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back to article Ofcom tells BT to buck up on unbundling

Ofcom all but congratulated BT yesterday for progress the telco has made since 2005, but said it still had more work to do with Openreach - the division which wholesales BT lines for comms providers. The regulator was reporting back on BT's performance since signing a statement of undertakings in 2005. The regulator welcomed a …

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Doing Well For Our Customers!?!?!?

"Doing well for our customers is our prime motivation and these proposals actually look very similar to those we've already offered. The consultation is a long and complex document however and so we'll respond in full over time."

Are they kidding, I've been waiting 4 months now for a phone line, and all I keep being told by BT is that their communication channels are awful with open reach, so essentially what's happened is they've de-regulated BT but with no thoughts of the consequences.

I've spoken to approx. 15 - 20 different BT employees who tell me that no one really knows whats going on, and they apologies and then once again my problem is forgotten.

And whats more you can't use an alternative provider if you want to take advantage of such mainstream items as Sky (not sure how that is ok, within competition guidelines, if the exchanges are supposed to be unbundled).

I'm also informed I'm not a lone case, line installation issues often take this long, and I have two friends who all suffer/suffered with this same issue.

Isn't it about time ofcom looked at the quality being offered by BT, and gave them a severe boot up the a**e!

Especially when BT's own staff are saying, yes we know, our service is really bad!?!?

</RANT>

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BT Service ?!?!

I would also like to add notice of a platform to voice the comments from some of those equally unsatisfied customers, those who feel they are spending their lives on hold, and all of their money on phone bills for lines they have not had installed

http://www.btservice.co.uk/

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Pirate

About bloody time!

"The regulator is proposing new requirements on Openreach, which would mean it would be obliged to pay out if service or quality fell below a contractual threshold, with continuing pay-outs if problems persisted. BT would also have to pay double the current compensation for failing to activate lines."

It's about bloody time. I work for a small ISP and when BT do something stupid like cut off a customers phone line by mistake, reconnect it but then fail to reconnect the broadband it takes them the 4-5 months to fix it.

Having the customer screaming down the phone at the unacceptable time it takes to fix is bad enough but then just to kick us in the balls even further, the customer, and quite rightly so, objects to continuing to pay for their service (or lack of) and we end up having to swallow the bill.

Considering the extremely low margins to make a profit, just a handful of customers who are not happy to continue paying when they have no service turns a slightly profitable business into a loss maker.

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Anonymous Coward

Stop whingeing

You've all been baying for the company to be broken up for years and now when it's happened you're surprised that there are communication problems between the former constituent parts. WTF did you expect? Ther service was never going to be improved by ensuring that an engineer who would have worked on a job end to end now has to stop at an artificial boundary.

And the exchanges haven't been unbundled, the local loop has, providing a huge disincentive for anyone to invest money in it.

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De-regulation should be a positive

Would have to agree with you anon, the whole de-regulation seems to have played out like a rush into the unknown, a completely reactive decision with no thoughts on the consequences.

If they are going to de-regulate then it ought to be thought through fully, so (as it should be) all line providers have the same level of access, and abilities to provide service. Ideally this should not mean making one providers service levels worse, but instead giving all providers better access to line provision (yeah, I know, there would also be a rainbow and a pot of gold on every corner)

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BT Service

Adding my voice to this. As someone who gets his telephone service from a no BT outfit and Broadband also from a non BT source, I have found that problem solving is virtually non existent.

My ADSL used to connect between 1.8 and 2.2 Mb/s, now it will only connect at 1.1Mb/s. I have contacted my landline service provider, can't help as there is no obvious problem with the line. Contact Broadband supplier -- told to contact Landline supplier. never ending loop results!!

One of the local free papers recently ran a series of 35 letters all complaining of the quality of service (or rather the lack of it) from BT, and these people are ON BT Lines. The whole thing is diabolical. One of my neighbours was without her landine for 3 weeks

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Coat

Ofcom tells?

>> ‘Ofcom tells ...

Surely you mean 'Ofcom politely requests, if it wouldn't be too much bother ...

Since when have Ofcom ever 'told' BT to do anything?

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De-regulation?

OK, as far as I'm concerned, de-regulation has been half-arsed.

For any mainstream ADSL, you still have to pay £11/mo to BT for a peice of old, sub-standard, badly-routed copper (or sometimes aluminium even!) to the exchange. They wont replace/repair it unless it impedes voice quality.

I know you also get a connection onto PSTN for this, but I dont need/want/use this. All I ever get on my landline is telesales, so I don't even plug a phone into it. All I want is to rent a peice of good-quality copper to the exchange, less than half a mile away by cable length, so that I can get a decent sync on my ADSL2. Why should BT get £11/mo for half a mile of corroded copper?

If they are going to de-regulate propperly, make them give us the option of no phone service at least. Please. Or at least put regulations in place for specifications on said phone line, above the requirement of clear voice and 28.8 (or is it 14.4? I forget) modem. Most people want broadband now, so the line should have stricter specifications. I have a friend who lives even closer to the exchange than me (about quater of a mile), but she cant get a sync of higher than half a megabit! Sort it out BT!!

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Not just "phone lines"

We have appalling service when it comes to ISDN Pri's. In fact oh look our London branch is falling over again, oh well, it was stable for a couple of minutes....in fact it sayed up for a whole 3 days after the last "fix"

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Unhappy

Waaah waaaah

God I wish people would shut up about this. Thanks to deregulation, instead of having mediocre service from an incumbant telco which had full government backing (BT) we now have shite service from thousands of pissant startups.

"Oh it's BT's fault" is a common and often plain wrong theme. You pay them sod all for the service you get. They maintain the infrastructure your businesses run on for literally pennies. Your business wouldn't even be able to exist without BT running the underlying infrastructure. You're parasites.

"Oh we're running on crappy old bits of copper!" - Feel free to lay your own fibre if you wish. No, didn't think so. Shut up.

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line quality

Let's not forget that when much of that buried copper was installed it was only ever expected to be used for voice - the original data specifications for GPO lines required them to support 200 BITS/second. The fact that the technology now allows 20 MEGABITS/sec is hardly reason to complain that no-one installed suitable equipment 30 years ago. If people want better lines, find an ISP who'll dig up the street and lay them, or lay fibre.

Oh yes, you'll be expected to pay a teensy bit more for that..

That's the core of the problem, people expect to get everything and pay nothing. Last weekend I had no ADSL for 97 hours. I complained to the ISP, and two days AFTER the service was restored they finally got back to me to ask for details of the problem! I am very glad that my service is not unbundled, at least I could still check my work email, even if it was only on a 40kbit/s dialup link.

My ISP? "Free" in France, often used as an example of what BT could be. Don't fool yourselves, if you want professional quality of service, expect to pay for it. You won't get it for 20quid/month, from BT or Free.

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At least you aren't in Switzerland

Well consider yourself lucky you aren't in Switzerland. There are currently 3 or 4 ISP's in Geneva where I live. They all offer exactly the same service for exactly the same price and exactly the same rules. There is **NO** competition in the broadband market at all, there is supposed to be a cable broadband supplier but the insurance companies that own all the apartment buildings won't let then run wires into the buildings (at least where I am).

On the other hand we do have fibre to the curb, you can get VDSL with unlimited bandwidth with 20mbit down and 1mbit up (minimum 8mbit down and 600kbit up) all for the low price of 69CHF a month (which is about £30).

Not too bad really.....tiz a shame BT can't be that efficient in the UK

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Jobs Horns

@ Michael Downie

Careful what u say... big ben V might be reading this pmsl...

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@ Keith

Our business doesn't pay them pennies - it pays them several million quid per year for all the voice, data and mobile business we push their way across all our sites. And time and time again, our 'global services' contacts are great and do what they can, but the inter-division communication causes us headache after headache. As soon as one part of the chain breaks, there's no possibility for one person to talk to another (even if person 1 knows what needs to be done to fix it) thanks to Ofcom regulations.

We deal with GS, Wholesale and Openreach to provide our services, and I've got nothing but praise for *most* of their staff - its the management and processes that really let them down.

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ofcom good for consumers?

ofcom seems to rate its success on the retail pricing of broadband, number of competitors in market and how often consumers are changing providers. This isnt providing a stable situation where prices can be raised to pay for investment in better quality services.

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