The lowercase italk is a small Hove-based broadband company founded in 2007, focusing on customer service. This UK-based internet service provider (ISP) majors on simplicity, with services focused exclusively on broadband and calls.
italk offers three broadband packages – two Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) options and one ADSL package, none of which incur an activation fee. There are no caps, usage limits or extra fees applicable to these contracts, which have a fixed price promise for the 24-month duration of each standard contract.
The company provides a basic black ZyXEL router, which should arrive in time for your switch to be finalised and your connection activated. If you’re switching over to italk from another Openreach-based service, the company will take care of the transition for you. However, existing Virgin Media customers will probably need to ensure their account has been closed, since Virgin’s network is separate from the Openreach network used by most ISPs.
italk’s ADSL option is simply called Unlimited Broadband. Line rental is included, as is a free router worth £99, though customers need to bear delivery costs.
italk’s FTTC options are named Unlimited Fibre and Unlimited Superfast Fibre. Once again, line rental is included, but you’ll have to pay postage and packaging to receive an otherwise-free router. As with most ISPs, fibre options may not be available in your area depending on achievable line speeds and your property’s distance from the nearest pavement exchange.
You can add a call plan to your broadband package of choice, or simply pay for calls as they’re made. Available call plans are competitively priced, including:
Evening and weekend calls
These extra costs will only cover you for 60-minute conversations, but you could always hang up and redial within an hour to stay within the plan’s terms. This is commonplace among ISPs, while landline-only packages are available separately.
Although italk publishes a list of calling bands for UK numbers, the downloadable spreadsheet extends to over 13,150 separate entries, each commanding a different pence per minute fee to the fields around it.
italk’s broadband speeds don’t represent a massive deviation from other ADSL and FTTC providers, though its ADSL offering is notably slower than other providers advertise unless you live in a postcode that enjoys optimal connectivity.
Considering most competitors set their ADSL limit at around 11Mbps, italk’s 10Mbps offering is slightly slower by comparison. It’s sufficient to power a small household, but homes with more than two constantly active users might struggle to enjoy a dependably smooth connection.
The price of this package also doesn’t reflect the speed on offer, as competitors charge less for a marginally higher minimum speed.
Back in line with most competitors, italk’s first FTTC offering delivers decent (35Mbps) download speeds for the price. It’s ideal for streamers, gamers and browsers.
italk’s fastest offering is suitable for larger households with bandwidth-intensive hobbies or a large number of connected smart devices. At 63Mbps, this superfast package is the best consumers can hope for without going down the route of full Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) broadband.
italk’s broadband contracts are unusually long at 24 months, but the good news is that they are also fixed, so you won’t experience any unexpected price increases in that time. Early cancellation of a broadband contract will result in a fee, which is worth bearing in mind if there’s any prospect of changing circumstances (such as a house move) in the foreseeable future. Early termination costs could approach £400 for the remaining 18 months on a Superfast Fibre contract, while another £65 will be invoiced if the router isn’t returned within 30 days.
italk offers plenty of extras to make managing your account and enjoying its services convenient, though many incur a fee. Paper billing is charged at £2.99 per month, which is considerably cheaper than the fees levied by other ISPs. Available package upgrades include:
Outgoing calls barred
Anonymous call rejection.
The cost of adding these services quickly spirals, with over 90 separate options ranging from call minder (£2.12) and three-way calling (£2.60) through to remote call forwarding setup (£51.76) and Sunday site visits (£185).
italk doesn’t provide bundled services like TV packages, though it still offers useful options like transferring an existing contract to a new address. However, the company requires payments by direct debit unless agreed individually (and in advance) with potential new customers.
A customer service team is available by phone, post or email. Its office hours are between Monday and Friday, so if you prefer 24-hour help, you may find these provisions lacking. That said, customer reviews on Google praise the effectiveness and politeness of calls taken, with issues being quickly resolved. italk also publicises its membership of Alternative Dispute Resolution service CISAS on its website, which is reassuring.
italk customer reviews are extremely high when compared to the hit-and-miss nature of competitors, with a 4.6-star Excellent rating on Trustpilot. As of March 2021, 81 per cent of reviews are five-star with a further 10 per cent four-star – impressive for any company, let alone an ISP.
|Good ADSL/FTTC options||Long contracts (24 months)|
|Overwhelmingly positive reviews||Lower ADSL speeds compared to rivals|
|Extensive list of call extras||No added services like TV or mobiles|
|Long contracts are fixed price||Limited office hours for customer support|
|Landline only plans available|
With plenty of call extras and a solid array of products, italk could be a great choice for customers wanting a simple and polite UK-based ISP. Its contracts are quite long, but at least they’re fixed price, and despite the lack of extra services like TV, italk does deliver reliable internet connectivity.
Last updated: 24 March 2021