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Another UK ISP for Video Gamers Launches – Ghost Gamer Broadband

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 (1:34 pm) - Score 5,109
ghost gamer broadband uk isp

Business ISP Structured Communications has today fully launched a sibling provider called Ghost Gamer Broadband, which as you might expect from the name “aims to deliver a best-in-class online experience to the UK’s competitive online gaming community.”

According to the announcement, GGB seeks to offer “resilient and stable connectivity, allowing for uninterrupted and responsive gameplay.” On top of that it pledges to provide “some of the lowest ping rates consumers may encounter on the internet” and “direct links to popular gaming services [for] the best possible experience on those platforms.”

The ISP adds that it’s served by multiple 10Gbps upstream fibre circuits and “unlike many home broadband providers, Ghost does not throttle connections or establish data caps.” In fairness data caps have long since been removed by most providers and very few truly “throttle connections” today.

Otherwise GBB appears to offer a mix of ADSL, FTTC, FTTP and G.fast based broadband packages on Openreach’s national UK network, which are all accompanied by unlimited usage allowances, 12 month contract terms, a static IP address and an included wireless router (they don’t say what model and gamers are likely to want to know such details).

Chris Dale, MD of Ghost Gamer Broadband, said:

“The internet plays an increasingly vital part in our everyday lives, yet the quality of the broadband entering our homes is often overlooked. This just leads to frustration.

The importance of a stable and fast connection, which maintains its quality during peak times, is essential for online gaming – low ping rates are a necessity at any hour. At Ghost Gamer Broadband we have developed a solution which always provides users with the fastest possible connection, irrespective of fluctuations in demand.”

Sadly the website itself doesn’t offer a lot of detail on their packages or prices, although they seem to be promoting “up to” speeds instead of the required “average speeds“. One other problem we noticed is that their website promotes service prices that exclude the £10 monthly cost of line rental (you only see this when running through their order system), which is something the ASA requires to be made clear.

Prices including line rental start at about £39.99 for an ADSL (up to 20Mbps) package and £53.99 for their FTTC (up to 80Mbps) service, which is quite pricey. Much as we said when a similar ISP called Leetline launched a few months ago (here), there’s a limit to how much you can tweak such connections in order to extract improvements in latency.

In reality most ISPs setup their networks in the same broad way and there are plenty of other providers that could make the same sort of claims as GBB (AAISP, iDNET, Zen Internet etc.), albeit without specifically advertising themselves as being designed for multiplayer gamers (it’s just kind of expected).

The GBB website includes a comparison of latency performance but the test is only from a single FTTC line and their comparison ISP is not named.

gbb ping comparison

Finally, GBB said it will deliver a “competent, high-performance service which families can expect to use simultaneously, without fear of dropouts or slowdown.” Obviously no ISP can guarantee this on services provided via copper lines, which can and do suffer from all sorts of complex stability and performance problems. Lest we forget external impacts from issues such as slow WiFi and local network congestion.

At the end of the day your latency (ping times) depends most of all on the capabilities of the physical connection technology itself (e.g. FTTP vs FTTC), remote server performance (e.g. the server for the game you’re connecting to) and your own network setup / configuration. A good ISP’s routing / peering arrangement can help and so does maintaining an uncongested network but, as above, other ISPs could make similar claims.

Leave a Comment
21 Responses
  1. Avatar NE555

    Judging by the advertising, these guys are totally clueless.

    “Time-to-live (TTL) is a value in an Internet Protocol (IP) packet that tells a network router whether or not the packet has been in the network for too long and should be discarded”

    That’s more or less correct. However the initial TTL is set by the originating endpoint, and decremented by each intervening router. So a higher received TTL value means that the packet has been through fewer routers, and hence fewer links; and therefore the result shows the “competitor” as better than they are!

    I wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole.

    • Avatar CarlT

      TTL is basically meaningless unless it hits zero. Why they have included it as a metric is beyond me.

  2. Avatar Boo Hoo

    “Ghost does not throttle connections or establish data caps.”

    Utter rubbish. They apply a 1 TB “soft cap” monthly limit to their standard FTTC/P services on the Structured Communications platform and they do the same on their Ghost Gaming service. They told me that over the phone.

    • Avatar Kurt Whittaker

      Hi Boo Hoo,

      We did used to have a soft cap but due to feedback from the community we can confirm we no longer have any soft caps on any of our products, you can check out our updated terms and conditions on our website.

      Many thanks,

      Kurt @ Ghost Gamer Broadband

  3. Avatar Ciaran

    Very interested to see how this works out if you have another provider at home (Virgin Media) how would one have this ISP installed if there is as I’ve said another ISP being used?

    • Avatar Ciaran

      Forgetting to mention I am having a terrible time with gaming via Virgin. Have had two techs out in the last month, one is at my property as I type. He’s been at two separate cabinets and changed cabling. There’s definitely an issue here. If he fixes it then all good. If not I’ll possibly look into this service or something similar.

    • You’d probably need a new line installed via Openreach, using a separate master socket. Most homes already have some wiring for traditional phone lines but a new provision may add c.£100 to the setup cost.

    • Avatar Mike

      Are you gaming over WiFi?

  4. Avatar Christopher Woodhead

    Fttp 160/30 is £64.99 and 330/50 is £89.99 which is way more than I pay for bt 330/50 I got it for £52 18 month contract.

    • Avatar Bob

      I used to get those ping times to those destinations with Sky FTTC on a long line (I assume this worsens things, line only capable of 15Mbps).

  5. Avatar Ciaran

    I used to have BT infinity when it first arrived out, those lines are still installed. The problem for me is I’d want the line installed in a bed room upstairs for the phone as well. Could they run a new line of the master socket and install the router and phone combo in the room? with the same performance? if I remember there was another phoneline in the back room I wonder would that work? was installed in the old BT Broadband days way back when

    • Avatar Lex

      If you already have a phone line and socket installed, bt/ISP won’t even come out you just get a router in the mail

      You can pay them move the master socket but it cost you more then what it’s worth

  6. Avatar Marty

    Pointless provider unless they have some rollout of FTTP in mind. Finding a way to better way to alter FTTC or docsis which is covered by openreach & Virgin anyway so you could say it’s mostly PR hogwash

  7. Avatar Steve

    Great idea, terrible execution. Certainly is room for an ISP marketed in this way but I can’t help but feel it’s no different to a broadband connection with RGB stuck on it.

    It’s no secret that business grade broadband doesn’t suffer as badly at peak times, that’s because businesses are closed but they offer little more clues to explain WHY they are better.

    Can they reduce latency from my house to the exchange? No, of course not. So they are no better than the rest (who are 1/2 if not 2/3 of the price).

    • Avatar JmJohnson

      No they can’t but they can optimise the hops afterwards…
      I have 2 leased lines here… one from Daisy, the other is BT… Daisy to NY is 94ms, BT to NY is 73ms.
      Shows how different approaches to infrastructure can affect the service provided.

    • Avatar Steve

      Daisy….renowned for their quality products LOL
      They can only be responsible for the hops within their networks which as a small scale ISP goes is likely a router in a rack in a datacentre so we’re talking about maybe a couple of peers and an uplink? Not a lot of room for optimisation there.

    • Avatar JmJohnson

      If only ISPs invested in multiple uplinks thus providing different routes and then used algorithms so that your traffic took the fastest routes…
      If only all ISPs used dedicated infrastructure instead of virtualised pipes…
      If only all ISPs provided direct pass through to their core backbone…

      The list of differences between ISPs is larger than you know and your understanding of how networking works seems to be lacking
      (Note – I’m not defending this overpriced ISP… just trying to highlight there’s more to networking than you assume)

  8. Avatar Jamie

    Pointless it’s BTs cable. If you want fast Virgin media is the best I have 350mb down 35mb up. No other isp in the UK can compare. I worked for telewest and ntl back in the day. Then for BTs sub contractor Enterprise doing LLU (local loop unbunderling) within BT actual exchange. As far as I see it only has two actual Internet providers exist, BT and Virgin media. As everyone else piggybacks of BTs cable etc. I do agree virgin has issues. Over the last 20 years in telecoms I’ve seen it always the same with Yorkshire cable, diamond cable, telewest, ntl, virgin media it’s always been the same you ever get an amazing service or a bad service and honestly the bad is very very small. More people complain the praise so you see issues more. But honestly virgin media is the way to go. I still pay very little through service as I worked for them for many years but you can get 350mb down TV and phone for £39. No other isp comes even close. And you get what you pay for with virgin media speeds. You always get more than advertised. With BT and all the others it’s “up to” x speed. And you never get close. For example. My area BT offers up to 35mb and up to 75mb. Your lucky if you get 18mb.

    • Avatar Mark

      It’s not BT it’s Openreach, and no they aren’t really operated by BT anymore.
      Secondly Virgin piggybacks off Sky too on its backbone.. so what does that say? And vice verse for Sky..

      On the backbone in fact I’d say Sky is second to BT as a whole owned network.
      No idea if Virgin has its own backbone or just uses everyone else. But I’ve seen and heard PLENTY of stories of Virgin capping speeds.

    • Avatar Ciaran

      Show me were I can get those speeds, plus tv for 39 a month. I am paying 43 soon to be 47 for 200mb, appreciate the info

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