IMPORTANT: The OUCS dial-up service ceased on 31 July 2010.
As a result of the ever-increasing uptake of commercial broadband services the usage level of the OUCS dial-up service has decreased steadily over many years. Due to high costs and the lack of maintainability of the obsolete equipment providing the service, the service was terminated on 31 July 2010. This page has been preserved to help the small number of former users of the service in making alternative arrangements.
A number of alternative solutions exist for those who are currently using the dial-up service, as described below. Please note that the links provided are only given as an illustration and should not be seen as official recommendations or support of any particular service. OUCS does not provide home broadband services.
- Pay-as-you-go dial-up internet service
- A number of commercial providers offer a dial-up service where you only pay for the time you are connected. The service is often advertised as 'free' because you do not pay a joining fee, but do check what the cost for using the service is (the phone number you use to connect to the service may be a premium one). This is a convenient option for those who only access the Internet occasionally, or for those who want a temporary alternative solution, for example while waiting for their broadband service to be connected. More information is available on these and other sites:
- Any-time dial-up service
- This kind of service is becoming increasingly rare. It would only be suitable for someone who needs to access the Internet frequently and who cannot get broadband or mobile broadband. The monthly cost can be the same as for broadband, but the connection speed is generally slower.
- Unmetered Dialup Listings by ISPreview.co.uk
- For those wanting to access the Internet frequently, or those who want to have higher connection speeds than normally provided by dial-up, a broadband solution is normally the best option. Many different services are available. Prices usually vary with connection speed and how much you use the service. More information and advice can be found on these, and many other, websites:
- Broadband package reviews by Which?: comparison of broadband providers and their different deals
- New to Broadband Guide and answers to Frequently Asked Questions provided by thinkbroadband.com
- UK ISP Listings by ISPreview.co.uk
- Student & short contract broadband: Broadband package reviews by cable.co.uk.
- Mobile broadband
- Mobile broadband lets you connect to the Internet using a portable modem which doesn't have to be connected to a telephone line. The modem can be connected to a portable computer, thus giving you the option of going online wherever you are, but you can also use a mobile broadband service with your stationary computer. Mobile broadband connections are often slower than 'normal' broadband connections, but faster than traditional dial-up services. You can get mobile broadband with a monthly contract or as a pay-as-you-go service. May not work on Linux/Unix systems.