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1. What is broadband internet? What are its advantages?
2.
What concepts should I know when ordering broadband service?
3. What do download speed, upload speed and download allowance mean? What are their measuring unit?
4. I am running my own business, should I order residential or business broadband?
5. What benefits can customers get from ISPs?
6. How can I order my broadband service?
7. Why is it necessary to do a service check when you are going to buy or rent a new house?
8. I am a student who just came to UK and would like to order broadband service, but several providers told me that I am not qualified to subscribe their services. Why?
9. I only want to live in this address for a few months. If I move out of the house, can I take my service with me to my new address?
10. If my agreement is due to finish, how can I cancel it or extend my service?
11. Why should I provide my bank details when I order my service? Is that safe?
12. My new home is in Telewest area. Other people who lived here before own Telewest money . Why am I not allowed to order my own service in the house?
13. I have ordered an 8 Mb broadband, but its speed is very slow, even slower than 2mb. Why?
14. Can I switch my broadband service package or service provider without interrupting my service?

  

  

1. What is broadband internet? What are its advantages?

Broadband is a high speed digital internet connection. It has the following three great advantages over a dial up connection:

  1. No interrupting your phone calls, even if you use phone line for your broadband;
  2. On connection 24 hours a day with reasonable and fixed rental;
  3. Download speed is at least 10 times faster.
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2. What concepts should I know when ordering broadband service?
    • Based on the technology level, broadband can divided into DSL (include ADSL & SDSL) broadband, Cable broadband, Satellite broadband LLU broadband.
    • ADSL and Cable ones are the most popular types of broadband. Cable broadband is controlled by ntl:Telewest, ADSL broadband, controlled by a few providers through BT phone line,  takes most of the broadband market share.
    • ADSL broadband can also be classified into ADSL、ADSL max and ADSL2+ according to their technical levels . Most of ISPs provide up to 8Mb broadband through ADSL Max.  ADSL2+ is the most advanced technology which can support broadband with the speed of 20 Mb or more.
    • According to download allowance, broadband can be divided into unlimited broadband and limited broadband.
    • According to surfing method, internet can be divided into dial-up and broadband internet.
    • According to connection method, broadband can be divided into wired broadband and wireless broadband.
    • According to the purpose, broadband can be divided into residential broadband business broadband.
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3. What do download speed, upload speed and download allowance mean? What are their measuring unit?
    • Download speed is the speed at which you can down load web page, music or films. Upload speed is the speed at which you view WebPages.
    • Down load allowance means, in a certain period (often a month), the  amount you are allowed to down load. You can use your broadband connection freely up to the published usage allowance (2GB, 10GB, 20GB 40GB or unlimited, depending on the product you have selected). If you want to down load a lot of information, it is better to choose the broadband service with unlimited down load allowance.
    • All information you send or receive over the Internet is bits of data, whether it's a web page, an email, a music track or a video clip. Each element of data is a different size and is measured in Kilobytes (KB), Megabytes (MB) or Gigabytes (GB). The average email is around 4KB, a digital photo around 1MB and a music track around 5MB (1MB=1024KB, 1GB=1024MB).
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4. I am running my own business, should I order residential or business broadband?
    • Compared with home broadband, business broadband should have more download allowance and stronger features. Of course, business broadband has higher price. Most business broadband can provide some extras like router.
    • If you are a freelance or home worker, or you just started your business, home broadband is enough for you to use. However, with the expansion of your business, you need higher internet functions to support your business.
    • Business broadband services often need 12 month agreement, but some are more flexible. For example, you can sign three months contract with Pipex broadband. However, you need to pay some connection fee for your service or a certain amount of cancellation fee if you want to cancel your service. Some ISPs can also provide business broadband with 24 months contract. In this case, you can get an offer better than that with 12 month contract.
    • Different business broadband has very different price. Which one you should choose depends on the purpose you want to use your broadband service. The broadband service with higher rental often gives you more extras, like web making tools, free domain , web statistics or web security etc. You need to do some calculation for your budget before you make decision. 
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5. What benefits can customers get from ISPs?

Generally, big ISPs often provide you with all or some of the following benefits:

    • Free installation or connection;
    • Free modem and other relevant equipment;
    • Free Anti virus software;
    • Free web space or free emails;
    • Trial time with guaranteed money back;
    • Special offer for triple or double services.
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6. How can I order my broadband service?

Following the procedure below, you will get services valuable for your money:
Step1: input your postcode and landline number if you have one;
Step2: check and choose your suitable service features (download speed, price, benefits, requirement etc);
Step3: submit your personal details to place a order;
Step4: ISP or its representative will contact you , and confirm the installation arrangement very soon. Normally, you need to wait for 1-3 weeks to get your connection.
The above steps can be completed by the help of our advisor, or done online by yourself. Whatever way you choose, service ordering is free of charge. However ,the ordering procedure is more controllable by the help of our advisor.

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7. Why is it necessary to do a service check when you are going to buy or rent a new house?

There are more than 100 ISPs in UK, but no one’s service can cover everywhere in the country.  Also, there is often a very big difference among different companies on the respects of service subject, quality, price, installation time and after sales services.
After you have happily moved to a house, you may be very disappointed to find that there is no suitable broadband service or even no service at all in the house. Or, you are very keen to use internet immediately for your business , the provider available in your house can provide the service in a very long time.
As a result, before you make any decision to buy or rent the house, it is better to check if there is suitable broadband service which can meet your need and requirement so as to avoid any mess after you move in.

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8. I am a student who just came to UK and would like to order broadband service, but several providers told me that I am not qualified to subscribe their services. Why?

Any company has terms and conditions for their services subscription. Normally, broadband providers have the following basic requirements for customers:

    • You should be over 18 years old;
    • You should have bank account (some ISPs may not need );
    • Pass your credit check;
    • You need to have an active BT phone line if you do not live in cable area.  
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9. I only want to live in this address for a few months. If I move out of the house, can I take my service with me to my new address?

Yes, you can. Most broadband providers can offer you free service transfer from your old address to your new address. But remember you need to give at least 10 days notice. 
The term of broadband contract normally is 12 months or 18 month, with some shorter than 12 months. With short term contracts, providers often ask customers to pay connection fee and cancellation fee, also require one months or a few month notice for cancellation.

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10. If my agreement is due to finish, how can I cancel it or extend my service?

When the agreement is due to expire, the service will be extended automatically unless you have informed your provider to cancel it. After your agreement term, you are entitled to cancel your service at any time. But remember that you need to give 30 days notice for the cancellation.

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11. Why should I provide my bank details when I order my service? Is that safe?
  1. All ISPs will advise customers to pay their bills by direct debit. If you do not pay by this way, you will have to pay some extra charge.
  2. Direct debit payment is simple, fast and safe.
  3. Paying bills by direct debit can not only protect provider’s interest, but can protect customers’ interest and economic safety as well, which is because the service charge can be directly under the control of the bank. Provider’s name, the amount charged and the charge time will be very clear in your bank statement.
  4. Customers bank details are confidential and will not be showed to anyone else. According to the data protection law, they are not allowed to give the third party by your service provider without your authorization.
  5. In case you have conflicts with your service provider, you can complain to their customer service department or sue to court. You can also complain to two British telecommunication administration organizations --- Otelo and Ofcom. Their contact details are as follows:

Otelo, PO Box 730, Warrington, WA4 6WU enquiries@otelo.org.uk  Tel: 0845 050 1614;fax: 0845 050 1615 or 01925 430059
Ofcom,Riverside House 2a Southward Bridge Road.London.SE1 9HA。Tel: 020 7981 3000;Fax: 020 7981 3333;Textphone: 020 7981 3043

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12. My new home is in Telewest area. Other people who lived here before own Telewest money . Why am I not allowed to order my own service in the house?
    • This is because of credit problem. In UK, you can feel the importance of your credit record to the survival  of yourself or your company. Complying with the agreement you signed with someone else is not only a moral and legal issue, but also is a serious survival issue.  Since credit record is checkable, therefore if you have bad credit record, your normal economic activities will be very difficult to carry out.
    • Customers should comply with the agreement signed up with the provider. If you directly cancel your direct debit from your bank, you will breach the agreement.
    • If you have bad credit record in one house, this will affect other person to book the same company’s or other provider’s service for himself in the same house even if you have moved out of the house.
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13. I have ordered an 8 Mb broadband, but its speed is very slow, even slower than 2mb. Why?

The download speed your provider gives you is the highest theoretical speed , which is often  refereed by “up to”. The real download speed is affected by some other factors.

  1. Distance factor. Generally speaking, the influence of distance on the speed of cable broadband is less than on that of ADSL broadband. For ADSL broadband, the nearer to BT exchange you home is, the faster speed you can get;
  2. Physical factors. The speed of your broadband is also affected by the quality of any phone wiring in your home,  the specification of your modem or router, the speed of connection between your computer and modem or router (Ethernet and wireless are faster than USB), the speed of your computer, and whether all your broadband micro filters are correctly installed;
  3. Time factor.  Your broadband speed will also vary during the day depending on how busy BT network is, the speed of the Internet and of websites you are visiting, whether you are sharing your connection with others in your home, and whether you have any spy-ware or hardware slowing down your computer. Typically your speed may reduce significantly during the daily peak period 6-9pm;
  4. Environmental factor, like electrical field, the weather etc.
If you need , our advisor will be happy to help you to know and choose suitable broadband provider and speed.
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14. Can I switch my broadband service package or service provider without interrupting my service?

Yes, you can. If you think the service you have had is very poor , or you are tired of their high rental, you have right to choose other higher quality and more economical service. Please remember:

    • If you agreement is due to expire, you can ask your exiting provider to just switch your service to a better package;
    • If you have a BT phone line you should contact your existing provider and request a Migration Authorization Code (MAC) which you then give to your new provider. The new provider will then arrange the transfer for you;
    • If your provider does not signed up this agreement, you have to cancel your agreement and then book a new one. Also broadband services supplied using cable (which includes ntl and Telewest) do not use MAC.
    • If the agreement is not due to expire, you want switch your provider because of their poor service, you need to carefully study the agreement you signed with your provider and the relevant documents, find out your responsibility and right, check if  your provider breaches your agreement, record all the evidence of their poor service. You can complain to the customer service department of your provider. If it does not work, you should write to Otelo and Ofcom for help. If all the measurements do not work, think of complaining to the media.
 
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