas them. If you mod me troll, it's clear you've never used plusnet.

Re:Plusnet (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774760)

I use plusnet, and they are great. I do get unlimited broadband - but as with everything in life, 'unlimited' just means a large limit I don't notice. There again, I don't download music and vids 24/7.

Plusnet do allow true unlimited downloads from midnight to 4pm though - they throttle it during peak time when mum and dad are downloading emails and surfing for their new vacuum cleaner, so its understandable the CEO wants to give them a good surfing experience (they pay lots for little usage after all) without the pirate kiddies using up all the capacity with bittorrent, IRC, and CS.

Plusnet are good, you should try some other providers if you think they are draconian! (and tell them bolstridge sent you - I want my 50p!!)

Re:Plusnet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15774764)

"They have a hazy and poorly-defined acceptable usage policy"? It's pretty clearly defined, it's on their Sustainable Usage Guide, and they do Traffic Management too which is clearly explained on their Traffic Management page. Basically, don't take the piss during peak time and you can do what the heck you want, but do a lot of P2P during peak hours and they'll throttle your P2P. I took the piss (I downloaded loads of torrents at line speed during peak hours) and got throttled (only during peak hours though). I can't complain, I was warned, they're fair rules and the service is good at a good price. If I'd used Azureus with Speed Scheduler properly and done it all out of peak hours, it wouldn't have been an issue. I'm a long time customer, and the initial Fair Usage fiasco shock my confidence, but the way they've got the system running now seems to be working well (for me at least) and the price is good.

Re:Plusnet (1)

cs02rm0 (654673) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774919)

They blocked bittorrent on my account without even telling me they were doing it. I was a customer of theirs for four years. I now have a different ISP.

Re:Plusnet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15774594)

Plus net will tell you off if you use loads of bandwidth - i have plus net and got told to cut down mine bandwidth when i reached about 100 gb - i now have a business package and its fine.

I think with most broadband if you have a business package they are less likely to limit you (but charge you more)

Re:Plusnet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15774695)

I don't know which plusnet your using, but I dumped them recently because they are doing none of what you just stated they are doing. There cap is 10gig a month yet they still charge the same rates as others, which have a cap at 50gig. And they provide no extra bandwidth purchase and have a shorter overnight off peek period.

They are to be avoided.

Re:Plusnet (1)

soliptic (665417) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774779)

Ditto, I was going to mention plusnet. Although by the looks of things you got a better deal than I did!?

I was paying £30/mo for 2 meg -- but it was two years ago that I signed up (and a year ago I quit) so I guess their pricing has been forced down by competition.

Anyway, I paid as much as £30 because it said unlimited and it meant it. I used over 100GB/mo (just me!) and they never batted an eyelid.

Re:Plusnet (1)

MrAngryForNoReason (711935) | more than 7 years ago | (#15775006)

Up to 8 meg downstream with no limits for £14.99 a month.

Plusnet do have usage limits they just hide them in a 'Sustainable Usage Policy'

On their PLUS package you pay £14.99 a month and are capped at 10gb
On thier Premier package you pay £21.99, £29.99 or £39.99 for 15gb, 22.5gb or 30gb caps.

These caps are on peak time usage, initially this was afternoon/early evening for a 4 hours or so. It is now 4pm until midnight and can be changed on their whim. At one point it was 4pm until 6am. If you exceed the cap they drop your speed to 256kbps until the end of the month, if you exceed it two months running then your speed is only reset to what you are paying for if you agree to move up to a package with a higher cap.

When I was with them they also had additional caps on certain traffic, for instance only 10gb per month from newsgroups no matter what package you are on or what time you are downloading.

In addition to all of this they also do extensive traffic shaping, so speeds for anything other than email and web browsing drop through the floor most of the day.

All in all plusNet certainly do not allow unlimited usage and have very little tolerance for heavy users and p2p.

I was lucky enough to migrate over to Zen at the point when they were offering a truly uncapped 2MB service. They have now changed their packages to 100gb caps with extra usage charged per gb but existing customers could keep their uncapped accounts if they didn't mind the 2MB speed instead of 8MB.

If you are likely to be using more than 100gb bandwith a month and don't want to pay per gb for extra bandwith then look into business packages as they are almost without exception uncapped with better contention.


matt_wilts (249194) | more than 7 years ago | (#15775068)

I was going to post myself on Plusnet, but MrAngryForNoReason did it for me. Plusnet do a very shoddy job of making their AUP understandable or even accessible to their customers. I hesitate to say "users" as it's become clear that their preferred userbase is the occasional surfer who reads a couple of emails occasionally.

I joined them about 3 yrs ago because at that time I considered them one of the most technically aware ISPs - but with the gradual throttling of any protocol that's not HTTP or POP3, and sharp business practices, I'm looking elsewhere, and will probably go with Zen.


NTL, seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15774583)

I recently setup shared internet at the house my sister is living in this year (she is at uni). She shares the house with 3 other girls. They use around 45-55GB a month and when I checked this with NTL they said that was fine.
Providing they are aware several people are using the internet they can put this on the account information. They have had it setup for almost 3 months now and not once had a complaint from NTL.
While some people hate NTL I have never had a problem with them, their customer service isn't the best but I have only had about 8 hours of down time (that I noticed) to my cable connection in the past 6 years, not bad at all IMHO. Their prices could be a little better but in general they are ok, my sister pays £35 for 10Mbps a month.

Demon (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774642)

Demon's HomeOffice solution isn't a bad bet, I've been with them years, they're saying they're implementing limitations on their users now they're giving them 8mbps free but when I spoke to them last night to see what limitations would be imposed I was told that 100gb a month would be okay, they said it's people who are maxing their connection constantly for a full month that they'll impose limitations on and even then they wont cut them off, they'll just slow down their connection from 9 - 5.

One thing to note, there's no compromise for intelligent downloading too, honestly there's only so much you can download. If you get a cheap machine you can all share it and whack a bunch of hard disks in it then use that as a server and as a download box, get everyone to do their downloading on that machine so that people don't waste bandwidth downloading duplicates.

Not so (1)

DB'C (150223) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774997)

I emailed them about this and they said no such thing to me. I requested that I get a discussion that formally applied in the same way as the upgrade T'S&C's so that if I agree to their new contract I know where I stand. Their answer to me was that they are going to measure the progress of the upgrades and then set the limits. Furthermore, the official webpages state that the slow down of connection is 9am-10pm not 9-5 as you post. I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt because customer services indicated to me that I would not be subject to a new minimum term contract, so I can leave immediately if the service provision degrades. However, I must say I'm unhappy with the "open" contract they expect me to subject myself to and now am actively taking action to be able to switch trivially at my whim (i.e. switching away from using any of their services apart from TCP/IP access).

Freedom 2 surf (1)

sammydee (930754) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774677)

I can highly recommend freedom 2 surf ( as a decent ISP. They're customer service is excellent. When I first signed up, our broadband didn't work because we were too far away from the box thing that it goes through. They sent a guy round and he switched over some wires so it worked properly, and set up all the splitter's and stuff for us.

It's reasonably cheap too, I pay £17.99 a month for 512k-2M and although they technically have a 10gig per month limit, I use about 50 gigs per month and nobody has ever said anything, and my connection has never been cut off.

Tiscali horror story (1)

Proud like a god (656928) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774703)

Someone else has already said don't use tiscali, and I'd agree except for this rather important fact:

You may be able to get out free after 9 months instead of 12!

If you're only in the student house for one year, you only really need the connection for about 9 months, i.e. not over the summer afterwards. Most ISPs contracts are 12 months, with terms that you pay the remaining months to get out early, so as useful as just paying and no one receiving the service.

However: Me and 3 others signed up for Tiscali's cheap 2Meg unlimited connection, and the post-grade geography guy was downloading satellite images while us three comp. sci. students were slinging our 3rd year projects back and forth with the uni Subversion server. Many legitimate reasons to have huge bursts in our usage, no p2p, honest. ;)

Soon we were working our way through the Fair Usage Warning Letters 1, 2 and Final, and then being 'managed' during peak hours... then Warnings 1, 2, final,.. 1 again! It just repeated, that all they do to you. Basically for a few hours slower service during weekday evenings we managed to maintain high usage, and then when we were done we responded to the part of the warnings about canceling or migrating, and did so for free at the end of the month!

So triggering a fair usage policy and only having to pay for 9 months not 12 may save you a bit of money, but maybe not hassle. ;)

We did learn that 'high usage' is simply being in the top few percent of users connected at the same local exchange, so the absolute rate is not the same across the country, it just takes someone to complain about slow service and then the top users get singled out. Other ISPs may have different policies, but I dont think any state a fixed level of usage that constitutes unfair usage.

Easy (1)

Kosi (589267) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774833)

Just subscribe to some thing called "flatrate". Yes, the real thing. If they complain, threaten to sue them, because even in .uk it can't be legal to offer a flatrate, get paid for a flatrate but then refuse to deliver one.

I had even > 300 GB in some months, and never got any complaint, but I'm in Germany. :-)


Funnily enough, AOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15774906)

Funnily enough, AOL

I used them for ages and never had any problem with them and neither does my brother (and he is a HEAVY user).

Don't use NTL.

Simple idea: Get a life! (2, Funny)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#15774998)

Or at least, that is what I tried to do - no internet at home. Of course, now I just waste time on the net at work, so maybe no a solution for you.

But this is some serious downloading, shouldn't you be spending your money on cidar, and banging fat chicks at students parties? Throwing up your guts after the quid nights, passing out in someones garden? ....ah, fond memories!

Bulldog (1)

bernywork (57298) | more than 7 years ago | (#15775061)

I would have voted for Bulldog, I have been with them for a while, unfortunately, they aren't taking new customers.

Be broadband would have to be my other choice though. A guy who works with me does some stupid stuff with his line and doesn't have any problems.


Zen Internet (1)

rhs98 (513802) | more than 7 years ago | (#15775080)

They do a 8mbit package for business use, which is availible at home which is unlimited. They are also a bunch of massive geeks and theyre network is one of the best in the UK.

Think its about £80+VAT / mo - which is alot, but not split 4 ways. []

They've won the ISP of the year award in the UK for several years running.

I am on their 8mbit home, which has a 50gb cap. Which I hit most months on my own - so I will be upgrading soon to the above.

UKOnline (1)

Redwin (805980) | more than 7 years ago | (#15775090)

UkOnline does up to 22Mb (if you are close enough to an exchange) with a cap at 500GB per month for £29.99 a month. A couple of my mates are on it and haven't got anywhere near that limit ever.

Well There is a way (2, Informative)

mistralol (987952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15775104)


There certainly is a way todo this. Theres going to be 4 of you ?
So if you each pay £20/month towards a net connection it should not be a problem to enter into
an unlimited bisness grade account which dont have caps / limts etc.. but they do cost around £80/month or more.

All BT ADSL Lines in the UK charge the ISP's for data form the exchange to the ISP at a rate of around £300/mbit per month. This is why the limits exist.

I have been looking at moving away from my current ISP because they have caps between 4 - midnight where i cannot use more than 15GB during that timeslot per month. The rest of the time i can use as much as i want. After looking at other providers and being lied to by several of there sales staff i decided to stay with the current provider as it really is unlimited the rest of the time.

This is the worst response i got back from a company called griffin. After contacting them i replaied asking for there defination of unlimited. I fine the following rather misleading and down right dirty tricks.

> We have a number of packages available for Home and Business users which
> can be viewed at [] . Griffin do not operate
> a cap on the service, but we do monitor usage of Homeworker products with
> anyone affecting the quality of service of other users being subject to
> the terms set out below.
> "4.1 The Customer must not use the Service in a way that in Griffin's
> reasonable opinion could affect the experience of others on the network;
> More specifically heavy download users affecting the performance of the
> network, in the case of homeworker ADSL products, may be asked to upgrade
> their product to business ADSL, or in extreme circumstances Griffin
> reserve the right to give a Migration Authority Code and ask the customer
> to leave. A heavy user is defined by Griffin as anyone downloading or
> uploading more than 50GB per calendar month."

Pritty much the UK ISP market is driven by lies and phrase words like unlimited / unmonitored / uncapped and by High speed with little to no thoughput options on all accounts.

AOHell (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 7 years ago | (#15775111)

as much as it disgusts me to suggest this but apparently AOL are giving away wireless routers and not levying any fair use policies or transfer limits.

this is just what me freind told me you might want to make sure first, as AOL are a bunch of cowboys.

Black Cat Networks (1)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 7 years ago | (#15775179)

Black Cat Networks do services up to 200GB/month: []

And native IPv6, incase you're really geeky :)

Be Unlimited (1)

sebFlyte (844277) | more than 7 years ago | (#15775289)

I have Be's ADSL2+ service, and think that, if you can get it, it's probably what you need. If there are four of you sharing the line and downloading a lot, then 8Mb really won't be enough. Be will get you 12-24Mb depending on your location, and don't seem to impose limits on the amount from what I've found -- and given that you're talking about 2-3GB a day, I can't see it being a problem.

Disgusted, Tunbridge Wells (1)

Rameriez (644702) | more than 7 years ago | (#15775344)

Ever since 8 meg lines starting becoming the norm in the UK, broadband companies over here have somehow managed to sidestep the Trade Descriptions Act quite nicely with their advertisement of "unlimited" broadband. Frankly, I'm wondering where the hell the Trading Standards Authority stands in all of this. How can you market a product as "unlimited" when it quite obviously isn't?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account