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Brawband in Glasgow

Simmie

Casual Member
Hi everyone,

Looks like our Cityfibre connection will be available soon and the 2 suppliers for the area seem to be TalkTalk (who I'm not keen to use) and Brawband (https://www.brawband.co.uk). I've done some searching, but I can't really find anything about Brawband - other than they're part of HighNet.

Anyone out there know anything about them? I can't even find out what router they supply...

Thanks!
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Yeah they're a new player, so there's virtually no solid feedback, although HighNet has been around for a while and have a reasonable rep:

 

baby_frogmella

Top Member
I'm in Inverness (where Highnet/Brawband are based). Like the OP, my area went live on Cityfibre a couple of months ago and only TalkTalk and Brawband offer FTTP in my area for now at least.

I'd happily join TalkTalk but they don't offer anything above 500/500 so was about to order the 1000/1000 service from Brawband until i saw their website t&c's (here) where they mention a 1TB fair usage policy each month. Even worse, they force you to use their own router, some Fritzbox crap. I emailed their support dept and was indeed told that any users who consistently download in excess of 1TB on a regular basis will be asked to reduce their usage and kicked off as a last resort. Re: router, they said absolutely zero chance that I could use my own router, even when I told them that I would NOT require any support on my own kit. They said, sorry tough titties (well not the same words LOL).

I won't touch them with a bargepole given that a) most residential ISPs got rid of monthly allowances donkeys years ago and b) they cannot accept people using their own kit. I suspect for b) they're in the habit of doing managed installs for business customers and now doing the same for residential customers - I suspect purely to make troubleshooting far easier for their support staff.

Anyway I'll just wait until TalkTalk (or TalkTalk Business) release their 1 Gig down/up service on the Cityfibre network, should hopefully be this year. I already have a rock solid 900/115 FTTP service from TalkTalk Business on the Openreach network, but would love the extra upload speed you get on the Cityfibre network.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
1TB FUP on a gigabit speed package? That's just absurd, I wonder what they were thinking. However, their T&Cs are quite vague on this, which stretches the rules a bit as the ASA requires ISPs to be a bit more specific:

BrawBand’s products are not subject to allowances or data transfer caps. However, parts of the network are shared between users and any irresponsible or highly excessive usage by one customer will be investigated to ensure that the quality of service delivered to all customers can be maintained. If a customer is transferring extremely large quantities of data on a regular basis we will, wherever possible, make adjustments to the network to prevent this from impacting other users. If such adjustments are not technically possible BrawBand reserves the right to limit the customer’s bandwidth or to move them to a more suitable and uncontended service which may have a higher cost.

Do you have a copy of the text reply where they mention 1TB?

However, I'd disagree on the router remark. AVM's Fritzbox devices are usually pretty solid pieces of kit, with a lot of flexibility for configuration. But I'd agree that as consumers, we always like to have the option of using our own kit.

 

baby_frogmella

Top Member
This is what they quoted me in their email, pretty much word for word what's on their website:

“If a customer is transferring extremely large quantities of data (in excess of 1TB per month) on a regular basis we will, wherever possible, make adjustments to the network to prevent this from impacting other users. If such adjustments are not technically possible BrawBand reserves the right to limit the customer’s bandwidth or to move them to a more suitable and uncontended service which may have a higher cost.”

But it seems they've now removed the 1TB part, probably because they've realised how ridiculous 1TB limit is, on a 1 GB/s service. I still wouldn't touch them with a bargepole.
 
BrawBand changed their FUP - as Mark mentions above - and the 1TB element is gone. They also have a bit more info about routers on their FAQs and say 'However, if you want to have your own router, firewall or other devices behind our router and just let our device take care of the basics to connect you to our network, that’s ok.' One of BrawBand's tech guys said that the WAN port has to be configured on VLAN 0 and not many routers can support that, hence the use of the AVM devices. Service from them has been dead solid too - according to a pal of mine anyway, as CityFibre aren't building as far out as me :-(
 

Simmie

Casual Member
BrawBand changed their FUP - as Mark mentions above - and the 1TB element is gone. They also have a bit more info about routers on their FAQs and say 'However, if you want to have your own router, firewall or other devices behind our router and just let our device take care of the basics to connect you to our network, that’s ok.' One of BrawBand's tech guys said that the WAN port has to be configured on VLAN 0 and not many routers can support that, hence the use of the AVM devices. Service from them has been dead solid too - according to a pal of mine anyway, as CityFibre aren't building as far out as me :-(
This is a bit disappointing... I was hoping to go with a smaller ISP, but perhaps TalkTalk might be better after all... Also not keen on the 24 month contract.

I'm using my own router just now, so I was hoping to continue the same setup - I'm already hitting 1TB a month on my IDNET SOGEA service so I'm a bit wary... 1TB is hardly extreme usage these days - I used 100GB over the weekend just on Netflix and Apple TV.

Thanks for your thoughts!
 

baby_frogmella

Top Member
One of BrawBand's tech guys said that the WAN port has to be configured on VLAN 0 and not many routers can support that, hence the use of the AVM devices.
They're telling porkies. All Cityfibre based FTTP lines use VLAN = 911 and this is very easy to setup on most third party routers from the likes of Netgear, Asus etc. Fritzbox kit isn't unique in offering this. Brawband refuse to supply PPPoE login details even you politely tell them that you're happy to use your own router and won't require support on third party kit.

Reason for their stubbornness is simple: on their business offerings via Highnet, they only offer a managed install ie you use their closed box router and they're doing the same on their residential service as well. Obviously this makes life for their support staff very easy.

 

Johnmcl7

Regular Member
I'm in Inverness (where Highnet/Brawband are based). Like the OP, my area went live on Cityfibre a couple of months ago and only TalkTalk and Brawband offer FTTP in my area for now at least.

I'd happily join TalkTalk but they don't offer anything above 500/500 so was about to order the 1000/1000 service from Brawband until i saw their website t&c's (here) where they mention a 1TB fair usage policy each month. Even worse, they force you to use their own router, some Fritzbox crap. I emailed their support dept and was indeed told that any users who consistently download in excess of 1TB on a regular basis will be asked to reduce their usage and kicked off as a last resort. Re: router, they said absolutely zero chance that I could use my own router, even when I told them that I would NOT require any support on my own kit. They said, sorry tough titties (well not the same words LOL).

I won't touch them with a bargepole given that a) most residential ISPs got rid of monthly allowances donkeys years ago and b) they cannot accept people using their own kit. I suspect for b) they're in the habit of doing managed installs for business customers and now doing the same for residential customers - I suspect purely to make troubleshooting far easier for their support staff.

Anyway I'll just wait until TalkTalk (or TalkTalk Business) release their 1 Gig down/up service on the Cityfibre network, should hopefully be this year. I already have a rock solid 900/115 FTTP service from TalkTalk Business on the Openreach network, but would love the extra upload speed you get on the Cityfibre network.
It's spooky reading your post because that was pretty much my exact experience with Brawband. I put the order through and reached the final page when I spotted the Acceptable Use Policy which I decided to dig through and found the hidden 1TB limit. They contacted me the day after so I asked for clarification on the 1TB which I thought must be an error and whether I could use my own router. The replies were increasingly condescending telling me I didn't know how much a terabyte of data was and no normal user would ever need that much, they were probably reading off a script but they came off as completely incompetent. Plus someone chose that 1TB limit which is either because they don't have a clue or it's been set on purpose.

I did notice they've now removed that limit and I'd like to know how that came about but I wouldn't go with them because they could well implement traffic shaping or limits in the background and their support was as bad as others despite costing more.
 

Johnmcl7

Regular Member
1TB FUP on a gigabit speed package? That's just absurd, I wonder what they were thinking. However, their T&Cs are quite vague on this, which stretches the rules a bit as the ASA requires ISPs to be a bit more specific:



Do you have a copy of the text reply where they mention 1TB?

However, I'd disagree on the router remark. AVM's Fritzbox devices are usually pretty solid pieces of kit, with a lot of flexibility for configuration. But I'd agree that as consumers, we always like to have the option of using our own kit.

I got this hilariously clueless reply when I pointed out how nonsense their 1TB cap was:

Mobile companies deal in GB’s we are offering a massive 1TB.



Our business customers on the HighNet side with 100 plus employs do not use 1TB they might use 100GB although not 1TB. Again this would be 100 employs and not 1 household.



1TB relates to 1000GB’s so it really is massive usage.



Please see the link below that might explain it taking away the jargon.



What Can You Do With A Terabyte? - YouTube

I'd pointed out to them that mobile phone companies now offer 1TB as a fair usage policy which they didn't understand either hence the first line of the reply.
 

baby_frogmella

Top Member
Thanks John, looks like both you and I have dodged a poor ISP. Also I remember they had a total outage of about 24hrs in the Inverness area a few weeks ago. It was almost shocking that

a) they blamed it on Cityfibre, yet TalkTalk lines on Cityfibre in Inverness were unaffected (I know this as my neighbour on TT Cityfibre was ok)

b) they used their Facebook page to provide updates on the outage rather than their website. A tad unprofessional.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Hold on, so they removed the 1TB cap from their terms, but in private convos it's still being referenced as the line that thou must not cross?
 

baby_frogmella

Top Member
Hold on, so they removed the 1TB cap from their terms, but in private convos it's still being referenced as the line that thou must not cross?
rolling-eyes.gif
 

candlerb

Top Member
The issue should become moot once Cityfibre's national network is up and running - you'll be able to take service from Zen and others.
 

Johnmcl7

Regular Member
Hold on, so they removed the 1TB cap from their terms, but in private convos it's still being referenced as the line that thou must not cross?
No, the responses I quoted were before they removed the 1TB in their AUP but was posting to show it did actually exist initially and they defended it despite being completely ridiculous for an FTTP product. It wouldn't surprise me if they're doing something to limit downloads in the background although I've no idea how they came up with that limit in the first place.

I'm leaning towards just going with TT since the price is low and hopefully there's not too much to go wrong with a dedicated data line compared to xDSL.
 

Simmie

Casual Member
No, the responses I quoted were before they removed the 1TB in their AUP but was posting to show it did actually exist initially and they defended it despite being completely ridiculous for an FTTP product. It wouldn't surprise me if they're doing something to limit downloads in the background although I've no idea how they came up with that limit in the first place.

I'm leaning towards just going with TT since the price is low and hopefully there's not too much to go wrong with a dedicated data line compared to xDSL.
I'd love to hear how it goes - Glasgow Cityfibre areas only seem to be TalkTalk and Brawband at the moment so somewhat between a rock and a hard place...
 
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