I ordered World Online on the 24th March 2001 via the WO website ordering. I got the ADSL installed by a friendly and helpful/professional BT engineer on the 12th April - so about three weeks or so from start to finish - not bad at all! Payment options are good; World Online offer debit card/credit card payments as well as a handy Direct debit facility, which the majority of ADSL providers don't seem to currently offer. Installation fee (£150)& monthly rental (£39.99) includes rental of Alcatel Speed Touch USB modem - lovely green colour, shape of a (love it or hate it!) stingray. The modem is quite compact (smaller than I initially thought) and easy to install. World Online Customer services have been polite and curteous so far, although the wait for an advisor (by phone) can be in excess of 20 minutes at busy times. World Online are now a 'TISCALI' company - and their website reflects this. The site also has many handy functions (e.g. view account details online etc). These functions as of 14th April 2001, still to go 'live'. Upload and Download speeds are good - up to 500 kbps downstream, 250 kbps upstream. Modem connects within seconds and connection has been stable. Price for my installation was £150, monthly fee £39.99 per month. Disappointing to see that World Online Newsgroup access - although fast, doesn't allow access to a full listing. If your a binary newsgroup user, you won't be able to access these on the WO news server. There is also considerable time delay between new posts and availability on the server. Not a problem if your not a frequent newsgroup user and even if you are, you can always use one of the many free news servers out there! On the WO website Windows ME is listed as being supported, although oddly enough the installation manuals do not reflect WinME. Install by following the Alcatel Driver CD on-screen and WinME works without any pro blems at all. I used BT Surftime (& Plus-Net) services before and have to say I am paying about £15 or so extra a month for a permanent 24/7 ADSL connection and it is worth it in my opinion! No more waiting for web pages snail-loading, fast downloads are there, and your telephone line isn't constantly engaged! No fixed (dynamically allocated) IP address, but even after disconnecting you'll often get the same IP address back again - so good for gamers. Good speeds for live streaming media/MP3/movie clips. An average 4mb MP3 file will reach you in about 1 minute too, on a browser/ftp download. All in all a decent package.
Having used a 56k dial up conection for over 2 years (Freeserve, Telinco, Virgin, ic24, Worldonline (screaming net / Localtel), AOL) and speeds between 44,000 & 49,333bps, I am now experiencing the world of broadband with average speeds of around 350,000bps. As I use a lot of videoconferencing programs I find the pic refreshes better and is clearer, also less disconnections. I download a lot of MP3's, etc, and as I use the net a lot it's well worth the money. If you only use the net to see a few webpages and to use e-mail, then it's not really beneficial to you. BT engineer was great and did a good job. Pre-regestering meant I didnt have to pay the £150 instalation fee and monthly fee is £37.99