UK Broadband’s Relish vs Fibre 

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Relish is the name for a pilot 4G fixed network initially covering the central London area just launched by UK Broadband. It is being offered as an alternative to fibre.

At present the service covers the core area from Kensington in the west to Canary Wharf in the East and from North to South, Shoreditch to Southwark. Having launched in central London the plan is to roll the service out to Greater London and other UK cities in due course. “We do not have a fixed time line. We would like to roll-out quickly but our focus right now is on providing a great service for central Londoners.”

Customers signing up for the service receive an Indoor Hub, which is very similar to any other router but connects to the Relish 4G network. This hub can connect up to 25 Wi-Fi enabled devices as well as having four network ports.

Operating in the 3.5/3.6GHz bands using spectrum awarded by Ofcom for Fixed Wireless Access until 2018 and employing TD-LTE (Time Division Long Term Evolution) the company is offering it as an alternative to fibre. It is an asymmetric service with the downlink speed being faster than the uplink. Where customers require the same speed in both directions, Relish offers Dedicated Business Internet which uses a different type of wireless technology.

Overall UKB announced four core products. They are Home Broadband, Business Broadband, Mobile Broadband (Pocket Hub) and Dedicated Business Internet. Home, Business and Mobile services promise next business day delivery and installation from time of order, while the Dedicated Business Internet service (similar to a leased line) is provided within 10 days. Monthly prices for unlimited “fibre-fast broadband, no contracts and no extras – and no landline needed” start from £20 incl. VAT and £25 excl. VAT for home and business use respectively. For home use, the company will provide a suitable access point, Indoor Hub, which connects the customer’s existing LAN to the outside world.

UKB is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based conglomerate PCCW. Commencing in 2012, the company has built and operates a number of LTE networks around the country such as one covering Swindon where it is aimed at meeting the needs of both the public sector and businesses.

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Comment by Joshua, Feb 1, 2016 17:35

Relish is absolutely awful. The service regularly drops and they are constantly requiring me to resubmit direct debit payment details. It also became apparent after several months that they have been charging me double the agreed rate. This wouldn't be so infuriating if their customer service wasn't the worst I have ever encountered, meaning that addressing any issue takes weeks and weeks. I can't stress enough how bad this service is.

Comment by Dave Buckingham, Jan 31, 2016 14:03

Here in carrot crunching wilds of Wiltshire, I get average 14 to 20 MB download and 2 MB upload speeds from my relish router in North Swindon
The 14 days exchange is a deal maker and if it doubt order it and try it. I tested all over my house from 1 window location to the next and the signal is very sensitive and tested as low as 2MB to 23 MB. With best location sorted I am averaging 18 MB download now and drops maybe once every couple of days
I am a massive online PC gamer and pleasantly surprised household can use netflix in one room and still have manageable 60 to 120 ms pings on gaming session (*without netflix running 40 to 70 ms)
I waited 14 years for fast broadband from BT and living only 1.5 miles from BTs north Swindon exchange and was still putting up with 5 MB download and .3 MB upload
So Relish has turned out to be awesome use of 20.00 pound per month for 12 months whilst I wait for BT, Virgin or anyone who invests first in getting a fibre land line plugged in
If relish manage to improve the service to 35-50 MB download in next couple of years over I might stick with them anyway but time will tell
After a three month test I was confident enough in Relish that I ditched BT landline phone and broadband last week. The saving on 17 per month BT line rental paid for a new Vodafone ultra 6 mobile phone for house. That is on 17 a month contract sent that number to friends and family and updated all my web accounts/bank etc

Comment by J o'Callaghan, Nov 12, 2015 8:28

I just just switched to Relish from BT broadband as the BT download speed was too slow to support the BBC iPlayer or Netflix. Unfortunately Relish is even slower, with download speeds as low as 2.8mb per sec when tested on 11/11/15, too slow for iPlayer or Netflix.
I live in the Barbican EC2Y. Has anyone had a similar experience?

Comment by David, Oct 28, 2015 22:14

Terrible customer service.  Wasted 30 minutes of my time showing the obvious that the connection was slow, then wanted to waste more of my time with tech support.

Robotic, inhuman, American-sounding accent with no emotion, and no sense of how much of my time was being wasted.

Comment by Adam Fouracre, Sep 20, 2015 13:25

I ordered Relish in February 2015. I had initially the same drop out issues. However, shortly after joining the firmware in my device was updated and ever since I have received both a very fast, and reliable connection.

60mbps download, 9 mbps upload in Westferry E14. Connection has been up for 56 days without interruption. Constant 5 bar signal strength.

Very good service - seems they addressed the reliability issues.

Comment by John smith, June 11, 2015 10:41

Very bad customer service, router does not work, drop outs all the time. Don't go with this service you can't even return it! Shockingly bad!!!!

Comment by johns, Mar 13, 2015 22:32

I was planning on joining but was confused about their terms and conditions. I did sent them an email regarding this and am awaiting a response.
The bit I dont agree with is section 5.3 (see below). It seems to mean anything you upload using the service can be used by

5.3 You will be able to upload and send Your own content using the Service. You grant Us and any Third Party Network Provider a royalty free, perpetual and worldwide licence to store, transmit or otherwise deal with any content You upload using the Service.

The "Service" is defined as "the service ordered by You including the Equipment and access to the Internet via the Network, together with Additional Services that We may make available to You from time to time".


Comment by BobM, Mar 11, 2015 9:52

I had a recent experience with customer service and it was pretty good. They helped me position the box to optimise reception. It did help a lot. I get uploads speeds over 25MB which is way better than ADSL on BT (12MB). I wish we had fibre but until we do, this is pretty good.

Comment by DC, Mar 5, 2015 16:16

We're in to Spring 2015 and Relish still haven't got their act together.

I joined up two weeks ago (I'm in West London) and I get an outage probably every 10 minutes. I can't use Sonos or stream video content and the customer service is apalling - not least because those I have spoken to on the phone have average, at best, English language skills.

Foolishly I didn't read reviews prior to joining so now here I am... Such a shame, mind, as the concept is brilliant. If only the execution were half as good...

Comment by Optometrist, Dec 31, 2014 11:51

Customer service call center appalling, once a returned call is received from someone in IT it is much better. Just getting that initial message to them is the difficult and time consuming bit!

My broadband speed, up and down, is very good, well once they changed my router to the black one (forgotten it's name). HOWEVER..... once every hour the connection completely drops for about 2 minutes, it reconnects itself but is very annoying as i am a business using constantly transferring data! Once i spoke to a tech person i was eventually told that it was a firmware issue and that an update was in the making (this took nearly 6 weeks).

This dropping of signal only started for me about 3 months ago, i had about 2 months of use without issues, my fear is they have got too big too quickly and do not have the IT infrastructure to handle it.

Wouldn't recommend at present, i am sticking with them for now as i have a backup line to fall back on, but if the firmware update isn't produced by feb15 I am gone.

Comment by tung tran, Dec 23, 2014 16:00

I stay in Nottinghill Gate, London. However, the internet speed is extremely poor, only about 10 mbps (about 2-3 over 5 points internet signal) even though the estimate on Relish website is 30 mbps. Just to make it worse, the internet connection disconnect at least 1 time (usually 2) per 2 hours.
Finally, beware if you use monthly contract. You have to give them a notice 30 days in advance or else they will force you to pay another payment (20 GBP) before you can escape from Relish. As a student studying exchange program in London, I had no choice but to use Relish for 3 months and I felt like being robbed off when I realized that I had to pay for another month before they let me go. In total, I'm very disappointed with Relish service.

Comment by Martin, Dec 12, 2014 16:38

The mobile service, when it works, is very good: I've been getting well over 20Mb/s at my office, though the home router didn't work well at all.  The 14-day free trial is absolutely essential; and to their credit they extended it because I was having great difficulty finding a tower which could give me any sort of decent data rate at home.

BUT... The earlier comments about really tragic technical support are correct.  Called yesterday to try to sort out what should have been a simple DNS issue.  The staff who answered the phones were beyond hopeless; they'd have trouble spelling DNS.  Probably hired away from Primark.

The "Resolution Team" member to whom my call was escalated eventually admitted, after a series of irrelevant questions, that she didn't know what 'host', 'dig', or 'nslookup' were, or indeed that there exist tools to interrogate DNS servers.  It soon turned out that she didn't actually know what DNS stands for, what it's supposed to do, what might possibly go wrong with it, and certainly not how to fix it.

The technical staff have no phone number.  Not even the "Resolution Team" can call them, it seems.  I am not sure they exist.  They may be unicorns.

The comments about callbacks are also spot on.  On the rare occasion on which I have received a reply, it's been from a low-level staffer, reading irrelevant questions in a faltering voice which indicates clearly that they haven't the slightest clue what they are saying or why.

I am just past the 14-day trial period, so it's too late for me.  But please, prospective customers, save yourselves while you still can!

Comment by Matthew Peters, Dec 3, 2014 17:54

I've been with Relish since July. I changed my domestic internet supplier as I was struggling with BT to get more than 1.3MBPs down when promised at least 12MBPs down and after weeks of battling with what had proven to be incompetent customer service and trouble shooting, I had to find an alternate provider.

I had to go with either Virgin or Relish. I thought to give Relish a try as they are a new company. The router was delivered quickly and was easy to configure. I live in the Waterloo area (SE1) and receive AWESOME download speeds; (see link below)

My first impression with Relish was great as I was casually getting at least 40-55MB down per second.


It is not all praises to relish, in fact, their service is s***. I have CONSTANT signal loss and experience the worst level of customer service from their 'Support/Technical' who constantly fail to support or come across technical.

Using a stop watch, at worst I would get 18 minutes up time, after a reboot before the signal to my Router would be interrupted again for what ever reason Relish can not elaborately explain. This has been the case since my router was delivered but I believed that it was simply a momentary fault that would disappear over time.

Online gaming is nearly impossible and streaming from paid services like Netflix/sky player is frustrating rendering the mega fast internet speeds irrelevant.  

Working in IT makes my experience with them even more painful. Calls to their customer support result in constant apologies from their team and so many call back promises that they fail to keep. Call backs are never received leaving me always following up manually, costing me more on phone calls to their customer service line.

Hopefully a firmware update can be released to resolve the way the way the hardware in their issued GemTek routers handle the signals. DMZ/Port forwarding can not be configured (Correct me if I am wrong, but I cant find it anywhere on my Remote Interface).

I have tried moving the router to all corners of my 3 story house to have no effect on the reliability of my connection. The relish team indicate that there is an issue with my local Cell tower that they are trying to resolve. Funny they should say that because I contacted them back in October 2014 reporting the issues only to receive the EXACT same response (Character for character as if it was scripted) and I know two other relish customers that reside a way away from me who connect to different Cell towers but experience the same shoddy service. Unfortunately I am tied to a 12 month contract with them so I will have to wait until next year summer before I can immigrate to another ISP. Hopefully they get their act together before then or they will not be retaining my business.

Comment by Wenhao, Nov 23, 2014 21:56

Drops 20+ times on average per day. AVOID THIS COMPANY

Comment by maxwell flitton, Nov 21, 2014 23:16

Was a bit concerned as setting up things like this rarely go as well as advertised.However, got the box delivered the next day and all I did was plug it in and it worked instantly!!!! Haven't had any major issues. Speed is fine. The only issue is that it drops every now and again but my broardband before this dropped as well. In conclusion I can't recommend it enough to people. You don't pay for a land line, speed is great, it's unlimited and you can take it with you if you move. Best internet option easily.

Comment by Nad, Nov 10, 2014 17:04

Just placed a home broadband offer with Relish. But, really shocked and holrrified reading customer comments/ feedback and barrage of complaints all over the net! I am getting scared, and wondering whether I should stick to my current ISP, Sky. Their braodband service was not that great!
I was intially excited to read about the whole concept of service provided by Relish, and thought it would be wonderful to get rid of good ol' landline phones! Seeking advices and tips from current users in this forum! Let me know your experiences, speed and customer services you received. Would you recommend giving Relish a go; or should I make use of the 14-day return wondow!?
Thanks :-)

Comment by Tony, Nov 7, 2014 17:54

Saw the Relish advertising on the Tube - looked into it - would need to have a delivery of the home hub at work; for medical reasons, need to know the weight of the package to be carried back home. So, asked Relish support via the web page chat. They took so long to acknowledge the question that I dialled the 0330 number - spoke to a lady there, explained the same question. Was put on hold. She did come back, only to tell me that "it's not heavy" but could not provide the hub package's weight.  Really I'm not impressed. The comments here about their attitude and the many reports of dire download performance all point the same way it seems - I plan to avoid this provider for the time being, to avoid the likely hassle. That's a shame, as the advertising is refreshing and the proposition looks sensible on the surface.

Comment by adrianmorant, Nov 1, 2014 21:04

When I reported on the Relish service in June it was just starting up. One would have expected some teething troubles. Unfortunately, it is now nearly 6 months down the road and, as these reports show, they are not always getting it right. How can one tell whether the majority are happy with the service and a small minority experiencing the reported problems -- or vice versa. All one can really suggest is that, if signing up to Relish, one should not cancel one's existing service until sure that Relish is coming up to scratch

Comment by Kohei, Nov 1, 2014 19:47

I got Relish home hub for my home in Bayswater. The estimated download speed on its website was about 5-30Mbps but it was actually disappointingly slow, 100Kbps-4Mbps. Its email support was so bad too (does not reply to my emails), but I finally manage to return the hub and get all refunded. If you are really lucky, you may get 30Mbps, so give it a try. The concept of the service is very good, so I hope the company make it really work in my area.

Comment by BINCH, Oct 8, 2014 14:22

Live in Shoreditch, the supposed centre of Tech City and yet regularly have no internet connection. Deeply regret switching to Relish. I though Orange was bad but it least it was reliable. Oh, and the £20/month advertising omits the VAT you need to pay, so it's actually more expensive. A complete rort!

Comment by Will, Sep 9, 2014 22:32

Received a router from Relish yesterday. I live in the center of SW1 London so pretty much as central as you can get and I am only achieving download speeds of 3 - 4MB. I've moved the router all around my flat and that's as good as it gets. I called customer services earlier today to see if there was a problem but they were pretty unhelpful telling me that 'someone from tech would call me back'/. Never heard from them. Now looking forward to doing battle with them again tomorrow when I ask to send this thing back, cant wait!

Comment by rsmith, Aug 6, 2014 11:54

I just got this delivered by bike and pluged it in expecting my upto 30MB internet as my current BT is only 5Mb in e14 isle of dogs (section with no fibre) I just linked it all up router had full signal I linked it to my computer did a speed test andit was slower than 13k.  slower than the dial up I had from BT with my P60 Packard bell.  I cant load screen shots on here but the uplink was 11.69 and download 12.048 with full signal LTE.  You can see my post on Called to cancel and you just get attitude from them and excuses.  Was passed through to collections and the girl was rude and made no effort to find our account and said you must give me customer number which I could not find.  Found in the end and sh said you will receive a back in 24 hrs 3 days maybe take it to post office and put phone down!!! AVVVOIIIDD

Comment by Osman, Jul 3, 2014 8:39

To bring a bit of balance to the comments, I'm actually reasonably impressed with the service. They did suffer an outage a few hours after I first connected which was a bit concerning, but they fixed it a few hours later. Before the outage, I was getting speeds of 48mb/s, and it doesn't seem to have recovered fully yet as I'm getting 29mb/s the following day. It's not ideal, but I'm not expecting perfection from a brand new service just yet. For a bit of perspective, my old phone-based connection cost 50% more for a 15mb/s connection. Oh and the hassle of contacting customer services? I went on their website and used the chat box. Pretty simple.

All things considered it's not a bad service so far, and it's likely to get a lot better with time.

Comment by Ivan, June 17, 2014 21:35

Avoid this company please, you will stress yourself for nothing trying to get the device to work, it causes too many problems, there is faulty items, ethernet cable doesn't work on the router, very slow speed broadband, lucky if you can get 5 Mbps. Avoid the hassle of contacting customer services.

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