Filthy Bandwidth Thievery: Avoiding Disaster by Diversity

My broadband supplier of choice, www.adsl24.co.uk via entanet, has dropped me off the map again. I’d have to say they are generally excellent with a no-nonsense approach to bandwidth and port-blocking (there isn’t any), and I’ve been kept well informed.

Unfortunately knowing that they know something’s up and that they’re trying to fix it earns 8/10 for effort but 1/10 for usefulness. It’s great to know a cable’s been sliced but not as good as never needing to hear that in the first place.

It’s unreasonable to expect them to be able to control some faults, particularly as the evidence so far suggests that there’s been a renaissance in the use of blind scythe-wielders for digging up roads in the Sheffield area.

Although I can get a decent connection by borrowing next doors wifi, which remains unaffected, the VPN I use to connect to work requires a known, fixed IP address. No dyndns or similar will do, and no arguments about it.

So I’m thinking of offering to pick up the bill for my neighbours broadband connection as long as I can specify one with a fixed IP and use it on a slightly more formal basis if I’m in this position again.

The question is: which provider?

Unfortunately leaving them with the current incumbent, AOL, isn’t an option as a) AOL don’t offer fixed IP addresses under any circumstances and b) AOL have been arses in every conversation I’ve had with them to get this information.

What I’m interested in getting is a reliable provider that has as little in common with my own as possible, i.e. the maximum possible diversity in the equipment, software and physical route.

This would mean I stand a decent chance of dodging the bullet if there’s a planned or inadvertent outage in the offing.

I’d anticipate quite a bit of Googling before settling on one, but if anyone has any suggestions how I can determine something like this, I’d be glad to hear them.

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