back to article 3 Ireland's broadband stumbles to its knees

3 Ireland's fixed broadband service is still unable to provide consistent connections, decent speeds, or access to standard e-mail interfaces, according to their users, despite repeated promises and assurances that everything is working fine. While 3 might well employ a good PR representative, they don't seem to be backing that …

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a joke...

Well, I got a blazing speed of 36 kbps (you'll note that is about 60% of a modem) at home which is 1 mile from the centre of a town of 25,000 people (Ennis).

And even at that, the connection was up and down like a yo-yo and completely unusable for web browsing, let alone FTP, VPN, or any other network task...heck, even ping timed out...

Device returned within 12 hours of purchase, 3 can spend the money to "refurb" my modem before passing it along to the next sucker...

Imagine if everybody did this though...might hurt them a bit more than media complaints?

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Service please, I don't care about the smile.

"Though there are IP-addressing problems with running a server on a mobile network, all the other major network operators seem to manage this with the minimum of fuss".

>> But this is 3/Hutchinson we're talking about here. Earlier today their their "mobile fraudband" wouldn't even authenticate me, let along give me as much as a byte of data. Bliss.

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Silver badge

Oh no it's not

Oh no it's not

-Oh yes it is!

Oh no it's not

-Oh yes it is!

Oh no it's not

-Oh yes it is!

O2's service seems to work. O2 can manage SMTP also.

On a related note, Why is 1% of Ireland suddenly using 3G/HSDPA in a few months?

Hint: It's not actually for MOBILE internet, but to get an alternative to dialup.

see http://www.techno-culture.com/?p=78 for the rage when a tech journ suggested in a blog that the problem is lack of demand.

Why has a new faster /better than 3G/HSDPA mobile service in North Dublin pilot supplying a fixed WiFi Router with almost every sale instead of cheaper portable laptop only option?

Planning for a Mobile operator assumes intermittent mobile usage. Not 50,000 people suddenly using it 24x7 in fixed locations.

Basically unless there is more real fixed Broadband at affordable prices the Mobile operators are wrecked. They probably don't have the backhaul and with the inhernet wireless contention and 3G/HSDPA overhead the 3.6Mbps per sector very quickly becomes dialup speed.

People say that calls are now suffering...

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Title

I've been without 3G service on my handset since I signed up on a 12 month contract (six weeks ago). I've been onto their "tech support" about 20 times trying in vain to get this problem sorted. No joy so far.

:-(

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Fixed - don't make me laugh

It ain't fixed, I still can't connect reliably, most times I only get Dial Up speeds, IPSEC VPN does not work, SMTP won't be offered and customer service now threatens to report to credit reporting agencies if the bills are not paid. They engange in commercial fraud and I get threatend.

And in respect of the above post of Maude about customers using this as replacement for their fixed broadband. That might be true, but that is also a target market of 3. They said so in the press and if you look at their comparison page, it actualy compare mobile to fixed providers:

http://www.three.ie/broadband/compare.htm

It is amazing what our goverment allows a company to get away with for month now. None of the customer protection agencies here does anything beside repeating the PR comments of 3.

What for a sad story this is.

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Roaming Thieves

The HSDPA offered by Orange in the UK is fantastic, I get 3.2MB/s on a normal day, unlimited usage between 6pm and 8am and all weekend, all that on a reliable service for £5 a month, I kid you not.

Yet when I wander over to Dublin to visit Mum and Dad, the networks are RUBBISH with awful download speeds, and Orange pass on a hefty £1 per MB while I'm there!

Somethings amiss for sure.

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Not a lot new here

This is pretty symptomatic of 3 customer service as whole. I have never known a company like it. EVERYONE I have known use them has been screwed over by them.

My sister's handset went down and the call-centre told her she was a liar and that the account had never been used.

Many friends have had the handsets simply stop working while 3 are uncooperative or slow to act on it. Often replacing knackered sets with "refurbished" ones which are even worse.

I'm sure there are people who would vouch for the affability and supreme service. I wouldn't touch them with a bargepole.

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Been here a few times before, n'est pas?

Really - 3 simply don't learn, do they? Its no good trying to spin their way out of this. The Emperor really is not wearing any new clothes. None of us are being fooled by this. 3's HSDPA network is a busted flush and needs some serious and significant engineering attention.

The solution is simple:

1) Sack the PR department

2) Use the money saved to bring in some good engineers

3) Buy in the kit that 3 need and get it deployed

4) Sack the person/team responsible for the network design that has crippled SMTP

5) Use the salary saved to bring in someone who actually knows something about networks.

6) Shut down Mumbai Call Centre

7) Use the money saved to open a UK-based Call Centre

8) Honour your obligations and release Customers from contracts that you are patently unable to fulfil on your behalf - You might win a few back after the present troubles are over.

I'm not entirely sure how much more bad press and Customer illwill 3 can stand before it becomes completely unviable in the UK and Ireland. They really have no notion of what a Customer is and how one should be treated in the face of such corporate incompetence.

Me? I'd start a case to sue for breach of contract. 3 cannot hide behind their "network may be of variable quality and availability" clauses. No court in the land should permit that!

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questionmark

Pete what is the name of this £5 a month package?

all i can find is Flexible Data which has a no monthly fee plus 1 pound a MB :S:S:S

or £20 a month plus 12.5p a MB (business)

doesnt seem great to me.

Sounds like the infra structure sucks in Ireland.

And if i was on a plan which provided a service that fals to work. Id leave that plan... even if it had a contract (it seems to be in conflict with TOA not providing a service..)

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3MB/s?

3MB/sec? That is 24mbits/sec, I assume you are getting 3mb/sec. Quite nice though 8-).

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Not that bad...

I'm going to have to go against the flow here a bit; I was quite impressed by the Three service. Granted, I only used it for an hour a so, in the centre of Dublin, but it really didn't seem that bad for the price, and ssh and vpn were surprisingly usable.

I'd say it really comes into its own for people who use the train a lot, and those who travel for business.

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Wheres comreg in all this

COMREG the Irish telecommunications authority should know about this. 3 aren't the first Irish company to get away with this. The company 'Irish Broadband' have the worst record in Irish internet history as far as poor service, line degradation, overutilisation and just crappy service is concerned. COMREG really should be investigating this and remunerating broadband customers for their troubles. If you want a quick fix just change to a better company like magnet. I did and there was no turning back. The cancellation phone call was funny when I was asked why I am canceling, my reply was simply 'Cos your service is shite' to which acceptance was immediate...

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Joe

X-Series & Unlimted Broadband Addon

The USB modem users are not the only ones experiencing huge problems with this 'service'. Both the X-Series customers and the Unlimited Broadband addon phone customers are also being denied services yet still being charged. See http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t= for more details.

A couple of weeks ago, Three Ireland instigated port blocking on their network to prevent any access using any third party applications. I can only assume this was a cynical attempt to free up some bandwidth to improve the USB modem users experience.

In any case, this move certainly brings into question what Three Ireland in fact mean when they use the term 'unlimited' and flies in the face of their own definition of X-Series which states 'what’s free to use on the internet should be free to use on mobile broadband'.

Fring is FREE, the MSN Live Symbian client is FREE, Tinytube.net is FREE, the Voipbuster java applet is FREE meanwhile X-Series from Three Ireland is anything but free.

Those who Three Ireland have already let subscribe to the X-Series Gold service can not even complete registration for Orb as a UK phone number is required to activate the service. Just one demonstration of the total lack of regard Three Ireland treat their paying customers with.

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Anonymous Coward

Service gets worse

After a conversation with 3 tech support yesterday, during which they said service should be back to normal this morning, the service has sunk to a new low.

While speed tests show in the region of 650kb download speed, web pages are taking up to 2 minutes to load. ALL my downloads stall. ALL streamed videos stall. SMTP is still being "worked on"... for the past 6 weeks !!!! ALL software that connects to the net (chat, poker, etc) disconnects every 2 minutes.

And to top it all, 3 have said credit will be black-listed if I pull out of the contract.

Next step ? Small claims court.

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Meh

I've actually found the service to be reasonable enough, considering the cost... The download stalling etc. seems to be related to IP addresses changing a lot, which seems to happen mostly when signal is poor.

That said, I'm in the centre of Dublin and I don't currently have many other options.

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