Usually the first year of university will have you living in halls of residence owned by the university and had a whole bunch of fun (as well as occasionally studying!) and found some friends to live with next year. Chances are around this time of year you'll already have sorted or be viewing houses as potential party places for you and your mates next year.
When it comes to the essentials there's obviously gas, water and electricity for which you'll no doubt be getting a number of bills through in the coming months, but over the past few years we've seen a new commodity added to this list: Broadband Internet.
Some university owned accommodation will have internet capabilities, albeit an overburdened connection being shared throughout an entire building. At least this year there'll only be a small group of you living in one house so you can at least look forward to feasting on some more speed when it comes to internet browsing and downloading. Getting broadband in a normal house can be a bit of a pain, it's especially annoying when it comes to living in a rented house and this series of articles aims to help guide you through scoring yourself some decent internet in your new Animal House!
First things first
Initially you need to find out the situation with regards to the internet in your house, check with the landlord about whether there is internet already included. Some landlords will provide access to their internet as an added cost, so make sure you find out all the details when it comes to charges.
By and large you will likely be told to sort it out yourself, this is a bit tougher but it's still possible to sort it yourself without the landlord's help (but obviously with his/her permission). Firstly you need to check the phone line in the house, assuming your house has a phone line you'll be able to find out whether you need to sort the phone line out before you even think about Broadband.
If you pick up the phone and hear no dial tone then you're going to have to contact the telephone company to sort getting your line connected on the software side, since the hardware aspect is obviously working since you were able to find a telephone! This unfortunately can take some time, an engineer will have to come out and activate your line and they don't tend to be quick to come out, you'll likely be looking at 10-15 days I'm afraid.
If you pick up the phone and get a dial tone and you can call someone this is a very bad thing. This means that the previous tenant hasn't canceled their contract with the provider before moving out. Again you'll have to phone up the telephone company to get the line disconnected and get a new one in your name instead, since you own the house now.
Once you have an active phone line in your name then you can begin looking at various broadband deals and start to compare broadband suppliers so that you and your housemates can get ready to connect to the internet. The second part of this article will cover the rest of the steps such as getting a new broadband connection fitted as well as other issues such as internet connection sharing and wireless internet.
If you are looking for cheap broadband whether you have an existing provider or not then you can compare broadband deals online. Also if you are thinking about changing your supplier then check your connection using one of the various broadband speed test websites to see whether you are getting your money's worth.