back to article Be Unlimited pulls plug on home CCTV service

A wheelchair user faces losing vital security and independence because his broadband provider Be Unlimited is withdrawing a recently launched network CCTV service. The ISP has not offered any reason for the imminent withdrawal of the Home Monitor package, which costs £150 for a plug-and-play networked security camera and £5 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    best of luck

    getting an answer out of O2.

    Be, however, mentioned on their forums this wasnt taking off and was a trial product. Knowing them it probably wasnt made entirely clear to the relevant customers.

  2. Sampler

    Expensive for it's use

    Seems quite expensive for what the complaining customer is using it for - for less than the initial £150 he could've got something that does the same and doesn't require a £5/month fee.

    So it's probably in his interest - he could probably re-use his existing equipment and have something similar sorted out.

  3. Paul
    Thumb Down

    No reason given?

    Erm... they gave a reason in the e-mail quoted - their contract with the provider is finishing. Am I the only one to pick up on that?

  4. Adam Foxton


    It's a pan and tilt IP camera- so he should have similar door-checking functionality (except the keyfob, but he must have had security before Be rolled this out not too long ago)

    Hope you get some sort of answer (and refund- £150 plus monthly subscriptions for _less than a year's service_ ) out of them, Lee!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    dont need be for this

    To the chap in the article... assuming you have *ANY* broadband connection and the original equipment such as network attached camera, then you simply don't need BE in the process.

    In fact i am willing to put my money where my mouth is and offer to help you get up and running with something else. spirited IT is not dead in the UK.

  6. Bernard

    In fairness to them

    If it isn't commercially viable because not enough people have bought it then they can't continue to provide it as a loss making service or their shareholders will revolt.

    If it is, I suspect they wouldn't have pulled it.

    Not great for the people who really need it, but this is where public services come in (or not, as the case me be).

  7. Simon B

    We've contacted Be's parent company O2 for an explanation

    We've contacted Be's parent company O2 for an explanation

    AAAAAAAAAhahahahaahaha, aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh hahahahahaha.

    Yeah right!! O2 are shite in my experience which is why back in the day when they were called BTCellnet I left their shite service and have never touched them since!

    O2 often get bad press which like the freeserve wanadoo etc debacle goes to prove what 've always said, changing the name of shite doesn't make it any less shite!

  8. adam
    Paris Hilton

    They giveth, they taketh awayeth !

    "We hope youve enjoyed using our fantastic great service.... BUT we are taking it away"

    Can't have been that good then... or weren't BE making enuff money out of it !

    Paris, well, why not.

  9. Sam


    Does this mean the punters get their 150 quid back?

  10. phil

    different kit

    couldn't thisguy just buy another IP camera ? I have a dlink one here that just needs ethernet and power, easy enough for an electrician to fit. The article mentiones that he uses it to see who is at the door, not for the proximity alarm functions.

  11. Anon Koward
    Thumb Up

    @ dont need be for this

    I too would be happy to assist in helping out the poster with his difficulities in order to assist with setting his secuirty up any way he likes it to be.

    I have had a few years experience at putting in security systems of differnt sorts..

    Just drop me an email at

  12. Alan Potter
    Thumb Up

    Don't knock O2

    I'm not affiliated with O2 or anything like it. I've just been a broadband customer of theirs for about a year and I really can't complain at all. Their support is very helpful and positive - and it's in the UK so you stand a chance of understanding what they're saying! I was so impressed with their support that I actually sent a letter to them, thanking them.

  13. Graham Anderson

    Doesn't even have to be an IP camera

    My oldsters have a camera pointing out from their front door that plugs in to their TV via the composite video in - even simpler (and probably cheaper) than an IP camera.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It is not CCTV, as it is not contained within a private network, therefore not closed circuit, and it's not TV. The closest you could get would be IPV.

  15. Dapprman

    What Be Charge For

    I suspect that what you're really paying for with the £5 per month is the MMS updates to your mobile phone, and that will also have counted for part of the £150 they charged for the package.

    If Lee was not a reader here I would have suspected he was unware of IP cameras, such as the one Adam Foxton gave details for.

    Hopefully Be or the 3rd party provider will not take away the hardware so Lee will still be able to look at visitors from his PC.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Alan Potter

    Been with Be since pre-launch, and the only customer services they have in the UK are a few operators and network operations. Initially the vast majority of tech support where in India, and now they are all in Bulgaria - I prefer the Bulgarian support lines over Indian - just seems clearer..

    Normally they are offer a pretty good service, but its been a bit flakey over the last week - no routing to large chunks of the interweb most of Saturday, and my line was down almost all of Monday (I was working from home that day - yay!). Ringing the phone lines on Monday morning just led to me being hung up on by an automated voice saying "Welcome to Be customer serv.." (always hung up at the same point). I raised a ticket on Monday about both issues, and by Wednesday someone had responded to say that it would be looked at soon....

    Seems like O2 is starting to merge properly with Be...

  17. adam

    IP this and that

    so... the question begs, who is BE's backend partner who provides the service ?

  18. Dapprman
    Thumb Up

    @ AC

    As another Be customer I can back up your views on their customer support, or lack there of. Hard to understand support personnel, very slow to respond to online tickets, premium line support numbers ......

  19. Rab S

    @ Simon B

    I suggest you go wonder over to the thinkbroadband forums then...or read the other posts here of people that actually use O2 BB.

  20. Louis Buxey-Softley

    @ Dapprman

    BE's Supports line numbers have always been freephone numbers.

  21. Oscar

    Re: Don't knock O2

    I too have recently signed up to O2 broadband and have found them to be reliable, fast and customer service is the BEST I've ever come across. After BT screwed up our line (They were doing a number transfer from Virgin and got completely screwed about by BT including them managing to connect the OLD line to the O2 exchange, by their admission) I had a good chat with the guy there who was actually an interesting nice chap to talk to. Things got sorted quickly and I was online within 48 hours (Though the guy said that this would "probably" be the case he couldn't guarantee that it would be).

    So glad I've left Virgin sodding media.

  22. Ben Cockburn
    Thumb Down

    Oh come on, surely you're not that dumb...

    Why would you call up O2 to ask about a Be's changes to their Be-branded service? Am I being thick here?

    I'd like to state up front that I'm biased because my company works with Be (really nice bunch, they use their own staff for all their advertising!) but come on.

    You're supposed to be the journos in the know. So I would think you could be relied upon to know that Be provide the O2-branded broadband, not the other way around. If O2 launched a broadband service and you wanted the skinny on it, I could understand you ringing up the Be Broadband people to get more info, but surely ringing up a large corporate like O2 about something their subsidiaryis doing off it's own back is just bizarre, if not wilfully dumb. O2 weren't even mentioned in the press release so why make that connection?

    It's like asking Katie Price for her opinion on the Sun's decision to print 'her' opinion on some current topic as she poses for Page 3. Sure, they're kinda connected, but someone's sure going to get their knickers in a twist and you know they are not going to have any answers for you.

    It's fair enough to comment on the removal of a service, but please don't begin to suggest you're being even-handed by claiming you asked for a response from O2.

    [Warning - Black Helicopters circling] Did you file this rather sensationalist story 20 seconds after firing your email over to O2, safe in the knowledge O2 couldn't possibly deal with your query before you would have published anyway?

  23. Chris


    I mean, the world is full of 'who's ringing my doorbell' solutions.

    Doorbell/video intercom devices - both wired and wireless.

    CCTV devices, both wired and wireless.

    Wired and wireless IP cameras.

    WHY get involved with this ISP provided 'solution' in the first place?

    Seems to me someone bought a product without researching the field. It's a pity, but it's what happens when you do that.

    Hopefully someone in this unfortunate's locality will assist, or at least put him in touch with someone who'll assist.

  24. Trevor Watt

    @ Simon B

    Your basing your opinion of O2/Be broadband on what Cellnet were like 10 years ago? They are now nothing to do with any of that, now they are pat of Telefonica.

    So you think your opinion of them is worth a toss? Ummm, OK.......

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    North West London?

    If I can get there on the underground, I'm happy to help if you'd like.

    - A happy Be customer who has never used the CCTV service.

  26. Kate
    Thumb Up

    BE unlimited

    I've recently started with BE internet and after humongous problems with BT Internet and previously 7 years flawless access with NTL(it went to pot soon after they re-branded to Virgin). BE runs much faster than did BT & I can download or upload whatever I want at good speeds, very very generous bandwidths.

    BE are a good ISP, their tech support, took about a day and a half via email (it wasn't an urgent problem) and they replied and had it sorted within hours later.

    So, not quite perfect, but very good.

    Don't be so harsh on BE.

    I've never seen the point in that home security/monitoring solution either, there's plenty of other methods and software that do a great job.

    My 2 $$'s.

  27. Gilbert Wham

    another +1 for Be

    I've always found Be's Bulgarian tech support/customer service people excellent. Far better than any english CSRs for any company. With the exceptiion of Entanet.

  28. Tom Simnett

    This is the same Be...

    ...that want to charge £10 per month for 8 static IP addresses. Not a /29, but a collection of 8. They'll give you 16 for £20 a month, and again this is a collection, not a block. And this bargain comes to you, the reader, despite RIPE saying "IP addresses are a shared public resource and are not for sale". Go figure...

  29. Fal
    Thumb Up

    Re: Re: Don't knock O2

    I would also like to stick up for o2 here. I've had to deal with their support 3 times. FIrstly when I signed up and missed the delivery of their router, so I rang up to ask if I can use my own and they told me the settings and the MAC address I needed to spoof. Secondly ws a couple of days ago when my BT line went down and took the router with it, once again the helpdesk was helpful, open and once they know you're a tech don't mess about with the 'scripts', they asked what i'd tried then sent a new router. The third time was to ring up and say thankyou and close the call.

    A good service at a good price and I couldn't be happier with them.

  30. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    What difference does the wheelchair make?

    A) The whole "Oh, someone in a wheechair is losing service" doesn't do it for me. It's not a wheelchair lift or something being shut down -- the one customer being in a wheelchair is 100% irrelevant.

    B) As several have said, he's watching a camera outside his own house from inside his house -- just hook a cam up to the computer!

    C) Other than possibly having to refund for the cameras, I don't think Be owes a thing. How tied into the service are the cameras? If it can be used as a normal camera, *shrug*, use it as a normal camera.

  31. Tim
    Thumb Down

    O2 broadband, BE, and an idiot with a webcam.

    Echo good service from o2 broadband, terrible BT switchover (got no line and someone else got our phone calls for three days).

    Be still operate independently from O2.

    What sort of idiot pays for this technology when drilling a hole in the front door would do just as well. I dont care if he is disabled, he is still an idiot, and i suspect one who like to use his disability to moan for no reason.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    @ All the Be/O2 Haters

    What's with all the Be bashing comments? Ever used them, or is it purely because too many people aren't able to benefit from their fine/fast service?

    El Reg : What in the world are you doing publishing this sensationalistic story for? I think the only thing the service won't be able to do continue with is the keyfob. The camera will still work, but it will be on permenantly. Mountain - mole-hill.... one dead Vulcher.. Oh what a calamity for the poor chap!!

    As for O2 - very professional (aside from the calamity [todays word] when setting up a new account, but aside from that they have been the best provider of mobile phones for years.. and they are one of the cheapest!)

  33. Shaun Sheppard
    Thumb Up

    Again, happy be customer here

    Been with them for roughly 8 month, download speeds are constant no matter what time of day, and the service has been 100% reliable so far.

    It's much better than my previous BT Business Broadband account, and at half the price.

  34. Ben Matthews

    Withdrawal of the Be Home Monitor service

    Hi there,

    We just wanted to let you know more about the withdrawal of the Be Home Monitor service.

    Unfortunately, the contract with our supplier has ended and we are now looking into alternatives and the best possible next steps for the service.

    We are working to get as much information as possible together on the next steps for all of our members that use the Home Monitor service. We will be able to provide you with a further update on the situation on Wednesday 20 August after we have communicated with members.

    In the meantime, if you have any queries please email Louise Norman at For all media enquiries, please contact Ben Matthews (Hotwire PR) at

    We will continue to provide a premium broadband experience to our members, as this core service will not be affected by this issue.

    Many thanks for your understanding in this matter and we will resolve any issues as soon as possible.

    Best Wishes,

    The Be Team

  35. rick buck


    If they come for the equipment, just do not answer the door.."'cause it do'nt work, ya know", unless they have check in hand (do you trust them to have the money?). otherwise, it is your equipment now.

    Get someone to help hook it up with another service, or maybe without another service!!!(I realize you are in a wheelchair, and that makes life tough..., and just doing everyday things real hard, but several have stated they will help rig the system to work for you,so give it a try), and good luck.

    It is time for a "customers bill of rights" >sounds American< to protect the public's "investment" in these big companies ideas, so THEY take the risk, NOT the everyday hard working Joe...who just gets a letter saying that their "investment" just went "tits up", and it being liquidated by going to some "BigWigs" Severance Bonus.

  36. cberry

    Pick up Lee's contract for free

    We would be happy to pick up Lee's contract for free, and we are not related to BE or their provider.

    Send us a message and we will sort something out.



  37. Nicholas Wright

    Also a very happy customer

    These days they do all they can to be uber customer friendly. They send me texts when I'm about to be billed. When there's an outage, they advertise a dial-up phone number I can use.

    All queries to them have been dealt with professionally, and when I congratulated them for being so good, I had a nice reply saying thank you.

    They're a *tiny* bit more expensive than Freedom2Surf, and you don't get the webspace/email for free, but then again they're not owned by Tiscali which weighs VERY heavily in its favour. If it was bought by Tiscali, I'd have to look for another provider and there ain't many left.

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