BT vs BE

BT vs BEBT sent me a letter last week to say that they’re rolling out Infinity broadband in Ormskirk – this is the new, super-fast, fibre-optic broadband that we’ve all been waiting for. With suggestions of up to 8 times faster broadband speeds and £50 Sainsbury’s Gift Card, I was interested – especially since I’m a web designer who’s on the Internet all the time and has a family that all want to be playing games and watching movies in the evenings.

It transpired that I’d pay BT £44 per month for unlimited Infinity broadband with my line rental and current calling package integrated into it, plus £7 for delivery. My current bills were £22 to BE for my unlimited ADSL2 broadband and £25 to BT for the line rental and calling package. So pound-per-mbit/sec, the BT package looked very tempting.

However, far from eight times my current speed (a very reliable 13Mbit/sec download and 1.2Mbit/sec upload) or their quoted maximum of 40Mbit/sec download, BT could only offer me 27Mbit/sec download and that’s just a little over a mile from the exchange. OK, that’s twice as fast as my current provider, but not startling and the ‘unlimited’ service is restricted with bandwidth throttling being applied to certain services (such as peer-to-per transfers and watch on demand services) between 16:00 and midnight. The whole point of getting fibre optic is to be able to use services such as these, when we want to, at high speed and when we’re all in the house – between 4pm and midnight. BE’s broadband has no such restrictions.

I contacted BE to see when they’d be rolling out fibre-optic broadband and they said they had no plans to do so at the moment. They stated that they only provide the most reliable broadband services they could (and I’ve certainly got no complaints in that department) and that they didn’t believe that BT’s existing fibre-optic infrastructure would give their customers the service they had come to expect. Very interesting, but also hugely disappointing.

So; switch to BT Infinity or stay with BE? What a dilemma! OK, BT would be twice as fast when we didn’t need that performance as a heavy usage family and £3 a month cheaper, but BE have been brilliant – BT were, quite frankly, appalling the last time they supplied me with broadband a few years ago and their service was pitiful (hopefully that’s all improved now).

In the end, I asked BE what they were willing to do to keep me as a customer and within about a minute they’d halved my broadband bill for twelve months, so now I’m only paying £11 per month. I think this is the better deal, saving £11 per month beats a measly £3 per month and I stay with a really good broadband company.

The moral of the story – speed isn’t everything and you’ve only got to ask for a large discount.



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