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back to article BT biz broadband staggers to its feet after 4-hour titsup

BT suffered what it described as a "major business broadband problem" today, which kicked off at about 07.25 GMT. The telco's service status page is listing the problem as major, but not giving out too much additional data. "Some business customers may currently be experiencing problems connecting to their broadband service," …

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Paris Hilton

BT

Why do people use this shower? I've been with Zen for 2 years now and not only is the service reliable but their technical staff at the support desk are excellent.

Sure it's more expensive but you get what you pay for. Now if only there was a way to eliminate BT from the equation altogether..... Out in the sticks where I live they are the only option for the line and its forever going wrong.

Paris because she's cheap and despite the image there is little substance.

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WTF?

duh

Who provides broadband in none cable areas? BT Wholesale so regardless who you go with and its a BT line, your going through BT.

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Someone using an LLU service can at least claim to be using a separate bit of kit in the exchange but after that who knows?

It's by no means certain that even an LLU provider is avoiding BT's network completely. I would have thought most exchanges only have BT backhaul so you have to use at least that much of their network to get to the POP. Once you've got to the POP you might go via a third party but then again BT are everywhere so it's possible the LLU player rents capacity of them there as well.

It wouldn't surprise me if even VM by some connectivity off BT.

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You'd be surprised how many exchanges are serviced by C&W and NTL / Virgin. Many companies demand diverse connectivity which can only be done with by someone other than BT.

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I might be. I'd have thought most city exchanges and those specifically serving office parks but your average town exchange probably only has BT. Would be interesting to know. TalkTalk claimed a to have been installing backhaul a while back but it was only a comment on their support forums so might been incorrect.

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Anonymous Coward

Seriously, VM's backhaul and telephone service is owned by BT Wholesale and large chunks of their copper network are maintained by Openreach. VM sold it to BT in 2008

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Unhappy

Outage?

Wow, and there's me been connecting to the server back in the office repeatedly since first thing this morning. I miss out on all the good fun.....

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really

not noticed anything happen here. in fact its working better than ever

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Had this this morning.

At first, it was the ADSL Authentication failing on two ADSL2+ lines we have. That went away quite quickly, though, and has been replaced by a completely useless authenticated session that won't shift traffic at all (literally, even a ping only hears silence). Both lines seem to be the same.

I switched us onto our emergency 3G stick which handles the traffic well for about a day before we hit limits, but the two business ADSL lines are still out of commission.

Shall I demonstrate how reliable BT are as a business provider?

My employers asked me to build a device that can automatically cut the power to the two routers we have, wait 30 seconds and restore power to them (and then restart networking scripts, etc.) at the order of a special text message (coincidentally to the same stick we use for emergency 3G access). It happens that often that our one-and-only VPN user actually "hard-reboots" the routers via text on a regular basis when his VPN software can't connect.

Our two lines aren't even stable enough to just run off one most of the time, I had to implement a very fancy failover / connection balancing system using a Linux router to get some sort of stability. Even then, about once a week the local exchange (50 yards away) decides to kill one or more of our sessions and we have to reconnect (via hard power off described above) for no visible reason.

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Anonymous Coward

Business using Consumer products expecting 999999 reliability

So why didnt you go back to your employer and talk to them about MPLS / Leased Lines instead of faffing about with a consumer product. Obviously connectivity isnt that important to you, otherwise you would pay money for reliability.

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WTF?

"Consumer" products don't tend to come with "Business" in the title.

Leased lines are no good for pure-download capacity and we have no need of upload capacity (beyond about 3 occasional VPN users, we have no external-facing servers, but 400+ downloading users during the working day). And have you SEEN leased line prices? The words fecking and ridiculous come to mind. We have 48Mbps download, and the equivalent in leased line would cost hundreds of times more than double business-ADSL2+ lines. I quote the top Google ad for UK leased lines: "Leased Line ****FROM**** £299 p/m" (and they barely start at 2Mbps). We pay about £50 a month at the moment.

The problem is not the technology, or the capability, or even the occasional disconnection, it's the service compared to their rivals offering similar products - but I've never seen something ADSL disconnect that often, consumer or not. BT are the most unreliable ADSL2 provider. And 99% of businesses will never be able to afford even the most basic leased line compared to a similar DSL line.

I can literally buy 12 ADSL2+ ***BUSINESS*** lines from different suppliers (or cable lines, or 3G connections) and load balance them for less than the cost of a 2Mbps line. I'd also get 12 phone lines thrown in for that, 288Mbps of download capacity (and, yes, you can load-balance most web access quite easily and effectively, especially with the right caching), 11 redundant lines and one heck of a cabling mess but hell, I'd rather have that than a 2MBps up/down line with leased-line service.

Not every business is made of money, and not every business has the same needs.

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Anonymous Coward

Yes, you can load balance multiple ADSL lines from multiple providers, and you may be able to download 288 files symultaneously at 1Mbps each, but you will not be able to download A file at 288 Mbps.

However, if you wish to bond multiple ADSL lines to increase throughput it is possible, but you will have to bond lines from a single provider, which potentially leaves you without redundancy. A better option is to bond several lines from one provider, with failover to several other lines load balanced.

Bonded ADSL lines can work out quite a bit more expensive than standard ADSL lines, and most providers have a limit to the number of connections you can bond - 8 in the case of my current employer.

Personally, i'm looking forward to when it's possible to get bonded FTTC or FTTP at my home location, but that will be some time off.. if it ever happens!

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What on earth are you downloading?! Or, as I suspect, are referring to having 400 users using google and BBC news?

470 users here. One caching and filtering proxy on 2mbps SDH leased line. With email (30mb limit), 30 remote workers, 200 ActiveSync clients, EDI and video conferencing I've only ever seen it hit 70% - once. In 2 years.

Difference is that my users can access ALL of the pipe, which most of time is more than yours will.

Plus my SLA for these moments come in useful - as does a propped hardware firewall (Juniper SRX start from £300).

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BT message said it only affected static IP address users

<as title>

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Anonymous Coward

So it's not just Virgin Media then!

Surprisingly, very few of our customer's ADSL connections have gone down today, and only one of those for more than about 30 seconds, which is quite refreshing! (That customer doesn't buy their broadband from us however, and is in fact with BT...)

All our ADSL customer's are on static-ip as well, which suggests to me that some ADSL resellers were less affected than others!

I shall resist the opportunity for a shameless plug for my employers ADSL offerings however.....

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FAIL

Saw this too...

Dropped at around 7:20AM. Nice early 'get me out of bed' call ;-)

BT router refused to authenticate right up until around 10AM. BT were next to useless. Ironically our client had an online booking system and I sent them a quote for a second redundant line in case this ever happened.. as well as a nice Draytek 2820 to swap between the two lines.

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Anonymous Coward

Started at 7.25 am

More like 5am...

How to fudge the figures eh!

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FAIL

Providing useful information

Useful place to report service outage - on the web-based status page!

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