O2 recently announced that Pay Monthly customers will lose their free access to The Cloud wifi services as of February 2012.
If you’re on a data plan with O2, you may be aware that you currently have free access to both BT Openzone and The Cloud as part of your contract. Handy for making sure you’re not using your limited data allowance when you’re in a public place.
Sadly, as of 1st February 2012, O2 customers won’t be able to use The Cloud for free wifi. O2 say all data customers will still have access to BT Openzone and also to their own wifi networks (but O2 wifi networks are free to anyone, anyway).
This probably has something to do with the sale of The Cloud to BSkyB. Bit of a shame really, as there are The Cloud hotspots at my local train station and at various other public places that I use – but no major loss I guess.
I had a nice surprise today when I got home from college. My flat’s broadband is typically about 1.8Mbit per second down and has been since I moved in. However, as BT have been promising free fibre upgrades to people who can get it, clearly I’ve had an upgrade.
This is the new speed that I’m very much getting used to:
Now that’s more like it!
Orange has decided that it will revamp it’s broadband packages in just over a week. This is probably an attempt to try and regain some of it’s lost customers following the company’s shameful performance over the last few months.
Customers have become fed up of the poor customer service and vague fair use policy. As a result, Orange has been loosing customers to other ISPs with better deals and clearer agreeements.
The new plans will replace the current plans and hopefully make the deals a little simpler.
However, ISPReview says that the “unlimited” packages will remain. So, unless Orange do something about their bizarre fair use policy, they won’t get anywhere. In addition, new packages won’t resolve any problems with customer service.
We’ll have to wait and see what the new plans bring. I don’t think they’ll be much to be excited about – long contracts, stupid policies, cheap routers and awful speeds. Surprise me, Orange.
Following the release of the new broadband plans, I was quite intrigued by the Extra package.
The new plan costs a mere £11.49 a month (in Market 3 areas – go to www.samknows.com to check your exchange). For that, you get a large 60GB monthly usage allowance with unlimited usage between 12 midnight and 8am. You also get a connection up to 20MB and the possibility of not having a contract.
So, we took the offer up. We got the offer with the first 4 months free too (offer expires 27th May) so the only down payment was a £25 setup fee and we chose not to have a contract. Within 5 days it was up and running, and I was astonished with the results.
Our previous provider, IDNet, was giving us a speed of 5Mbit per second (on average), but now with PlusNet (we are still in testing period, I know) we’re getting 8-9Mbit per second – a huge improvement.
There is traffic management, but it’s very well organised. YouTube is throttled to 2.5MB per second between 6-10pm, and many large download sites (such as Megaupload – which often contain illegal content) are throttled during most of the evening and night, but that’s about it. At least we actually get to know how the traffic management works – most ISPs don’t reveal that information.
The offer almost seems too good to be true – but evidently it isn’t. I’m really happy with the fantastic value service. So overall here – a definite win. A fantastic price that can’t be beaten. Amazing!
So as you probably know, I recently built my own computer. It’s all going brilliantly. Except from one thing…
Orange are a little bit annoying sometimes. In fact, they aren’t what you’d call an A* ISP. Their router is a little shabby (it can’t decide whether it prefers English or French, and it often forgets that it has ever been turned on), and their customer service isn’t brilliant either.
However, the one thing that annoys me most of all is the poor management of bandwidth usage. It’s a pain. I know that Orange seem to provide 40GB of monthly usage but they give you no means whatsoever of monitoring how much bandwidth you have consumed in one month.
Then, they say that if you use more than 40GB a month they’ll send you a warning and then cut your speed to 512kbps!! What the hell? They won’t let you monitor your bandwidth but they’ll send you a letter if you go in the slightest over 40GB.
And then if you fail to lower your usage after that, they’ll cut your connection!
Frankly, I’d rather pay a little extra per month than have my speed throttled if I go over my usage. Doesn’t that seem like the more sensible thing to do from a company point of view? They make a little more money rather than loosing a customer.
Honestly I think Orange are making big mistakes and ripping us off. Bethere do unlimited 8MB broadband for £13.50 per month on a shorter contract (12 months, compared to Orange’s 18 months) and there’s no set limit on how much you can use per month!
Come on Orange, this is rubbish!