AAISP

Summary: Another happy customer
November 9th, 2012 (Last Edited: November 9th, 2012)
AAISP came highly recommended by my colleagues and obviously from reviews on here, but I was initially unsure as I kept hearing how great they are for various technical reasons. Although I'm a techie by profession, at home I just want simple straightforward broadband. I don't want to care how great their technical support is, because I don't want to have any problems.

A couple of providers had appropriate download limits for my needs, and I ultimately chose AAISP because I *did* have a problem with my line. I'd moved house and had a newly activated account on an existing BT line - but for some strange reason BT's database claimed by line was tagged by an LLU provider. Strange since there is no LLU for this exchange, just a basic 21CN line.

AAISP were just great. I'd already talked to BT about the tag, but they claimed there wasn't one. AAISP warned me that it'd take time for them to sort it out with BT and that it'd be quicker if I could get them to clear the tag, but since BT denied there was one, I was stuck and willing to wait.

AAISP queried the tag and were told that it was an open PSTN order. They passed this on to me, and once again I phoned BT, this time armed with the terms "tags query", "tags database", "bt openreach", "PSTN order".... I was told once again that there was no tag, but this time I was told that there *was* a PSTN tag but it had since been cleared... I was told somewhat sternly that this was not my concern and my ISP should be sorting it out.

Back to AAISP. They rechecked, and the tag had been cleared. They think that the previous occupiers broadband hadn't ceased until after I'd tried to get mine.

Why am I so positive about AAISP, when they apparently didn't "do" anything? Because they talked to me, there was always a real, informed person responding quickly. Because they didn't try to shrug off responsibility. Because I could constantly swee progress on their online order tracking system. I felt very "looked after", and I was confident that somehow the situation would be resolved.


Also, they _somehow_ spotted that I'd ordered the wrong router! I picked a single port one with no wireless, when I had intended to get the wireless one. I was asked to confirm my choice plenty of time before I needed the router, so corrected the order without any delay.

The line has been active for 1 week. No problems with the router, which came pre configured and just needed to be plugged in (they also supply a filter). The speed is as good as I'd expect from a basic line (about 7Mbps). Latency reported on WoW is about 20ms. MUCH better than O2 on a similar line (but closer to the exchange) at my old house.

The "2 unit" default tariff is 100GB off peak monthly limit, which as I said is appropriate to my needs and well priced. The online usage monitoring is slightly techie-porn, but easy enough to use.

Very happy.

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Summary: Bonded Lines - Very Happy
November 5th, 2012 (Last Edited: November 5th, 2012)
When moving from an office in the centre of a Town (that had Fibre internet from both Virgin and BT) to a rural office, we had terrible problems getting a reliable service with a decent speed.

We had problems with our VoIP service due to lack of upstream bandwidth on the very long line to our office.

We had problems with our backups due to downstream bandwidth (was taking longer than a week to transfer a weeks worth of backups)

After discussion with BT on when our line would support FTTC we were basically told "never" and our only option was a very expensive etherflow solution.

All hope was seemingly lost on getting a stable, speedy connection for our rural offices that didn't cost the earth.

After discussions with the very helpful staff at A&A (via their very convenient IRC channel as well as via phone), the possibility of bonding multiple lines together came up. I was only aware of this previously as a technical possibility but wasn't aware that ISPs could actually do t his!

So, we had three lines installed and bonded together.

We went from 5Mbps down and 460Kbps up, to 13Mbps down and 1.7Mbps up

Although more expensive than simply having one line, this option gave us a usable connection on our very long line, without having to resort to installing fibre at the cost of many thousands of pounds.

The staff at Andrews and Arnolds clearly described what was needed at our side, and configured the kit before sending it out, with it almost being a plug and play solution.

All in all I am very happy with the solution they provided.

They aren't the cheapest, but the service types and service levels they offer cannot be matched.

Anyone that needs something over and above the cheap mainstream solutions can do no better than look at A&A
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Summary: Not so good ...
October 9th, 2012 (Last Edited: October 9th, 2012)
My experience was not so good with AAISP. In particular, they failed to resolve a problem with my BT line, and I did not find the support provided particularly helpful.

I also found they were not competitive in relation to download limits.

These problems were only resolved when I moved to Xilo, though this may be because the switch to Xilo meant using BE in my local exchange rather than BT.

In general, if a broadband supplier does not fix a recurring problem in a couple of months, it may be time to move.

And yet, the perfect broadband supplier may be forever elusive. For the first time, I have experienced a problem with Xilo - being disconnected twice when trying to contact their technical support. I can't help wondering if most small broadband suppliers struggle once they become more popular. And of course, if they are bought up by one of the major ISPs, service will usually rapidly deteriorate.

Part of the difficulties I have experienced may be due to distance from the exchange (5 km), and it would be nice to think that 4G will (eventually!) provide an answer, except that there may be technical capacity issues ...

In the meantime, I guess wasting time switching suppliers is an inevitability given that none seem to remain that good for that long ...

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Summary: The best the internet can get!
September 10th, 2012 (Last Edited: September 10th, 2012)
I have been with Andrews and Arnold now for many many years and I must say you get a lot for your money and dedicated support at no extra cost.

The only downside to A&A is BT Openreach and their lack of turning up, understanding the faults or willing to do anything. A&A are always on their toes but BT Openreach have no common sence or even redundancy in their network. If I had my way I would have a cable laid from site direct to A&A but the distance is far too long.

Their graphs are excelent, even BT engineers are impressed with what we as a customer can see, we seem to see more than them.

A&A has many features such as packet dump and many more planed as they grow from strength to strength.

This is one company I would buy shared in if it was floated on the stock market.

You can't fault this ISP because their efforts to resolve issues are taken on a personal front.

They don't just provide internet access, so I would have a look at their website to get a better understanding of what they offer, and if they don't offer it then I'm sure they will in the future!
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Summary: An awkward start but all good now.
September 4th, 2012 (Last Edited: September 4th, 2012)
My exchange was upgraded to FTTC fairly early and as I am 3.5Km from the exchange but only 50m from the cabinet I was looking forward to my ISP offering the service. After waiting a year it admitted that the wait would be much longer so I decided to move.

From my ISP I need a connection with a block of allocated IPv4 addresses. I don't need web space, email and other frippery. I picked A&A because it can provide this with no fuss and I've heard nothing bad about it from people I know who already used it.

The installation was difficult, which was Openreach's fault - two missed engineer appointments and then third (and what I had said would be final) time lucky. I think that some people at A & A had to work quite hard to get that third appointment right and they even discounted half of the install cost (which I hadn't asked for and I expect wasn't refunded by Openreach). When I needed to call A & A the phone was answered quickly by a human.

Since then the connection has been great. I pay for 'up to 40 Mbps' and the line sync speed is 39.8 Mbps. Can't say fairer than that. I can download .iso files from Technet at around 4MB/s at 9.00 pm - 15 years ago I couldn't copy files across my LAN at that speed!

An added bonus has been the chance to get to grips with IPv6 properly. I was given a /48 block without even asking for it and the free router is perfect for my needs (it sits in front of my firewall and managed the PPPoE stuff).

I'm paying a little more than I was paying my last ISP and I'm still a bit nervous about the use-based charging structure - but that does seem fairer than a 'FUP' and the web site tells you where you are up to whenever you want to check.
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