Caudwell Communications, telephony business from the Caudwell Group and owners of mobile phone company Phones4u announced in October their new phone line and broadband internet package. The broadband home service is known as Homecall.
The main advantage of Homecall over other services is that they can combine all your needs. A single bill every month includes your phone bill and internet bill. Because of their ties with Phones4u they often provide mobile phone promotions and their standard package includes free international and local calls, and cheap mobile phone calls!
Homecall don’t provide their ADSL themselves though, they do it through Tiscali Broadband. Although they offer they own services and support, Tiscali have a bad reputation when it comes to customer experience and also use the unpopular Datastream method of connection as opposed to IPstream.
With BT being forced to open up their phone lines for other companies to use directly, many companies have chosen to install their own equipment at BT telephone exchanges. On IPstream all customers are channelled down the main 155Mbit line which feeds directly into a BT controlled network. This means the ISP’s using IPstream have to pay BT, but the service is much faster. Datastream providers have their own 2Mbit circuit in each telephone exchange, so you are only sharing your bandwidth with the other people connected to your local exchange rather than all the bandwidth over the country. This means Datastream customers find their internet often running slower and not providing their full internet bandwidth, sometimes limited to slower than 56K dialup.
A recent poll by Homecall showed that the number one reason people surf the internet is to download music. Second was downloading adult services, third watching music videos, fourth listening to the radio and fifth was downloading movie trailers. Online gaming and family file sharing (i.e photographs) were also in the top ten. A Homecall spokesperson said "Broadband in the home has really taken off.”
Homecall offer no setup costs and all the equipment you need to get online. Their prices are competitive and there’s no usage cap on your bandwidth, meaning you can download as much as you want, although with the Datastream problems you may not be able to download that much anyway. If you go for Homecall broadband it is so much more beneficial to get a package deal including phone calls. This will save you some money on both phone and internet. Homecall undercut all of BT’s phone prices by a couple of pounds a month and give you more free calls and unlimited internet. Unfortunately their internet packages are of a slower speed than the main competition or slightly more expensive. Homecall offer 2Mbps and 512Kbps broadband access.