I’ve been thinking about making a change to my broadband arrangements for some time now. When I heard that Tiscali (owners of my long-term ISP Pipex) had been snapped up by Carphone Warehouse, it seemed like a great time to make a switch.
I’d heard very good things about O2/Be from my Twitter friends and since I’m an iPhone customer I was able to get a lower bundle price, which was even better.
The transfer process was painless – actually the hardest part was arranging the delivery of the new router! Incidentally the router itself (the “O2 Wireless Box III”, a Thomson TG585n, although I disabled the 802.11n wireless in favour of my Airport Extreme) is pretty big and ugly compared to the Netgear box I’d had before, but I had to change in order to take advantage of ADSL2+. It came pre-configured with everything except my static IP address (I had to call O2 in order to find that out). One issue was that the default time server that’s set on the box is apparently dead… I found some commands on the forums which enabled me to add some known valid time servers and that sorted it out, but weirdly the web front end didn’t give me a way to change them when logged in as the default Administrator user – hunting the forums produced the SuperUser information, which opens up a whole bunch of more useful options in the web UI (including, for example, logs!).
9 months ago I was getting a speed reasonably close to my theoretical 8Mbps max out of Pipex:
The funny thing was that when I called to get my MAC code to transfer, the Pipex chap insisted that I’d only ever get a max of 7-8Mbps off my line “it’s the official BT number, sir”. O2 were quoting a theoretical max of 14Mbps. Turns out that this is probably due to the ADSL2+ technology that O2/Be use… here’s a sample of the speed this morning, I think the peak I’ve actually achieved has been a shade under 13Mbps.
What will I do with this extra bandwidth? Well, let’s just say that Facebook and FriendFeed had better be ready for me 🙂