Having placed an order for full fibre from BT I was expecting to have to go through the process of cancelling my plusnet account.
However this was all automated as BT made a request to them, as I was changing provider.
They did make repeated requests to me to change my mind, but the problem was not that I wasn’t happy with them or their service, just that they didn’t provide the FTTP service I wanted. If they did I would have stayed with them.
Alas there wasn’t an easy way to provide them with this feedback, the e-mail I replied to bounced!
I have placed an order for fibre to the premises FTTP with estimated speeds of 900Mb/s down and 110Mb/s up. Should be up and running in the next couple of weeks.
A few months back our local area was awash with BT Openreach vans.
So we have FIVE BT openreach vans within 20 metres of our house and loads of BT workers as well. No idea what they are up to, I would go and ask, however a) social distancing and all that and b) they may, if I went up to them, think I was of those 5G conspiracy nutters!
I did wonder if they were installing full fibre connections, or fibre to the premises FTTP. I remember at the time doing a search, but no news on any kind of upgrade to either cabinet 25 or the Worle Exchange.
Bizarrely enough it was an advert on Instagram that caught my attention back on the 1st October. Almost for a joke I decided to see if I could get faster fibre, I wasn’t expecting to, but was quite surprised to see that I could in fact have FTTP!
Having suffered poor ADSL speeds for many years, I was really pleased, in September 2017 when BT Openreach finally finished the upgrade to cabinet 25 and we could have FTTC fibre.
With roughly 30Mb/s download and 9Mb/s upload speed I felt I was back, in terms of internet speeds, where I was in 2012 at our old house before we moved. Eight years ago I blogged about how I lost my FTTC connection having moved house (literally just moved down the same road).
It took over five years for BT Openreach to upgrade Cabinet 25 so we could have FTTC.
One of the reasons I didn’t place an order straight away was that, if I ordered BT Full Fibre I would have to close my current internet account with my ISP. Now I have been with my ISP since 1998, they were my first ISP, well the first I paid for after a free trial with AOL. I had seen an advert in a computing magazine, they were called Force9 and were based in Sheffield.
I had a dial-up internet account with them initially where I paid a monthly fee for internet access as well as any telephone charges.
Stayed with them when I moved house. In June 2000, the Force9 brand was changed to Plusnet. This coincided with the introduction of the Surftime dialup internet products, the first real 24/7 unmetered dial-up service in the UK. This worked really well with the Airport Extreme base station I had with integrated modem. I could use my Mac to enable the connection and then use the wifi across the home to use the internet wherever I was in the house.
When ADSL was enabled in February 2003, I upgraded to this new faster internet. The always on nature of ADSL changed how I used the internet, and in some ways how the internet used me.
Plusnet was sold to BT in 2007 and I think it lost a little of its soul that day, but I stuck with them.
On this day in 2010 I upgraded to FTTC and this was a real revelation. With 40Mb down and 10Mb up this is significantly faster than the 1.3 down and 0.6 up I had before.
I was so disappointed when we moved house two years later and lost it and went back to the slow speeds of ADSL.
Five years later, cabinet 25 was upgraded and we had fibre back.
All that time I was with Force9 or Plusnet as they like to be called.
When I found out I could have FTTP from BT, I did think I should be able to get FTTP from Plusnet as I recalled they were doing FTTP trials a few years back. Alas it was apparent that they don’t do FTTP products. So it was with a little sadness (don’t know why) that I ordered the BT Full Fibre product and this automatically activated the cancellation of my account with Plusnet.
Last month I got very close to reaching my broadband cap. The account I have with Plusnet (a legacy account) has a limit of 80GB. When I had my ADSL connection I never got close to the limit. Having upgraded my connection to FTTC (fibre) and having 37Mb/s download speed means it is now much easier for me to reach the limit.
I know that I got close to the limit due to the holiday season, spending a lot of time at home meant not only was I using the connection a lot, but the family were also streaming a lot of video too. BBC iPlayer is great for catching up with programmes you have missed, but also means using a lot of data.
One of the features of Plusnet I like is that the cap does not apply to downloads between 12am and 8am. This is great for downloading stuff from iTunes, but less useful for streaming BBC iPlayer content. I usually watch BBC iPlayer content through the TV, it has BBC iPlayer built in, however it doesn’t allow me to download BBC content and play back later, I have to stream live!
The other problem I am having is that scheduling iTunes downloads is problematic.
Prior to getting FTTC I could before I went to bed I could set iTunes to download movies and TV programmes knowing that the majority of the download would be during the cap free period between 12 and 8. However FTTC is so fast that it only takes ten minutes to download a movie from iTunes so generally I download when I wake up and not when I go to bed (I am usually in bed before midnight). What I would prefer to do is let iTunes download any big purchases after midnight. It’s not just movies but also some iPad apps are in excess of 500MB. I would also download OS X and Windows updates overnight, again with my old connection the majority of the download would take place in the cap free time, now with the faster connection it’s done very quickly.
Luckily Plusnet provide a decent tool for measuring how much data I have used and also warn me when I get close.
However this does show that ISPs need to rethink their bandwidth caps once more people can get FTTC.