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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Look At The Post Office Fibre Optic Broadband

One of the biggest selling points of Post Office broadband is the status of the Post Office as a very popular brand.  Almost everyone in the UK has, at one point or the other, has gone to the post office for a transaction - no matter how small. So, the awareness of the brand is very high, and in the same vein, almost every member of the public trusts the brand.

English: Fibre optic strands
English: Fibre optic strands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the surface, it looks as if it the Post Office is running its own broadband network but, in reality, the network is owned by BT. Even though the BT brand is one that is very popular in most circles, it is important that you know who is behind the service. This will further allow you to run a better comparison between this service and other providers. Just like Sky and TalkTalk, the Post Office Fibre Optic broadband provides subscribers with inclusive weekend calls to landlines, and a few other unique offers that would be of interest to individuals who have families and friends overseas.  However, as many other established organizations have discovered, being known as an established organization is not enough, as past glories and reputation count for very little in the current, rapidly changing internet market, where customers are a lot savvier than they were just a few years ago.  The Post Office has their negatives, but how does their broadband hold up?
  • Trusted  by everyone and they are easily accessible
  • Free weekend calls to landlines in the UK and to over 40 countries worldwide.
  • Free security software for their subscribers
  • They do  not include a wireless router in their basic package
  • The customer support leaves a lot to be desired
  • They are also not the cheapest around

Advantages of Using the Post Office Broadband
  • Trusted brand and easily accessible
This is the major point they have going for them, and it sets them apart from other providers. Their brand awareness is second to none and, so, people readily trust them. This is not to say that you can just walk down to the post office anytime you have an issue with your internet and it will immediately get fixed for you! Do not sign up to their package with this mentality, as you will have to go through their customer service unit to resolve any issues you may have.  Fortunately, they have 24-hour support on hand always, to attend to any queries you may have.
  • Many interesting deals
This is one area the post office excels in. They have numerous deals for their clients. One of these deals allows subscribers to bundle their broadband and phone packages together.  Consumers can get weekend calls to UK landlines, and mobiles coupled with 0845/0870 numbers.  The major deal, though, is one where subscribers that chose the Post Office for their fibre optic broadband and home needs get the same deal mentioned above to over 40 destinations outside the UK. This is a very interesting proposition for individuals who have family and friends abroad. On average, you get 5GB download limit monthly. This should be enough for normal users of the web, but people who do lots of download or heavy users of the internet will find this number restrictive. Again, you also have the chance of calling other customers that have a post office home phone for 60 minutes free in a month. You even get a 10% discount to call your favourite 10 numbers. For people who are considering building their own websites, you can take up the offer of 50MB web space and 5 email addresses added to the basic broadband package.
  • Secure and safe way to surf the web
The Post Office has always been a secure way to send and receive messages, so their broadband package should not be any different. Even their most basic package will provide you with a high level of security that includes protection against spam and virus. With their Extra package, the individual gets unlimited downloads and parental control software as added perks. This is a great way to keep an eye on what most kids are accessing online.

The Disadvantages of Using the Fibre Optic Broadband from the Post Office
  • They do not include a wireless router in the package
This may not be something major for most people, but since every provider is offering this free of charge, they should offer it as well. Providing an entry level router that is not wireless is very odd for an organisation of this magnitude. A wireless router is important to most people today because tablets and smartphones rely on it for heavier activities that can’t be done over the meagre allocations available on a mobile network.
  • Poor reviews from customers
Of course, they offer 24-hour technical support (who doesn’t?), but many of their customers have attested to the fact that their customer service is very poor. If the complaints were from a handful of disgruntled customers, it would be different, but when you notice that hundreds of people are complaining about a particular network, then there must be some element of truth to their complaints.
  • Their deals are not the cheapest

When you look around online and compare prices, you will find that post office packages are a bit expensive, especially when compared to what other major providers are charging for their packages. Of course, the phone and broadband package is something nice for most people, but if your focus is on fibre optic broadband, there are other providers out there. 

So, if you would rather use a service you are very comfortable with, the Post Office broadband is a good way to go but it has its own negatives. If you are among those that believe in the “better the devil you know” mantra, it is a very good choice. Their service is average and they have a very good up-time percentage, so you don’t have much to be worried about that.

Sam Jones was asked a lot of questions about fibre optic broadband.  He simply told them to check out sites like uSwitch for more information and to find the top deals. 

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