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Old 02-09-2019, 10:57 AM   #1
HarryT
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Moving to a new ISP after 26 years

The ISP I'm with at the moment was the first one in the UK, starting up (with a few dial-up modems sharing a 64k Internet connection) in May 1992. I joined them a month later. Now, after just under 27 years in business, they're finally shutting up shop, so I'm forced to move elsewhere. Probably a good thing, because their ADSL 2 service (12Mbps download speed, 1Mbps upload) is rather old-fashioned!

I'm going with BT Internet and have signed up for their top-end fibre to the cabinet service, for which they're estimating I should get 74-80Mbps download speed, and 19-20Mbps upload speed, so it should be a tremendous improvement over my existing service. In particular the 20x improvement in upload speed should make it practical for me to use Cloud backup services, which have always be impractically slow for me before.

My change-over date is Friday 22nd Feb, so I'm looking forward to it!
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:53 PM   #2
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Wow, that is long time with one provider. Here in USA they tend to give us a price break for the first year or two then they start sticking it to us with huge price increases. Until just a few years ago it was difficult to get more than about 20Mbps speed in the suburbs of north Texas, but now 100+Mbps is the norm. With 20Mbps you cannot expect reliable streaming from services like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, et cetera. I currently have 200Mbps download and 10Mbps upload via Spectrum, but it costs a whopping $75/month with taxes and fees. OUCH! That's rough on a retirement income! It's been a long time since the old dial up modem days and crappy services like AOL. Time Warner Cable's Road Runner service was the first high speed service I was able to get at home, and that was in the late 1990s. I worked with high tech firms and we always had high speed at work, so going home to dial up modem speed was terrible!

Good luck with the new service! I hope they price internet less expensively in the UK than we get saddled with in the USA.

Last edited by OtinG; 02-09-2019 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 01:20 PM   #3
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My Mom has had the same provider since 1991, but the name and ownership changed several times. Just glad she never switched to Comcast.
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Old 02-09-2019, 02:53 PM   #4
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With 20Mbps you cannot expect reliable streaming from services like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, et cetera.
In my experience hooking a lot of folks up with streaming setups, you can reliably stream any of those in HD with a quarter of that speed unless there are some other issues somewhere.
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Old 02-09-2019, 02:56 PM   #5
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In my experience hooking a lot of folks up with streaming setups, you can reliably stream any of those in HD with a quarter of that speed unless there are some other issues somewhere.
Absolutely. Latency is more important than speed when it comes to video streaming. A decent low-latency 5Mbps connection is entirely adequate for streaming HD video.
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:29 PM   #6
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A few years ago I lived in an apartment and had internet through AT&T along with their now mostly defunct U-Verse cable TV. On average I got 20Mbps of download speed. In my experience trying to watch Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, or Netflix was always a royal PITA at that speed, regardless of what you guys have experienced with your service providers in your locations. There was a lot of stops and starts when streaming as the system tried to get caught up on downloading. That made watching the streams painful and frustrating. I suspect some of the issue was due to other factors like having dozens of other WiFi users within a few hundred feet of my apartment, the router/modem provided by AT&T, etc., but the router/modem was literally within 6 feet of the devices used for streaming and I was using an ethernet connection. Cable companies and phone companies are pretty well known for supplying less than good equipment in my area. The U-Verse service was supposedly over optic cable and should have been better than it was, however apartment complexes often have aging, outdated cabling run, so that could have been another issue--not sure in this case.

At any rate, when I bought my house and moved into the suburbs I got internet with Spectrum (only game in town) and it was around 50Mbps at that time. I rarely had, or have had since, issues with streaming unless of course the streaming service is experiencing overload during peak viewing times. With the 200Mbps I currently have, I still have some issues with Hulu almost everyday, but that is likely on their end and those issues are few and short-lived. Amazon rarely has any streaming issues in my case. I don't currently use any other streaming services or cable TV services as I now use Hulu with Live TV for my TV channels.

Just because you guys have had good success streaming at 20Mbps is not necessarily to results others will have, especially if they live in congested, highly populated location with a high level of internet usage wherein the systems can get taxed beyond their capabilities, especially in large apartment complexes.

Last edited by OtinG; 02-09-2019 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:36 PM   #7
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Just because you guys have had good success streaming at 20Mbps is not necessarily to results others will have, especially if they live in congested, highly populated location with a high levels of internet usage the systems can get taxed beyond their capabilities, especially in large apartment complexes.
The key word there is "congested". Congestion causes latency issues and it's high latency, not slow speeds, that are the cause of constant stopping and starting while streaming. This is particularly true for cable Internet.
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:57 PM   #8
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The key word there is "congested". Congestion causes latency issues and it's high latency, not slow speeds, that are the cause of constant stopping and starting while streaming. This is particularly true for cable Internet.
I understand your argument, and agree to an extent, but the fact is that 20Mbps really isn't that fast if you consider that there will always be a certain amount of latency and other factors relating to things like infrastructure, provider company reliability, equipment used, etc. When you take all that into account, 20Mbps can actually be under the minimum limit of what one needs for RELIABLE internet speed/service, especially when streaming. What works for one person in their location can be a total failure for another person in a different location and set of circumstances. A broad statement that 20Mbps is all you need for reliable streaming, implication being that "you" is taken as universal, is not an accurate statement IMO. It probably is enough in many, possibly even most, cases, but certainly not all cases, not by any means. There are a lot of people living in extremely high population areas, especially in large urban cities that can have issues with 20Mbps.

Last edited by OtinG; 02-09-2019 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:34 PM   #9
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I can stream 720p youtube comfortably on my fire tv on "3 mbps" internet, although it's actually closer to 4 mbps for whatever reason.
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