back to article O2 refuses to deny plans to offload home broadband product

UK telecoms provider O2 has refused to deny that it is planning to offload its fixed line home broadband product later this year. According to a source close to the situation, O2 - which is currently undergoing an upgrade of its broadband service over to a single core network - is mulling over a sale of its local-loop …


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  1. Pie

    Just left BE as they no public FTTC plans

    Shame as they have provided me with an excellent service, speed is king, especially when you have demanding teenage users...

    1. Roby

      Re: Just left BE as they no public FTTC plans

      I'm actually very pleased with my O2 home broadband. It's basically the same service as Be. It's been very fast and unthrottled and I get it at a massively reduced price on an offer since I have O2 mobile. I get a good speed and don't experience slowdowns. It's a shame (and a little suspicious) that they have no FTTC plans. I guess they will milk their broadband customers and then offload them, so they won't be investing in their infrastructure.

      1. justincormack


        You don't even need an O2 mobile of your own, you can use someone else's if they do not have o2 broadband. So the people at O2 told me... Moved to fibre now though.

    2. Cosmo

      Re: Just left BE as they no public FTTC plans

      I was the same as Pie. I was with Be for a couple of years and had no trouble at all with the service, billing, contract etc. Unfortunately I live too far from the exchange for a speedy download, so I was stuck at 3Mbps. If Be had announced a FTTC rollout, I would have jumped at the chance, but I had to reluctantly jump ship as trying to use services such as NetFlix and iPlayer was becoming way too stressful

    3. Tom 38

      Re: Just left BE as they no public FTTC plans

      Presumably this sale will include Be, which makes me very sad. I've been with Be since before launch (I'm still on the introductory special offer rate!), and for me the service is beyond excellent. Whenever I rarely have technical issues, their support team has been excellent - I don't even mind the offshored Bulgarian call centre, they all seemed extremely polite, knowledgable, and better english than BT's "Steve" in Bengaluru.

      I already take Sky TV, so I've had the option of cheaper broadband for some time. For me, Be is the service that I want, so it is worth paying extra for it.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just left BE as they no public FTTC plans

      You are a bit late to leave. I did so last year. I had to take out an el-cheapo DSL service from PlusNet as a fallback to Virgin as they were quite unreliable during the upgrade wave. However, even that is going the way of the copper dinosaur in two months once the contract is over.

      In any case Verizon is right - anyone asking the question of ROI, business plan, economics, etc for rolling out fiber is an imbecile. That is a question of "shall you exist tomorrow or not". If you want to be around to fight another day - you do so. Funnily enough, their economics got sorted out by themselves later on (so now they pretend that they had a business plan all along).

      Telefonica _CHOSE_ to destroy their "best in service" and leading market position. They _CHOSE_ to destroy the revenue their were getting from the Be Unlimited backhaul wholesale service. They did so by deciding the service not to have a future. They could have laid down fiber to your local power substation over Powergen or EDF ducting, then reuse that for sites instead of paying stupid money to Arquiva. Reuse the same site as a fiber fanout site. Fiber to everyone's home and no money to BT either. All of this for a fraction of the money that has gone down the drain in the "prepare for 4G clusterf***".

      So if someone else without a future buys the zombie course of what used to be a fine Broadband provider... Well... Who cares...

    5. Trevor Marron

      Re: Just left BE as they no public FTTC plans

      Me too, and funny enough when I called for my MAC they tried to persuade me a FTTC offering my only be a few months away. And guess what? Sky already have a FTTC offering.......

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Time to leave, but where...Gah!

    been with them from pretty much the day they launched by us, 100% uptime, never had to phone up for any issues, never, not once!

    Sky / Virgin and several others charge almost triple the price for adsl where I live, Orange are shit (sued them for failure to deliver service), just leaves BT really: <Insert Deity> help me!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. MtK

    Left them last month

    Moved to Andrews & Arnold. Not unlimited bandwidth anymore, but at least I have at last got IPv6.

    Interestingly, after the switch, my Lovefilm streaming performance issues disappeared.

    1. Chris007

      Re: Left them last month

      Curious - did you leave BE for Andrews and Arnolds BT service or their BE LLU offering?

      I have BE via Andrews and Arnold and it's fantastic.

  4. John Colman


    This is a disaster for me. O2 are the only broadband provider that I can find that offers good service, good speeds and a static IP without a business line.

    Oh well, time to start the expenses claim for a business line

    1. Pie

      Re: Disaster

      Have you tried They are more expensive than O2, but they are good to deal with, offer static IP as standard and will install onto any phone line.

  5. nigel 15

    they were mavricks

    when the business first started (O2) they were unusual. ADSL2+, no caps, cheap.

    now there are caps, peak time throttling, traffic shaping some traffic down to below dial up speeds, (seriously,) and the prices have gone up.

    it's getting harder and harder to find a BB provder that will flog you BB without you handing over the whole line.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: they were mavricks

      > now there are caps, peak time throttling, traffic shaping some traffic down to below dial up speeds, (seriously,) and the prices have gone up.

      Looks like they finally worked out that when they sell unlimited service for a limited price, people actually have the nerve to want the service without any limits, and their business model goes titsup.

    2. Tom 38

      Re: they were mavricks

      Citation for the caps, throttling and shaping? I don't see any of that on Be.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: they were mavricks

        Neither of them are talking about Be.

  6. TonkaToys

    That's annoying

    I agree with the guys above that the O2 service has been very good; reliable, quick, unlimited (afaik) and cheap (if you're on O2 mobile).

    Where to now?

  7. Fuzz

    Will move if Sky take over

    I've had BE for 4 years and all the time they've been superb right down to the trivial gesture of giving you a free day of broadband on your birthday.

    If the network goes to Sky then I'll go somewhere else. I'd give VM another go if you didn't have to sign up for a year only to find your local area is massively over subscribed

    1. NoOnions

      Re: Will move if Sky take over

      Why's that then? Just don't like the ownership of Sky?

      I had Sky broadband and now have Sky fibre and it has been excellent.

    2. Rufus McDufus

      Re: Will move if Sky take over

      Switched to VM a year ago after being with BE for maybe 5 years. BE gave excellent and very reliable service but it doesn't compete with VM to me. I'm getting 60Mbps for about the same as I paid for 5Mbps with BE & I find both offer excellent support if you need it (don't laugh). There are more outages with VM but still pretty rare.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Been coming for ages....

    Telefonica have been selling foreign assets off for the last year or two in an attempt to reduce their debt and try to cope with the collapse of their home market. The only thing Telefonica really wants from their new UK network is 4G backhaul.

    tl;dr this has been on the cards for a good long while, looks like they need the cash now

  9. robert_raw

    O2 Broadband for me was excellent.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Like many others here...

    I'm on O2 and very happy with the service, it's been consistently reliable and a decent speed considering the distance to the exchange. However, like others above, I am leaving them when I move house soon as I want to get fibre.

  11. K

    BSkyB wonks have recently visited O2....


  12. janimal

    I just cancelled my Be service yesterday

    also due to the lack of FTTC offering. It has been available on our street for a long time now. With ADSL2 I only get around 5mb / 1mb the line estimate for FTTC is ~40bm / 20mb

    The cost is only a couple of quid extra.

    I have had great service and support from Be since they started locally. However recently the service has been a bit more variable and the above numbers were just too much temptation.

  13. Craig Vaughton

    Planned Migration

    Be have been superb, there again anything after Tiscali wouldn't have been hard, but they've genuinely been excellent.

    If this comes to pass then it will be time to move and like a lot of other commentators here, the big question is where?

    Might be time to try one of the smaller local companies in South Yorkshire running off "Digital Region", all offering high speed off newly laid fibre to cab. Or if desperation sets in, try VM as we had their cable when it was Telewest. Just hope VM made sure Telewest staff took their horses with them...

  14. Steve Pettifer

    Disappearing Service

    My sister went to O2 (on my recommendation as they used to be great) some years ago as she has an O2 mobile and they had unbundled her exchange (checked at the time on SamKnows). Recently the speed nosedived and I couldn't work out why until I checked SamKnows again and O2/Be are no longer listed in her local exchange and O2 deny ever having been in that exchange in the first place, which is cobblers. I wondered when this sort of news would emerge as it smacks of a contracting service, binning exchanges where they couldn't turn enough profit and eventually they will have to realise that they've failed in the market and need to get out while they still can.

    1. internetperson

      Re: Disappearing Service

      Which exchange?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Choices limited for EO lines

    All I can say to those jumping from BE to FTTC - lucky you !!!

    For my employer, ignoring far-too-expensive-EFM products, the choice was BE bonded service or, errr, BE bonded service.

    800m straight-line to the nearest exchange, but we're on a 3.5KM long EO line. Just over 20Mbps downstream on the bond.

    Hoped Hyperoptic might show some interest in the building, but not so far....

  16. Philip Cheeseman


    Been with O2 for a while. Been really good - I'm still on unlimited and get 16Mb download. Not looking to switch to FTTC as I'm planning to sell my house soon so don't want to be stuck in a new contract. Just hoping it doesn't get sold until I move!

  17. BigAndos

    O2, good but slow..

    I was with O2 for about two and a half years. The connections was absolutely solid, never dropped even once as far as I know. Their phone support was very good too, the people were knowledgeable and very polite.

    However, I was lucky if I got 2.5Mbps. This is in the centre of London less than a mile from the exchange. Streaming iPlayer and youtube became more and more difficult so reluctantly I bit the bullet when BT cabled up my cabinet for Infinity.

    Infinity, so far, has been excellent. I get the full 40Mbps advertised and it has been very reliable. The only gripes are the 40GB download limit, which is scarily easy to hit at those speeds, and BT's customer "service". The less said about which the better. While O2's service was superb, speed is king these days, and unless they invest in FTTC they are better off selling the business before BT and Virgin eat their lunch.

    1. Ktsecful

      Re: O2, good but slow..

      Wow, I just checked up on BT's packages after reading your comment

      40GB a month? A month?! Is this 2001? I think I've gone over that in the last 2 days.

  18. nsld
    Thumb Down


    Been with O2 for a good few years and service has always been reliable, even got sent a new router as mine was one of the older ones (but still worked fine).

    Customer service has always been excellent on the few occassions I have needed to use it, and thats praise indeed as I run a CS team so am the worst customer to have.

    Always stable even though I am a massive distance from the exchange in the middle of a field in the middle of nowhere and reasonably quick given the distance as well.

    Unfortunately, if they get swallowed up by Sky or one of the other larger players unless they keep it as a stand alone I suspect both service and quality will disintegrate which will be a real shame. And if it goes to someone like Talk Talk then its game over and you might as well tie your data packets to a directionally challenged pigeon!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. mickey mouse the fith

      Re: Shame

      "And if it goes to someone like Talk Talk then its game over and you might as well tie your data packets to a directionally challenged pigeon!"

      Oh dear god, Talktalk <shudder>. I know someone who lives right next to the exchange (its the other side of their garden fence, less than 30 metres from the router), and yet it still only downloads at half the advertised speed or less. SNR, line attunation and sync speed are all a+ and the bt speedcheck thing says it should be going full pelt, but its not because of Talktalks penny pinching throttling. Customer service is a hoot as well, can any of these people even understand the English language properly?

  19. Mark2410


    argrh, nooo say it isnt so! My parents have sky and their current ADSL2+ line syncs lower than their old Tiscali ADSL1 line ever did (they got 8mbit, now sync at 7.5) and the actual throughput is normally about 2 when it works at all.

    1. D@v3

      Re: noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      similar story here. i have geographically close friends (exchange is roughly mid-way between us) on sky and their connection is rubbish, on o2 on the other hand my connection is superb (for my wants/needs), and the service has been second to none (in my experience).

      I'd rather they don't sell up, and hope that if they do the change will mostly be in name only (naive I know) but if it looks like the service is going to suffer, I might have to look elsewhere, problem with being in rented accommodation is your choices can sometimes be a bit limited (switching from BT - cable for example)

  20. Flakey


    and O2 have just given me half price BB for the next 12 months as contract expired at end of last month. I didnt want to leave and they obviously didnt want to lose a customer so couldnt refuse as service as been very good. Hoping this sell-out doesnt happen as gawd knows where Im going to migrate to.

    1. deadlift

      Re: Damn

      Funny I had the same phone call after being out of contract for over a year. But the call centre monkey, when pressed about FTTC, said that an announcement would be made to customers around the summer.

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