UK Online Broadband is a wholly owned division of British Sky Broadcasting. BSkyB was formerly Sky Television and BSB and is the company that operates Sky Digital, which produces TV content and owns several TV channels. More than one third of BSkyB is owned by News Corporation, the US company chaired by Rupert Murdoch. With the increased competition from providers delivering pay television services over telephone lines using ADSL, in 2005 BSkyB bought the broadband ISP Easynet for £211 million to offer Sky broadband services. Easynet was established in 1994 and operates a global network and now provides the network infrastructure for Sky Broadband, UK Online Internet and third party corporate customers.
UK Online Internet aims to be a family-friendly Internet provider and offers spam filters and parental control software as standard with every package. Its network covers 70% of homes and small businesses across the UK. All of its services offer 24-hour freephone support, unlimited usage and McAfee Security free for 12 months. The service requires an analogue phone line in a broadband enabled area, a broad band USB or router, Windows ME, 2000 or XP or, for Mac users, Mac 8/9 or higher or Mac OSX.
Three separate broadband packages are offered by UKOnline Broadband - Lite, Pro and Premier. The Lite package includes up to 2Mb, a £25 connection fee and an online email address with 200MB of storage. The Pro package offers up to 8Mb download, free connection, free McAfee Internet Security Suite for one year and up to five online email address with 200MB of storage each. The Premier option gives up to 16Mb, no connection fee, free McAfee Internet Security Suite for one year, free .co.uk or .org.uk domain name, 100MB of web space and up to twenty online email addresses with 200MB of storage each, which are linked to your free domain name. All packages include an option to buy a Netgear Wireless Router. The services are intended for both home and business use. Contracts are for twelve months and it takes an average ten to fifteen working days from sign up to being ready to use. You need a BT line to sign up as UK Online can only place orders on DSL and not cable or ISDN lines.
The service offered by UKOnline Internet is "contended" meaning that available bandwidth is shared by all customers active at a particular time. If an individual's level of access is excessive, this can result in reduction of bandwidth for other users. UK Online's Fair Usage Policy enables them to intervene if your usage is consistently excessive and they reserve the right to restrict your service.
A dial up package, Pay as you surf, is available for very occasional users. There is no minimum contract period for this, although you need to dial up every sixty days to keep the account active. You can sign up for any of the packages either online or by calling UK Online. The simple website offers less deals than other providers' websites, but is extremely straightforward and clear to use. User guides appear online offering assistance in setting up your service, moving from a previous provider, recycling your equipment and other issues. If these pages fail to answer your question, you can call or email Customer Services for help and advice. Quick links to free software you may wish to use, including firewalls and browsers, appear in the Download area.
On the subject of the their website we did a quick search on any rival companies with similar names that you might get confused about. The regularly expected www.ukonline.co.uk is fine as it redirects to their main site www.ukonline.net, but www.ukonline.com is owned by another firm as is www.uk-online.com and www.uk-online.co.uk even though those last two do currently redirect to UKOnline's services. www.ukbroadband.com and www.ukbroadband.co.uk on the other hand are a completely different company though they do offer broadband services in the UK. Another popular entry into our search function seems to be www.ukinternet.com and www.ukinternet.co.uk, both of which are owned by different companies and neither offers broadband. So, as usual, if you are planning to come back later or if your current contract with another internet service provider is not yet up, it is best to bookmark the official site to avoid handing your personal information over to the wrong company as you never know what is going to be on these variant sites in the future.
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