Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist
30 December 2008

Non-UK readers can stop here… Tech-savvy UK readers I could use some advice.

Sky’s heavy-handed efforts to get us to switch to Sky Talk have caused us to re-examine our TV/broadband/phone mix completely. The long & short of it is:

We’re contemplating dumping Sky for Freesat plus a broadband supplier and a telecoms supplier. Though we’re in London we are only in an analogue area for Virgin so that’s a non-starter. Overall we don’t call much but we call a lot to France and Canada. I don’t know how much broadband we use but I think it is substantially more than 2-3Gb a month. The current shortlist is:

Price-wise TalkTalk is a no-brainer – half the price of the other options (£200 a year for 20Gb a month broadband plus almost unlimited calls except for national daytime) – but its customer service has a lousy reputation. Does anyone here use them? Are they any better than they were? How can they afford to be so much cheaper than anyone else? Do they make it up on volume?

Are there any other ISPs you could recommend that offer good service and un-capped or high-cap broadband for a low price (with or without an inexpensive telephony option)?

If we go freesat should we go ahead and get the Humax PVR or are there other good freesat PVRs on the near horizon?


  1. Hi

    Nice blog, Have you considered the Utility Warehouse Discount Club? Google them to find the site, they are very good in my opinion and also seem to win awards with Which Magazine a lot of the time. I am not sure about the uncapped bit though, my service is unlimited, but then I have been with them for years and years.

    Just an idea for you.


    Comment by Dave — 15 January 2009 @ 1:10 am

  2. ISP wise, I would recommend any Enta.net reseller (the http://www.ukfsn.org/ is the most popular one) – example prices are ome 30 GB between 8am and 10pm Monday to Friday and 300 GB all other times for 19.56 (includes a static IP address). They do do much larger packages [nearly 1Tb for 95GBP] and unlimited packages (which are capped at the bandwidth rate, but not the data transfer usage).

    I have Sky satellite, a bog-standard BT phone line billed by BT (although I used to have it billed by Post Office Home Phone before I moved: the bill worked out to less than 10GBP per quarter as long as I didn’t make calls) and then use VoIP via Gradwell.com

    Comment by Richy C. — 16 January 2009 @ 11:25 am

  3. An alternative to the Humax PVR would be the Panasonic TVs with built in freesat.

    Also look at Fetch TV which is a freeview box with a built in hd streamer.

    Other alternatives are BT Vision and Tiscali TV

    Comment by Andrew Stott — 1 February 2009 @ 8:47 pm

  4. […] problems with technology at4:30 pm this text spoken posts linked to this By way of background, I have been thinking seriously about switching to Freesat (our house can’t receive Freeview). In addition our DVD recorder appears to be dying, and our […]

    Pingback by The blog of David Brake academic, consultant & journalist — 9 March 2009 @ 4:30 pm

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