Category Archives: Broadband

Broadband Line Charges

Engineer up a pole

It has been reported today that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport has said about line rental that “the charges of around £18 a month are outdated” and “the minister is inviting BT, TalkTalk,
Virgin and Sky for discussions”.  See the article on the BBC website.

I spent many years training BT staff and managers on broadband technology, and now advise many home users on “getting connected”. I agree with the minister: people don’t understand why they should have to pay BT for a phone line if they never make or receive phones calls … they just want broadband. Many people (especially younger people) now make and receive calls only on mobile phones. Continue reading Broadband Line Charges


I’m thinking of writing some articles on these topics:

  • BT Infinity … it’s probably not going to be as fast as BT claims; there are some constraints on installation which can be a problem for some people (and BT don’t warn you about); you can get identical products from people other than BT and VirginMedia.
  • iPads and smartphones … many of my customers don’t understand that they will almost certainly have to make some changes to any existing POP3 mail programs (Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail, Thinderbird …) if they start using an iPad or smartphone (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry …) for e-mail
  • Possibly a general tutorial on how mail works. With the rise of smartphone (see above) people need to understand a little about POP3, SMTP and the rest of it.  People are increasingly getting problems with checking mail too frequently, mailboxes too full, timeouts set too short, mail clients falling over each other, not using the right SMTP server to allow them to send mail when away form home …
  • Domain names … more people seem to be changing ISPs these days (maybe because of the rise of fibre) and changing e-mail addresses is often an issue. A personal domain name is cheap and very useful, but almost no home users understand or consider getting one (in fact, quite a few small-business users aren’t as clued-up on this as they might be). I might write an explanation about domain names, mail forwarding, etc.