Broadband Move

At some point this year I decided to change my broadband supplier. The main reason was to get a higher bandwidth and then, with this bandwidth for viewing moving picture content I could get rid of the dirty money I pay to Murdoch’s media empire.

Over the years I have watched less sport on TV and much less “normal” TV. I am pretty sure I can live without those things. I do still watch Formula 1 races but I either watch them live on C4 or there are always sites that aggregate the streaming content. So I took the step to get rid of Sky TV and broadband and move over to BT Broadband and Netflix along with the NFL GamePass.

The audio-visual entertainment is now mostly Freesat which I don’t really watch, Netflix, Amazon Prime or catch up TV services. There’s enough content on all of these that I don’t have to record anything on a HDD or similar. I don’t miss live TV and although people at work seem to like talking about it I am happy not knowing who managed to operate an oven correctly.

My broadband service has moved over to BT and my village has FTC (fibre to cabinet) which means I get much improved bandwidth but without the need for cables into my house. As I live in a small village it would never really be economical for a cable company to connect the place up. So my internet traffic travels down copper from the cabinet in the village. I am getting a pretty decent 50Mbs which is far better than the 5Mbs I was getting before.

It is now possible to stream music services to all the rooms in my house and also video to the PC and TV while at the same time play games on one of the consoles. This is great news. I no longer have devices buffer or cut out while I am doing stuff elsewhere. The PC used to max out the bandwidth when uploading files to OneDrive and I never quite figured out how to limit that. Films I download take 5 minutes instead of over an hour. It’s a rather grand new world I inhabit.

I also have no money directly leaving me and heading to the evil media corporations. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Dirty Digger has shares in many companies and I still use them, but for direct contributions he gets none. I don’t pay anything to Sky and I most definitely do not pay any money to his newspapers (scum of the Earth).

I am currently watching a few series on Netflix:

  • Scorpion [terrible “spy” / “homeland” series]
  • Archer [brilliant spy series]
  • Black Mirror [brilliantly odd series]

I watch plenty of NFL and have seen all the Saints games so far. I do have to cope with american adverts but these are quite amusing and I can see how the ex-colony has dumbed down, although I see us heading that way very quickly at the moment.

I still have to finish Babylon 5.

I play the Playstation and I am so looking forward to the latest Gran Turismo version. I am quite disappointed that GT6 never really included all the features they said it would. I was hoping to record my own race tracks using an app on my phone, I guess I’ll just have to wait for that in a later full version of GT.

I am watching Haven on Amazon TV when I exercise on the erg.

I will NOT be watching the Grand Tour. Mostly because I don’t care for low key “acceptable” racism. I reached a point early on with Top Gear when I realised it was childish and silly. It coincided with a set piece on the “boys” camping in a caravan and setting it alight. So scripted, annoying and purile. I’ll give it a pass.

So, overall the broadband move went well. The new equipment / router is OK although I had to re-route the power cable for it. All the wired and wired connections seem to be generally OK. The router doesn’t seem to like me trying to set Static IPs for my devices so unless the device can request it, I let the DHCP do its job. I turned off the 5G channel as its range was quite restricted and a normal channel has enough bandwidth for the mobile devices in the house.

There are a few features of the router that are silly. Why do I want to control the lights on the front? What purpose does that serve? It’s just an extra layer of firmware that can go wrong. Every now and then the router blocks out the wireless devices for connecting. I first noticed this when my iPhone couldn’t join the network. This seemed strange and because the router claimed it was working fine I ended up resetting my iPhone wireless settings. This was not necessary as in the end I figured out it was something to do with the router. I don’t know what but turning off the wireless, rebooting the router and then turning the wireless back on seems to work.

I have a Raspberry Pi working away in the loft sending data to a Multilateration Client for aircraft ADSB signals. This is connected wirelessly and I also have a Dynamic DNS pointing to it. This way I can see what the Pi is recording and check the aircraft flying overhead. When the router needs to be reset the external IP is changed and the router automatically updates my DDNS, which is nice.

Overall, I am happy with the change. No Sky makes me feel superior. The series on Netflix aren’t really watched by others so that makes me feel more exclusive and the NFL is great in HD, streamed, on a big TV.

Switching The Blue Sky

A short while back I wrote about changing broadband supplier. This is an update to that communication.

It is a few months since the new broadband internet connection started. It appears that my network has settled down tremendously since those early days.

All streaming, file sharing and music systems within the house seem to be working well. Large upload files are no longer causing connection issues.

Bandwidths seem to be approaching 650KB/s which translates to 5.2 Mb/s. This is not bad given my quite rural location and the aging connections within the village and house.

The Wi-Fi provided by the Sky router is pretty good. The signal dips a bit at the extremes of my house (top front room) but otherwise it is fine. The router connects everything that I need to be connected and my initial worries about a lack of “user” options have dissipated. This router and also the free EE one I had before both do a better job of routing that the £100 Netgear router I bought and have since sold on eBay.

Essentially, so far so good.











So what.


Today [Wed 20th August 2014], I am switching broadband supplier. I have been with EE for about 18 months and am moving over to Sky broadband. I think one of my first communications on here was about changing to TalkTalk from PlusNet. Now I am moving to give even more of my money to Murdoch and his family of companies, something I am rather unhappy about. If I was to total up how much I spend on TV and now broadband I would be horrified. I pay for my television because I like the following:

  • Cricket
  • American Football
  • Formula 1

It is currently 0730 and my broadband seems to be working fine on the old router. When things seem to break I will swap over to the new Sky modem router and also change the micro-filter. I will then spend some time messing around with the router settings so that my home network things work as they should. I set up static IPs for all my devices, mostly because it keeps things nice and neat and not because it is necessary.

[Follow up written Fri 22 Aug 2014]

Went to the park in the afternoon. Had already been out in the morning and broadband was still working once we got home. Once we entered the house I glanced at the EE router and it was flashing “no internet”. I changed the router and micro-filter. Plugged in and watched the lights flash. Eventually some bits were steady white. This meant I had an internet connection.

I logged into the router and changed the SSID so it would work with all my devices. Once that was done I slowly started plugging in all the network.

So, now I am on Sky broadband and phone rental. My initial thoughts are:

  • Not enough settings I can mess around with inside the router. This may, or may not, be an issue. Some of the following could cause me to change router if the issues continue.
  • The download bandwidth is poor compared to what I got with EE. It’s about half at the moment.
  • The router doesn’t like me doing some computer stuff and listening the internet radio. The radio keeps cutting out.

Apparently Sky are spending the next 10 days testing my line and working out a good connection bandwidth for me. I hope that I get more than 5Mb/s. This was my normal bandwidth before Sky. I also hope that the router can cope with all the traffic on my network. I will give it about a month before I seriously consider getting a new router and setting it up myself.

There is an issue with getting my own modem-router to use. Sky will not release my broadband login information. This means I will have to make sure I can find that information in the router before I get a new one. A quick internet search brings up software that will work to find out those details.

Let’s see what the next few weeks bring. I am hopeful.

UPDATE 25 August 2014:

The download bandwidths have increased slightly. I have reached about 5Mb/s which is on a par with my previous provider. The router seems a bit shaky when there’s a lot going on with my network. It doesn’t like uploading large files and streaming downloading at the same time. This means I will probably change my router once the bandwidth settles down. I have a plan to use my EE router. It is more customisable than the Sky router and worked pretty well, even if it was free and I don’t like the design.