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Tiscali joins the 2Mbps club
Friday 01 April 2005 11:14:00 by Andrew Ferguson

Tiscali seems to be jumping on the 2Mbps bandwagon, somewhat late for a major Datastream player, since 2Mbps connections have being available for a long time. The launch of their 2Mbps service also sees a re-jigging of their pricing overall.

Product

Usage allowance

Price per month

Broadbandx10 0.5Mbps 30GB £15.99
Broadbandx20 1Mbps 2GB £15.99
Broadbandx40 2Mbps 15GB £19.99

All three products include free activation, and if you go over the usage allowance (which is a combination of upstream and downstream traffic), extra capacity costs £1.50 per GigaByte. One thing worth bearing in mind is even after the 12 month minimum contract period is over, since Tiscali use the BT Datastream network, simple migrations between service providers is not currently available. Hopefully once BT Wholesale allow single migrations off a Datastream service, Tiscali will support this.

One observation to make is that the product naming is actually quite confusing, and may mislead some people since a x20 product might be confused with a 2Mbps service. One other thing to note is why does the Broadbandx20 have such a low allowance in comparison to the other products and Tiscali are suggesting that this is enough allowance for watching full length films, while a product with a 15GB allowance is only good for trailers and film clips. When you consider that a full length film even with really good codecs uses around 0.7GB, it is a recipe for people getting caught out with extra charges each month.

One subject that seems to be a constant with Tiscali is the number of user complaints, the ISP does have a lot of broadband users, but my inbox still gets more complaints about Tiscali than any other ISP. One recurring theme on our forums, is the capping/throttling that occurs on their network, it would appear that if you use what might be a slightly above average amount of capacity in a single day, that you are penalised with a slower connection for a period of time, the descriptions sound very like the system we reported on in October 2004.

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