AAISP

Summary: Home::1 / Terabyte
September 21st, 2017 (Last Edited: September 21st, 2017)
Andrews & Arnold ask customers to review them on this site.

On services:

Unlike my previous ISP, which would bundle a lot of unwanted features like online storage, antivirus, an e-mail account, and so forth, Andrews & Arnold's broadband is just that: broadband. I think that's a good thing.

Although "just broadband", it's fully functional: static addresses, no filtering, and quite configurable. The control panel works very well, providing a wealth of features that other providers wouldn't trust their customers with, such as overriding the negotiated MTU, clamping MSS, resetting the line from their side, or delegating RDNS.

The most impressive feature is the Constant Quality Monitoring, which provides near real-time graphs of bandwidth use, latency, packet loss, loss of carrier, and so forth. There are also settings for alerts for service outages or planned engineering work.


On support:

AAISP have a reputation for impeccable technical support. However, it is officially during "office hours" only (plus Saturday morning). This is understandable for a small company, but it makes things harder for home users.

I've had mixed results from my interactions. When a purchase failed because one part of their system doesn't understand their own two-factor authentication mechanism, I was first told "It should work". After another email and once the scenario had been confirmed by others, I got back "I'll look into it", but I had to email a follow up a day later to ask for my purchase to be put through manually.

Likewise, attracting staff attention on IRC can be a hit-or-miss affair, but the community there is often helpful.

My line has been reliable and any network issues have been beyond A&A's control, but other aspects of the A&A service have been less so. For example, my VoIP phone has re-registered four times in the past two days, and people on IRC were reporting missed calls yesterday.


On speed:

For VDSL connections, the sync speed is out of the ISP's hands. I've not found AAISP to be the bottleneck, but I was always able to max my line out on BT as well.

My latency over the TalkTalk backhaul is worse than it was with BT. AAISP say they have no control over this.


On value:

I like that AAISP don't provide a "free" modem or bundle anything extra: ultimately, such packages just mean charging people for things they don't want. In general, the pricing structure on AAISP is simple and honest. If you need a router, they'll supply one for £25.

I was hesitant to move to AAISP due to the 1TB data cap, but after monitoring my usage for a month beforehand, I found I only average 8 to 10GB per day, so didn't need the "unlimited" broadband offered by other providers. Andrews & Arnold have recently changed their Home::1 tariffs to allow carrying half of the remaining allowance into the next month, which is a very fair change that would mean an occasional heavy period isn't a problem.

Having said this, the price isn't cheap in comparison to other pure broadband packages.

A&A are content to provide a broadband-only phone line for £10, which is is recommended so that there's one point-of-contact for faults and cheaper than BT line rental. But rather than charge something for nothing, perhaps it would be nice if they offered free migration to VoIP for those who want it, instead of for an additional £1.20?
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