Finding Internet Service in Durham

This is an installment in a series of posts about moving to the UK for a Ph.D, specifically at Durham University.  To read more posts like this, see our list here.

If you are like us, you will be eager to get your internet hooked up as soon as you get to Durham.  Many of the things that help us feel connected to family and friends in the USA are dependent on a reliable high-speed internet connection: OOMA telephones, FaceTime/Skype calls, streaming videos, etc.  (You can read more about them all here.)

So how will you choose to set up your internet connection?  How will you choose which one to use?  I will again recommending visiting the USwitch site for a list of connectivity options and ideas.  Since everyone’s internet needs are different, I can’t recommend one over the other. However, I can offer these tidbits.

  • Plan on waiting.  It is normal to wait a month or so before you can get your service activated.  An engineer usually needs to come to the house to finish the installation.
  • There may be a way around waiting.  Our Letting Agent (rental company) had an agreement with an internet service provider (ISP).  A representative called my while we still in the States.  We took care of all the details over the phone.  When we arrived in the UK, the equipment was waiting on our doorstep.  I had it hooked up in no time.  The service has been okay, not great.  But we had no downtime.
  • Check to see if there are any download limits.  Some services have a cap on data each month.  Check carefully before you subscribe.
  • You may have to pay a line rental for a house phone landline.  There may not be an option to have internet service without a phone line rental.  Again, check with your ISP.
  • If you have to wait for your internet to be installed, make the most of it.  There are some great coffee shops in Durham with Wifi.  Have a cup of coffee and make some new friends!

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