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Tuesday 27 April 2004

Blueyonder give bandy for free! [lurks]

Ever keen to compete, UK cable Internet provider Blueyonder, issued a shock press release an hour ago. Only some weeks ago they cut my monthly cost by £5 but it seems now they're upping everyone's downstream bandwidth by 50%!

Telewest Broadband is making the most of its advanced fibre optic network by revamping its range of blueyonder internet products to offer faster speeds for the same price as existing services.

The cable company is set to turn up the heat on rival internet providers by permanently boosting the speed of broadband internet connections by 50 per cent, creating another clear benefit for its blueyonder services.

The unique range of access tiers will be available to new customers by the end of May and existing customers will be upgraded, on a region-by-region basis, over the same period. The overhaul will see the following changes:

Nifty huh? So your regular 512K, 1MB and 2MB (the one I have) are being upgraded and they're also adding a cheap 256K service which I reckon they should have introduced ages ago. People want always on Internet, not 'broadband' as such. Anyhow, here's the details;
  • blueyonder broadband 750Kb
    The standard blueyonder broadband service will increase in speed from 512Kb to 750Kb, but still cost from only £25 per month
  • blueyonder broadband 1.5Mb
    The faster 1Mb service also gets a 50 per cent bandwidth boost to 1.5Mb, for the current price of £35 per month
  • blueyonder broadband 3Mb
    The flagship 2Mb service becomes the UK's first residential 3Mb service, offering speeds up to 60 times faster than dial-up access, from £50 a month
  • blueyonder broadband 256Kb
    The recently launched entry-level service will remain unchanged, costing from just £17.99 per month

So, it appears I'll get a 3MB connection. Hello 375K/s downloads. Still, the lame thing is they've not mentioned upstream so I'm guessing that's still 256K. That's really annoying. That's the thing which is actually worth paying for, especially teleworkers. Instead this is basically just a specification arms race where as in reality people just wont use this bandwidth anyway and BY cap the upstream so the P2P stuff doesn't hurt their network so much.
I'd rather they intelligently targetted P2P abusers and increased the upstream on the top-tier products. Fat chance though, I guess. Still, an extra megabit for free - better than a kick in the teeth eh?


  1. Tch Slim, just because you live in the third world of the Internet. Anyhow, BY's PR responded to my bleat about the upstream.

    Your right, we aren't changing our upload speeds for any of our services.Our customers' most popular online activities benefit from a high downstreamspeed, but don't require a high upstream speed (downloading mp3s, largefiles, streaming internet radio, streaming video). The current upstreamspeeds remain sufficient for the majority of our customers and we want tokeep the prices of our services as low as possible. So for the moment we arefocusing on improving the aspect of our services which will make the biggestdifference to customers.

  2. Not that it's of much interest to the readers, I thought I'd calculate BY's increase in cost by rate compared to my isp:
    Manxnet 512 29.23Manxnet 1mb 49.99 + 40%Manxnet 2mb 89.99 + 55%
    by 750k 25by 1.5mb 35 + 28%by 3mb 50 + 30%
    Fucking conning twats :(

  3. I'm absolutely convinced that price points for broadband Internet are essentially an artificial thing. By that I mean that costs are largely fixed and it's a question of setting the right price which will entice the most amount of people onboard times by revenue per person. The case in point is Norway, where Meatball has an 8MB/1MB ADSL connection. The population of Norway is very low. So, contrasting that against the Isle of Man, what is so different? The Isle of Man is economically highly worthwhile. High preportion of high income earners, geographically compact, plenty of Internet-heavy business and pretty easy to get access to very large amounts of bandwidth via the UK's network - I would have thought.
    The UK broadband market has a good deal of competition and this has done a fabulous job of driving prices down and, as we've seen, bandwidth up. My main complaint in the UK is not that we don't have Norway-levels of silly bandwidth but that there appears to be a country wide cartel designed to protect the traditional lucrative leased-line market.
    We all know that ADSL, for example, is quite capable of delivering the bandwidth and service which people can use for domestic Internet, teleworking Internet and VPN/Intranet and corporate connections. Yet obviously in the latter two cases you need more upstream than 256K. There is no competition in that area though, you need SDSL via BT and that runs to around £200 a month. Now come on, cost wise, how much difference do you think there is between a regular ADSL line and an SDSL line to the provider? Virtually nil.
    And businesses might well decide that, say, 2mb/512k is about right for them anyway so ADSL as a specification fits the bill. Tough shit, they're not going to do that. They want to up sell you.

  4. Nice. Have a gold star, BY.
    From my POV, 1Mb Nildram is yummy. The 2Mb is a bit pricey. Anyway, I just want more upstream - I don't do much serious leeching so if to download something overnight at 120k/s isn't enough, you're probably the sort of person who the RIAA are after anyway :)

  5. Well NTL being the forward facing image conscious company they are, if they don't follow BY's lead I'd be amazed. Slightly scunnered as well mind you! :)

  6. Update: NTL look to have matched BY. The reg says a spokesman said it was pure coincidence they announced it today. Christ, do they take us for morons? The difference is that NTL's basic 'broadband' (cough) of 150K is upping to 300K which makes it a tad faster than BY's new 256K service for the same 18 notes. BY and NTL will both offer 750K for 25 notes but BY is 3 quid cheaper a month for 1.5MB than NTL, which is 38 a month. Don't think NTL do 2MB?This stuff is quite odd really. I mean I can see ISPs offering ADSL competiting on price but when it comes to cable operators, you are either geographically covered by one, the other or none at all. Never both.The good news here for broadband in the UK is that that stupid 150K service has been dumped and both cable operators are offering 256K services for less than 20 a month. Cheap ADSL service is being trialled by BT at the moment although laughingly, it's just 2 quid cheaper than current ADSL pricing. What the country needs, really, is cheap and basic broadband so people sign up on mass. Then maybe we might actually get broadband content at last.

  7. Spot on lurkio ta much!

    So a while ago NTL changed the 512 service to 600k, free of charge. Now they're going to up it again to 750 for the same rate as the 512 was when I first signed up. Gotta like that!

  8. Oh yes, from the BY faq;

    We understand that a small group of our 'power-user' customers may benefit from increased upstream speed, and will continue to look for ways in which we can meet this need.

    Heh. Continue to look. How hard can it be? Just fecking increase it on the top tier packages. At the moment my gaming gets killed because the missus sends a few big emails.

  9. In Canada you can get 10mb down 1mb up for $60cdn
    Which is real money is about 50p....

  10. Yes well, you can say that about a lot of countries. I just said that about Norway. I don't care that we're not getting these ridiculous speeds for naff, what really pisses me off is that we're completely crippled nationwide on upstream and there's NO differentiation allowing people to vote with their feet. And none of the IT/telecoms commentators are raising the issue.

  11. It's nice to see NTL following suit, my 1MB line has been upgraded to 1.5Mbps although I'll have to pay another £3 from next month. Do you get contention ratios on Telewest or is like NTL where it seems to permanently 1Mbps?

  12. I've never seen any contention. Not massively surprising, in these parts it's fibre to curb cab and then your coax down the street. Oh so the three quid difference is actually a new thing? So NTL are using this boost as a reason to jack the price up again? It's already gone up once hasn't it?

  13. My ISP has raised the bandwith twice this year without upping the price (we've actually lowered the price on some of the products). Now we sell 1100/384 for approx 30 quid. 2200/640 costs 45 quid and 8032/864 costs 80 quid.