2015

New Year deals from online providers

More and more broadband providers are coming up with offers to entice customers as 2015 kicks off, whether it’s brand new packages, tweaks to existing services, or planning a little something to tempt small business owners with.

Budget operator Fuel broadband has introduced a new offer comprising cheap internet plus a service called Chromecast.

Chromecast, developed and powered by Google Chrome, is a tiny (think thumb-sized) device that you attach to the HDMI port on your television. Once set up, it streams media – including films, television and a range of websites and apps – straight to your TV from any mobile device.

So if you have a tablet computer or smartphone (whether using an Apple or Android operating system), or a desktop, laptop or notebook using Mac or Windows, you can use the Chromecast device to ‘cast’ whatever you’re watching straight onto your big screen.

The device you are casting from functions as your remote control.

The Chromecast device retails at about £30, and you need an HD or HDMI Television to use it, as only High Definition or HDMI TVs have an HDMI port.

To use Chromecast, your mobile device must have Wifi, and either Android 2.3 or iOS 6.0 operating systems or newer. Alternatively, you must be using Chrome for Mac/Windows or the Chrome Operating System.

Fuel is offering Chromecast free, and with free activation for new customers (existing customers will have to pay a £20 set-up charge) with their deal that also includes half price internet for the first six months of a 12 month contract.

The regular price of £4 per month is halved to £2 per month, with line rental payable on top of that. Download speeds can reach a maximum of 16Mbps (Megabytes per second), and there are no download limits. Evening and weekend calls are also included.

Meanwhile, Virgin Media has added both Sky News HD and Sky Sports News HD to its Virgin Media XL TV package. The channels are available at no extra cost to both new and existing subscribers.

This is in addition to the ten international channels added last month and available to all customers with an M+ account or above.

Finally, TalkTalk has announced plans to launch a triple-play business service, comprised of high-speed broadband, VoIP (voice and video calls over the internet) and 4G mobile.

The package is designed to compete with BT which, according to TalkTalk Managing Director Charles Bligh, currently holds a ’50-60 per cent market share’.

TalkTalk, which has signed an agreement to use O2’s network for its 4G capability, plans to launch the package later in 2015.

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