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New TalkTalk Pro package
Wednesday 04 November 2009 10:42:43 by Andrew Ferguson

TalkTalk has grown in size beyond almost any estimates made when it launched itself on the LLU broadband market back in 2006, it now has over four million consumers using its services (this includes people on the AOL/Tiscali and other brands).

November 2008 saw TalkTalk respond to the increasing number of up to 24Meg products on the market by launching a variety of boosts that allowed people to boost speed and add other products to their basic £17.74 phone/broadband package (£6.49 for calls/broadband, £11.25 line rental). A year later we see TalkTalk launching another new product TalkTalk Pro, which combines a number of boosts into one product and offers a saving on buying each boost individually. The new package we were told at the press launch was in response to calls from customers for a simpler way of combining these boosts and knowing they will have a fixed price service.

TalkTalk Pro is available on the TalkTalk LLU network, which is on 1700 exchanges now, but should extend from 80% of UK households to around 90% in 2010. The package comprises a free D-Link wireless 'N' modem/router, full ADSL2+ speeds of up to 24Mbps (line length is the major controlling factor), unlimited downloads and free anytime calls to 01,02,03 0845 and 0870 numbers. The price is £14.99 for the broadband with £11.25 line rental required, and an 18 month contract. Note: TalkTalk is only taking sign-ups to its Pro package over its sales telephone line currently.

The recent amount of involvement by TalkTalk in the Digital Britain process while perhaps being carefully planned PR, does also reflect the fact they are the largest broadband retail provider in the UK, and in the past whereas BT Retail was Openreach's largest line customer for broadband, the influence from TalkTalk should start to have an effect. While TalkTalk may not own a local loop they are keen to exploit the various Fibre to the Cabinet products, so long as the level of control is sufficient to provide a good end to end consumer experience.

A sign maybe that TalkTalk is repositioning itself is the adoption of the I-Plate. They are to offer this as freebie for customers in an effort to boost line connection speeds. Relatively old data from BT Wholesale showed an on average 1.5Meg boost in connection speed for people fitting the I-Plate. TalkTalk are set to package the I-Plate along with another microfilter and simple instructions on fitting it, along with other ways of boosting your speed.


Posted by Bruce over 7 years ago
"basic £16.49 phone/broadband package" is infact £6.49 (line rental is extra)
Posted by pje1979 over 7 years ago
I take it they will still be shaping the connection to death?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
Have clarified pricing, TalkTalk as a bundle means you have no choice but to pay their line rental (hence why I often roll the two together).

TalkTalk has been using shaping for a long time.
Posted by mikeblogs over 7 years ago
They have exploited the regulatory opportunity brilliantly, but this very public opposition to the 50p is very odd.

It just draws attention to the fact that NGA will leave their LLU assets stranded.

Why do that when they are trying to line Talk Talk Broadband up for sale next year.
Posted by Darkness123 over 7 years ago
Unlimited Download Allowance

With TalkTalk Pro, there's no fixed limit on the amount you can download every month and no extra charges. Under our fair usage policy Pro customers have no restrictions on surfing, streamed content like BBC iPlayer or online gaming applications.
Posted by herdwick over 7 years ago
" no restrictions on surfing, streamed content like BBC iPlayer or online gaming applications."

but heavy throttling of P2P
Posted by mikeblogs over 7 years ago
Darkness123 - what is the peak hour allowance per user for this package - is it 30Kbps per user yet?
Posted by otester over 7 years ago

It will end up like road tax.

The private sector needs to do this, we need to take away the monopoly so other companies can have a go.
Posted by Darkness123 over 7 years ago
I don't think it's throttled. I am not on TalkTalk Pro though.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
So long as LLU providers have MSAN's that will accept Ethernet on loop side the investment is not wasted.

Remember TalkTalk MSAN's are used for voice too, so less waste than a pure SMPF provider. i.e. they can handle the voice and take the FTTC feeds
Posted by TonyHoyle over 7 years ago
Their comparison table is a bit naughty. They say their speed is 24Meg but everyone else is 20Meg (including Virgin? Though they were 50 now).

Also don't see what's so 'pro' about it.. looks very consumer to me. A 'pro' off should at least supply multiple IP blocks.
Posted by TonyHoyle over 7 years ago
Also it's not unlimited.. it's 40GB. From the T&C for the pro product:

6.3: "For the reasons set
out above we have also applied a fixed limit or a cap (which is currently 40 ‘gigabytes’) to the amount of data that you may
download and/or upload. We may, at any time and at our sole discretion, amend this limit and/or, impose a further limit on
your usage capacity if your usage is affecting or may affect, other users’ enjoyment of the Service."
Posted by mikeblogs over 7 years ago
otester - what have you in mind? duct sharing at a £1 a metre pa, plus multiple cabinets in the steet, or re-sale of services from shared cabinets?

Posted by Bruce over 7 years ago
@TonyHoyle - the question of T&Cs was asked recently on the TT members forum. The official asnwer is that there isn't T&Cs for TTpro ... yet. The 40GB limit is for the normal package. I think it's generally expected that the limit would be at least 100GB.

I don't use P2P, but I can't say I've ever noticed shaping. I've never seen less than 5Mb/s, even during peak times. Most of the time it's 8Mb (15Mb sync for me)
Posted by Aqualung over 7 years ago
so what do you think is causing the 50% ish loss of throughput then ?
Posted by otester over 7 years ago

Not an easy decision as companies generally won't usually expand unless areas are profitable.

A possible option is a not-for-profit organisation owns all the infrastructure and then operators simply buy into that. Any profit made goes straight back into upgrading the network.
Posted by uniquename over 7 years ago
I have scoured the T & Cs and FAQs and can find no mention of any FUP/AUP on the amount downloaded. I think it safe to assume it is as Sky LLU and O2/Be LLU - genuine.
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
@otester - so the private sector is going to run a not-for-profit organisation? I'm unsure of how this is going to work. Something this expensive requires a lot of initial investment, someone is going to want a return on that investment if private sector so it's going to have to be tax payers? Even the Amsterdam muni build is for profit..
Posted by tynecomp over 7 years ago
As an existing Talktalk customer I decided that I would upgrade to the Pro package. Rand the sales number as directed on the web site only to be told to ring Customer Service. When I pointed out this was not what their web site said, they put the phone down on me. Don't you just love great customer service!
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
Dixi - No, he's proposing nationalising BT's infrastructure. Which means, yea, the taxpayer would end up paying for every upgrade.
Posted by otester over 7 years ago

A private sector solution would probably best work if x number of residents/businesses at each node/exchange sign a long contract and when the FTTH is up and running, the contract then starts (no charge before running).

Price would depend upon take-up in an area and there would be various tariffs available with varying installation/monthly costs depending on the length of contract taken.

This system would enable companies to go into area(s) without risk and have a profit/network investment margin from the beginning.

My previous comment was just another idea.
Posted by herdwick over 7 years ago
your solution assumes that uncertainty is the only barrier - is thee a viable business case for FTTH even using your approach ?

Most overseas seem to depend on public funding or some kind of TV / tripleplay delivery to get a return.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
In Hull, Herwick! Maybe a few other places with bad provision.

But yes, you're quite right about the funding..
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
otester - unless people are going to be signing up to 10 year iron-clad contracts you can't build FTTP without risk and have profits straight away. It has to carry some risk and have investors who accept that it may take a while to see a return on the investment but that accept that the investment is necessary in the medium-long term and is then good for 40 years.
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
In the current risk-averse environment even if the UK were to reduce the variety of barriers to such an investment that presently exist it would be a tough sell to shareholders initially. The example of Verizon in the USA does indicate potential so long as the regulation is appropriate and pretty light their share price holding up better than rivals that have not made such an investment.

This said various bits of the country would only get persecution complexes and accuse such an entrant of cherry picking.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
The situation in the US, though, most areas have one or two landline services - single ISP, no unbundling - and maybe a wireless avaliable...
Posted by herdwick over 7 years ago
Verizon FIOS is another example of triple play - using the TV service to make it pay.
Posted by alandean over 7 years ago
I am a current TalkTalk customer (on 1 of my 2 phone lines) and currently use the myTalkTalk package with boosts, which costs just under £30pm. Switching to this product I can save around £3.50pm BUT .... TalkTalk customer services say it is only available to Tiscali customers! No mention of that anywhere!
Posted by David-Park over 7 years ago
Well I have TT 'phone, after having a billing problem I found their customer service skills to be zero. Most of thier CS staff have poor English in a far off land which does not help.
Posted by asrobs over 7 years ago
All the comments are relevant but all these posts do not remove the fact that talktalk have given the vast majority of people what they want.
Posted by tynecomp over 7 years ago
To alandean; keep trying eventually you will get through to someone who understands. The Pro package used to be for ex Tiscali customers but this changed in mid October but TalkTalk appear not to be good at briefing their staff. One thing to be wary of is that it appears the free Wireless N router is apparently only available to new customers.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 7 years ago
herdwick - That and the tax breaks...
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