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Welcome to this site. I shall endeavour to present some broadband internet deals ensuring you do not waste money unnecessarily. The point is with the advent of high speed internet companies are competing on speed, value added services and content. There are many companies to choose from and all offer different levels of support and service. In my village, Willaston, Cheshire, local loop unbundling has not occured yet so companies will provide Broadband to local residents offering a package utilising BT Wholesale equipment in the local exchange and VPN connections to your ISP. Metropolitan areas like London, Birmingham, Manchester etc tend to have more options for the physical provider of your telephone and broadband connections due to the demand in these areas. Check the link below for the Broadband resource to see the current status of your exchange.

What is Broadband? In Telephone exchanges, telecommunications companies install DSLAM equipment (Digital Subscriber line access multiplexer) which routes xDSL data traffic from the subscribers local loop equipment (router, modem or cpe) to the service provider network. The cheapest option for the home user is ADSL (Asynchronous Digital Subscriber line) which has a typical download rate of 512Kbps to 1Mbps and upload is less at 256Kbps. Download line rates are already available in some areas from service providers upto 8Mbps

What is Mobile Broadband? Some of the providers in the UK, like Vodafone, 3, 02, Orange offer usb sticks or dongles that allow your laptop to connect over 3G network to allow you to access the internet from your laptop at up to 7.2Mbps. Upload speeds could be substantially quicker than ADSL fixed line broadband at upto 2Mbps althought the more common rate for upload of 384Kbps prevails (Standard 3G)

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In the UK, there are only a few companies who have their own equipment in the local telephone exchange to provide direct service for you, the subscriber. BT have the most widespread coverage but there are some other providers who offer services. Virgin Media customers can get cable modem service in cable serviced, usually metropolitan areas. 02/Be, Sky and Tiscali are some providers with their own xDSL equipment in Telephone exchanges (Know as LLU or Local loop unbundling) and there are other companies planning to do so. Other companies, for example The Post Office, Virgin, Toucan or Wanadoo, purchase DSLAM ports and virtual circuit capacity from BT wholesale and resell the service to their customers often with value added features like web space, Anti-virus, Firewall and spam software, Shopping portals and sometimes bundled phone rental call packages. If your ISP does not include value added features, ensure you at least have a firewall and anti virus product to protect your PC while you are online. Always on broadband connections are more vunerable to outside risk than analogue modem connections. For a firewall consider this Free Firewall from Zonealarm. Take a look at Grisoft AVG Anti-virus Free edition (free for personal use) software. There are also free versions of anti-Spyware and anti-spam. For commercial or organisation use there are appropriate versions to buy. See below for some links.

There are some possible pitfalls you should be aware of when selecting your internet broadband provider. For example, An assumption when signing up is that the advertised price includes everything you need to get started. Often you will need to purchase a USB modem or a router for connecting your PC to the phone line. Also some charges are often made for connection to the service. Are you getting what you paid for? Speed tests are available on the internet which show how your link is performing. Make sure you follow the recommendations for how may DSL filters you need. At least one is usually supplied with any startup kit from your Broadband supplier. If you have only one BT telephone socket this is sufficient. Your phone connection plugs in one connector on the filter and the ADSL modem data cable plugs in another. You should have one filter for every phone extension in the house that you use, otherwise you may experience interferance on the line or slow speeds when browsing.

More information regarding BT wholesale Broadband and internet terminolgy. BT Broadband Guide

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Updated 20 May 2010.