Is Broadband still necessary for HMOs ?

Is Broadband still necessary for HMOs ?

16:47 PM, 8th January 2015, About 9 years ago 16

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As a HMO Landlord I am seriously considering not providing Broadband services anymore or at least changing my current provider.

This service is included in the rent but regularly the tenants complain that the service is too slow and is inconsistent. It can be very time consuming sorting out any problems. When I call Talk Talk my current provider they seem not to be interested and their service is poor in my experience.

I wonder as most tenants have mobile phones and use laptops for the internet. They could buy a 3 or 4G dongle to connect to the internet and I could do away with line rental and broadband.

Can any landlords with 5/6 bed HMO’s recommend a different provider that they have had good internet connection and service from?

Many thanks


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Neil Patterson

16:50 PM, 8th January 2015, About 9 years ago

There is life without Broadband or fibre optic ???

BT business are more expensive, but you get a guaranteed minimum level of speed and same day fix with excellent telephone support. Worth every penny when you are without.

Sam Addison

17:40 PM, 8th January 2015, About 9 years ago

A friend who runs a computer repair /build shop and internet cafe in Ashton under Lyme uses Plusnet and recommends them on the basis of good service. We have (independently) switched to them for our work and telephone services 3 months ago so cannot speak to quality of service but can say they about the same cost as BT ( our previous provider) was.

Ian Narbeth

10:55 AM, 9th January 2015, About 9 years ago

"When I call Talk Talk my current provider they seem not to be interested and their service is poor in my experience" That is your problem. Do not use Talk Talk.

After dreadful experiences with them a few years ago I have made a vow to myself not to use them again until men walk on the sun! They are the worst telco. Their "service" is an object lesson in how not to provide service.

An acquaintance who works for the regulator confirms they regularly have the worst record among broadband providers for customer service.

We provide fast broadband in all our houses and tenants love it.

Mandy Thomson

11:03 AM, 9th January 2015, About 9 years ago

I can't speak as an HMO landlord, but personally find Virgin provide excellent service (at least to NW London). Their prices are similar to BT's, but service is much more reliable. There is also the advantage of having a standalone broadband service without having to rent a phone line from them.

Talk Talk are hopeless; when I used them (in NW London) their day time service was frequently down.

I have used dongles, and use 3g on my phone outside the house. This is really only suitable for very small use, and even when it is possible to download a large amount of data, for example to stream a TV program, the expense is prohibitive!

If you sign up for Virgin, you should have very little problem, and the cost can easily be recouped from the rents.

Barry Fitzpatrick

11:09 AM, 9th January 2015, About 9 years ago

I've used Plusnet for quite a few years now, and although I've had a few problems their Customer Service has been excellent. I'm on ADSL not Fibre though so I can't vouch for that.

Ray Davison

11:15 AM, 9th January 2015, About 9 years ago

As said above, ditch TalkTalk immediately, they are utterly useless. We do not do HMO's but remember if you have five or six people all trying to stream Youtube videos at the same time you will need a much larger bandwidth than in a normal domestic application so you need to consider this when making your choice of provider and service. To achieve satisfactory performance you may need to go to a business provider (Obviously at a greater cost)) as most if not all domestic providers will throttle the speed/bandwidth in times of high demand like when the kids get home from school until about midnight.

Steve Masters

11:15 AM, 9th January 2015, About 9 years ago

I provide fibre broadband in two of my HMO's, one with Plusnet and one BT. Both have been very reliable so I haven't tested the efficiency of their customer services.

I also provided three flats in the same block with unlimited ADSL broadband first with BE that then got taken over by Sky, again very little problems.

I'm sure you can get better customer service / technical support than Talk Talk but you should determine what the underlying technical problem is, is it with the broadband service or on the line?

If it is with the service then switching provider may help, if it is on the line or at the exchange then you might want to switch service type as well (eg ADSL -> FTTC). or might help you determine what service providers and service types are available in your area.

I will be sticking with Plusnet Fibre in my area.

Steve Masters

11:26 AM, 9th January 2015, About 9 years ago

If the problem is on the line itself then you might think about asking BT if they still do something called a "Line Survey", for a fee they might be able to test all the potential lines in your area and find you the best alternative line into your property. I had to resort to this 10 years ago when HDSL first came out.

Kevin Thomson

12:04 PM, 9th January 2015, About 9 years ago

Never thought I'd say this, but I've found Virgin to be ok, or certainly the least worst option I've come across.

I just can't deal with call centres where it takes minutes and minutes to go through the numerous irrelevant options from robots speaking slowly. Can usually get through to a person in Virgin relatively quickly.

G Brown

13:02 PM, 9th January 2015, About 9 years ago

I see your logic of getting tenants to get a dongle. It would depend on coverage, and whether your tenants are willing to cover the cost of data. Not sure if anyone else has any experience, but I'd imagine it would be pricey, theferefore unattractive to potential tenants.
As most students tend to have laptops to watch TV on catchup services, I find providing the fastest bandwidth to be a solution/alternative to a TV. I currently have 120mb with Virgin, which has proved to be a good option so far, though it does suffer from bouts of slowness which can be frustrating when 4 or 5 people are streaming or playing games.
I have called engineers who've tested the connection and say its fine, and explained how the speed test I run arent accurate, but give to reason why its slow sometimes.
I pay 40 odd a month for it, and generally, it's proved sufficient. Be aware that you may need to drill through your wall to get a box inside.

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