Frequently Asked Questions

You can take a look at the last 30 days usage by going to the Borders Online portal, no need to login in but do access the site from our network on a PC, laptop or tablet, then just click on the menu and select usage where it will show you the daily amounts of data usage.

Our system works on a rolling 30 days, so as the oldest data 30 days ago is removed the current day data is added. So if you've had some heavy usage you can work out when it's going to be removed. If you go over your data limit your speeds are automatically reduced to 5mbps then if you go over further then they are reduced again to 500kbps. So we never cut you off but do limit your speeds to allow the data usage to go down. The speeds restore when your usage falls to 95% of your data quota limit.

If your connection speed has been restricted due to going over your quota limit, there are two things that you can do to restore full speed:

  • You can move to a higher cost tariff whenever you like, just log a ticket to request the change. The only caveat is that we stipulate you stay on that higher tariff for a minimum of 3 months. Once the 3 month period has passed, you can move back to a lower tariff (again by logging a ticket). The 3 month minimum is to prevent us spending lots of time doing administration, moving people backwards and forwards month after month.

  • If you think the extra usage is due to a temporary situation, the Top-Up facility on the portal is a more suitable option. There is no need to login to the portal but you will need to access it from our network and via a laptop, PC or tablet and use the menu button to go to the top up page. You can then choose how much you want to top up and pay by debit or credit card or PayPal. The top up works by removing the over usage and bringing your quota to 95% of your limit so that your speeds are restored. It then uses any top up left first which allows your 30 day usage to go down. Once the top up is used it reverts back to your normal quota.
If you have had your speeds restricted or are near the limit and want more data, you can top up your data by going to the Borders Online portal There is no need to login in but do access the site whilst using our network on a PC, laptop or tablet, then just click on the menu tab and select top up. Choose the amount you wish to buy and follow the instructions to pay. You don't need a PayPal account, as you can pay by debit or credit card. The token will be emailed to you, copy and paste the token into the box on the top up page. It can take a few minutes for the system to pick it up.

If you have important meetings that require you to have full speeds then do check your quota usage the night before so that you have time to apply the top up if necessary.

The top up works by removing the over usage and bringing your quota to 95% of your limit so that your speeds are restored. It then uses any top up left first which allows your 30 day usage to go down. Once the top up is used it reverts back to your normal quota.
Yes – and lots of our users rely on internet streaming. However, a warning is in order: All broadband networks – even fibre optic ones – can get congested when too many users try to stream programmes at the same time, especially in high or ultra-high definition.

Our usage limits are more than adequate for a household to stream content in standard definition, which typically uses 0.5 GB per hour. However, you will get through your data allowance much more quickly if you use high definition HD 3-4 Gb per hour or ultra-high definition UHD 5-7 Gb per hour. We suggest you change the automatic download settings on your devices to SD rather than HD or UHD if you want to reduce your usage.
To report a fault with your connection, email our support team at or call us on 0131 654 0086.

Along with a brief description of the problem, please let us know your customer number (usually written on your router, or shown on your latest invoice) or the person's name under which the account is registered, so we can identify your connection.
This is such a common question, that we have we’ve created an entire page on the subject and the services we can offer. ​Wi-Fi Services​​​
Fibre Services
On our fibre offerings, the speeds are those that are advertised by Openreach, the actual provider. In our experience, the actual speeds will be around 80-90% of the advertised speeds.

Fixed Wireless Services
We aim to provide a service of at least 30 Mbps download and 15 Mbps upload for at least 95% of the time. Actual speeds will often be greater than that but at times of heavy usage speeds may be lower due to network congestion.

Not all speed tests are equal, nor do all of them measure the same thing. In simple terms, they saturate the capacity of a link in one direction for 30 or 60 secs and then in the other direction. This is not how internet traffic works. Speed tests provide, at best, a very crude indicator of download or upload capacity. Further, wireless networks function differently from fixed line networks. We optimise our network for real life performance, not to look good on speed tests. In particular, we focus on providing predictable and rapid interaction for services such as internet browsing, Skype, Voice over IP, etc.

Speed tests should always be done when connected to our service via a wired ethernet connection directly from your device to our router. 
For residential customers, payment is by Direct Debit through GoCardless.

This is an easy to use, secure system; independent of us. When you sign up for our service, you will receive an email asking you to sign a direct debit mandate. We do not have access to your bank details; these will be stored by GoCardless.

We only make a charge for the installation once your new connection is working and then we will schedule the regular monthly subscription.

For Fibre customers the installation cost is paid once the order is accepted by Openreach and an installation date is given - as Openreach charge us when placing the order.

If they then cannot connect your fibre service, this cost will be refunded.

Traffic exiting your router is effectively on the Internet; while we use security protocols on all of our links, we can't guarantee that the connection from your router to whatever destination you are accessing is 100% secure.

Using 'secure' websites (starting with 'https') creates a secure end to end session from your device (laptop / phone etc) to the destination. For banking and other sensitive services, we strongly suggest you chose suppliers that support these.

Our routers incorporate a firewall, which will protect your home network from the internet. This provides basic network protection, but does not protect your devices from viruses or other 'nasties' that are downloaded by applications (email etc).

We always advise customers to run suitable protection (anti-virus, anti-spy ware etc) on individual devices to help protect them from the users themselves.
Fibre Service

The fibre service is provided and maintained by Openreach. As this network is not ours, we can't offer much advice on it until we have more data.

For existing wireless customers who add on a new fibre service, we will aim to let you keep your existing service as a backup to the new fibre service. Should there be a fault (or scheduled work) on the Openreach network, your service will automatically switch to using the existing wireless connection.

Wireless Service

Our relays are designed to operate in harsh weather conditions and all have battery backup, so in many cases, we have continued to provide a service when the local power network couldn’t.

Failures will occur and we have designed our network to maximise resilience. There is however, a trade-off between cost and reliability – we operate on the basis that our subscribers want a high level of reliability but without the high cost of complete resilience. For those customers who are looking for maximum resilience, using multiple providers will increase availability, as will generators etc.

Not all customers wish to pay for this level of availability, so we’ve aimed for sensible/attainable levels.

There will be occasional interruptions to service, either due to adverse weather, equipment failures or maintenance. We normally try to carry out routine network maintenance overnight, however physical changes will happen during daylight hours. We try to notify users of the time slots when significant interruptions may occur.
Please contact us via the form on the Contacts page.

For your peace of mind, we recommend that you run your existing broadband service in parallel with our service for a period before cancelling the contract with your current ISP; how long is up to you, but between a week and a month would be sensible. You need to take account of the length of notice that you have to give in order to cancel your existing service.

This means that you have service from two internet service providers at the same time, for a small period of time. The upside is that you know if one service fails, the other will work. The downside is that you are paying for two services at the same time
We never recommend that you rely upon an email address linked to a specific ISP for example, using a address. If you do and decide to change ISP, you'll either no longer have access to it, or will have to pay charges to keep it accessible.

We don’t provide an email service as there are many independent email services available. Google Gmail, Microsoft Hotmail, GMX, Fastmail and many other providers operate such services, and in many cases, these are what we use ourselves.

You can choose to purchase your own domain and an email service linked to that domain. BordersOnline can assist with business grade email services and domain hosting, but these are at additional cost.

You should consider switching your email address from your previous internet service provider account such as BT to another service as soon as possible. However, you may be able to retain your email service linked for a former ISP provided that you are willing to pay for it. That seems to be the situation for accounts.
Wireless Connection

We supply an antenna and a WiFi router which connects your home to our network. The router provides four wired RJ45 (Ethernet) connections as well as a reasonable WiFi signal. You may want to locate the router near to existing TV equipment so you can just plug in your TV, Sky box, Playstation, Xbox, etc.

The antenna will be located on the outside of your property, aligned to our local mast. This needs to be installed in a position that has line of sight to our mast; if there is no direct line of sight, a repeater may be required. The antenna is powered by the router in the majority of cases. Usually we just need a single power outlet to be available, however in some cases, we may need more.

Fibre Connection

Openreach will install an 'Optical Network Termination' device (ONT) that converts their incoming fibre to a standard network port. We will supply a Wi-Fi router which connect to the ONT and provides your home with the internet service.

The ONT and the router require a power outlet, so a fibre install will typically need 2 outlets.
Our standard installation charge covers up to 80m between the antenna and the router which covers the majority of normal home installs.

Sometimes it is difficult to find a suitable position to locate the antenna on the building such that it gets a clear line of sight to our mast; either because of trees or other obstructions. In these cases it may be necessary to locate the antenna on a pole, building or other structure at some distance from your property.

The maximum length for an Ethernet cable is 90m, which may not be enough to route the cable to an appropriate point (don’t forget vertical up/downs if you are trying to work out distance!). We can add repeaters into the cable to extend the distance, or use other technologies (another wireless link or fibre optics).

There are a number of options available for these kinds of situations, but as they are ‘non-standard’, they will incur additional costs; each case is individual, so it’s not really possible to give a generic cost. If you think you have a ‘challenging’ installation, let us know and we’ll come and do a site visit and get you a quote for a custom installation.

Even if your property doesn’t have a direct line of sight to one of our masts, please contact us for advice, as it is almost always possible to find a solution that will enable you to use our service. If there are a number of properties that are in the same position and who are interested in our service, it’s likely we will cover the cost of installing additional repeaters, so if you can get a group of interested people together, it may work out much cheaper for you all.
No our system is entirely independent of your telephone line. If you have good mobile phone coverage, you may decide that you don't even need to keep your existing land line and free yourself of the associated line rental charges.

We can help with internet based telephony solutions (VoIP) that let you keep your existing land line number, but using the internet connection instead of a traditional physical telephone line.
For many people, a /services/internet-telephony (VoIP) service is a good substitute for a fixed telephone line, especially if you have reasonable mobile phone coverage. However, it will not operate during a power cut – unless all of your equipment is connected to battery backup or generator.

In contrast, the telephone exchange is designed to operate for an extended period on backup power, and to provide power to your handset over the telephone line, so it can continue to work in a power outage.

The majority of our network has some kind of battery backup and will continue to operate through power cuts; however batteries may fail if the interruption is lengthy.

You should weigh up your personal circumstances and decide what option is best for you; if you have a secondary way of contacting emergency services (such as good mobile reception), then it can be a much cheaper alternative to fixed line rentals.

VoIP service providers must allow you to register your address against your number for emergency calls and security systems, so if you do decide to change, then ‘999’ should still work. As VoIP numbers may be used on any internet connection, if you ever move, remember to update the address on the account for the emergency services!​Internet based telephony

The typical latency of our network – i.e. the time taken for a ping to travel to and return from an internet site is 20-30 ms (milliseconds)

This is as good as or better than most DSL services and it is much better than the latency of a satellite system. A low latency combined with good upload speeds means that applications which generate a lot of two way traffic will seem much more responsive. This includes video-conferencing, online games and VoIP services.
Borders Online uses a usage quota system to manage our resources. For more information on how best to manage your connection, please see Making Best Use of your Borders Online quota
Sky-Q, Sonos and some other devices have their own built in WiFi network that allows them to ‘mesh’ together, so one device can pass media to another, without having to use your local home network or cables.

Sounds good on paper.

The reality, is that they do this by using a private WiFi network, usually in the 5Ghz range. Until recently, many WiFi devices used 2.4Ghz frequencies, so this private network was pretty much out of the way. Since around 2016, most new devices (tablets, phones, laptops etc) now come with ‘dual band’ WiFi adapters – meaning they can use 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz frequencies, so the possibility of interference is much more likely.

Sky-Q is the main problem here – by default, Sky set up their Sky-Q boxes to use the full 80Mhz of available spectrum for indoor use in the 5Ghz range. So if your home WiFi router is dual band, and your iPad opts to use 5Ghz for it’s connection, then either your internet connection will be affected, or the Sky-Q boxes won’t work properly / disconnect. Either way, this usually results in a support call to us to say the internet isn’t working, or Sky-Q isn’t working properly and it was before.

With all these technologies, frequencies are limited; consider an analogy of walkie-talkies, if a pair of people are having a long conversation on a channel, nobody else can use it. Scale that up to streaming video to multiple rooms, and suddenly Sky-Q has stopped access to the internet via 5GHz WiFi in your house.

The advice:

  • Where possible, use network cables to connect fixed devices. TVs and Sky boxes rarely move much, so run a cable from the router to them and disable their WiFi. If you can’t easily run cables, look at things like Power Line ethernet to use the ring mains instead of WiFi.
  • If you really need to let these devices use WiFi to communicate between themselves, then check the settings for them; see if you can limit or control how much frequency (or channel width) they use. For the Sky-Q case, you need to talk to Sky and ask them to change your Sky-Q boxes so they only use a 40Mhz channel – which then leaves the other 40Mhz free for your normal WiFi to work properly.
Borders Online collects and uses customer data solely for the purpose of billing and network operation. The data is stored on secure servers and no data is sold or otherwise made available to outside parties, except where that is legally required. Because Borders Online tariffs are based on usage, we collect and store data on customer traffic over the last 30 days. This data is deleted after 30 days. We do not collect data that would identify the origin or destination of customer traffic, such as IP addresses.

Customers should also note that occasionally we receive demands for information that relate to alleged breaches of copyright and which are based on the IP address associated with the alleged infringement. We are required to pass such demands on to the customer, but otherwise we take no action and accept no liability in respect of such demands.

In the case of customers who use the Borders Online VoIP service, our partner collects and stores phone call information for the purpose of billing.