I am covering exsisting ground, going over the same point over and over. But I can allways keep finding stats about broadband to tell people who to avoid and who to go for.
People dont belive me when I say Virgin Media, BT, PlusNet, Sky are really poor providers.
Samknows.com has a fantastic review of the broadband sector. Speedtest.net can give you some very intresting stats about ISP’s. ISPReview.co.uk will give you a really good review's of the current market.
I’m with BeUnlimited (at time of writing) and I jumped on them as soon as they came into Plymouth.
So all of Virgin Media’s “fiber optic” network gives them little edge… sure they can push TV and phone down it but thats not the way media is going…(On a little note, VM Fiber Network barely extends BT’s, only a few places in london actualy have fiber down the road. 99% of Virgin's lastmile connections are copper just like everyone else. Differnce being it just DOCSIS3.)
Lets start simple. You connect to your ISP. All data goes through your ISP. So if your ISP is based in London/Maidenhead then your traffic has to go halfway accross the country first, then to the destination then back through the ISP to you.
Now thats fairly simple… so whats the problem. We think about this… You have 2.5Million subcribers (Virgin, last time I checked) every single bit of data has to go through them first. AAARG… So for Virgin to actualy provide the bandwidth they say. they would have to have bandwidth which exceeds 25Tbps. Now thats very exspensive. to offer everyone 10Mbps broadband for £16 a month is allmost impossible.
Thats not to say BT or anyone else is perfect.. just think twice about who you jump in bed with before you tie that 12 month contract.
But broadband quality is very linked to cost. Why is orange free BB rubbish? well because its free. Why is virgin slow? because is cheap. Why is BeBroadband/O2 or Aquiss,Titan actualy performant? because you pay for what you get.
Admitidly if all you do is check emails once a day and browse a few website, then Orange Free BB will be fine. If you acctualy want to use your internet connection then look for something else…