I’m trying to figure out what ADSL and phone provider to go with in the UK and am a bit shocked at how 1992 the selection is.

After using 2.5-8Mb ADSL and cable in the US and France over the last decade, I’m pretty shocked that most places in the UK still only offer up to 8Mbps and realistically provide more like half that, and very few packages include any free phonecalls or line rental. Mind you, only a couple of years ago places I was at in the UK only had 512Kbps, although they did have free phonecalls as I recall.

BT seem to be the worst – charging about 25ukp/month plus 11ukp line rental and not even including any free phonecalls, well some UK off-peak calls with the Home Hub (erm, no comment!) For just phone service and no broadband with unlimited UK and international calls it would be 11.25+4.95+4.89=21.09ukp.

Tiscali seem to offer the cheapest and best plans, at around 20ukp/month including unlimited UK and international calls and line rental, however they are the ISP-from-Hell according to most of their customers, no wonder they’re cheap.

TalkTalk I’ve used before and whilst their speeds seem slow with naff fair-use, they are at least reliable if your line is good, a comparable package including line rental and unlimited UK/international would be about 24ukp/month.

O2 seem to be the best ISP, but they don’t offer a phone service, so would have to be added to the 21ukp BT package above. Their standard package is 7.34ukp/month if you top up a tenner every 3 months on a PAYG mobile phone (so 40ukp/year) so comes to about 10.67ukp/month including mobile minutes. So this is looking the most promising – essentially for about 32ukp/month you get unlimited phonecalls and some mobile minutes as well as 8Mb ADSL (with no usage caps). There are also some 3 month free offers going around.

It does seem that the much-touted 40GB monthly bandwidth usage is actually 40Gigabytes not gigabits (5 gigabytes), so should be enough.

On an unrelated note, it does look like ebuyer will be replacing (or crediting) my two 1Tb hard drives.