Readers Questions Part 11

Just when I thought the subject of Broadband Torbay wouldn’t make an appearance in Click for some time then here it comes again, back with a vengeance due to a recent question that I’ve received.

We are a couple of ‘silver surfers’ who both enjoy using our computer, e-mailing and surfing the web (all self taught) and are able to do this with the help of our three knowledgeable offspring who answer most of our queries from afar and who indeed occasionally pop down to ‘upgrade’ or put new programs on that we feel we need.We have, for example just been introduced to Microsoft Publishing and MSN Messenger.

With the advent of Broadband to this area soon I’m finding that I cannot get a complete answer from anyone as to how we go about getting it.My son keeps e-mailing me to ask if I’ve ordered it yet however there does not appear to be any publicity from ISP servers seeking our money and so I do have a number of questions for you:

Firstly, having looked at and seeing a company offering a lower cost per month than most for broadband, how do I go about ordering it?Will it come supplied with the modem necessary for the broadband installation?Additionally, if we change to this company, will this affect Freeserve for e-mailing and MSN Messenger or do you change your e-mail server at the same time?If we can keep Freeserve then surely we will still have to pay for it in which event how would I go about cancelling it?

Finally, will BT have to come before we can do anything to convert our two outside lines into one (to save money) and from this new system on one line can we run our wireless phone which has three handsets and our computer which shares another outside line with our fax/telephone instrument with a separate land extension.My son says he can put our final choice of ISP server in when the line has been activated.Please help, from slightly confused surfers.

Mr & Mrs CR Potts, Brixham

For those readers living in Brixham I should say that your local exchange gets activated on the 25th of this month so if you’re interested in receiving broadband then please check out potential availability at - You will not be able to get it just yet although it is good to see the availability of broadband spreading throughout the bay!

The first thing that strikes me about this letter is the fact that you haven’t mentioned the company that you are thinking of going with and so therefore I’m unqualified to advise you on whether or not the package includes an ADSL modem.The one point I would make to you and my other readers is that if a particular broadband package looks too cheap to be true then check it is the full 512Kbps speed and not a reduced 256Kbps variant.There are dozens of ISPs looking for your business however so I’ll leave it to you guys to find the one that you think best suits your needs; just make sure you don’t end up paying for extras such as web space which you may never use.

Your current e-mail address will be retainable when you get your new broadband package, whoever it is that you choose to go though; you will have to ensure that you keep your incoming mail server set to Freeserve and just use your new broadband provider to send the e-mail which is a trick I may well go into for a future article.Since you are currently only paying when you connect to the Internet, you may as well keep your old Internet account open when you change to broadband as you won’t ever be ‘dialling up’ as such as so you will not be charged.MSN Messenger is completely independent to your choice of ISP so this will not be affected at all.

With your current two line setup, BT will at your request just disconnect one of your lines leaving the other one standalone; it is not a case of ‘merging’ the two lines together.I don’t believe that this will involve an engineer visit but rather someone flicking a switch on some computer in London and then all you have to do then is get the other line converted over to Broadband which should work fine with your current wireless handsets.

About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.