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AAISP

Summary: Brilliant first week
December 13th, 2012 (Last Edited: December 13th, 2012)
As other comments note here, this isn't the cheapest ISP, but what they offer to those of us who like tinkering is invaluable.

Where else can you get a static IPv4 address, a /48 block of IPv6, no traffic shaping or filtering and constant quality monitoring with the base package? I can log into my control panel and get a clear graph of whether anything is wrong with my connection, change line parameters, issue line tests or get a description of the communication going on between AA and the line provider (BT, in my case).

I've also ran a few tests on the connection and measured latency and DNS resolution times, two very important metrics that are often ignored. I was happy to find out that the latencies were some of the lowest I've seen, and DNS resolution is even faster than Google's public DNS. Bandwidth is of course maxed out on my ADSL line (as in, the connection is as fast as the line allows).

I suspect that a lot of users won't get much benefit from all the tinkering options, but they will still get a great connection and a support staff that actually know what they're doing. As an example, I requested a change in tariffs the other day, and after just a few minutes, not only had the change been made, but retroactively applied to the current month.

I'm very happy to spend some extra money on a fast, stable connection with knowledgeable support staff, and I suspect I'll keep doing so for a long time.
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Summary: Very happy longstanding customer of 10 years.
December 7th, 2012 (Last Edited: December 7th, 2012)
There's a big difference between cheap, and value for money. AAISP fall onto this scale at the "excellent value for money" end. For the (nearly) ten years we've had a business relationship with them, we have rarely needed to contact their tech-support - the service typically Just Works - but when we have had to, it has always resulted in getting to speak to someone who will listen to you, understand the problem and then fix it. Other ISPs could learn a thing or two from them.

We use a bonded link setup, and have just added two more lines to give us higher speed download and upload. Both lines' ADSL were provisioned quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately, there were faults on both lines from the off, with massive packet loss apparent. We could see this packet loss quite quickly - within 5 minutes of powering the modems on, thanks to the CQM (constant quality monitoring) that AAISP provide to all customers as standard. We reported these faults immediately, although I suspect that if left, AAISP would have picked up on the packet loss on the lines anyway and would have actioned fixes themselves.
Throughout the repair process on these lines, AAISP were courteous and helpful, and made efforts to keep us in the loop as to what was happening between them and BT (although some of the conversation is incomprehensible, it is refreshing to see that your ISP is communicating with BT on your behalf; just how much communication there is is quite an eye-opener, too).
Both lines are, as of writing, fixed and working and configured into our aggregated links setup.
I couldn't be happier with how AAISP handled the situation.

It is their continued adherence to this level of service - and their ongoing commitment to excellence - which justifies the cost.

It is refreshing to do business with such a straight-talking, honest and technically competent company.
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Summary: AAISP FTW
November 27th, 2012 (Last Edited: November 27th, 2012)
Even though AAISP isn't necessarily the cheapest option, it quickly justifies the slightly higher price with far superior speed and service.

As it's a smaller ISP, you receive attention as an individual rather that just another number.

I haven't experienced any contention slowdown issues at all. I always get the full speed that my line supports (33 Mbits FTTC in my case).

You also get a great control panel with usage reports, sync speeds and quite a bit more...
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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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