By Dan Howdle | Wednesday, February 12th 2020
A new provider launched in the summer of 2018, Onestream is part of award-winning business broadband specialist Onecom and is based in Hampshire. It offers typical speeds on the Openreach network nationwide.
Onestream is one of a number of companies hoping to lure customers away from the ‘big four’ providers BT, Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk. But with so much choice available to consumers, what is Onestream doing to set itself apart?
|Average download speed||11Mbps, 17Mbps, 35Mbps & 63Mbps|
|Average upload speed||1.5Mbps, 9Mbps & 17Mbps|
|Broadband||Standard & fibre|
|Contract length||24 months|
|Prices from||£19.99 per month|
Onestream, unusually, offers four broadband speeds on the Openreach network – a standard, entry-level ADSL service that runs over a traditional copper phone line, and three fibre options.
Onestream’s ADSL offering is called Onestream Flow Unlimited and promises average download speeds of 11Mbps and average upload speeds of 1Mbps. It might not sound a lot when there are ultrafast packages available elsewhere, but honestly if you’re getting about 11Mbps on average, then you’ll probably be able to do everything you need to do online without a problem, so long as you don't live in a large household with a lot of users or engage in a lot of gaming and/or streaming and downloading of video.
Next up is Onestream’s basic fibre package, which is called Jetstream Fibre Unlimited Broadband – quite the mouthful, that. It's an unusual fibre package as it offers faster download speeds than Onestream's ADSL (average 17Mbps) and faster upload speeds (average 1.5Mbps), but is the slowest fibre option we've ever seen. No other provider offers fibre this slow.
Then there's Jetstream Fibre Max Unlimited Broadband, averaging 35Mbps. Most other providers offer something around this speed level. This speed is perfect for those who have multiple devices connected to the internet at the simultaneously and especially for families streaming Netflix or iPlayer to more than one TV, laptop or smartphone at any one time.
If your family really knows how to test your broadband connection – we’re talking streaming on multiple devices, gaming and file sharing all at the same time – then an even faster service might be in order.
Onestream’s Xstream Superfibre Unlimited plan promises average download speeds of 63Mbps and upload speeds of around 17Mbps – that’s about as fast a broadband as most people will be able to get from any provider other than Virgin Media, which runs on a different network and is substantially faster. We're not quite sure what Onestream's game is here with that extra level of slower-than-superfast fibre. It adds unnecessary complication in our view.
Onestream uses the same network as BT, Sky, TalkTalk and pretty much every other national provider in the UK except for Virgin Media. Because of this, if you sign up with Onestream you won’t have to inform your old provider that you’re switching broadband – Onestream will do this for you. Unless you’re currently with Virgin, in which case you will have to do it yourself.
Onestream doesn’t specify how long it will take to get your broadband up and running but you can generally expect a new provider to have activated your service within a couple of weeks.
You’ll get step-by-step instructions to get things set up at home (standard installation is free) although you do have the option of getting an engineer to come out to do it for you – as long as you’re willing to pay extra.
There’s the promise of a free ‘Super Dooper Router’ with all three of Onestream’s broadband plans. Onestream doesn’t say what router it uses but as a general rule, the standard of routers given away by broadband providers has improved dramatically in recent years.
There’s no reason to think the ‘Super Dooper Router’ wouldn’t provide you with the choice of either a solid wireless connection or a faster and even more stable one via an ethernet cable.
There is a £9.99 charge for ‘secure delivery’ of the router.
Specific figures for Onestream are hard to come by as it is such a new provider and it isn’t included in Ofcom’s research because its market share is too small. But there are figures available for Openreach, which is in charge of the network that Onestream runs on.
Openreach says it fixed 95.6% of faults within four working days in the second quarter of 2018 and that an average of 3,300 fewer faults were reported compared to the same period in 2017.
It’s unclear whether Onestream uses traffic management (prioritising one set of online activities over another, for example email over streaming) but there are no download limits on any of its packages.
You can call up Onestream’s customer service team or email them you have any problems. Other than that, there isn’t much more information available about Onestream’s after-sales service although its parent company Onecom has a good reputation in the business broadband market so the signs are promising.
Onestream’s standard if fine compared to some of the other providers out there, but that's offset by the fact that with Onestream you're tied in for 24 months. Two years is a very long time in broadband and we definitely count this against the provider.
The provider is something of an unknown quantity because it’s so new, but its parent company Onecom is well respected as a business broadband provider so that’s something to take comfort in.
It’s a fairly no-nonsense offering from Onestream but to reiterate: two years is a long time to be locked into a contract – especially when there’s no guarantee that prices won’t be going up in that time.