I'm about to move house, so I thought I'd be able to take full advantage of all the wonderful new triple- and quad-play services we keep hearing about. I thought I'd be able to rationalise my current combination of BT landline, O2 mobile, Pipex broadband - and maybe get digital TV thrown into the mix.
Well, that was the theory, anyway.
It turns out that my new place (in central London, not the middle of nowhere) needs to have its BT line re-connected - which I've been told could take more than 2.5 weeks, plus then another 5 days for broadband. Given I'm travelling in the middle of all that, I'd essentially be looking at mid-December to be up-and-running with phone & Internet. Nope, I don't think so. Goodbye BT.
As far as I can see, none of the LLU providers can actually reconnect a dormant line - BT has to do this themselves. No sign of O2 being able to offer me Be services either - and Be's website tells me it needs a BT line. Ditto Pipex.
But... NTL has a cable running down the street. Great - so after a confusing look on their website, I call the sales number. Only a minimal game of telephone hockey ensues, and I get through to someone helpful. Yes, I can get 10MB broadband, at the princely price of £35 a month, although apparently they can install it within 5 days. But... and this is ultra-weird for a cable company... they can't provide me with either TV or telephony. Never mind Naked DSL, I'm being offered Naked Cable Modem service. Something to do with the infrastructure in my part of town, apparently. Very odd. And they don't do an integrated home gateway if I want WiFi as well, so it's back to a random standalone router bought through retail (so I assume NTL/Virgin isn't planning a dual-mode solution any time soon....)
So... my next idea is to get an NTL cable modem & then run VoIP over it. Great idea, but then I realise I can't port my current BT number to most UK VoIP suppliers as they're not Ofcom "PATS" providers. There are a couple of firms I'd never heard of that can do this, so I guess I'll have to check them out.
As far as I can see, there aren't any UK fixed-3G modem services available, and they'd be too slow/expensive anyway. Urban WiMAX doesn't offer service either, and it's aimed at the much higher-priced symmetric business user market anyway.
Now, maybe I'm the exception here... but if this is in any way typical, I'm not holding my breath about bundling for very long.