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Moving away from Plusnet Broadband

shermans
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Moving away from Plusnet Broadband

After 20 years with Plusnet in the days of Force9 and Lee Strafford, I am moving broadband away from Plusnet because the Openreach Broadband service is lousy - it is meant to be 20 mg. guaranteed but it is seldom that.  I live in a rural area and although it is supposedly fibre, the last mile is copper.

As my contract has just finished, I have decided to change to Vodafone who have a mast a mile away and I can get nearly 50 mb. on my mobile phone.  I am assured that I will get the same speed with their GigaCube.  Whatever I get is going to be better than Openreach.

Having lived in this house for nearly 50 years, too many friends and businesses know my landline number, however, which is what we use anyway on a day to day basis.  We are not heavy mobile phone users at all and could not live without a landline.

What I would like to know is whether Plusnet will allow me to keep the landline service package under the old contract if I move the broadband to Vodafone ?

Openreach will eventually have a local competitor in the shape of Wessex Broadband who laid fibre in a field alongside our lane about two years ago, but do not yet have enough interested customers to warrant activating the service, sadly but they are marketing it heavily.

Can anyone, especially someone from Plusnet, tell me therefore whether it might be possible just to keep the landline package ? 

The only alternative would be some sort of service that lets me keep the landline number itself and re-directs it to Vodafone.  Does anything like that exist ?

14 REPLIES 14
jab1
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Re: Moving away from Plusnet Broadband

@shermans Unfortunately, Plusnet, like the majority of ISPs, do not offer phone-only packages these days - AFAIK, only BT do.

 

What is the actual nature of the VP service ?/ Which package is it so I and others can check?

 

John
shermans
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Re: Moving away from Plusnet Broadband

It is the Vodafone Gigacube which uses the 4G network in my location 4G.  They have told me that I will get 50 mbs.

jab1
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Re: Moving away from Plusnet Broadband

OK. If it is 4G, you will obviously not get landline calls over it, and as I said previously you cannot have a phone-only package with PN, so I would suggest you see what BT will offer in that case. AFAIK, no other ISP will offer a phone only account.

John
flanzm
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Re: Moving away from Plusnet Broadband

Why don't you port the number to a VoIP provider like Sipgate.co.uk ? Then run the phone service over the Vodafone data connection.
shermans
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Re: Moving away from Plusnet Broadband

Now that sounds interesting.  I will follow that up.  Many thanks.

shermans
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Re: Moving away from Plusnet Broadband

What I have now discovered is something I know absolutely nothing about. It is called an ATA or Analogue Terminal Adaptor which I have seen is branded by BT.  On the face of it, that might let me transfer to a cloud telephone using the Vodafone Gigacube while keeping my old analogue handsets and wiring - there are eight handsets around the house plus a BT Cordless base station with three handsets - our house is three old cottages, so very long but narrow, hence the need for so many phones.  We only us mobile phones as a very last resort because at our age we much prefer to hold something solid, instead of trying to use fat, rheumatic fingers on a mobile phone screen !  As I said previously, we want to retain our old telephone number which we have had for 46 years.

So the question would be :

1. Would an ATA do the job ? 

2. Where would the handsets get the current from to actually ring, for instance ?  From the ATA ?

3. Would they work in reverse - i.e could we dial out ?

4. Would a computer have to be always live or would the ATA be independent ?

I see have just read that copper is going to be withdrawn by 2025, so we are not going to be the only people in this position.

I really hate the thought of having to depend on mobile phones.  Oldies like us are always forgetting to charge them and the batteries run out !!  It is all we can do to remember to charge the cordless phones !

Any help would be most appreciated.

flanzm
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Re: Moving away from Plusnet Broadband

To answer your questions:

 

1.  Yes an ATA is exactly what you need, it's what I use for VoIP.

2.  Yes the ATA generates the current to power the phones, ring them, generate dial tone etc.  It converts the internet VoIP number into a regular analogue signal what you can use with your existing wiring etc.  You really won't notice any difference from a regular landline.

3.  Yes you can dial in and out exactly as you do now. I would suggest using sipgate.co.uk for incoming calls (they don't charge a monthly fee for the imported number) and localphone.com for outgoing calls (0.6 pence per minute with no connection charge)

4.  Computer doesn't need to be on.  You simply port your number to Sipgate, connect ATA to router using an ethernet cable, connect phone to ATA, and configure ATA to work with sipgate supplied credentials.  When you port your number to Sipgate this will automatically cancel your PlusNet services.

Only thing i would check is that SIP traffic isn't blocked by Vodafone.  I'm sure you will be fine, but some mobile providers block SIP traffic over their networks because they would rather you made calls using the mobile.

Personally I would avoid buying a BT ATA as it's likely to locked down - I've used CISCO stuff before.  If you want to life easy I would choose something supported by Sipgate https://basichelp.sipgate.co.uk/hc/en-gb/sections/201324731-ATA-Adaptors-VoIP-Routers-Phone-Systems 

 

shermans
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Re: Moving away from Plusnet Broadband

flanzm

Thanks very much for this.  That is indeed a great help and I am most grateful for the advice.

The only problem I have now is that Plusnet will not release my landline number which would make it difficult to port to Sipgate; I have raised this issue elsewhere.  I believed that my telephone number was my property but it appears that Plusnet can lock it.  Vodafone has tried to port it over and have been refused, and I am assuming the same would happen if I tried to port it to Sipgate.

Anyway, I am most grateful.

Nick

flanzm
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Re: Moving away from Plusnet Broadband

Nick,

Other people on this forum have managed to port their number to sipgate so it's possible (and Plusnet are on their list of people they work with) - the form for sipgate is here https://basichelp.sipgate.co.uk/hc/en-gb/articles/204155912-Porting-my-existing-telephone-number-to-...

The port is initiated by sipgate and once it's ported your PlusNet services will terminate.

I can't see why Plusnet would block the port - if you need advice I would PM Gandalf, he is very good at sorting this stuff out for customers.

Gandalf
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Re: Moving away from Plusnet Broadband

Thanks for your time on the phone Nick, 

I've dropped you a couple of emails following our conversation and posted onto the topic Here.

Can you ask Vodafone to try the number port again later today or tomorrow and let me know how it goes?

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button.
From 31st October 2022, I'll no longer have a regular presence here as I'm moving on to a new role within Plusnet.

 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team
shermans
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Re: Moving away from Plusnet Broadband

First, a very serious thank you to everyone on this topic who have tried to help.  I am very grateful to you all.

Secondly, I think that it is only fair that I should update you on the position.  I tried the Vodafone Giga-cube using 4g.  It did work better than Plusnet but not by enough to warrant the double cost.  With the phone, it would have been £80 per month and the performance was only 26 mbps - however, that was significantly better than Plusnet where I was getting sometimes as low as 10 mbps and at best 19 mbps, but usually around 16-17 mbps.

As part of the deal, it was necessary to do something about the landline, because I have had this number for 46 years - admittedly at first there were only 3 digits but you had to get the exchange to put you through instead of dialling !  Everyone was on a party line which was a shared service, except us because we bought the house from the doctor and so he had to have a private line.  We were the envy of the village.

Vodafone could not provide a landline only service, and proposed instead that I should take a no-frills landline based broadband in addition to the Giga-cube, in order to retain the landline number at £19 per month extra, and just not use the packaged broadband at all.  Certainly thinking out of the box.  So I did that, but as I have said, the Giga-cube solution was disappointing and so I took it back and cancelled it.

After that, I had to decide what to do about the broadband, although there was no choice really.  I though about going back to Plusnet but decided just to try the Vodafone landline broadband which came with the telephone.  It was bog standard and did not require any work in the cabinet by Openreach.  I was expecting exactly the same service as with Plusnet because there was no change in the infrastructure.  To my utter astonishment, the speed shot up to a consistent 25 mbps download and 5 mbps upload (previously 2 mbps).  I really cannot believe the difference.  After a week it remains the same and costs just £19 per month still against Plusnet's £25 for the same slower service.  So therefore I cannot justify going back to Plusnet.

There is no explanation for this improvement except possibly (but unlikely) the Vodafone router - my old router was a recent change to a Plus One I think.  I doubt if that has anything to do with it.

Anyway, I am not complaining and there are no ill feelings about Plusnet.  What I do wonder, however, is if this has anything to do with the way Plusnet manages Openreach ?  I am assuming that when Vodafone took the line over, they could see that the guaranteed performance was not meeting the contractual requirement and put pressure on Openreach to sort it out.  I was never involved and never said anything about under performance to Vodafone.  I really do believe that this was a Plusnet failure of management of Openreach, and I am only reporting this here out of fairness to Plusnet before any more customers are lost.  The real culprits are undoubtedly Openreach but Plusnet cannot get off scot-free.

I am really sorry to say goodbye to many friends I have made on this forum, and also to many of the Plusnet staff who have been so helpful over the years. I shall miss not being a member after all these years.  This forum has really been a technical lifeline for me for 20 years.

If I am allowed to, I will keep my membership if only to search topics of value as the occasion demands.  But if I am "dis-membered" I will fully understand.

Best wishes and good luck to everyone, including Plusnet.

Nick

TeeGee
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Re: Moving away from Plusnet Broadband


@shermans wrote:

First, a very serious thank you to everyone on this topic who have tried to help.  I am very grateful to you all.

That is a nice message with good info too.

For others on poot quality landline feeding our broaddband it would be interesting to know how or why your speed has increased.  Perhaps PN customers moving to a Hub 2 could comment if it has made ant noticeable speed changed for them?

Compettition is what drives progress to we should encourage it.

shermans
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Re: Moving away from Plusnet Broadband

Glad to be helpful.  However, I realised I made a mistake - I did not mean 25 mbps, I meant 29 mbps, bearing in mind that only 19 mbps was "guaranteed" with Plusnet.  I have just checked it again and it is still 29 downlaod and 5 upload, and attach an image.

Gandalf
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Re: Moving away from Plusnet Broadband

Cheers for the feedback @shermans. Greatly appreciated!

It is certainly odd how you got better speeds upon moving to Vodafone, which I suspect may be due to your line being moved onto a different port at the cabinet during the transfer, because based on what you've said, it doesn't sound like Vodafone arranged a fault engineer from Openreach following the transfer order completing.

The difficulty was that when you were with us and after I raised a fault & engineers carried out a lot of cabling work, our tests  weren't showing any further issues and your speeds within the supplier expectations. 

I am really sorry to see you go, but thanks again for the post and I'd like to wish you all the best with Vodafone.

Fingers crossed at some point in the future, we may see you back. 

 

@shermans wrote:

As part of the deal, it was necessary to do something about the landline, because I have had this number for 46 years - admittedly at first there were only 3 digits but you had to get the exchange to put you through instead of dialling !  Everyone was on a party line which was a shared service, except us because we bought the house from the doctor and so he had to have a private line.  We were the envy of the village.

Amazing! Those must have been the days. Probably the oldest thing I remember technology-wise was 56K dial-up. Cheesy

 

@shermans wrote:

I am really sorry to say goodbye to many friends I have made on this forum, and also to many of the Plusnet staff who have been so helpful over the years. I shall miss not being a member after all these years.  This forum has really been a technical lifeline for me for 20 years.

If I am allowed to, I will keep my membership if only to search topics of value as the occasion demands.  But if I am "dis-membered" I will fully understand.

Historically when you first joined our forums, if you cancelled your broadband account, your forum account disappeared into the ether, but that's not actually the case anymore since we moved our forums onto this 'new' platform in 2016. 

So, don't worry. There's now no excuse for you not to stick around and have a chat with the friends you've made here. I heard that we have a fantastic bunch of people who like to talk about anything in the General Chat board Here. Smiley

Cheers,

Anoush

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button.
From 31st October 2022, I'll no longer have a regular presence here as I'm moving on to a new role within Plusnet.

 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team