More than 3,000 PC Advisor readers rate, rank and award the best broadband internet service providers of 2007. Who is the best ISP in Britain?
Broadband is now so pervasive that it's come to be regarded as a utility, in much the same way as water, gas and electricity. As with those essential services, rival providers compete fiercely for your business. But however much marketing money an organisation throws into the ring, without trying it for ourselves we've no way of knowing what's bluster and what's not.
Actual customers' testimonials are therefore a critical gauge – as long as they're presented in a balanced fashion and companies large and small have an equal chance of being praised or criticised.
PC Advisor's online questionnaire focusing on broadband was conducted over a five-week period in March and April 2007. It aimed to get an accurate picture of issues that are important to today's broadband consumer.
PC Advisor's survey didn't just add up the totals for and against the ISPs. As well as an overall satisfaction rating for each provider, we asked survey respondents to rate particular elements of the service, from technical support and customer service to connection speed and reliability, parental controls and security measures to the provision of pertinent localised information.
Most popular ISP 2007
Virgin Media was a dead cert for the popularity award, having absorbed the might of NTL and Telewest – themselves huge players in the broadband market before their formal merger last year.
BT was the second most popular choice, with BT Yahoo polling particularly well. Combining the scores for BT and BT Yahoo enabled the firm to narrowly beat third-ranked Tiscali.
Best uncapped broadband 2007
Best small ISP 2007
Best broadband bundle 2007
Virgin Media [1st]
If you want broadband, landline, TV and even mobile, you can't go far wrong with Virgin. If can get cable, so much the better; if not, Virgin does very good deals on ADSL packages too.
Best phone and web bundle
Talk Talk [1st]
We can't argue with the cost of the TalkTalk 3 deal and, while customer service levels remain middling, these continue to improve.
Most reliable ISP
We excluded Virgin Media from this award because cable broadband doesn't have the contention or connection issues
of ADSL. Zen came top, with F2S and Demon close contenders
Broadband customer service award
PC Advisor's broadband report
Broadband deals abound, but which one is right for you? PC Advisor's in-depth reader survey reveals how well each ISP (internet service provider) is performing, and gives an insight into the state of broadband internet in the UK today:
- Broadband internet in the UK today
- Are 'unlimited' broadband accounts fair?
- Broadband reliability and service
- Broadband speeds and download limits
- Phone and internet broadband bundles
- Switch broadband providers the easy way