Network speed - check to see if you can get a fibre connection with different internet providers. Just search on Google for "fibre broadband", and most providers have a test page to see if you can get it in your area. They will probably call you next week though...
I live at the end of a piece of damp string connected to the exchange miles away - unable to get more than a meg download speed on copper if I am lucky, so streaming movies is not an option. But http://sales.talktalk.co.uk/products/broadband/fib...
showed that I can get fibre with this provider.
Nobody did fibre around here 6 months ago, and this was a game changer for our expensive Sky contract as we can stream movies with fibre after cancelling SWMBO's rarely used Sky movie channels.
My daughter uses Talk Talk's basic "essentials" package at her place, and it is proving reliable and seemingly as quick as anything else on copper. I hear that their customer service sucks, so lets hope we do not need to use it.
Pricing - they offer 12 months half price internet at the moment (£3.25) which with discounted line rental (£9.50) comes to a princely £12.75 a month over the year's contract. To get the discounted line rental, I paid the £114 line rental fees for the whole year up front, so ongoing it's £3.25 a month for broadband rising to a massive £6.50 after a year, plus any more line rental offers at the time of course. This current offer has 3 or 4 days left to run, so if you want it (caveat - after checking out the fibre market for your area as you state a need for faster downloads) be quick.
I cancelled all Sky TV and telecoms contracts today and signed up with Talk Talk for broadband. I will certainly upgrade as soon as it is installed (they can't do it before) to "Medium fibre package" for an extra tenner a month giving a maximum of 38meg download speed (minus contention etc) for an 18month contract. Large fibre package is an extra £15 a month and give a max of 76meg download speed. This seems a lot cheaper than their competition after researching the web. By the way, if you are getting 12meg and struggling now, you must be downloading some really high def porn (I'd give my right arm for 12meg on copper - luxury)!
For TV, I am going Freesat+ as it satisfies SWMBO's channel needs, and gives a few mainstream HD channels to boot. Our main need is the ability to record / pause programs which Freesat+ gives. Given the new age of fibre in leafy 'ampshoire, we will PPV stream her desired movies that are not on the Freesat channels.
You mentioned PPV movies - my research shows that there is also a story flying that Freesat may team up with Netflix for PPV movies, perhaps anyone connected on here can help triangulate any truth in that.http://www.techradar.com/news/television/freesat-t...
Run this - it will tell you what actual speed you are getting on the line. http://www.zdnet.com/broadband-speedtest/
I slot in to 152nd place in the country list - just worse than Syrian Arab Republic, Nigeria, Costa Rica, even bloody penguins do better than me in Antarctica and closest (but still worse than) Swaziland at my massive 0.777mb download speed! My router shows 0.97mb at the hub / ADSL connection.