Those of you who read my article last week will remember that I discussed my lack of confidence in the ability of BT to be able to provide the vision of ‘Broadband Britain’ that everybody in the IT industry seems to have at the moment. If you didn’t read last weeks article then check out the Herald Express website to download it otherwise you’ll have no idea what’s up with me this week.

To summarize the developments from this time last week, after weeks of debating and contradictory information with quotes for the availability of ADSL (high speed Internet access) in my area ranging from right now to the end of 2003, BT now appear to have decided that I can’t get ADSL in my area at all. If I check online or via e-mail then I’m told that my order is still processing through the system as normal and that I’ll have ADSL set up in my home by the 9th September but if I phone the help line they seem to think that I’m not able to get ADSL now as the line noise on my line is 5% over the tolerated. Looks like I’m going to have to let you know next week how it goes as even after 3 weeks it seems that BT not only can’t decide whether I can get ADSL or not but also I am shocked by the complete of communication between the different departments of the company.

Anyway, at least my experiences with attempting to receive broadband has forced me to do my background research and so for the remainder of this article I’ll discuss the benefits of broadband to those who are lucky enough to be in an enabled area. First off, make sure you do a check as to whether you should be able to receive broadband in your area by going to and entering your phone number where indicated. Providing this comes back with a positive response then it is quite likely that you will pass the further testing which will enable you to receive broadband so lets talk about the advantages it can offer you.

ADSL is an always-on technology and this means that although it’s linked to your existing phone number, you are always connected to the Internet whilst your computer is on but you are also able to make and receive phone calls at the same time. You need not worry about having to dial up to the Internet or disconnect to worry about the call costs as it’s always connected and ready to use, running at speeds of up to 10 times that of a conventional modem

The costs for setting up on this system aren’t that prohibiting as the average installation cost of ADSL is around £85 including the cost of the special modem and filters that you’ll need to actually connect via ADSL to the Internet. The included modem is external meaning that you can use it on either a laptop or a desktop PC and you are then looking to pay around £29.99 on top of your usual telephone subscription per month for the line rental. This may seem expensive at first but if you wanted to have a standard second line in your house for using the Internet and the telephone at the same time then you’d be paying around £75 or so for the installation and then £10 or so line rental per month for the second line. On top of this, if you had a conventional second line then you’d have to pay your ISP costs of around £14.99 for 0800 access any time of the day but this is included within the cost of ADSL.

After living in Cardiff and using the broadband connection at the University, I would recommend to anyone who uses the Internet even a moderate amount to pay a little bit extra in order to get the extra speeds offered by ADSL. When connected to the Internet via a broadband technology the possibilities of live streaming video and music and downloading files that would take days on a standard connection all become possible – This is all dependant on whether you can get it in your area so always check online before getting your hopes up.

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