- Advice for Living in Student Accommodation 31 May 2019
- Specialist Academic Preparation for starting the IB 13 May 2019
- What can I do over the Christmas holidays? 20 December 2018
- 5 Tips for Postgraduate Study 08 November 2018
- How to Write an Essay: Tips for ESL (English as a Second Language) Students 18 October 2018
- Lecture Tips for International Students 18 September 2018
- Things I wish I’d known before I came to the UK 27 July 2018
- Staying Focused When You’re Missing Home 20 April 2018
- Study Tips for International Students 06 April 2018
- How to Make Friends at University for International Students 06 February 2018
- Getting into Higher Education for Refugees 04 January 2018
- Teaching Syrian and other refugees 15 December 2017
- Should I employ an English tutor to help with my university studies? 04 December 2017
- Five ways to kill time without your phone 21 November 2017
- Photo competition – International students: changing lives 20 October 2017
- A student’s guide to bills in the UK 16 October 2017
- Getting Ready for Results Day 15 August 2017
- Aim Higher for UK Education 23 June 2017
- 7 Alternative Study Break Activities for Students 18 May 2017
- Mental Health and Wellbeing at University 10 April 2017
- May 2019
- December 2018
- November 2018
- October 2018
- September 2018
- July 2018
- April 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- August 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- September 2016
- August 2016
- July 2016
- June 2016
- April 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- November 2015
- September 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
UKCISA Twitter Feed
- “We’ll continue to work closely with governments. Working to ensure the international student voice is heard and in… t.co/ETBuqc4Sva Time ago 3 Hours via Twitter Web App
- A note from our Chief Exec @A_M_Graham: “Collaboration across the sector is now more important than ever. "Over… t.co/8MiCcUWjyL Time ago 3 Hours via Twitter Web App
- First Christmas in the UK? Read our guide and find out how to make the most of your time during the break… t.co/OJRvF703Gf Time ago 22 Hours via Twitter Web App
- RT @KhawlaBadwan: International education must find ‘balance’ on public good and cash. My research with the @UKCISA is featured here. https… Time ago 22 Hours via Twitter Web App
- RT @UUKIntl: In this conference, we'll explore how universities can better support international graduate success. 🌐 We'll hear from secto… Time ago 22 Hours via Twitter Web App
Follow @ukcisa on twitter.
Monthly Archives: January 2017
This month’s guest blog post describes the different internet connection options available to students in the UK, and is provided by Broadband Genie:
Broadband is an essential utility for today’s students, but finding a broadband service that’s affordable and flexible enough to suit student life can be a challenge. So what do you need to know, and what are your options?
Broadband contracts and student living
A common problem faced by students is that the majority of broadband packages require you to sign a lengthy contract of 12, 18 or 24 months. This is problematic if you’re only living in a place for a short period of time or aren’t certain about your immediate future. Ending a contract early incurs a cancellation fee and that’s an additional expense that most students would prefer to avoid.
One alternative is a short-term contract. While not commonplace, there are several ISPs (Internet Service Providers) – such as NOWTV, TenTel and DST – that offer broadband on 1-month, 3-month and 6-month agreements. This provides more flexibility as you can cancel at short notice without facing extra charges.
However, there are some disadvantages. These short-term packages tend to be more expensive than the long-term deals, both in terms of the running costs and the upfront fees. You will most likely need to pay a setup charge (often included for other packages) and may have to pay for the Wi-Fi router too. There’s far less choice as well, with just a handful of ISPs offering short-term deals.
Another option is a student broadband deal. These are packages offered by a few ISPs (notably Sky, Virgin Media and BT) which are explicitly aimed at student users. The key difference with these deals is they come on a 9-month contract to fit with term times. They are only available at certain times of the year, but are worth considering if you see them as they can be good value and may help to avoid a cancellation charge.
If you do have to go with a regular 12, 18 or 24 month contract, make sure you’re aware of the ISP’s cancellation policy and what it might cost to end it early before signing up.
Which type of broadband is best for students?
There are various types of broadband available around the UK. What are the differences, and which is best for your student home?
ADSL broadband using the BT telephone network is the most widespread and cheapest fixed-line service. It’s available to the vast majority of premises and can be available for under £20 per month.
ADSL has a maximum download speed of 17Mb and an upload speed of just 1Mb, which is significantly worse than the alternatives. It’s sufficient for one person or a small group of budget-conscious users, but sharing ADSL in a busy student home can be tedious as it can quickly slow to a crawl.
Pros: • Cheap • Available to almost every home • Wide choice of ISPs
Cons: • Slow by modern standards • Needs a phone line
Fibre optic broadband from the BT network is a vast improvement on ADSL. Download speeds reach 38Mb, 52Mb or 76Mb, and upload up to 20Mb is available. That makes it more suitable for handling multiple users.
It is, however, slightly more expensive, and is not as widely available. Just over 80% of properties do now have access to these services. While the service does run on the BT Openreach network, it is available from a wide range of ISPs just like ADSL, so there is plenty of choice when it comes to finding a package at the right price.
Pros: • Fast • Good choice of ISPs and deals
Cons: • Availability is still limited compared to ADSL • Needs a phone line
Virgin Media operates its own fibre optic network and has the fastest speed of any nationwide ISP, with a maximum download rate up to 200Mb. That’s very helpful if you have lots of housemates and are concerned about performance.
Pros: • Very fast • Doesn’t need a phone line
Cons: • Must be in a Virgin network area • Virgin is the only ISP
Fibre To The Home (FTTH)
Some lucky students may have access to next generation ‘FTTH’ services. This is a full-fibre connection which can deliver incredible speeds of up to 1Gb, and does not require a phone line. This is only currently available in a few areas, but it’s something that will likely become more widespread in the not-too-distant future.
Pros: • Incredibly fast • No phone line required • Surprisingly affordable
Cons: • Very limited availability
Getting your broadband from a mobile network is an alternative to fixed-line services because it is very flexible in comparison. Contract lengths are less critical as the connection is not for a specific location – if you move home the broadband comes with you and there are no fees to worry about. There is also the choice of long-term contracts, rolling monthly contracts, SIM-only deals and pay-as-you-go.
Provided you can get 4G, mobile broadband performance is now very good. Speeds can outclass ADSL and even approach entry-level fibre optic home broadband. The connection is less impressive on 3G, but still capable of handling most of what the average user will need.
The biggest drawback is the limited data cap. No provider currently offers unlimited mobile broadband, so you’ll need to be very careful about usage to avoid extra charges or service limitations.
Pros: • Flexible and portable • Variety of contracts • 4G speed can be excellent
Cons: • Performance relies on a strong signal (You can check coverage using the Ofcom app) • Low data usage limits
If you have a question related to academic life and study in the UK and you can’t find the answer in the Prepare for Success learning resources, write it on the Question Wall and we will try to answer it here in the blog next time.Leave a comment...