(post seems to have disappeared when I migrated to WordPress
I have what is proving to be an expensive habit: I’m subscribed to over 30 podcasts (including e.g. Diggnation at 300MB/week), I regularly download software to try out, I use BitTorrent on a regular basis, I buy stuff on iTunes. All that adds up to more than my allowance my ISP subscription gives me (20GB per month). Most of the months I pay an extra €8 per 10GB.

I’m a Coditel customer (cable provider in the part of Brussels where I live). I started out on ADSL until I got loads of technical problems and Belgacom/Skynet could not solve them. My current bandwidth is not bad (although not as fast as Telenet):

http://www.adslbox.be speed test results:
– Download speed : 4415 kbit/s or 552 kbyte/s
(in theory it should be 10.000 kbit/s)
– Upload speed : 233 kbit/s or 29 kbyte/s
Wed Feb 15 2006 at 20:59:42 UTC+0100

But now I want to know: do I have the best formula? So I collected some data. On vergelijking.be all the provider formulas are listed, but the list is not up-to-date. I collected all the latest numbers from the ISPs’ homepages. I got some real throughput statistics from adslbox.be and ispmonitor.be.

BROADBAND PRICES

Broadband in Belgium: sorted by price
The cheapest broadband one can get is Coditel LightClick: 22,90 € for 1 Mbps. The best price/speed you can get is Telenet ExpressnetTurbo (60€ for a theorethical 20Mbps and an actual throughput of about 11 Mbps). The one to avoid is Belgacom ADSL Light: 30 € for a meager 0,5 Mbps.

COST OF 50GB/MON

Now let’s see what happens if I would go to 50GB data transfer per month. Only 6 providers allow for this, either because their GB/mon allowance is big enough or because the price per extra GB is acceptable:
Broadband in Belgium: cost of 50GB/mon
Where I live, I cannot get BruTele or Chello, so the only options are Coditel (cable) and Dommel, RealDSL or Mobistar (ADSL).

GB/MON ALLOWANCE

Broandband in Belgium: GB/mon allowance
There are a 6 broadband subscriptions that allow unlimited download allowances: Dommel Netconnect Pro, BruTele @Home and @Turbo, RealDSL Basic and GeekDSL and Chello Extreme. The only options for me in Brussels are the 2 ADSL ones, of which the Dommel one is excessively expensive (€150/month).

CONCLUSION

For Brussels, Coditel is still a very good option (now if they could update that empty FAQ page that doesn’t seem to have been updated since the nineties). There is no point in switching from SpeedClick to MegaClick for the GB/mon only, but if the speed is really the double (in theory 20Mbps instead of 10Mbps) it might be a nice upgrade. I don’t need something like 200GB/month yet, but if I would, then RealDSL would be the best option.

If you live in Flanders and your main concern is speed, go Telenet ExpressNet Turbo. If you need loads of GB/month, go Chello Extreme (where possible) or RealDSL.

UPDATE
RealDSL does NOT accept any new subscriptions since October 2005, since there seem to be a capacity problem with its bandwidth provider Telenet. Luc and Cindy blogged about this earlier, so I have no excuse for my sloppy research. The only DSL provider with a unlimited bandwidth offer seems to be Dommel, but at an extreme high price. Their €33/50GB is however a good offer. Thanks for the update, Smetty!