The last year has been an eventful one in the broadband world. On a negative note we've had the ongoing saga with the National Broadband Plan, where only one bidder remains. But on a positive note we've seen significant investment in the high-speed SIRO network, an infrastructure being developed jointly by ESB and Vodafone.
Yet way too many people in rural areas still suffer with poor internet speeds, making investment in business and e-commerce in these areas a stumbling block.
Enter Bigblu, a company which provides maximum coverage by using satellite broadband as opposed to fibre.
This technology could be a novel solution for those who don't yet have access to good data speeds.
So in this article we're going to look at the good and the bad and tell you what we think.
Let’s get started!
|up to 16Mb download speeds||€49.99 activation fee|
|unlimited usage/ 10Gb priority data||€49.99 installation fee|
|€29.99/month||€2.50 wired modem rental per month|
|average download speed 8Mb/s|
|up to 30Mb download speeds||€49.99 activation fee|
|unlimited usage/ 15Gb priority data||€49.99 installation fee|
|€49.99/month||€5 wireless modem rental per month|
|up to 50Mb download speeds||€49.99 activation fee|
|unlimited usage/ 100Gb priority data||€49.99 installation fee|
|€69.99/month||€5 wireless modem rental per month|
When it comes to coverage this is something Bigblu will take some beating on.
Boasting 100% coverage is something few other companies can do, so this makes Bigblu a real option for those who have been failed by others in this department.
14-day cooling-off period
Like other companies Bigblu is willing to give you a 14-day cooling off period after your internet is installed, should you happen to change your mind. Meaning if after two weeks you don't like what you have, you can send it back and no one will bat an eyelid.
We are big fans of good customer service and support here at bonkers.ie, so Bigblu promising free support is something that's comforting and a big plus to us, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the service provider.
Bigblu is promising a like-for-like price match, which means if you can find a satellite internet provider offering a cheaper tariff they will match them on price.
No upfront costs
This is a bit of a double edged sword.
Bigblu will not charge you upfront for your modem and satellite equipment, but allow you to rent it instead. It's €2.50 a month on the bronze package and €5 on the silver and gold.
They will also charge you a one-off activation fee of €49.99 when your first bill arrives. This means you can get online and set up relatively cheaply.
You can also choose to install the service yourself, saving you the usual €49 installation fee.
While Bigblu’s bronze pack is €29.99 this isn’t the cheapest around. And what you get for that isn’t exactly matching the competition.
For starters you are on a max speed of up to 16Mb only.
Also, the bronze package only gives you wired broadband as a wireless router isn’t included, so you won’t be able to connect by WiFi.
Customers only rent the equipment
The equipment needed to get you online will remain the possession of Bigblu, therefore when you're finished with it you may be required to return it after, running the risk of incurring further fees if you fail to comply.
Extra to go wireless
While Bigblu’s packages start out at €29.99, the entry-level package doesn't include a wireless modem, so you'll be required to connect via an ethernet cable. Only the silver and gold packages come with a wireless router.
Unlimited data - but not unlimited high-speed data
While Bigblu boasts about unlimited data, all is not what it seems here. Sure, you can have as much data as you want, but each package only comes with a certain amount of ‘priority data’.
That means on the bronze package you only get to use 10Gb of data before your connection will be slowed down. And that is on a plan which only gets you speeds up to 16Mb to begin with.
The silver package has speeds of up to 30Mb, where you'll have 50Gb of ‘priority data’.
The gold package has speeds of up to 50Mb and will get you 100Gb of 'priority data'.
All in all if you use your internet to stream a lot of content, then there is a good chance you could run over your ‘priority data’ fairly quickly, which brings us to our next point.
Worrying video quality potential
In the official literature from Bigblu they say that you might suffer some buffering issues during busy times when streaming from the likes of YouTube and Netflix, on top of any slowdown you might see if you use up all your 'priority data', which makes this service less alluring to heavy video users.
While Bigblu could be a novel solution for those who don’t have access to good quality fibre broadband, the high price, relatively poor speeds, limited data, and potential video buffering issues mean this option would only really be a goer if you had no other options, and needed an interim solution until infrastructure improves.
If you do want to sign up though, you can do so through bonkers.ie right now.
Are you currently in an area that has poor internet speeds? Does the prospect of satellite broadband sound exciting?
Get in touch and let us know as we love hearing from you. Comment below, tweet us @bonkers_ie or message us on Facebook.
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