O2/Be Broadband - standing by for blast off

Whilst at the Symbian Smartphone show in London last week I had a chat with the O2 people, who told me that the registration page for the O2/Be Internet high-speed Internet service was about to go live.

As my ISP has written to me this month telling me that my 1 Mbps Synchronous DSL (SDSL) service - contended at 5:1 - is going up from 40 to 70 notes (a month) from November onwards, I thought: let's sign up.

The O2/Be Internet service works at speeds of up to 20 Mbps downstream and 1.3 Mbps upstream, for just £15.00 a month - a tenner less than the going rate for the standard service, if you're an O2 cellular subscriber.

The real killer selling point for me isn't so much the download speed but the upload speed of 1.3 Mbps - which is way faster than the 300-odd Kbps that most ASDL Max punters get on their up-to-8-Mbps service.

Will the service live up to expectations? Judging from what I've read over on the ADSLGuide Forums about Be Internet's service, it looks like it will.

I got the Thomson wireless modem this afternoon from O2's courier and I have to say it's a beautiful piece of kit, with four Ethernet ports, a couple of VOIP ports and phone plus DSL through connections on the back.

O2 have also supplied an easy-install CD-ROM for the service, which appears to be pretty idiot proof.

So why do I need 1.3 Mbps upstream? The reason is that use a couple of company VPNs (fx: don't ask) and anything less than around 700 Kbps on the upstream link causes the VPN software to conk out.

This appears to be because the VPN software uses Triple DES encryption, which needs humungous amounts of data overhead to work properly.

Yeah, I know, sloppy coding, but the software does work. Watch this space for a report on O2/Be Internet's ultra-high-speed broadband service later in the week...