When we wholeheartedly recommend Andrews and Arnold for the best Broadband ISP (Internet Service Provider) for businesses in the UK, people quite often ask the same questions. Primarily the main question put to us is:-
"Why should we use them? Especially when they seem more expensive than other providers."
This article will attempt answer these questions.
First of all, Andrews & Arnold ISP (AAISP) do charge a bit more for their broadband products. Their basic service is approx. £8 more than some of the cheapest suppliers of ADSL and they also ask you to pay the ADSL connection charge of £37.50 if it is a new connection (not if you are migrating from another supplier). Also their tariff is usage based, so the more you typically use per month, the larger the tariff. (Update: in the last year more and more providers are moving towards usage based tariffs and off so called 'unlimited' tariffs, especially with the advent of the latest ADSL products)
So why on earth would you sign up with a company like this?
Well, you don't get anything for free in this world, many ISP's do have bandwidth limits and don't advertise them (if they don't have limits they can leave them selves open to abuse where everyone's connection quality suffers). They also tie you into their service various other ways and also impose on you many limitations to their service that are simply not present with AAISP.
- AAISP give you a full and free "sending mail server" (SMTP) with which to send your email. BT O2, Orange and TalkTalk have charged up to £10 a month in the past for this service on their some of their tariffs and/or prevent you from sending email.
- AAISP give you a full and unfettered connection, they block no ports so you can host your own mail, websites or any other type of connection to your office without problems, again other ISP's can and do restrict your ability to do things like this.
- AAISP freely give you 'static IP's - which in plain terms, makes hosting services for your company possible without having to 'bodge' a way round. Again, with almost all other providers this is charged for on top of the initial rate, usually at an inflated price.
- AAISP also give you a dial-up backup service that will pickup on the same static IP as if your broadband line was up. Using a router that can fail over to dial-up, you can protect against broadband outages and e-mail servers can stay connected to the Internet.
- AAISP do not put you on any 12 month contracts, just a simple 1 month rolling contract. There are no strings. While other providers tie you into a 12 month contract to recoup the cost of the connecting you as BT charge all ISP's £37.50 to connect a line at the exchange. AAISP simply charge you for upfront. You are then not prevented from leaving should you be unhappy with the service (which shows how much they believe in their product). We've had many customers that have gone with other providers, got no service after the initial installation and were basically stuck for another 11 months until their contract ran out.
- They can provide the phone line as well as the broadband service so you only have to deal with one provider for both line and broadband. (Even BT will separate the BT line (BT Retail) and BT broadband (BT Openreach)
- AAISP don't operate off-shore call-centers or have several tiers of support staff. If you have a problem either technically or bill-wise, it is much easier to get help and talk to someone that can deal with the situation directly. Typically it takes 30 seconds to get hold of an experienced technician that has the ability to solve your broadband problem via the phone. Of course email support is also available and even an IRC channel (online chat room) is available for support.
That last point is a biggest plus, especially when we are called to fix problems. During our work we have a lot of experience with customers that have had problem with their broadband connections.Going through large suppliers (such as BT) can take from twenty minutes to several hours simply to talk to someone who can deal with the problem (and sometimes we're lucky if that happens at all) and usually through call centres where the 'engineers' work from a script. In some cases, if you have a strange problem, you know what you are talking about and have done all the standard checks you can be bounced from one technician to another, having to explain the problem many times, and then when you put the phone down you have no idea how the problem is progressing unless you go through the whole charade again. Worse is if you are unlucky enough to have a problem that doesn't fit any of their predefined scripts, and we've seen customers simply stuck in limbo.
BT Broadband in particular have cost our customers a lot of money in lost productivity and labour costs, just for broadband problems.
AAISP have a no nonsense approach - your problem gains more attention and is solved much faster. When there is a problem with them, you or the BT network we've found answers simply arrive fast. This has been proven to us time and time again over the years in our work with them and they are simply a complete pleasure to deal with.
They give access to their systems so you/we can see uptime and traffic stats and graphs, along with the notes on the account and the current issues open along with what the next action or task to be performed is and when it'll be done.
Now in this day of email communication and where using the web to get information and do research is almost second nature, a downed broadband connection can bring a business to a standstill.
Now for the sake of a few pounds a month is that not worth protecting and getting solved quicker if there is a problem?
- A&A Homepage
- Full tariff list
- Status Updates and BT MSO Updates
- You can order AAISP broadband from here.*
*This has some referral or partnership with this supplier via the link given. Check out our stance on reviews and recommendations.