IDNet sets its crosshairs on the gaming broadband community
Gamers are seen as being the most demanding broadband users, as they want low reliable latency with no packet loss and minimal jitter, plus also a rather large download habit as they now buy a lot of their content as digital downloads. IDNet has stepped into this market with unlimited ADSL2+ and VDSL2 (FTTC) services on a gamer specific portal at gaming.idnet.uk which in addition to the usual IDNet products include elevated traffic priority.
One very interesting aspect is that the FTTC service is provisioned over the up to 76 Mbps service (with up to 19 Mbps uploads), and there are two good reasons, firstly it will ensure you get the best possible speeds from the line and the up to 76 Mbps service carries a higher priority for traffic if congestion occurs in the Openreach part of the network. We asked which Openreach DLM profile is used and lines start with the speed setting, which should mean no interleaving and lowest latency, but only after time once a line has been running will people know if the DLM system will happily not add interleaving. With respect to the up to 76 Mbps service, if you are on VDSL2 now and getting a connection speed under 38 Mbps switching to the up to 76 Mbps will not boost speed, some people do see improvements when switching but this is usually down to a change in the Dynamic Line Management (DLM) profile or a modem that handles a line, G.INP and/or vectoring better.
In terms of pricing the VDSL2 service is £61.80 per month (including line rental) and also includes a single static IPv4 address and a /48 block of IPv6 addresses. Transfers from a full LLU service cost £75, but if on SMPF migrations are free (new lines cost £125).
Broadband hardware options are available, you opt to supply your own modem and router, or several options are available, starting at £75 for a BillionNLv2, or a TP-Link VR-900 for £135 or a Comtrend VDSL2 modem with a choice of a Netduma router (£210) or Asus RT-AC3200 router (£270). The Comtrend VR 3030 modem does use a Broadcom chipset with G.INP and Vectoring support, as does the TP-Link VR-900, the Billion does not support G.INP and Vectoring so if chasing the ultimate speeds may be best avoided. We would add that while Asus does have some VDSL2 modem/router products experiences from users on our forums suggest the VDSL2 side is far from being great, i.e. they make nice routers but not so good on the modem side. IDNet let you opt for a 24 month contract which reduces the price of the hardware, to either free or half price. The hardware pricing may look high, but the costs are not far off what you can get from places like Amazon.
If you only have ADSL2+ available to you, then you can still sign-up but will obviously only get ADSL2+ type speeds, the unlimited service costing £47.40 per month, and the lower upload speeds of ADSL2+ will seriously hamper your ability to stream via twitch while gaming, but a good line with a good provider should still allow for a decent latency performance when gaming.
The more expensive wireless routers may seem a waste when all good gamers know that you need an Ethernet cable connecting your PC or console to your broadband, but many of the better wireless routers include QoS, meaning you can be cruel and limit the activities of the rest of your home so your latency does not rocket because someone else is downloading something over the connection.