Premium is an option on our broadband services that use BT back-haul. It costs £12.00 pcm on top of the normal tariff. It provides higher priority for your internet traffic at some specific parts of BT's network, which may be useful to business customers. On some of our services it also provides extra downlink or uplink speed (see below).
We pay BT for circuits that link your premises to our network. The data to and from your line goes via BT's 21st Century core network. In any network design there is always more possible usage than capacity - this is just how internet networks work, so there could be congestion. Congestion effectively means things slow down. Generally we don't find this happens but the occasional exchange area or other aspect of the network might get congested while waiting for upgrades to links and or some days there is a huge windows update and the internet slows down as a result!
When there is congestion, in certain parts of BT's network, there are different priorities of traffic. Premium lines have higher priority in some parts of the network and so are less likely to suffer from any congestion.
BT have not confirmed exactly where the premium option has effect and we are aware that some areas of congestion do not respect the difference.
Where we see congestion we always work to have it rectified, so even where premium makes a difference it is likely to be of limited use. However premium does have specific additional benefits for some services as follows.
Whilst it is not entirely clear whereabouts within BT's network there is extra priority for premium lines, we do mark lines premium within our network. This means that if we have congestion to BT then premium line customers get priority. We always aim to avoid having any congested links, but if we ever do then non-premium lines are the first to be shaped to a lower rate to avoid the congestion. This applies on 20CN and 21CN/FTTC lines.
This is not a marketing statement about the speed your line will get but about the caps set on the sync speed when you have standard or premium services. 20CN ADSL service is normally capped to an uplink sync speed of 448k/s, though not all lines can achieve even this speeds. In addition to higher priority in the network, the premium option also changes this cap to an uplink sync speed of 832kb/s. It is important to realise that this does not guarantee extra speeds for your line but simply changes the cap imposed.
This is not a marketing statement about the speed your line will get but about the caps set on the sync speed when you have standard or premium services. Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) service is normally capped to 40Mb/s down and 10Mb/s up, though not all lines can achieve even these speeds. In addition to higher priority in the network, the premium option also changes these caps to 80Mb/s down and 20Mb/s up. It is important to realise that this does not guarantee extra speeds for your line but simply changes the caps imposed.
How to order
When your order broadband service you are asked if you would like premium service on the line or not. You can add premium to an existing line or remove it later if you wish using the order pages. Removing premium cost £10.00†.
Note: The internet is a shared service and we can never guarantee that congestion will not affect your service in some way. Premium simply provides a higher priority at a specific part of the network (traffic within some parts of BT's network) making congestion less likely to affect you. We will use reasonable skill and care to ensure we provide a quality service to you.
Existing customers on FTTC that have the premium option may not have the higher caps on the service. Such customers can opt to change these caps to the new 80/20 level for a one off fee and restarting of the 12 month term.