Post Office Broadband service up and running
May 2007 saw the Post Office announce it was to expand its Home Phone to offer broadband. The service using a 'white label managed service' from BT Wholesale is now up and running. Vodafone at Home uses the same service to allow them to run a broadband service without massive up-front infrastructure costs.
The Post Office service offers four broadband services.
- HomePhone with Broadband Extra: The £25.95 monthly fee includes free evening and weekend calls, telephone line rental, up to 8Mbps connection speeds and unlimited downloads (subject to fair use policy. Twelve month contract, wireless router, free set-up and a security suite that includes parental controls.
- HomePhone with Broadband Standard: £21.95 brings the same calls and line rental deal, but broadband usage is limited to 5GB and a basic ADSL modem (not wireless) is included.
- Broadband Extra: £20.95, exactly the same as Broadband Extra above, but no calls or line rental package.
- Broadband Standard: The 5GB package for £15.95 but with no line rental or calls package.
The Post Office will accept orders where a new telephone line is required, and this is charged at £110, which is lower than the standard BT Retail price of £124.99. When ordering they will check whether they will need to install a new line or can take over the existing line at a property.
Watch out for the surcharge of £1 if you do not pay by Direct Debit. The fair use policy on the 5GB service appears to allow you to exceed the allowance occasionally, but they will ask you to regrade to the more expensive package if you regularly exceed the usage level. For those looking to join the Terabyte a month club, the fair use policy on the Extra product should put you off as they reserve the right to cancel the connection leaving you liable for any remaining months of the contract and possibly excess usage charges.
The pricing is uniform across the UK and as such will probably represent serious competition to the TalkTalk phone/broadband bundles, with the advantages that no problematic unbundling processes are used, and the minimum contract is for a shorter (12 month) period.