Best broadband service in the UK?

The day is looming for temporary online shutdown as I finalize preparations for our move back to the UK.

The movers come tomorrow to take our stuff away. Things have been topsy-turvy for much of the past week as we sort and pack everything to be ready for them. If you’ve done your own packing-up before, you’ll know the complete disruption it means especially if you’re trying to work at the same time.

I’ll be largely offline from tomorrow until about October 4 after we’re in our new home in the UK. Desktop computers go with the movers but I’ll have my traveling laptop so I have options for connectivity via wi-fi hotspots.

Now I’m thinking about broadband internet connectivity and which provider to choose. I’ve already arranged the phone line – impressive service from BT in setting this up from here – but not yet broadband service. The phone line has to be enabled and active before we can add broadband service, and that won’t be until we get there next week.

With such an array of choice in my area in the UK (Wokingham in Berkshire), it’s hard to make an actual choice. There’s even satellite internet service.

My inclination is to go for BT’s Option 3 deal which looks a very good one. They say they can have the connection up and running within four business days. Should I believe that, though? I hear from friends in the UK that this might be extremely optimistic.

In asking around, one name crops up constantly as a provider to avoid at all costs – NTL. Appalling customer service and support, I’m told. I’m heeding such advice so NTL is not on my shopping list. I’m actually discounting any cable service provider – no interest in getting cable TV – so my focus is on ADSL.

So my actual choices for internet connectivity look to be from amongst BT, Tiscali, AOL, Orange,, Pipex or TalkTalk.

Main criteria for me – fastest connections up and down, generous fair usage policy, terrific customer service and support and all at the lowest cost. What everyone wants, of course :)

Who would you recommend?

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