Eight Answers from Digital Region ISPs in South Yorkshire

Earlier this year I posted eight questions to ask your next ISP. I then invited responses from the ISPs who provide services over South Yorkshire’s new Digital Region network. At the time there were three: Ask4, Origin Broadband and Little Big One. Two of these have now replied so I thought I’d post their answers, with their permission, so that others can benefit from them.

Have a look at my original post for the background behind the questions and the kind of things I was looking for in the answers. Many thanks to @ask4support and @originbroadband for taking the time to reply.

I’d love to know what you make of these answers in the comments!

1. What sort of IP addresses can you provide?

Ask4 Origin
We supply dynamic IPv4 addresses. Our Networks team are investigating future IPv6 implementation but we are unable to comment any further at this point in time. Currently we provide static IPv4 addresses, but are already planning ahead for IPv6.

2. What priorities and limits does your network place on different types of datagram?

Ask4 Origin
We do not impose any limits or priorities on traffic types, however our terms of use state: “allow ASK4 to carry out port scanning traffic shaping traffic monitoring and such other measures as ASK4 may determine from time to time to ensure optimum performance of the Service for all or a majority of users.” This allows us to ensure that our users all experience a fair service. We don’t shape traffic at all, we have looked into Round Robin and a few other systems to give fair sharing but unless we 100% have to we won’t. I can understand that in some networks this would cause issues if VOIP has a lower priority over p2p, but we don’t have these congestion issues.

3. Do you block certain types of traffic or access to certain ports?

Ask4 Origin
We do not block certain traffic types or ports. Our terms of use prohibit the operation of servers on our connections, except for personal use that does not involve any commercial gain. We don’t block anything. Nice easy answer, that one.

4. What network services do you provide to customers?

Ask4 Origin
We provide DNS servers for our customers. We do not currently provide any graphing or performance facilities, there are numerous third party tools that can be used at the customer’s discretion. As standard we only offer these kind of services when people ask. But if you want reverse DNS, additional IP’s, domain name hosting, email, web hosting, FTP server or colocation you only have to ask and we’ll deal with everything on a case by case basis.

5. How good is the support for your service?

Ask4 Origin
We offer a 24/7 Sheffield based call centre, manned by technical
support staff who do not work from scripts. Our support team were
finalists in the 2011 ISPA awards.

We provide support via:
Email – support@ask4.com
Phone – 0114 303 3232 or 0845 123 8710
Text – 07797800545 (customer sends in a text and we respond with a phone call)
Twitter – @ask4support

I’d like to think it’s very good. We’re small and relatively young and I’ll admit we may not get it right every time, but I see our guys going well over the level of service I’ve ever received from an ISP and it makes me proud even though our customers don’t always see quite how much has been done behind the scenes. In terms of channels, we respond to people on Twitter, FB, forums and via email and phone. We’d rather people raised faults (if they occur) either by email or phone, but beyond that we’re quite happy to chat wherever.

6. Do you intercept traffic?

Ask4 Origin
We do not perform Deep Packet Inspection. Nope. We would have to if the authorities have a warrant to obtain such information but until the implementation of the new internet monitoring bill then we will have to keep a log of this. The only time we capture traffic is for fault purposes with the end users permission.

7. Do you censor the connections you sell?

Ask4 Origin
We do not censor our connections unless requested to do so by the
No. You can still access pirate bay!

8. How do you handle allegations of copyright infringement?

Ask4 Origin
Record the instance on ASK4’s customer management system against the account with the full notice received from the copyright holder or their agent.

Contact the customer to inform them ASK4 have received a copyright infringement notice and advise them to not share copyrighted material.

Forward the copyright infringement notice to the customer’s contact email address and record this on the customer’s account.

Reported infringements for the same customer will be dealt with in the same way. Personal information will not be released unless compelled to by a competent legal authority.

We pass any infringement notice on to the end user in the hope they modify their behaviour and offer them further security advice to prevent their connection being used for naughty stuff by other people if that’s what’s happened. If we get further ones then we’d have to deal on a case by case basis but we’d be hugely resistant to the idea of limiting people’s connections. As you may be aware RIPE can withdraw IP addresses that have been logged in illegal activity.

Origin Broadband also said:

These are all fine questions, but very techy focussed. I like to know that the companies I use support local supply chains (as we do), support local causes and events (as we do) and hire local people and contribute to the local economy (as we do). That sounded a bit League of Gentlemen doesn’t it? We actually welcome customers who have non Yorkshire accents!

One thought on “Eight Answers from Digital Region ISPs in South Yorkshire

Comments are closed.