Friday, 22 August 2014

How to switch your Internet connection to a new supplier

Choosing the right Internet Service Provider (ISP) can be a stressful business, what with so many 'deals' out there, all of which seem far too good to be true, and in most cases they are exactly that!!
One of the problems is, is that once you have made your choice, most ISP's insist that you sign up for a minimum contract length, and more often than not this is 12 months, which can be really frustrating if you discover that they are not providing a good enough service or what you expected of them.
Sadly, it is not possible to 'try before you buy' your internet connections, and if you're not ultimately happy, then you're going to be that way for a long time until you reach a point in time when you can switch to an alternative ISP.

So how do you do this?
Well, there are rules and regulations in place to ensure that ISP's follow strict guidelines, and the answer is fairly simple.

Our advice is to follow these bullet points;
  • Before your current contract is up, look around, read reviews and ask your friends and neighbours which ISP they use and whether they are happy or not
  • Decide what your requirements are - do you heavily download of simply browse the Internet and read email? Do you stream video content from sites such as Netflix and YouTube?
  • Check your contract end date as some ISP's insist on a minimum 12 months contract but with a 30 day cancellation notice, which means that if you don't do something about it in the 11th month, you will be stuck in contract for a total of 13 months.
  • Once you have chosen your new ISP, contact your existing supplier and ask them for a migration (MAC) code, and tell them that you intend to move away from them. Be aware though that they will try every sales tactic in the book to try and get you to stay with them.
  • Once you have it, pass on the migration code to the new ISP.
  • Make sure you confirm with them whether they will send you a new router, or whether you will have to use your existing router and if so, also make sure that you know how to change the settings.
If you are thinking about switching your supplier, and need any further help or assistance then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Which Mobile Operator Offers the Best Call Quality?

We do like to pass on information which is useful and may be of interest, especially when it is to do with technology.

In a recent study and extensive research by Ofcom, they have released the results of their findings and they reveal that EE provides the best mobile call quality in the UK.

EE was formed when Orange and T-Mobile merged together, which significantly boosted their coverage, meaning that 97% of mobile phone conversations completed successfully.

In second place, and not that far behind were O2 who scored 93.3%, and Vodafone came in third place with 92.6% coverage meaning that all the major UK operators were delivering a high percentage of successfull calls.

The obvious and general trend was that coverage was always far better in urban areas as opposed to more rural areas. This is backed up by the fact that the study reveals that 78% of urban customers were happy with their service whereas only 67% of rural customers could say the same.

Further results of a study comparing 3G to 4G will be revealed later in the year.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Closing local dialling - 1st October

 Ofcom have announced that there is an impending shortage of UK geographical telephone numbers and as such they are taking steps to alleviate the problem.

From 1 October 2014, callers in Aberdeen (01224), Bradford (01274), Brighton (01273), Middlesbrough (01642) and Milton Keynes (01908) will need to include their area code in front of any local number they dial. For more information on this change, please see the statement from Ofcom at this link.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Diagnosing an Internet Fault - Basic Steps to take

It can be really frustrating when your internet stops working, and even more stressful is the thought of having to report the fault to your Internet Service Provider (ISP). These kinds of phone calls can often be very long and drawn out affairs, which rarely leads to the fault being resolved in the first place.

However, most ISP's have a standard set of instructions which need to be carried out before any other and more detailed fault analasys is performed. In order to save time, simply follow this set of instructions BEFORE contacting your ISP, as they will only ask you to do these things anyway, and you never know, it might just fix the problem for you without having tp speak to them!!!

  1. Connect a single analogue telephone to the BT master socket and carry out a quiet line test; dial 17070 and choose quiet from the options available.  You should hear no noise on the line at all. 

    If the quiet line test is passed...
  2. Connect the modem/router directly to the BT master socket for the premises.
  3.  Disconnect all other telecom devices from the line sockets, so only the modem/router is connected.
  4. Reboot the router once to force a re-sync.  (Do not be tempted to reboot the router repeatedly, as this will be interpreted by the BT DSLAM as line instability whereby the BRAS profile will be auto-limited for 72 hours.)
  5.  Please replace the modem/router with a new or ‘known good’ alternative and retest as per steps 2 and 3. 
 If after carrying out the above steps, the problem remains, then this is the time to make that dreaded call to your ISP!!


Friday, 13 June 2014

CCS Competition Time

Its no secret that marketing plays an important role for any business in boosting awareness. Social media can play a key part in propmoting your business, but using it in the right way can sometimes be trial and error.

Last month we decided to start a competition - a free prize draw to win a Google Nexus Tablet device, and all you had to do to enter was to like our Facebook page, share the post and also comment on it.

The competition was a massive success and meant that lots of new people were made aware of CCS (Leeds) and what we do.

Therefore, we have decided to run another competition this month with a chance for one lucky winner to bag themselves an Asus X102BA Touch laptop worth nearly £300!!

So, with that in mind why not head over to our Facebook page and enter? It's completely free and there are no catches at all, so what are you waiting for?

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Key Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing the Right Internet Connection

Let's face it, the Internet is an essential tool for just about every business these days. Even the smallest of companies rely on it for email communication, on-line ordering and gathering information. It is a simple fact that a business cannot survive if it does not have access to the Internet.

But the problem is, there are so many different types of Internet services, and many Internet Service Providers (ISP's), all of whom have their own variations on what is available. Terms and Conditions can also vary widely between ISP's and are often worded in such a way that they are not always that easy to understand.

Over the years we have seen all sorts of offerings, from dial-up, ISDN, ADSL, ADSL2+, 21CN, LLU, SDSL, EFM, Leased Line, FTTC, Infinity, EoFTTC, FTTP, MLLP, Bonded Internet to name but a few. So how does a business go about choosing the right product and ISP from this many and varied list of options?

Well, our first advice would be to answer a few key questions, in no particular order;

How Do You Use It?

This is simple really - what do you use the Internet for? These days, many companies are using it for so much more than web browsing and email.  Many are moving their entire IT infrastructure into the 'cloud', which means that the emails systems become hosted, documents and data are stored off-site and remote working is now commonplace. In fact, many companies are now using their Internet connections to run their telephony over it using VoIP technology, instead of the more expensive and traditional methods.

How Many People Use it?

An Internet connection is typically a shared resource, so the more people that are using it, either the slower it becomes or conversely, the faster it needs to be in the first place. A slow connection shared by many people can become unusable, whereas a fast connection shared by a few is probably overkill and is costing a company more than it should.

How Important Is The Upload Speed?

With many of the cheaper Internet connections, the upload speed is often far slower than the download speed, but a lot of people don't realise this and it becomes their downfall if they, as a business, need to upload content to the cloud.

Planning Ahead

It is important to not only consider how you use the internet right now, but also how you might use it in the future. There are a lot of emerging technologies out there and many companies are taking advantage of the 'cloud', VoIP and remote working. It is important to have a basic knowledge of these technologies and how they can potentially improve the efficiency of how you work. Furthermore, this may in turn influence your Internet connection requirements.

Do You Have More Than One Office?

If you have more than one office, and it makes better sense to make all of the office locations part of one network, then many companies will have just one big internet connection at one of the sites and then link the others back to this site using point to point services. This means that the satellite sites connectivity is routed through the main site and is often a far more cost effective and neat way of delivering a solution.

And here is the most important question of the all, underlined for added impact.........

How Much Will It Cost Your Business If You Lost The Internet For A Day?

This is key as for some; it would really matter in the grand scheme of things. Companies who rely on the Internet for order processing, communication, remote working, Cloud services, e-commerce to name but a few could all suffer serious financial consequences if they were suddenly left without their Internet connection for a day. Therefore, they need to invest in the Rolls Royce of Internet connectivity and even have a disaster recovery option in a backup service.

As a business, we accept that not everyone would be able to answer all of these questions before deciding on which product or ISP they choose to provide their connectivity, but that is what we at CCS are here for. Our sales team are committed to giving out the best advice for your business requirements, and we're proud that our reputation is built on giving good advice.

If you do need any help with any of the above then please do not hesitate to give our technical sales team a call on 0113 294 6699.

We're here to help.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Super Fast Internet Voucher Scheme Update

It is now just over 2 weeks since we were officially accpeted as being an approved supplier for the Superconnected Cities voucher scheme and we're pleased to say that the orders are now coming and and are being approved.

One thing which we are particulary impressed with is the speed and efficiency in how this happens.

For example, one company contacted us after they had checked their eligibility for the voucher scheme, and found that they did qualify. The process was simple and worked like this;

  • They checked their eligibility at this link and were approved
  • We provided a quotation for the desired service in PDF format
  • They applied for the voucher on-line and uploaded our quotation
  • Within a matter of 6 short hours they and us recieved an email stating that they had been accepted
  • They also recieved a 'what happens next' document which explains the next steps
  • We issued an electronic contract
  • The customer signs and the order then goes into production
So all in all, the whole process took less than 24 hours, and was very straightforward.

If you have been thinking about upgrading your internet connectivity, but have previously been put off by the high installation and run costs, then why not check to see if you're eligibly for the voucher scheme and then get in touch? We're always happy to help.

Telephone - 0113 2946699
email -

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme

We are pleased to announce that CCS (Leeds) Limited have now been accepted as an official supplier of Internet services to businesses who qualify for the government ‘Connection Voucher’ scheme.

For those of you who do not know what this is, ask yourself these questions;

  • Would your business benefit from faster, better broadband?
  • Would you invest in a faster, better broadband connection if someone gave you money towards the cost?
  • Would up to £3,000 interest you?

In a nutshell, you may qualify for a FREE broadband Connection Voucher up to the value of £3,000 to cover your upfront connection costs.

The main criteria for qualification include the following;
  • You are located in an eligible area in one of the cities taking part in the scheme
  • You are a SME (Small or Medium Enterprise), Charity or Social Enterprise
  • Your connection will cost over £200
  • You are asking for a connection to your business premises. If your main work base is at home you can have a connection there, but not if you just work from home occasionally
  • You are willing to sign up for a minimum 6 month contract with your supplier
  • You select a service that delivers a speed or performance improvement
  • You have not received more than approx £120k in grants in the last three years
You can check your eligibility by entering you post code at this link -

Please note that to date, 100% of our customers who have applied for the voucher, have been approved!

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us either by telephone – 0113 2946699 (option 1 for sales), or by email to

Monday, 7 April 2014

VoIP UK Short Dial Codes and Emergency Services

In an update to our VoIP platform late last week, I am pleased to advise our VoIP customers will now be able to call the following short code numbers.

a. 101 - This is the police none emergency number and replaces the "reception desk" number previously used to contact your local police station. Calls are handled by a semi-automated system and you are asked for the name or area of the local police force upon calling it and are then transferred.

b. 111 - This is the NHS "none emergency" number. The NHS quote "You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time" Once again there is a semi-automated call directing service when you call.

c. 116xxx - This is a relatively new number range, six digits long, commencing 116, an example being 116111 (NSPCC) and is typically helplines. Ofcom has some further detail and examples here:

d. 999 - This of course is the traditional UK emergency services number. Calls are handled by various call centres around the country and you should expect to be asked for your full address when you call as VoIP calls are of course not necessarily in a a fixed location, despite what the address details recorded against the number may imply. All calls to 999 are specifically tagged as location agnostic to ensure the location is requested in the call.

Despite the fact 101 calls are chargeable (to us by the terminating telco) we at C.C.S. deem all emergency services calls are important and therefore will not be charging for connection or time spent on the phone for any of these numbers. They are all completely free of charge.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Virus Warning - CryptoLocker Again

Good morning.

A particularly nasty Ransom-ware Trojan called CryptoLocker which first surfaced in September 2013 has become a serious threat once again.

The ransom-ware is entering peoples email inbox's appearing to be a scanned fax. The attachment is a zipped folder and if opened it will cause serious and potentially unrecoverable damage to your IT system and data.

The email is entering inbox's with subject headers such as:
• New Fax – 3 
• Scanned Fax 
• Fax@your domain

The safest option is that if you receive any emails contain the word FAX in the subject header with a zip file attached please do NOT open it.

The ransom-ware is activated by the user when they click to open the attachment and in some flavour a countdown timer or Red X will appear on the screen with a message saying your data is being encrypted. You will then be presented with the option to pay a ransom to get your data back; even if you pay the ransom your data will not be decrypted!

This ransom-ware is a real threat and if your system becomes infected there is no way to decrypt your files and you will lose everything unless a backup has been made!

As the ransom-ware is arriving by email we strongly urge you to be aware of your emails and be careful when opening attachments if they are not from a source you regularly receiving emails with attachments from.

We urge all users to be incredibly vigilant when opening all attachments and if your Anti-Virus protection says that an email or the attachment may include malicious items giving you the option to open it or not please do not open it!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Introducing Direct Debit

Here at C.C.S. we are about to introduce Direct Debit as an accepted method of payment. After endless requests from our customers, we are almost ready to start offering the most reliable and trusted instant payment method in the UK. 

The advantages of Direct Debits are, quite possibly, unprecedented and unmatched. Firstly, they are guaranteed, which provides huge peace of mind and reassurance. Your money is protected by some very reliable safe guards, including an immediate money back guarantee from your bank in the event of an error.

Of course, Before your Direct Debit is taken from your account, you will receive a customized invoice, listing all of your products/services, and noting a payment date for the Direct Debit collection. You will also receive an email, three days before the Direct Debit is collected, as a reminder of the collection date.

Direct Debits are also the fastest and most effective way to pay. You can ensure that your payments are made, in full and on time, without any of the hassle that comes with cheques or bank transfers. Even better than that, late payment charges can't possibly be incurred as the payments are automatic! Anything which means payments can't be forgotten or delayed will, undoubtedly, make any life easier.  

Finally, Direct Debits can also save you heaps of time. Here at C.C.S., we understand that all of our customers lives are, more than likely, busy and hectic enough. Direct Debits take away the inconvenience of having to waste time, logging onto your Online Banking or setting up a BAC's transfer.

We hope that our new Direct Debit option can provide our customers with plenty of saved time and peace of mind. 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

A Day In The Life of A New CCS Employee...

Last week I started here at CCS Leeds. On my first day, as well as being so relieved at how warmly I was welcomed and how friendly everyone was here, I was also overwhelmed at how many different products the company offers and how technical everything seemed to be!

Over the last week I have managed to get my head around the basics. But it seems I still have a lot to learn before I’ll be fully fluent in the language of network solutions. When you’re constantly surrounded by ‘Doctor Who’ style machinery, colourful concept diagrams and flashing, beeping flat screen TV’s that change colour, what seems like, every second of the day, it’s hard to imagine that you’ll ever fully understand it all. But even after just a week of being here, I have managed to pick up various bits and pieces, which I’m sure, will help me put the this technical jigsaw together eventually.

I finally understand the different stages of the installation process, and how they work, which on my first day just seemed like a supernatural, foreign entity. I also, almost, know the difference between cabling and splicing, which even surprises me! I can even spot a BIS certificate now, of which I saw three of last week!

During my first week here everyone has bent over backwards to explain different processes and stages to me in all sorts of wonderfully simplified ways. I sometimes find it amusing that the people here struggle to simplify their vast technical knowledge, because it’s so ‘everyday’ and simple to them.  I hope that one day I will struggle to dumb down all of my technical knowledge!

Although I have sometimes felt overwhelmed, I really have enjoyed my first week here at CCS. It’s really comforting to know that you’re working with a group of people who are so specialized in what they do, so dedicated and committed to providing an excellent service but, at the same time, so warm and patient with someone who is so new to this world and still has so much to learn. For now I’m happy to just absorb all the information I’m being taught, like a sponge, and leave other people to fiddle with ‘the things that look like Daleks. Maybe one day I’ll understand those things, but that won’t be for a long time yet...