Post Office push broadband envelope (a bit)

post office

BROADBAND from the Post Office is about to get an overhaul or, perhaps more accurately, a makeover.

Price tweaks for new customers come as the provider prepares to move its services over to the TalkTalk Wholesale network next month.

The change will allow the Post Office to offer ADSL2+ services, which are now usually advertised as 'up to 14-16Mb', for the first time.

However, it seems unlikely at this point that the staid Post Office brand is looking to seriously compete with the big broadband providers to expand its customer base.

Price changes have been - and likely will remain - minor, and it also seems unlikely that the provider will be offering fibre services any time soon, putting it at a serious disadvantage.

Little tweaks: prices

The changes made to packages for new customers on July 22nd were very minor.

The cheaper of the Post Office's two deals increased its usage amount to 10GB rather than 5GB.

Post Office line rental was reduced from £13.25 to £12, however inclusive calls were also reduced from evenings and weekends to just weekends.

To get the same evening and weekend calls deal customers must pay the extra £1.25, or £5.75 for anytime calls; 50p more than previously.

Both broadband packages have kept the same prices, although taking broadband without the Post Office home phone is no longer an option.

As ever, the 'unlimited' deal is subject to a fairly low 100GB usage limit and going over results in a warning followed by disconnection.

Here are those changes in brief:

Old price New price Includes
HomePhone £13.25 £12.00 Weekend calls (was E&W calls)
HomePhone E&W N/a £13.25 Evening & weekend calls
HomePhone Anytime £17.25 £17.75 Anytime calls
Broadband Essential (was Standard) £8.15 £8.15 10GB usage (was 5GB)
Broadband Premium (was Extra) £12.80 £12.80 Unlimited usage

Bigger tweaks: from BT to TalkTalk

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More significantly, from September, the provider's 500,000 broadband and phone customers will start to be migrated from BT's wholesale network to TalkTalk's.

For many, that'll mean a free increase in broadband speed.

The BT Openreach service that the Post Office pay for at present is ADSL, which means the technical top speed is 8Mb and most users receive much less than that.

When TalkTalk supplies the network, the technical top speed is 24Mb although, again, in actual fact users will experience slower speeds than that.

Despite the speed increase, Post Office usage allowances and the way they manage traffic are unlikely to change since the provider is free to control these aspects of the service themselves.

Other small ISPs - Bracknell based AAISP, for example - already use the TalkTalk Wholesale service while retaining their own policies.

It's inaccurate to expect, however, as we've seen a few people doing around the web, that because Fujitsu are involved in Post Office's deal, fibre deals are on the way.

Although it's true that Fujitsu did bid for funding to lay down a fibre network recently, their role with TalkTalk is managing the transfer of the network from one provider to the other.

In a press release, Fujitsu described their role as to, "design and deliver a solution that brings together a next-generation network (NGN) broadband experience combined with enhanced customer care and billing solutions. Fujitsu has partnered with TalkTalk to deliver the NGN platform."

On the customer service side of things, Post Office are moving from Logica to two firms, Capita and MDS.

The move to TalkTalk wholesale, then, does not mean that the Post Office will share TalkTalk's customer service centres, which, given TalkTalk's reputation over the past few years, we're sure is a relief.

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