back to article Customer: BT admitted it had 'mis-sold' me fibre broadband

Concerns are growing that some customers switching to BT fibre broadband may not be able to receive the service, despite the ISP "availability" checker saying otherwise – leading some to mistakenly sign up for the service. One customer got in touch with The Register to report he had switched from a £5 TalkTalk package boasting …

  1. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Trollface

    What are customers moaning about?

    They say up to 80Mbps and that's what they give you.

    1. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: What are customers moaning about?

      To be fair to them sometimes they *do* get things right.

      They told me I could get *up to* 75mb/s come day of connection I did a speed test and to my delight and surprise actually got 75mb/s.

      What I would like to see is a decoupling of the line rental/call package and broadband as standard. We only use the broadband so we need a phone line (virgin not an option) because of this we have to pay line rental (fair enough until it went up to £20 a month) and £14 a month for a "Call package" - we dont have a phone plugged in - at all.

      Every year the same thing happens I phone up, threaten to leave, they discount our bill by the same value as the call package and we are happy - but its a pain in the arse, every 12 months - I suspect that our situation isn't unique, other people must have the line JUST for the broadband. BT need to get with the times and update their bundles to reflect this.

      I know I could switch to one of the providers who have started doing this recently (like vodaphone) but as stated above I get a decent speed on infinity2 and dont want to risk that.

      1. frank ly

        @d3vy Re: What are customers moaning about?

        It's the same with Virgin Media. You have to have the cable phone as part of the bundle. Every year, you phone them and tell them you don't or hardly use the phone and don't want it. They offer you a 12 month discounted deal and you make a note in your calendar to go through it all again next year.

        1. TURB0T0NY

          Re: @frank ly What are customers moaning about?

          I'm with VM and I don't have their cable phone. Just the net, no TIVO either.

        2. Slef

          Re: @d3vy What are customers moaning about?

          Yep ! When I was with Virgin I regularly said to them every year "why do I have to have a phone line from you that I will not use...ever" and was consistently told that my package would be cheaper if I had a phone line in the package! Net result a phone line that was used precisely nil times in ten odd years. (had previously been bitten by an NTL phone bill in the hundreds and vowed never to use a cable phone again)

      2. Blotto Bronze badge

        Re: What are customers moaning about?

        @d3vy

        The line rental is for the line that both phone and broadband use. In other words you are paying for and using the line for bb even if you don't use it for calls. You can't not pay for the line. Virgin on the other hand don't use the line for phone calls and do offer packages without phone, but those packages are often worse value than the ones with a phone line. They get paid when people call you, even if it's just the virgin voice mail that answers.

        1. billat29

          Re: What are customers moaning about?

          @ Blotto

          I need the 400m of loop that goes down the road to the green cab at the bottom of the street. I don't need the pair that meanders from there back to the exchange. I don't need an allocation of a phone number and the billing thereof, nor the paper thin directory that drops through my door (rarely). Now that won't represent the full amount of the "line rental" but they could knock a few quid off it.

          1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

            Re: What are customers moaning about?

            @billat29 I would recommend A&A as they provide bare connection service, but since you seem to be price sensitive I am not so sure you will like it. The service is top notch, though.

          2. Phil W

            Re: What are customers moaning about?

            "I need the 400m of loop that goes down the road to the green cab at the bottom of the street. I don't need the pair that meanders from there back to the exchange."

            No but you do need the fibre back to the Exchange, and the ducts that it runs though. You also need someone to repair that 400m of cable to your house if it gets broken or damaged. Perhaps you'd be willing to pay the hourly rate for engineers to work on it if that happens? It could quite easily be years of line rental if the break is hard to find I assure you.

            Your 'line rental' pays for the ongoing maintenance of the network infrastructure. Which is why you don't pay when cables degrade or get broken, or a duct collapses and has to be repaired.

            Don't be fooled by the ISPs like Vodafone, who now don't have specific line rental charges. All they've done is roll it into the cost of the broadband and put the broadband charge up.

            1. gryphon

              Re: What are customers moaning about?

              However I seem to remember from a previous reg article that the wholesale price Openreach charge for line rental is only about £8 pm. Average line rental price from all vendors is about £17-20 even paying in advance so they are making a nice mark-up on that, no wonder some of them offer 'free' broadband.

              1. Peter2 Silver badge

                Re: What are customers moaning about?

                Line rental is about £8. Did that include the care plan for maintenance though? For anything other than BT basic (we'll fix it at some point, honest...) you end up paying another £5 p/m or so.

              2. Tom 38 Silver badge

                Re: What are customers moaning about?

                However I seem to remember from a previous reg article that the wholesale price Openreach charge for line rental is only about £8 pm. Average line rental price from all vendors is about £17-20 even paying in advance so they are making a nice mark-up on that, no wonder some of them offer 'free' broadband.

                BT use the increase in line rental revenue to cross subsidise their foray into TV and especially sports broadcasting. They aren't allowed to milk the broadband aspect of things, so they make it all on the line rental.

                It's scum of the earth behaviour.

              3. Roland6 Silver badge

                Re: What are customers moaning about?

                no wonder some of them offer 'free' broadband.

                Now they are rolling up the line cost into the broadband cost, I see many offerings are now "Broadband with 'free' phone service"

            2. d3vy Silver badge

              Re: What are customers moaning about?

              "All they've done is roll it into the cost of the broadband and put the broadband charge up."

              I'd dispute that, yes they roll up the LR but my BT infinity 2 costs

              Broadband £26

              Line rental £20

              Call package £14

              Charge for not using call package £1

              £60 ish (I've rounded the charges up for simplicity)

              Vodafone is cheaper for a comparable speed (or at least they claim a comparable speed - I'm not willing to risk losing what I get from BT and am ok paying a bit more for it - still grates that I get charged for something I don't use)

              1. stu 4

                Re: What are customers moaning about?

                jesus - 60 quid a month - that's mental.

                I hardly use the phone - I use virgin media (230mbs) for 35 quid a month - no phone.

                2 years ago I took the plunge, disconnected from BT saving me 150+ quid a year line rental - no more landline.

                I play buzznetworks 6 quid a month to route my regular geographic old land number (i.e. for me regular ipswich number) to my mobile. I get 100 minutes or so incoming a month free - vastly more than I need.

                A saving of about 100 quid a year over BT, plus the convenience of always 'being in' if you like.

                So 41 quid total for vastly higher service levels.

                line rental of a crappy old bit of copper is frankly legalised robbery.

              2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

                @d3vy - Re: What are customers moaning about?

                Wow! I never realised that BT fleece their customers so much! I'm on A&A, and including their line rental, I pay £45 for FTTC. (I'm getting 76Mb/s) Not only am I saving £15 a month, I also avoid having to deal with BT's customer service, there's no throttling or filtering of my traffic, I get a static IPv4 address plus a block of IPv6 addresses too.

                Win all round I think.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @d3vy - What are customers moaning about?

                  Am within Relish's service area, getting around 45Mbit/s on an average day, sometimes more but not often much less. It's £20/month. Worth considering if within service area and don't need fibre latencies etc (although last time I had fibre, the TalkCrap network was so bad I got slower and worse service than this, for higher cost. )

              3. Infernoz Bronze badge
                Facepalm

                Re: What are customers moaning about?

                I think you're getting seriously ripped off there. Even with an above 40Mbps boost, my FttC costs much less at Talk Talk, including bundled Line rental, with a free SIM for lowest usage mobile, so no need for £5 monthly to Giff Gaff anymore! Whatever that call package is looks expensive!

                Yes, Talk Talk had some limited security issues, but I rarely need to call them and use my own locked down VDSL2 router *1; most of my problems are with BT Openreach's FttC street box and the copper cable requiring auto reconnects and an occasional manual VDSL2 re-sync *2; but that probably affects other ISP customers too...

                *1 with router firewall rules to block all the Windows telemetry and other annoyances.

                *2 BT Openreach should get a fire put under them to migrate FttC to FttP to get ride of the stupid, variable, analogue speed cap with FttC Copper cables and sync issues for VDSL2.

              4. AndyD 8-)₹

                Re: What are customers moaning about?

                @d3vy - "my BT infinity 2 costs

                Broadband £26

                Line rental £20

                Call package £14

                Charge for not using call package £1

                £60 ish (I've rounded the charges up for simplicity)"

                Just checked MY BT Infinity bill:

                Line Rental - £18.99

                Broadband and Calls £10.00

                Unlimited Anytime Calls Add-on £8.50 [SmartTalk App - Free]

                Total including any applicable taxes £37.49

                I signed up with BT last September

            3. Will code

              Re: What are customers moaning about?

              'Don't be fooled by the ISPs like Vodafone, who now don't have specific line rental charges'

              I think that's the point, add the cost to the broadband package so that you see what you're paying for. No more misleading adverts with headline figures of £5 a month when you cannot get it without the £20 a month line rental

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What are customers moaning about?

              I know someone on Vodafone who told me that he'd stopped paying for line rental and now had Fibre! I said that was great news and how much had his bill gone down as a result? Obviously he hadn't considered this and said after checking that actually it wasn't actually a reduction his bill had gone up by ~£3. He'd always been on the basic package and from what I knew didn't do anything to need the new capacity. So after checking if he ever watched anything on Netflix/Amazon Prime etc. (Nope) or did anything that required such high speeds (Nope again) I was puzzled. Basically he'd signed up to fibre to do a bit of online shopping and check his emails and was paying more for the privilege. Bizarrely he doesn't seem to mind this though as he seems to prefer paying extra if it means he's not paying for the line rental - Go figure.

            5. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

              Re: What are customers moaning about?

              "You also need someone to repair that 400m of cable to your house if it gets broken or damaged."

              So for only £18 a month, or £216 per year, someone will fix their own property if it's damaged by themselves, or some third party?

              Assuming damage happens on average every 10 years, that's just £2160 to get someone else's property fixed!

              What a great deal!

              And, of course, in reality most of the time it's BT's own people that have screwed up the line.

              BT sure know how to milk those 40 year old copper wires.

        2. d3vy Silver badge

          Re: What are customers moaning about?

          @blotto,

          I know, I'm happy to pay the LR.

          My objection is £14 a month call package that is mandatory if you have a line.. so we can make cheap calls evenings and weekends using the phone that we don't have.

          What's actually worse now that I'm thinking about it is they also charge us £1 a month for not using the phone.

          1. AndyD 8-)₹

            Re: What are customers moaning about?

            "My objection is £14 a month call package that is mandatory if you have a line.. so we can make cheap calls evenings and weekends using the phone that we don't have."

            Suggestion - upgrade to anytime calls and use BT SmartTalk for 'free' calls on your family's mobiles.

      3. Fihart

        Re:charging for unused phone @d3vy

        "I know I could switch to one of the providers who have started doing this recently (like vodaphone)......"

        My understanding is that firms like Voda and Talk Talk, who claim to have abolished line rental, have merely bundled it with broadband charge and raised prices to the same level as before, or more.

        1. d3vy Silver badge

          Re: Re:charging for unused phone @d3vy

          Quote from Vodafone for comparable speed was half my BT bill.

      4. AndyD 8-)₹

        Re: What are customers moaning about?

        BT are sh*t -

        just saying that to see if it gets posted

        a couple of non-sh#t posts are still being moderated after 13 hours!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What are customers moaning about?

      The BT Infinity 2 contract states a 'Minimum Guaranteed Speed' of 64mbps, so this isn't what he paid for.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: What are customers moaning about? @AC

        "The BT Infinity 2 contract states a 'Minimum Guaranteed Speed' of 64mbps, so this isn't what he paid for."

        Is that for all installations and Infinity 2 contracts? or is the minimum guarantee dependent upon the actual results of the availability checker. Zen give different speed guarantees, so I have client sites, all signed up to 80Mbps services, but each having a different minimum speed guarantee and achieving different service speeds.

        Otherwise I would agree, it is probably this which forms the basis of BT admitting to having "mis-sold" the product, as their sales rep. and/or sales system should have seen the potential line speed and barred the sale, prompting the selling of the lower speed Infinity product instead.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      (Re-worded with Rose tinted glasses removed)

      "Over the next three years, BT intends to increase its fibre broadband coverage, rolling out its ultrafast hybrid fibre and copper G.Fast technology to 10 million customers**, which will provide speeds of more than 100Mbps by 2020."

      ** 1. What is BT defining as the working radius/minimum speed from an FTTC/G.fast Combo cabinet to state 10m customers?

      2. Bear in mind Customers can have more than one line, so this isn't 10m premises.

      3. Is this being measured as customer passed by potential G.fast? which is not the same as actual service.

      4. Are BT actually stating there is a guaranteed 100Mbps+ service, for a successful G.fast order for 10m customers? {I very much doubt it}

      5. Given the line cards have a much smaller number of ports per G.fast cabinet. Of the 10m Customer , how many could actually take the service, if all 10m customers wanted it?

      Its more like:

      Over the next three years, BT intends to increase its broadband coverage, rolling out its 'upto ultrafast' hybrid fibre/copper G.Fast technology to 'upto' 10 million customers, which will provide speeds of 'up to' 100Mbps+ by 2020. i.e. can be between 0Mbps (unorderable) and 100Mbps+ subject to line quality/distance from the FTTC cabinet, (as measured in 10's of meters, not km)

      Importantly, if you are more than 300m by cable/150m as the crow flies from the existing FTTC, don't expect G.fast to improve your Broadband, (in this first phase rollout, as its been done)

      TFIFY.

      There is absolutely no guarantee G.fast will offer 'more than' 100Mbps, like FTTC its a similar 'up to' product, between 0Mbps and 100Mbps+. It has a very narrow focus/working range, 10's of meters from the cabinet and highly subject to interference, low level 'pump noise' (surrounding industry) frequencies. Speeds drops off much more rapidly from the cabinet than FTTC. It's still very much an new untested technology in terms of real world rollout, still in trial, which has been generally tested on 'perfect' brand new copper, not on Alu/Copper mixes with multiple terminations between cab and premises.

      In terms of rollout, BT are mapping their coverage 1:1 with existing FTTC cabinets to start with. So unless you're one of the very lucky 10 million customers that live right on top of/next to a new upgraded FTTC/G.fast cabinet combo. I'd say you have much more chance of getting 18Mbps than 80Mbps or a 100Mbps+, after G.fast has been rolled out.

      G.fast is a very selective technology, highly dependant on where you live. G.fast (as BT are rolling out) will only really give the people that already have fast FTTC, better G.fast speeds.

      If you want G.fast order it quick, on rollout because the number of connections available will be in short supply.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: (Re-worded with Rose tinted glasses removed)

        I'd also add how are they going to roll out G.Fast if they're using aluminium instead of copper where they can? It's barely acceptable for broadband, it's going to blow up in their faces if G.Fast takes off because they're going to have to replace aluminium cables with copper.

        It's not as if BT is short of a bob or two. They're just kicking the (aluminium) can down the road again.

        1. Infernoz Bronze badge

          Re: (Re-worded with Rose tinted glasses removed)

          If they have to replace cables, they should put fibre in for FttP, for better performance and I'd assume lower cumulative support/maintenance costs.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: (Re-worded with Rose tinted glasses removed)

            "If they have to replace cables, they should put fibre in for FttP, for better performance and I'd assume lower cumulative support/maintenance costs."

            This is BT you're talking about, they have an obsession with Copper/Aluminium, like Gollum has an obsession with Gold Rings.

    4. Wayland Bronze badge

      Re: What are customers moaning about?

      They are smart enough with their words to be accurate and yet misleading. It's not strictly 'fibre' it's VDSL which is a faster way of using your existing phone lines. The company Gigaclear actually pikes fibre cable through your wall and provides (according to them) 1gbps. In my experience only 70mbps.

      I suspect he actually does have BT Fibre with the VDSL service but although this is potentially faster is not a long line service. I've seen customers with typical speed gains from 2mbps to 15mbps which is worth having but not faster than ADSL+ can do under better conditions.

      The other advantage of VDSL over ADSL is that the circuit itself has more bandwidth so 18mbps on VDSL is consistently 18mbps all the time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What are customers moaning about?

        ADSL was a lot more unreliable and the speed was not reliable; I get much faster typical and peak speed with VDSL2 FttC fibre now e.g. around 60Mbps peak speeds for some software downloads and P2P. I often don't hit the peak speeds because a lot of servers can't upload that fast, so it's not lack of capacity with fibre.

  2. Phil W

    Cable?

    "After being told contradictory information by BT customer services, it transpired he was not eligible for fibre broadband because the cable only went to the cabinet - and not to his home."

    Up to 85Mbps is an FTTC speed not an FTTP speed, so the above makes no sense.

    Presumably what has actually occurred is that his cabinet is not FTTC and he can only get ADSL2 which would be up to 24Mbps making 18Mbps far more likely.

    1. ACZ

      Re: Cable?

      @Phil W - which takes us back to the whole question of the package being mis-sold. OFCOM said to El Reg that the ISP are not at fault for selling a package when on the day of activation there isn't capacity on the cabinet/exchange. That's very different to a situation where the cabinet/exchange is not capable of delivering the service at all (i.e. where FTTC doesn't exist). If FTTC doesn't exist then surely the ISP is at fault for accepting an order for a service it absolutely cannot deliver.

      1. Boothy

        Re: Cable?

        Quote: "...when on the day of activation there isn't capacity on the cabinet/exchange"

        Why would they not know this in advance?

        Isn't this what records are for?

        Shouldn't BT know exactly what the max capacity is at every cabinet, know exactly how many much has been provisioned so far, and exactly how many are in the queue to be activated, and therefore know what capacity is available?

        Keeping records goes back to imprints in clay, and knots in strings, so surely this ins't outside of the reach of BT (and BT wholesale) to manage?

        If they don't have this information available, then to me that means BT are incompetent, and shouldn't be allowed to be in business anymore!

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: Cable?

          Keeping records goes back to imprints in clay, and knots in strings, so surely this ins't outside of the reach of BT (and BT wholesale) to manage?

          Ah you must be so lucky never having to have to deal with them, as far as I am concerned they are on the same list as the Sirius Cybernetics corporation.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cable?

          Dont be stupid....that would just be....errr sensible!!

          BT used to be able to tell exactly what was where in which cab....but with both numpty "engineers" who havent really got a clue (no real training and on a seriously low wage compared to original post office engineers) plus the outsourced ones (Kelly being an example) being even worse, all the cabs are an absolute mess....

          Broken cables, loops that are bad and other annoyancies that degrade the cabinet are never really noted by anyone these days...that would mean paperwork and real work being generated and the fact they are lazy, underpaid and understaffed - this just doesnt happen....

        3. Bob the Skutter

          Re: Cable?

          Openreach should know the capacity but are they allowed to tell BT Retail that?

          Do other CPs have access to this information?

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Cable?

            Openreach should know the capacity but are they allowed to tell BT Retail that?

            Well playing around this evening I note an interesting difference between the BT Infinity availability checker and the other BT checkers:

            -- BT Infinity: https://www.productsandservices.bt.com/products/broadband-packages/

            -- BT Openreach: https://www.homeandwork.openreach.co.uk/when-can-i-get-fibre.aspx

            -- BT Wholesale: www.dslchecker.bt.com or www.btwholesale.com/includes/adsl/adsl.htm

            Using my home phone number (already on EE FTTC via BT Wholesale), all will tell me that FTTC is available, however only the BT Infinity checker tells me that there is no spare FTTC capacity and hence does not offer me any of the BT Infinity products. Which would seem to indicate that BT Retail firstly doesn't know that I'm already on FTTC and hence migration is at the VULA level and secondly that BT Retail potentially have a capacity allocation/reservation, which may not be the same as the physical capacity of the cabinet.

        4. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Cable?

          @Boothy Re: "Why would they not know this in advance?"

          For the same reasons as when Internet shopping, you only know you've got what you've purchased a little while later when the resell confirms your order. In the case of Broadband, your order has to go through several layers of systems before it gets to Openreach. Plus during the period between your order being placed there might be equipment faults, meaning either the ports reserved for your order are no longer in service or have been reused because of faults on other pre-existing customer services.

        5. Tom -1

          Re: Cable?

          A bit over a year ago I called BT about a replacement router, as my existing one was a bit archaic. They offered me a fibre package (FTTC, not FTTP) at a cheaper rate than my current broadband package, and I accepted their offer. So a couple of weeks later they switched the congig at teh exchange to use FTTC. No connection was possible. I called them. After several days, an engineer arrived to llok at the problem. He could find nothing wrong at my end, so went of to check at the cabinet. Quite quickly he came back to me to explain that the reason I couldn't get a connetcion was that the cabinet had no fibre connection to the exchange. He also told me that this was a common problem, that BT commonly updated its data to say the various cabinets now had FTTC capability but every time the updates included some cabinets where the work had been reported by the subcontractor as completed but in fact had not even been started, and that BT nmade no atempt at all to check that the completion reports were valid. That struck me as sheer incompetence on BT's part.

          I called BT to point out that the cabinet had no fibre connection and it took some time to get it through their heads that this had been reported by their own engineer and wasn't some weird dream of mine. They then told me it would take a week for them to switch me back to non-fibre connection, and I couldn't get that person to budge on that, so I demanded to talk to someone with authority to do something other than recite standard scripts, threatening a formal written complaint to BT which would include a statement that through the incompetence of their operative to whom I was talking I had found it necessary to make a formal written complaint to OFCOM, which suddenly changed the timescale to it would be fixed within one working day. The next problem was that the contract I had been on previously was no longer offered, it was only allowed to continue to next renewal date and as I had cancelled my non-fibre contract I had to pick one of teh ne ones - which cost more than the old one but delivered less time diuring which calls were free. Much complaining got me nowhere.

          BT are just plain incompetent, they apparently can't be bothered to ensure that their records of what infrastructutre is actually installed and available for use are accurate, and since everyone else providing service around here simply uses BT's infrastructure it's clear that they too can't provide FTTC here, and won't be able to until BT actually provides a fibre connection between the exchange and the cabinet for this area, and I suspect they still believe they already have it.

      2. Phil W

        Re: Cable?

        "which takes us back to the whole question of the package being mis-sold"

        Yes it does, and I wasn't for a moment arguing that it wasn't mis-sold. I was simply pointing out the problem described in the article doesn't make sense.

        As for how it happened, it's more than likely the records for which cabinet that particular phone line go to were wrong and some other cabinet nearby is FTTC enabled. Not an excuse of course, but bearing in mind some of the phone lines out there have been in place since they were put in by GPO before BT ever existed it's at least a little understandable if the occasional record is inaccurate.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cable?

          > As for how it happened, it's more than likely the records for which cabinet that particular phone line go to were wrong and some other cabinet nearby is FTTC enabled.

          Switches are able to report back their exact configuration (port #, usage metrics, etc), so there really isn't an excuse for BT not having (and providing to ISP customers) always-correct information.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cable?

      There must be situations where the exchange is no longer "the focus" / centre of things. (especially on rural exchanges/buildings that are being designed out, of future network topology)

      So potentially, the copper/alu line could be diverted/connected to an FTTC cabinet that doesn't take the same route, it takes a fork in its route and the resulting FTTC is actually further by cable (and outside its ability to offer FTTC) than previous ADSL exchange only - connected line. What's odd here is the line is getting near maximum 18Mbps*, so it seems likely an EO (Exhange Only) ADSL line.

      Anyone know real examples (Postcodes) of this happening? i.e. Re-routes, where new cabling to FTTC is longer, than previous.

      *Unless this is usual "upto" 18Mbps confusion (in terms of service) and not the actual speed the customer was receiving.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Cable?

        There must be situations where the exchange is no longer "the focus" / centre of things.

        An interesting and relevant digression.

        I had forgotten that BT had done a sale and leaseback of its exchanges back in 2001 (1).

        Also that BT is lobbying Ofcom to change Ofcom's regulation of the traditional phone network and thus allow BT to migrate it to a fully digital service - ie. some form of VoIP service, until then under the USO, BT have to carry the cost of the copper telephony infrastructure and thus it makes business sense to maximise it's usage. Thus once again those that accuse BT of having an affinity for copper, should be redirecting their ire at Ofcom...

        Going back to the exchanges, it isn't just rural exchanges being designed out; BT are currently doing this in Chelsea (3) and are expected in the coming years to have to perform a similar manoeuvre with its exchange in Holborn (4). Whilst it seems BT can design out exchanges, it tends to leave cabling very much as is and so effectively downsizes the exchange to a cabinet, with all the issues you allude to of degraded performance.

        Looking ahead, I can see problems for third-party LLU and SLU operators, firstly finding rack space for their kit and secondly points-of-presence to connect to. Also given the logging requirements of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016, an exchange makes a good secure location for much of the (government funded) equipment. therefore think the decision to sell and leaseback the exchanges is going to bite in the coming years..

        (1) http://www.telerealtrillium.com/about-us/case-studies/bt

        (2) http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2015/06/bt-wants-to-scrap-traditional-uk-phone-lines-within-10-years.html

        (3) http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2016/06/chelsea-uk-telephone-exchange-closure-hit-broadband-speeds.html

        (4) http://www.costar.co.uk/en/assets/news/2015/October/Standard-Life-brings-Midtown-scheme-to-market/

  3. Matt Ryan

    Hopeless Ofcom

    There is a difference between having the capability to provide a service (but discover on provision that there is no capacity) and not having the capability. In this case, BT can't provide FTTC but took the customers order anyway (presumably to boost sale commission, steal a customer from TalkTalk etc).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hopeless Ofcom

      Exactly!! No sense of discussing anything else. This matter has nothing to do with internet speeds or anything IT, it's all business. It should be illegal, but then again, it was just a mi$take.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Eh?

    "One customer got in touch with The Register to report he had switched from a £5 TalkTalk package boasting speeds of 18Mbps per month to BT fibre package of "up to 80Mbps" for £35 per month.

    But after the service was "installed", a speed test revealed he was still getting just 18Mbps."

    So many logical inconsistencies and errors here: What does "18Mbps per month" even mean?

    Get your head round concepts such as the difference between bits & bytes, throughput speeds and data limits (data caps),

    1. Baldrickk Silver badge

      Re: Eh?

      typo, read it as:

      "One customer got in touch with The Register to report he had switched from a £5 per month TalkTalk package boasting speeds of 18Mbps to BT fibre package of "up to 80Mbps" for £35 per month."

      note the position of the first "per month"

      no need to get worked up. It's easy enough to understand.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Eh?

        Posting stupid?

        Post anonymous.

        ;-P

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Eh?

      The reasons for the problem encountered by this customer are obvious; the customer was on the TalkTalk LLU!

      BT had deployed FTTC to the street cabinets that covered the customer's postal address.

      Thus if the customer put their 'details', namely: telephone number and postcode into consumer broadband availability checkers they would have been told that FTTC was available. What these checkers don't tend to return is the information that this conclusion was based on the postcode and not the phone line.

      Using BT's wholesale checker with a phone number that is attached to a non-BT LLU will result in BT being unable to test the line and thus confirm actual service availability. Instead they will use their records and postcode information to determine if the postcode is covered by a FTTC cabinet. Thus switching LLU's, particularly from ADSL (not ADSL2 etc.) to VDSL/FTTC can be a step into the unknown.

      Interestingly, my postcode suffers from the opposite problem: According to the postcode checker FTTC is not available, according to the line checker we have 80/20 FTTC (which I've had for a little over a year now). Thus I had a private laugh, a neighbour on Sky was complaining about the poor ADSL (sub 1mbps) were told by Sky that FTTC wasn't available, even though I had FTTC (from EE) installed for a couple of months at that point in time.

      1. Infernoz Bronze badge
        WTF?

        Re: Eh?

        That doesn't make sense; even if the phone number had been transferred to a new address, there should still be BT line connection records somewhere because it is generally BT engineers who repair faulty lines, so they have to know where it is connected to do any repairs!

        1. Commswonk Silver badge

          Re: Eh?

          I have been thinking "Eh?" for different reasons.

          Firstly a "technical" customer would or should have been aware of whether or not FTTC cabinets had appeared in the locality; if they hadn't then it would be unlikely that FTTC was available. They are hardly difficult to spot, after all.

          Secondly if it was known that the existing service gave something around 18 Mb/s on ADSL then the area in question would be unlikely to be a target area for BT to put in FTTC in the first place; with 10 Mb/s being a sort of standard for a USO why would it?

          I do not seek to exonerate BT's mis-selling in any way, but I get the feeling that the customer in this case was not as savvy as he perhaps ought to have been.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Eh?

            but I get the feeling that the customer in this case was not as savvy as he perhaps ought to have been.

            I tend to agree, as a 'village' receiving 18Mbps ADSL wouldn't be targeted by the BDUK project.

            However, assuming the speeds quoted in the article are correct (18Mbps for ADSL, 18Mbps for VDSL). Using the FTTC/distance graph ( http://www.increasebroadbandspeed.co.uk/2013/chart-bt-fttc-vdsl2-speed-against-distance )

            it would seem he is potentially 1.8km from his street cabinet (assuming normal levels of line attentuation etc.). Looking at the ADSL/Distance graph ( http://www.increasebroadbandspeed.co.uk/2012/graph-ADSL-speed-versus-distance ) we see that his distance from the exchange is about 1.8km. Which would tend to indicate that his street cabinet is adjacent to the exchange.

            So it would seem what this particular customer was wanting (expecting?) was FTTP, which most probably isn't available in his area.

      2. cybertonto72

        Re: Eh?

        The issue this customer faced is that the ISP pulls the sales information from openreach systems, that uses the postcode most time and if the give the new ISP the current landline number that uses that to check the cabinet for the FTTC tag. This tells the ISP that they can get fibre. on the activation date Openreach send a fibre engineer to the cabinet and they do the switch over, at this point the engineer sees that there are no free fibre lines to the cabinet and files a capacity report.

        BT have been known to request that the engineer connects a ADSL line while he is there.

        But even if the engineer signs the job as a no capacity issue ISP's never see this as openreach systems still see 1 free fibre line to the cabinet as there is always one spare line into the cabinet that can not be used.

        Also when using any other provider than BT the openreach system will 'withhold' fibre information until it gets releast to the rest of the providers and the can prove that the fibre is stable....

  5. jason 7 Silver badge

    Could just be...

    ...another cock up at the cabinet.

    Seen a lot of those.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Could just be...

      "...another cock up at the cabinet."

      They used to be engineers up at the cabinet....

  6. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    He speculated that BT may hold inaccurate information on its systems

    For those of us who regularly deal with BT, there is no need to speculate: We *know* BT hold (lots) of inaccurate information on its systems.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Over 10 years of internet problems and helping neighbors/friends call BT, every time the call goes "We see no fault reported at the exchange, it must be your equipment."

      Every time, the fault has been broken cables, cabinets and sockets at the exchange (I recently had to be plugged into a new exchange socket). With one exception (I was not involved ;) ) being a work college who had plugged in the routers wrong, but got let off the £120 charge as the engineer found another fault near by in the process.

      Other companies are not even any better, as many over sell on capacity or blatantly lie about services and features.

      I've gone with a smaller company who are as honest as they come. Sadly they do have to use BT backhual and last mile for most services.

      1. JimboSmith Silver badge

        I've mentioned it before but my parents are with Talk Talk through them having first signed up with Homechoice, which was in turn bought by Tiscali, which was bought by Talk Talk. They used to have a Homechoice email address (see below) but when TalkTalk stopped supporting that we moved them onto a TalkTalk.net one (post Hack).

        However a long while ago I had the misfortune to have to contact Talk Talk customer technical support because the broadband was dead and I was getting complaints. I had already identified that the cable (they live somewhere rural with a telegraph pole supplying their landline/BB) from the pole to the house had suffered a direct hit from something (we thought a lorry) and was no longer connected to the house. I started the phone call informing the support bloke of this and asking for a BTOpenreach engineer to visit and fix it. When asked if there was an email address that they could be contacted on that didn't rely on their broadband being functional I said yes dodderyoldfolk1922andabit@Homechoice.co.uk which is available on their smart phones.

        Bloke: "No you mean @talktalk.net don't you"

        Me: "It's what I just said it was and I can spell it out phonetically if you need it."

        Bloke: "You might want to switch to a Talk Talk email address you know"

        Me: "Why?"

        Bloke: "Well that domain's quite old you know"

        Me:"So are my parents, and that's why we don't change things if at all possible. What does the age of the domain of the email address have to do with anything anyway?"

        Bloke: "Well you know.......it might get switched off due to its age. We can't support everything indefinitely."

        Me: "How long have you worked in this job"

        Bloke: "A while"

        Me: "Do you have any qualifications in anything IT related?"

        Bloke: "I'm not sure I'm allowed to answer questions like that"

        Me: "Okay, can Talk Talk not afford to keep the payments up on the homechoice.co.uk domain? It's not really that expensive is it? My domain name is a .com and only costs ~£10 a year."

        Bloke: "I can't comment on the company or finances"

        Me: "Okay then, any news on when you can get BTOpenreach to send someone round to look at the external cable?"

        Bloke: "We have yet to determine where the fault has occurred"

        Me: "Well the first step I would have thought would be to reconnect the landline through which the broadband reaches them wouldn't you? Would you like a picture of the cable hanging down from a telegraph pole to confirm it?"

        Bloke: "................We'll send details of the first appointment available in an email to that address"

        Me: "Thank you, I have to go now my head hurts".

        TalkTalk made no reference to the fact that they were stopping supporting email accounts using homechoice.co.uk it just happened. I got a phonecall to say their email wasn't working properly and could I look into it which I did. The first thing I found was that the webmail didn't work you couldn't access it at all. Then after a few phonecalls to the Indian call centre where they denied that Talk Talk owned Homechoice.co.uk I sent them a screenshot of this page:

        https://www.networksolutions.com/whois/results-res.jsp?domain=homechoice.co.uk

        I was told no one knew this and they had no information on Home Choice at all.

      2. JimboSmith Silver badge
        Facepalm

        I had a problem when I moved into my current place in that the builders had destroyed the landline. When I bought the place it used to go directly into the kitchen where the master socket was. When I went round for a site visit (there were some serious works going on) that room was now open to the elements and the wall that the socket was on sat as a pile of rubble. As it was still connected to the exchange when the wall was there I thought I'd get it re done in a new location. So I called BT (got through to foreign call centre) on my mobile and said that the landline was now missing [as was my kitchen] and could they send an engineer round please to reconnect me. The conversation went something like this:

        Me: I would like to pay you to send an Openreach engineer round as the room that my telephone line came into has been demolished by the builders. Therefore I need someone to come round and re-cable the house from the cabinet in the street so that I can get a working phone line again and become your customer once again when I move in.

        BT: Sir we will need to test the line first before we send an engineer because that will cost you. do you know where the master socket is?

        Me: Yes in my hand but I'm wiling to pay for an engineer to come..

        BT: Okay that's great can you unscrew the faceplate and plug a phone into the socket behind that please.

        Me: Yup done that

        BT: Okay can you hear anything from the phone when you lift the receiver.

        Me: No I can't hear anything.

        BT: Okay can you see the cable going to it or is it going into the wall.

        Me: I have seen the cable in a builders rubble bag as I don't think it's salvageable anymore. I'm willing to pay for an engineer to come round and do the work...

        BT: I don't understand are you saying that the cable isn't connected to the socket.

        Me: Yup it was attached to the wall when the wall was demolished.

        BT: So it was intentionally damaged by yourselves?

        Me: Not sure it was intentional they weren't aware it was connected to the exchange.

        BT: It still counts as intentional damage and we'll need to send someone round to your premises. This will be chargeable sir and you need to make sure someone is there for the appointment.

        Me: I said at the start I was aware it would cost me and that I was willing to pay........

  7. Steve Todd

    Erm...

    "After being told contradictory information by BT customer services, it transpired he was not eligible for fibre broadband because the cable only went to the cabinet - and not to his home."

    Yes, that's the way that BT Infinity works, they have an optic link from the exchange to the cabinet, then VSDL over copper from the cabinet to your home. Nothing said there precludes BT from providing him with a faster connection.

    The problem is that if you're more than about 800m from the cabinet then VDSL slows down to similar speeds to ADSL2+, so it's only useful for short runs. This is OK for urban environments, less so for rural.

    1. Neil 44

      Re: Erm...

      That's hit the nail on the head as to why the proposed solution for so called "exchange only" lines is going to fail (basically, put a cabinet at the exchange and connect fibre to it...). Whilst it might work in some urban areas, there are pockets of houses served as "Exchange Only" round here that are >800m from the exchange even as the crow flies let alone as the cable runs - so VDSL will be lucky to manage the same performance as ADSL2....

      I just wish they would acknowledge that our cute little concrete pillar that has all the phone joints inside it really is a cabinet (it is, but its not green and isn't very big!).

      Doubly frustrating as the fibre to the next cabinet down the road actually goes past our concrete cabinet through its underground chambour!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Erm...

        Whilst vaguely on the subject, I would love to know what twisted logic was used to site our village's one-and-only FTTC box a mile out of the village, on a windswept crossroads in the middle of nowhere.

        Suggestions on a postcard please to Customer Experience Improvement, OFCOM (also here - if publishable).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Erm...

          I would love to know what twisted logic was used to site our village's one-and-only FTTC box a mile out of the village, on a windswept crossroads in the middle of nowhere.

          At a guess, because that's where the cable from the village to the exchange crossed the data fibre.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Erm...

            Not in this case - fibre was installed specifically for that cabinet from exchange ~2 miles away. But for whatever reason not willing to "go the extra mile". :((

        2. AndrueC Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: Erm...

          our village's one-and-only FTTC box a mile out of the village,

          Presumably because that's where the original PCP is.

          Installing an FTTC cabinet next to an existing PCP is relatively simple. You might only need a concrete plinth laying and a hole drilling down into existing ducting. Then you just run the patch cables from the old PCP to the new cabinet and back again. Worst case scenario is a short trench and new ducting (a few yards at most).

          But installing an FTTC cabinet where there isn't an existing PCP could be very expensive. You would probably have to reroute most of the lines in the village. That could involve major roadworks or at least a couple of weeks installing poles or new cable runs.

          As for why the original PCP is out there that's probably because at the time the network was built that was the last place where all the cables were together. From that point on some cables go to your village, others go to farms or isolated properties or maybe another village.

    2. AndrueC Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Erm...

      The problem is that if you're more than about 800m from the cabinet then VDSL slows down to similar speeds to ADSL2+

      Actually it slows down to worse speeds. I'm not sure why this is (split frequency ranges for up and down perhaps?). But beyond a certain point you're better off on ADSL than VDSL. BT are trialling something called 'Long Reach VDSL' which might address this.

  8. Total Web Solutions

    We have witnessed this first hand going through a 'dummy' order on the BT system when a customer thought they could get High-Speed Fibre but they couldn't (according to our system checks). Inputting the line number and postcode on the BT website did indeed show upto 80Mbps as being available (with the estimated around 74Mbps). it was only when progressing through the order screens (being offered BT TV, router, handsets etc) that it showed at the 'confirm' screen, that the speed would actually be 3-5Mbps. It would be easy for a customer to miss this and sign up only to be disappointed.

    The Fibre checker may well show a line as having Fibre available (even if it doesn't) but it is only the Exchange that is enabled for it and not the individual Exchange Cabinet. We have had customers with Exchanges with the 'Fibre is here' sticker on the green box at the end of their street not being able to get Fibre for over 12 months, when their neighbors have it already. It is a question of capacity and routing but it doesn't help the customer confusion.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      IIRC this is an old sales technique. Show the bells and whistles available, then at the very last point, before you click "buy" tell the customer the actual service they are getting costs more (as legacy connections/services cost more to provide ;) ) and that it provides less, and that we "will wait for the engineer/exchange to let us know".

      Is a real problem I've seen with bundled services as well, when no knowing if there is LLU available etc.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        IIRC this is an old sales technique.

        Sales technique that I've encountered elsewhere on the web not just with telecoms. Bought amongst other things few packs of tiny 10cm by 10cm "Thank You" cards on Amazon before Christmas and did so because the page said that they came with free delivery (they're no longer available). However when I reached the basket page there was a £3.99 postage and packing charge. As everything I wanted was either free delivery or Prime eligible it took me a while to work out work out that the cards were the reason for the charge. So I took them out of the basket and added one back - there was no P&P charge. Added a second and there was £3.99 again in the total which was bugging me. There were only 4 cards in a pack and they were wrapped in celophane so the total cost for P&P would I thought be one envelope and a 1st or 2nd class stamp.

        I wasn't about to pay way over the odds for this so I placed 4 identical orders for 4 packs of cards which Amazon warned me were duplicate orders. I ignored this and pressed ahead knowing I was saving almost a whole £4. I received them all delivered in one envelope (not even a large letter envelope) with a second class stamp on and before Christmas despite a postal strike.

        I won't bore you with the story of the unnecessary service the business I work for is currently paying a telecoms firm (not BT) for per line because the director responsible signed up to it without asking too many [some might say enough] questions. It's only £20 per month per line though so quite expensive given the number of lines and I can't wait to renegotiate the contract when it's due for renewal.

  9. Bodzin
    Boffin

    Self check

    Not many people seem to know about

    https://www.btwholesale.com/includes/adsl/main.html

    Where you can check what your address can get from Openreach services, using a multitude of identifiers - house, number, postcode, line id, NAD, UPRN.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Self check

      I tried that service on my Mothers Line and the report said

      FTTP on demand. 330Mbit down and only 30Mbit up.

      I wonder what the hell that means. I thought FTTP was symmetrical. Shows how much I know.

      For my line, it showed no FTTC and 12.5Mbits DSL. That's about what I get.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Self check

        I wonder what the hell that means. I thought FTTP was symmetrical. Shows how much I know.

        FTTP can be symmetrical but BT have chosen to limit the upload, probably to try and protect their leased line business.

        Most flavours of DSL can also be symmetric but are rarely implemented as such. Most use cases don't call for it and mixing frequency plans can cause crosstalk issues. So most xDSL implementations stick to the common use case of asymmetric bandwidth.

    2. Boothy

      Re: Self check

      Tried that site before, they don't seem to have full records, which is odd for a BT wholesale site!

      If I put my land-line number in I get this:

      "There is no data available for this number. This could be either because it is not a BT line or it is a new BT number that has just been provided. Most new numbers will appear on the checker 24 hours after BT has installed the line."

      It was BT wholesale/openreach who put the line in. I know this, as I was there and spoke to the guy who did the work, he was in a BT Openreach van. (This was about 4 years ago, a new build, so well beyond the 24 hours!).

      The alternate address checker states the data is 'indicative', and not specific to your line. (Although it does now seem to have more data than it used to a couple of years back).

      1. BFG

        Re: Self check

        > It was BT wholesale/openreach who put the line in.

        But who is your service provider?

        It may have been installed by Openreach, but if it's a LLU line (e.g. SKY, TT), BT will have no idea what telephone number they have allocated, so the number checker will fail and the address should be used instead.

        1. Boothy

          Re: Self check

          Quote: "It may have been installed by Openreach, but if it's a LLU line (e.g. SKY, TT), BT will have no idea what telephone number they have allocated, so the number checker will fail and the address should be used instead."

          Yup, it was Sky.

          I was moving to a new build, with no phone line yet (copper in, but not connected) and BT wanted something like £70 to connect it up.

          Whereas Sky would do it for free, and install a new Satellite dish, as long as I signed up for another 12 months of TV and landline rental with them (TV I was going to do anyway, and at the time Sky line rental was cheaper).

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Self check @Bodzin

      If you are a network 'techie' then I would recommend supplementing this with an exchange search and availability check at Samknows:

      https://www.samknows.com/broadband/broadband_checker

      It provides more information, such as the actual services available and the exchange lookup helps with the assessment of the cabinet to premise line distance and thus speed likely to be achieved.

      The main issue I have is that the information on LLU's available seem to be out of date - but that can be helpful in determining whether someone is on the legacy O2/BE LLU or the Sky LLU.

      The other issue is that the availability checkers don't cover the Alt-ISPs...

  10. Alister Silver badge

    So when BT start saying they provide FTTC to so many percentage of the country, the fact is they don't know for sure whether it actually works.

  11. Davegoody

    Anyone using BT infrastructure is prone to this.... SKY etc.....

    I was with SKY Broadband, out in the sticks in Wiltshire a few years ago. When we moved there we checked and the estimated speed on ADSL was 5-6mbps, but we were eligible for Fibre, with an estimated speed of 20mbps.

    It gets installed (two days after the agreed date), and we got a MAXIMUM of 3mbps. Most days we got less than 500k..... Upload speeds were pretty much non-existent. SKY refused to give us any discount at all, we were bound by contract, and I could not work from home with less-than-broadband speeds. Their "oh-well" attitude was what finally made us move home, as WFH is an important part of my job, Seriously crap, so it's not just BT (though they do use OpenReach infrastructure). Now with Virgin in a more urban environment and get 300mbps constantly. Two different technologies of course, but at least Cable providers pretty much nail the discrepancy between advertised speeds and REAL speeds.

  12. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    IT'S NOT BLOODY FIBRE!!!

    It's copper. It's bloody copper. Why do they keep advertising this as fibre?

    1. Paul 164

      Re: IT'S NOT BLOODY FIBRE!!!

      And in some cases it's copper coated aluminum cables - which are total crap for data!

    2. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: IT'S NOT BLOODY FIBRE!!!

      "Why do they keep advertising this as fibre?"

      Because there are enough dumb people to make it worth while. Virgin are no better calling their packages "Fibre Broadband" and drivel/boast about DOCSIS 3 and magic in their cables.

      1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

        Re: IT'S NOT BLOODY FIBRE!!!

        Well magic, I can't argue with that.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IT'S NOT BLOODY FIBRE!!!

      Considering it is fibre to the cabinet I honestly do not see the problem with it being called fibre? Before you say Virgin has fibre, that uses twisted pair copper to the property in most cases too.

      1. Neil 44

        Re: IT'S NOT BLOODY FIBRE!!!

        I thought Virgin used co-ax into the property?

        Maybe it depends on who laid the cables in the time before Virgin took them over...?

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: IT'S NOT BLOODY FIBRE!!!

          Re: I thought Virgin used co-ax into the property?

          They use both:

          Virgin coax for the TV and broadband

          BT twisted-pair for the phone service

      2. AndrueC Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: IT'S NOT BLOODY FIBRE!!!

        Blame the ASA. VM were the first to make the claim (and yes they do install some true FTTP but the vast majority is co-ax). BT appealed to the ASA and the claim was denied. So BT shrugged and followed suit.

        The ASA argument is supposed to be 'most of the connection is over fibre'. But that argument applies to ADSL as well (heck even an analogue modem). It's only copper to the exchange and after that is fibre all the way.

        So in all forms of broadband 99% of the cable length that the data traverses is fibre :D

        1. TechnicalBen Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: I don't see a problem with it...

          Mine is the one with REAL "R0lex" watches in the pockets, real GOLD!!! too, only £500 a piece.

  13. Tezfair

    perhaps he had a talktalk line

    in which case BT couldn't do anything any. Got a similar situation at a clients, TT adsl drops out twice a month for several days at a time so we are cutting our losses, however as the line isn't BT we are getting the line transfered back before we can switch to fibre so line change with adsl upgrade.

  14. wyatt
    FAIL

    My Monster in Law, the wicked witch that she is, couldn't afford her sky phone line rental so they cut her off. They did forget however to disable her ADSL circuit so she currently has free internet access.

    1. wolfetone
      Holmes

      She can't be that bad if you haven't dobbed her in.

      1. wyatt

        She can burn in hell, it keeps her from visiting as much as she can facebook herself to death away from me rather than using my internet.

        1. wolfetone

          At least your Mother In Law is away from you. The woman that lived next door to us died a month ago and her house is up for sale. And guess who wants to buy it?

          I'll give you a clue, it's not my mother.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "My Monster in Law, the wicked witch that she is, couldn't afford her sky phone line rental so they cut her off. They did forget however to disable her ADSL circuit so she currently has free internet access."

      I had this happen with BT, having cut my voice line off 10 days after sending the 1st bill* (I was on holiday for 12 days), I refused to pay the reconnection fee

      The arguments went back and forth through the BT complaints system for 18 months before I finally had had enough and told them to fuck off.

      All that time, the internet worked perfectly (and no data cap!!)

      *Dated the day I left for Russia, 2nd dated the day after, and the disconnection notice dated 3 days after that (a Monday - they dont work Sat/Sun), with the phone line being disabled the following Monday.

  15. danielpugh

    exactly the same just happened for one of our customers - but worse

    promised 30Mbps (still shows this now on the wholesale adsl checker) so they ordered

    two brand new phonelines

    40 Mbps fttc @ £30 per month

    20Mb symetrical GEA @ £225 per month

    fttc peaks at 5

    gea is now stalled at install for 5 months - "escalated with a director"

    openreach cant explain and send the obligatory "we may have to charge you" even though it has been this speed on the fttc for 5 months, multiple reboots and router change...

    brilliant!

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      re: "exactly the same just happened for one of our customers - but worse"

      It is for these sorts of reasons I use third-parties and not BT. If you had ordered the line through Zen they would have given you a service level guarantee backed up by Ofcom SLA's on BT Openreach.

      Just had a client site that lost broadband, On-site Openreach engineers told client that it will be weeks before service would be restored, a call to Zen and the engineers were able to restore service that afternoon...

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge
        Pint

        Gotta give one to Zen and the likes (A&A, IDNET, ThinkBroadband etc) for getting BT/Openreach into gear.

        Nothing is better than the stories they tell too... like the time a trainee at Openreach deleted an entire ISP of the systems (no idea if it was routing/radius/etc as I'm not THAT technical).

  16. ukgnome

    Meanwhile in Norfolk

    We get up to walking speed - although I am lucky and get tractor speed

  17. jason 7 Silver badge

    Pull out...

    ...the bellwire.

    Might give an extra 0.5Mbps.

    1. Boothy

      Re: Pull out...

      Also replacing the old NTE5 Master socket with a vDSL Openreach one can help as well.

      My ex girfield was a long way from the exchange (miles), and not yet FTTC enabled (old cabinet) and managed about 4Mbps at best, and was flaky.

      I replaced the standard face plate (NTE5), with a Mk3 vDLS one, and it went up to 6Mbps, and was a lot more stable.

      She later switched to FTTC once her cabinet was updated, and gets ~20Mbps through the same socket now (20 is what she paid for).

      Just search for 'BT Openreach MK3' on Amazon/ebay etc.

      Also if you don't use them, disconnect any extensions coming out of the master socket. My old house had two extensions, and as I used a wireless phone plugged directly into the master socket, they weren't needed, so I just pulled the wires out from the back of the little removable plate. I went from ~16Mpbs to 18Mpbs at the time.

      1. jason 7 Silver badge

        Re: Pull out...

        Might take a look as I have the original MK1 BT ADSL socket. The one that they used to send two engineers round to fit in 2001!

        However, it may be the case that the newer ones are just cheaper and nastier than what I have already.

  18. Lamont Cranston

    I had this about 10 years ago.

    BT salesman turned up at my door, telling me that they were rolling out Infinity in our area, so I signed up. Got a phone call about a week later to tell me that, in reality, they weren't rolling out Infinity in our area for a couple of years, at least.

    Incompetent but honest, I suppose.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Re: I had this about 10 years ago.

      Wow you were lied to, considering they didn't even start rolling it out until 2010 !

  19. Haku

    It's probably fair to say BT as a company is Autistic.

    Because of their idea of communication and interaction at a human level, both internally and externally.

  20. a_mu

    customer can't get service

    If I pay for say 100 mb, and get 60, and then pay for 50 Mb and get 30

    same equipment, same supplier, its the supplier that is throttling my link, not the link length,

    so they are not supplying ,

    What other service can the supplier change what they supply at will and charge us the same amount?

    Its like paying for electricity per month, but the supplier will drop the voltage to zero if they want to.

    thank god there are regulations on the electricity suppliers on voltage limits.

    I bet, if we paid per Gbyte, then the speeds would increase fantastically,

    1. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: customer can't get service

      F*ck don't give them ideas.

  21. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Probably someone left a bulldozer or truck parked on the fibre cables.

    Care should be taken when driving the offending vehicle off them that the backed-up bits don't squirt down all in one go and burst people's computers, phones and smart TVs.

  22. wolfetone
    Joke

    18Mbps?

    I'm surprised he wants anything faster than that. Speeds that fast can cause nosebleeds and blindness y'know?

    1. Anonymous IV

      Re: 18Mbps?

      I always argue that the only reason for "super-ultra-hyper-fast broadband" is so that the Windows 10 Updates can download faster...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can believe this...

    Openreach literally has no idea if my property can be connected to their fibre network. All the other houses in the village can have FTTC and we're even connected to the same cabinet. Properties both further away and closer are all fine apart from ours. I can see this happening.

  24. the hawk

    What a surprise.

    Friend of mine was promised 80Mbps on the website, only to get 2Mbps upon install. Turned out that BT's systems thought his address was right next to the cabinet, when it was actually about 2 miles away (rural broadband, it's a real treat). Doesn't surprise me that they hold other incorrect information, sadly.

  25. Noel Morgan

    I was offered Fibre at up to 45MB with a minimum guaranteed speed of 35.

    I jumped at this because I was stuck on 4.5 with ADSL.

    Line was duly upgraded and maximum sync speed was 2MB. Thankfully was able to get back to ADSL without charge.

    It turns out that their records assume you are a maximum distance of 500 metres from the nearest cabinet, I live in a rural area and am about 3500 metres from the cabinet.

    FTTC falls off much faster with distance than ADSL2. So although I was further from the exchange than the cabinet I got a worse service.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just out of interest...

      Are Bastard Telecom using G.Fail to the customer from their cabinets in their FTTC offerings? If so, it's no wonder why their punters are seeing significant degradation of bandwidth with distance.

  26. Bloodbeastterror

    BT still providing top quality service then...?

    A couple of years ago I wanted to switch ISP and chose BT because I thought that if there were any problems they'd be the right people to get straight on the case.

    I ordered their 70mbps service online and prepaid the year's line rental. I took a screenshot as a memo for myself, so I know exactly what I ordered. Two weeks later I called them to ask how it was going. "Order? What order?" So I went through it all over again with a very nice lady who took down all the details, including the year's pre-paid line rental. Engineer turned up on time, got me a respectable 60+mbps service, all seemed well... until my next bank statement showed a charge for BT line rental... Once again "Prepay? What prepay?"

    I took their next price rise (didn't have to wait long) as a reason to get out of the contract.

    Incompetents. I wouldn't touch them again if they were the last ISP in the UK.

  27. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

    Does anyone remember the Good Old Days?

    You used to be able to get a "dry pair" -- just the wires back to the exchange, and from there, on to wherever you needed them to go. No battery, no dial tone and no loading coils. "twas used for high speed modem connections, usually between two sites on the same exchange but perhaps across town from each other.

    This "can't get DSL without POTS service" stuff is rubbish, probably from the Marketing Department. DSL will work just fine over a dry pair. Probably better than when sharing the line with POTS service.

    Of course, here in the US, a dry pair, which was unregulated, cost many, many more times what a regulated POTS line cost. And, took forever and a day to install.

    1. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: Does anyone remember the Good Old Days?

      Sounds bit like Centrex lines that enabled you to have an extension into the company PBX at your home. Why yes of course they were great for using a modem instead of a phone.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does anyone remember the Good Old Days?

      "You used to be able to get a "dry pair" -- just the wires back to the exchange, and from there, on to wherever you needed them to go."

      Yeah, a customer of mine used to use such a setup for measuring the level of water in a reservoir - the wires were connected to a variable resistor attached to a float. It's not something you can buy any more because there's no longer copper back into the core network - what used to be called junction cables.

      I buy a product known as 'naked' DSL outside of the UK that has no phone service attached, but it generally costs more than a service with a phone line - maybe E5 a month extra. That's because the telco expects to make some money from phone calls over the line (incoming or outgoing) - if there's no phone service they offset that loss of revenue with a higher rental. Sometimes the line speed is slightly higher without voice on the baseband, but not by much.

  28. Jason Hindle

    So is the customer being put on the correct price plan?

    BT's ADSL2 product is cheaper than Infinity 2. I'm not normally litigious, but this might be a good enough reason to get all lawyerd up.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I had 150mbps in 2012 in New York. How the fudge is 2/3 of that speed by 2020 any notion of 'ultrafast'? Virgin will be in excess off 200mbps in many areas this year.

    BT are ultrashit

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BT have bet all their chips on G.fast. It’s a big mistake. Why? Cybersecurity.

    BT have bet all their chips on G.fast. It’s a big mistake.

    Just because other Countries are rolling out G.fast does not make it a legitimate reason to do so in the UK.

    Outdated Firmware issues+rogue non-compliant devices, crosstalk aka “interference” (+low level industrial machinery “pump noise”), power issues are much bigger threats/issues than BT are letting on regards G.fast rollout and they are ignoring them, to save their own skin.

    But the big one, equivalent to Apple’s Bendgate (why it shouldn’t be the basis for any UK national infrastructure rollout) and what BT and other promoters of G.fast are failing to mention regarding G.fast is how susceptible this technology is to malicious interference/blackmail. Its just far too easy to take out G.fast Circuits.

    You have to ask why Ofcom has not even raised the issue to date of cybersecurity/robustness/safety of network for G.fast, regards outside malicious intent to disable it.

    Inteference which could be applied for brief short bursts, causing real disruption and difficult to pinpoint such sources, (either accidental or deliberate). Knocking off 100’s circuits at once. This could be done with cheap technology, placed at strategic places in the network, timed to operate at the same time. It’s a real threat and oddly, BT aren’t mentioning it.

    The security/reliability of banks of G.fast connections are very vunerable to blackmail in this way. Though not a known common threat at present, its certainly a reason to question BT’s thinking/approach in implementing G.fast Technology first and foremost for large scale UK rollout.

    BT’s so called ‘cheap approach’ (it isn’t if you want ubiquitous coverage) using legacy copper hybrid G.fast approach just isn’t a robust, safe one, you have to look at the potential threats in the World today.

    Personally, I think the malicious threat potential alone is enough to ditch this G.fast tech, going forward.

    G.fast is going to end up an expensive mess, fault finding problems mean install costs are outweighed by maintenance/malicious interference costs, over the longer term. It’s going to end up a real complex, tangled mess.

    Too many things are reliant on Broadband today. BT are being somewhat reckless “blinkered” in their approach building out the UK’s National Broadband infrastructure, where it can be easily attacked through malicious means.

    Attacking the G.fast network doesn’t even take direct access to BT infrastructure and the technology to do this is cheap. It’s biased technical thinking in favour of BT’s legacy copper network.

    It’s just not a sensible approach, its reckless.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BT have bet all their chips on G.fast. It’s a big mistake. Why? Cybersecurity.

      "You have to ask why Ofcom has not even raised the issue to date of cybersecurity/robustness/safety of network for G.fast, regards outside malicious intent to disable it."

      Because you've just made it up?

  31. rcx141

    The UK is such an immense country after all. Hundreds of thousands of square miles. How could you expect to have broadband available everywhere? BB has only existed for 3 decades !

  32. Tim036

    Summary of BroadBand on Fibre,,

    In the mid 1970's is was Obvious that Fibre was the solutions and all new homes should have that fitted, not copper. I was in the Line Transmission R&D section of Plessey on GPO destined transmission equipment.

    It was a N0-Brainer. GPO management was at the time a Gutless lot at that time failing to look after the needs of the UK's population.

    If a business or home upgrades their Broadband they need fibre from the exchange to the box in their house (say in the living room) where the fibre optic signal can converted to Broadband that the household can use. Its obvious that the part copper solution was a temporary bodge, rather than a wonderful solution.

    The tradition of having useless top management in the GPO and been reliably carried forward by BT.

    I say this because look at what Southern Koria has achieved but using 100% fibre for many Decades !

    A cull of the top two layers of BT management, would save a lot of wages and be able to increasing funding of training linesmen also getting fibre to all customers who want it regardless of location.

    This has been blatantly obvious for approx 42 years.

    1. LewisCowles1986

      Re: Summary of BroadBand on Fibre,,

      This makes the fact their 10 year plan only plans to cover < 10% of homes even worse. They are limiting our own market from performing to fit new luxury services which they control the transport for... Thanks for your insight into history of the problem.

      1. Tim036

        Re: Summary of BroadBand on Fibre,,

        Their are various totally non BT routes to getting fast fibre. The is a farmers collective which have laid their own fibre through fields they own. Virgin has some stuff they own too..

        Maybe a dozen collectives exist (best guess).. The relevance is avoid BT like the plague....

        1. mrs doyle

          Re: Summary of BroadBand on Fibre,,

          I am a customer of the 'farmers collective' who built their own real fibre network. We get 1000Mbps symmetrical for £30 a month with no line rental to pay, we can have as many free phone lines as we like.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Summary of BroadBand on Fibre,,

      "I say this because look at what Southern Koria has achieved but using 100% fibre for many Decades !"

      That's a common misconception. Korea Telecom are in the midst of a G.Fast rollout right now. Their average speed, according to Akamai is 26.7 Mbps. For sure, the fastest in the world, but not what you'd get from 100% FTTP. There's a lot of FTTB (basement) in cities, with apartment blocks having DSLAMs for in building distribution over cooper, but outside of cities it's DSL over copper that predominates. The same is true in Sweden, the second fastest country in the world.

      What was the blatantly obvious use case for FTTP 42 years ago in 1974? Even the high bandwidth requirements of the day - TV broadcast, video conferencing and trunk backhaul - used FDM over coax. The first urban deployment trial in the world was in 77 and fibre only became cost comparable to copper in about 84, ignoring the cost of terminal equipment.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Summary of BroadBand on Fibre,,

        >ignoring the cost of terminal equipment.

        and ignoring the cost of splicing, polishing and attaching a connector to the fibre...

        I remember there being several UK businesses back in the mid 80's doing very nicely out of this, with prices in the several hundreds of GBP's per attached connector...

        It surprised me how plastic fibre didn't take off, as in the sub 1km space there was no performance difference, plus making a reliable termination was a job any competent technician could perform.

        >What was the blatantly obvious use case for FTTP 42 years ago in 1974?

        Agree, I would like to know, it was difficult enough in the late 1980's creating a credible use case for the use of fibre in the data centre, where FDDI ring was trying to gain traction. Yes there was a "blatantly obvious use case" for the use of point-to-point fibre in the telco backbone; where costs were less of an issue, but in the consumer market, before the advent of microcomputers and the modern connected society paradigm?

        In some respects we should be grateful that we didn't deploy FTTP back in the 1970's. You only need to look at the Milton Keynes cable tv infrastructure to see the problem: the network was designed and built for broadcast, ie. transmit only, thus it used thousands of splitters at around 50p each that were undirectional, because they were significantly cheaper than bidirectional splitters. In the late 1980's when the idea of residential data comm's was starting up, the costs to upgrade the infrastructure ie. replace all the splitters, was astronomical. So yes we might have had FTTP, but we would still running projects similar to BDUK and FTTC as we tried to upgrade this cable infrastructure to support modern speeds and usage patterns.

      2. Tim036

        Re: Summary of BroadBand on Fibre,,

        Around 1974 Microwave tubes where the best long haul technology, but it became obvious that fibre was a massively better option. It was a sad time because there was a final conference held and the news microwave was being ditched was announced a few weeks afterwards. Where did that leave all the R&D engineers who had spent a good few years refining that technology ? Sad times .

        Now it was fully understood getting fibre installable would take a few years but it was 'enginerable'.

        A bit like we new the microprocessor was a massive advance, but 4 bit processors worked which lead to 8 bit then 16 bit, 32bit and 64 bit. Sure we had to wait, such as reliable professional operating systems had to emerge. Some shabby ones were cobbled together but Unix shines and most Microsoft ones didn't.

  33. Templogin

    Spare a thought for those in remote areas, where broadband is still not possible, who are having to use satellite comms. This is not in some remote Colombian jungle, this is in Shetland, a Scottish island. The only way BT is going to invest in better infrastructure here is if the government pays for it, so with BT the investment seems to be nationalised and the profits privatised.

    1. WallMeerkat

      The way the Tories like it.

      CF: Royal Mail, the trains, NHS etc. etc.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Shetland

      The only way BT is going to invest in better infrastructure here is if the government pays for it

      I'm sure Holyrood would be willing to pay if asked...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "This is not in some remote Colombian jungle, this is in Shetland, a Scottish island."

      I thought Shetland had FTTC and an independent wireless ISP hooked into the Norway - Iceland fibre route?

      It is pretty remote though - 100 miles of sea north of John O'Groats. It's hard to think of anywhere in the UK that's more remote.

  34. deadfamous
    WTF?

    Fibre at ADSL speeds....

    I'm really lucky, Sky can now piggy-back my connection over a bit of OpenReach fibre increasing my projected speed to something between 3 mbps and 9 mbps.

    So can anyone explain why it starts at about 6 mbps and after a few days begins to drop by 400kbps or so every morning after the WAN gets a kick???

    I'm wondering if it's actually a 'contention management' action to favour BT customers... ???

  35. SnakeyJ

    Can't tell their arse from their armpit :(

    Mirrors my own experience.... Infinity2 ordered in August, 'delivered' in early September. Line check reveals G-ADSL synch and unsurprisingly no change to speeds. Hours spent talking to BT and the story changes from "you have Infinity2 and thats how fast it will go" to "Infinity is not available at your address". Engineer attends at end of September and says "Your still connected to ADSL in the exchange", which I've been trying to explain to BT Technical and Call centre staff since the off. It takes another two months and many exasperated calls to finally get the Infinity connected. The final explanation is that there is a break down between Sales ordering system and Openreach's provisioning system, which blocked the upgrade order. End result decent 56/10Mbs, but BT Sales still say my line is not fast enough to order UHD services! Time to defect to the Evil Murdoch Empire....

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: Can't tell their arse from their armpit :(

      Count your sell fortunate. I can see a quick change of marketing to "BT infinity 2 now "includes" fibre" and they just got a get out of jail free card as your paperwork will never "promise" fibre, just allow you to use it when and if they upgrade you.

  36. flayman

    "Ultimately, we would not expect a provider to sell a service if they know it cannot be provided."

    Unless they are banking on customers not noticing they are still getting no better than ADSL? Or they are planning to increase capacity in the *near* future? Come on.

  37. El_Marco1964

    I've just moved house and had a 'false green' from the BT checkers too. Yes, my line is connected to an FTTC enabled exchange only 4.5km away - I should get some service. But. The cable was installed by a drunk and is actually 7.5km away. I can't get FTTC but can get ADSL. All 980k downstream of it. Luxury.

    There is another cabinet 2km away (i drove to check the distance myself) but there is no way BT or Openreach will move the line from one cab to another. BT simply state I'd need to talk to Openreach, who eventually (through the use of a few sacrifices chickens and a ouija board to actually get in touch with them) said 'hmmm, yeah I see the problem. We don't do things like that. It's just the way it is.' Not even a 'sorry' appended to the statement.

    £4m released for poor internet connected sites, but not me it appears. I had the quiet word (and I'm not naming names but it was a BT employee) that there would need to be benefit to more than one property for any consideration for enhancing the service. As there are 3 houses in the entire postcode I can't see we qualify.

    Yes I have a satellite service too. Ridiculously expensive, doesn't work often in winter, latency so slow I get to watch youtube as a series of 4 second clips and it is still only 20Mb down - allegedly. Oh, and I'm limited to 10Gb down per month. That's software updates taken care of then...

  38. LewisCowles1986

    2 million households over 10 years

    https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-dwelling-stock-including-vacants

    There are < 25 million homes in the UK, but still committing to < 10% over 10 years it'd take 100 years to roll out speeds that are contemporary now.

    BT should be hung out to dry by the government and a public body commissioned to take over all their interconnection infrastructure works including PSTN's ISP's. It's too big for it's boots and interfering in all sorts of areas, often badly by re-selling others goods and services with markup.

    Then make the internet like TV license and force a license upon users of the public network; netting the government (m|b)illions per annum.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    on fttc here supposedly with an "up to" 80/20 connection

    reality is a rock solid 13.5/1.1 connection

    However it is a vast improvement over the flaky 1.3/0.4 adsl connection.

    I knew beforehand that I would never get the top speeds (or anywhere near them) as I am simply too far from the exchange and the cabinet.

  40. Rimmergram

    BT continue to mis-sell

    BT have twice sold me broadband - not fibre, just bog-standard broadband - and twice I've told them it doesn't work. They then had the audacity to charge me a cancellation fee! Which I eventually got refunded, but only after a long battle with them. The computer says we can get BB as our exchange is superfast enabled. However, we're 11 kms from said exchange and thus it is technically impossible to get a service to me. Therefore, we don't even have basic broadband - nothing. BT/Openreach won't install necessary infrastructure to provide my village community a service as we're obviously not economically viable for them. I hope with the pending 'breakup' of the two companies we might, one day, get a broadband service. Until then, I will have to continue to use satellite broadband :-(

  41. WallMeerkat

    Infinity checker

    Many moons ago, fed up with my 1.5mb/s broadband, I went onto the infinity checker, and entered my postcode.

    It was delighted to inform me that my exchange was infinity ready!

    So I placed an order with PlusNet to get a BT engineer to perform the black magic required to get me onto it, and faster speeds.

    A 9-5 appointment, possibly with no internet, so needed to take a day leave from work.

    8pm the engineer calls. "I think you're too far from the exchange". He took a trip in his van, with the odometer. I get a phone call "Yep you're 1.5miles away, too far to be worth switching fibre".

    And with that, the infinity checker had let me down.

    PlusNet still tried to charge me for a service I couldn't get, which was nice of them. Then, when I complained, they tried to put me on a more expensive basic broadband package, giving some excuse that I lived far away (!!!). A couple of threats to involve OFCOM (or whatever they're called this week) and leaving for T*lkt*lk, and it was back to what it was.

    Then I get a marketing call, "why don't you move onto fibre?"

    Errr... I tried to but couldn't.

    "But the postcode checker says you can!"

    Yes but the engineer said I was too far

    "But the postcode checker says you can! Computer says yes!"

    It was a couple of years later, a few of the residents got a petition and involved the local counciller, they finally placed a DSLAM in the village and I could finally get more than 1.5mb/s. Could finally stream Netflix! Could finally watch Youtube or iPlayer without needing to buffer the entire video!

    Could finally Skype video call!

  42. 0laf Silver badge

    Says you can when you can't

    I wasn't mis-sold but when I moved house all providers said that they were able to offer fibre speeds. Half way through he sales process they said "sorry the fibre cabinet is at a capacity would you like to buy boggo broadband instead?"

  43. Dale 3
    Headmaster

    fibre-to-the-premise

    A "premise" is a proposition that forms the basis of an argument.

    A "premises" is a piece of land and the buildings on it.

    "Premises" can also mean multiple propositions that form the basis of arguments, but a "premise" never has anything to do with land and buildings unless you're arguing about them.

    Go on, I used the icon and everything.

  44. Alan Gregory 1
    WTF?

    It's a balls up

    I'm currently with Virgin but due to various issues I'd rather be on a non virgin fibre deal.

    Now I'm 1.1km from a fibre enabled exchange (admittedly as the crow flies), I'm 50m away from a fibre enabled cabinet, and live in a heavily populated suburb of Manchester.

    So why can't I get non virgin fibre?

    Apparently BT are 'Looking at solutions' and have been for over two years.

    I approached the regulatory body who in a classic bit of Orwellian language basically said that they would roll out fibre once it had been determined that they could roll out fibre and that would happen when they rolled out the fibre.

    Now I accept that I am in a better position than many but I still struggle to grasp why I can't get fibre from my local cabinet when all of the appropriate boxes appear to have been ticked or indeed who I can approach to get an answer in something approximating English.

  45. bernmeister

    Although OFCOM were not able to do anything the adverting standards agency (ASA) may have been able to take some action relating to way the service was advertised

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not mis-sold, simply not supplied!

    I live in a rural village in Suffiolk and I have waited over 12 months for fibre to be available on our cabinet. Another village 2 miles away is the home of our cabinet, and they have had fibre for over 12 months.

    We ordered Infinity as soon as it was available, in late December. Router duly arrived, but still waiting for Infinity.

    We now have a Case Manager, as do two other families in my street. One family managed to get Infinity, but with poor speeds, perhaps this is the person the article is about.

    BT's excuse now is that the phone cables are so old, that hey need replacing. The earliest that we can now expect Infinity is early February. Would the cabling not have formed part of their initial 'Survey' in the first instance?

    I don't hold out much hope for early Feb as looking at roadworks.org, there are no BT works planned in my area in the next 3 months.

    OpenReach and BT really need to get their acts sorted out.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    fergie

    One problem is that they use wire to contect your house. It depends upon the fibre cabinet location that BT OR give you. If its a long way from your house you'll never get the top speed. Fibre cabinet selecion is up to BT OpenReach not your telco! It may not necessarily be the nearest fibre cabinet to your home.

  48. Jake Maverick

    About 20 years ago when they first started to roll out ADSL a lot of customers were on ISDN....which had double the upload speed of ADSL. BT routinely conned customers into 'upgrading' and halving their speed....net result being lot of businesses went bankrupt as it proved impossible to switch back in time....

    All the sales agents still got their commission for it though. Even though a lot of the contracts were never paid in full as the businesses basically went out of business.

    Nobody held accountable for it then. Which is why it is still happening now.....same with pigyobs killing people....just under a thousand every year for over a decade now...how many do you think they will kill this year?

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks for the downvotes above.

    As literally yesterday found out BT had changed the account and contract without permission for one of my family members. So why downvote me for posting facts? I'd never go with BT, but others don't know any better.

  50. StephenSatCisco

    Happened to me to. Was on BT Infinity,getting around 25 Mb/s. Got email, saying that BT infinity 2 was available. They "upgraded" me ... only to get an email saying the speed was *exactly* the same email that I got when I took out BT Infinity 1! i.e. .... Speeds around 23 - 28 Mbps (supposed to be up to 38 Mbps).

    That;s like me saying to my boss .... I know you said you'd pay me for 38 hours of work, I think I'll only work between 23-28 hours a week. I'm sure he would be delighted ... not!

  51. Emirateslad

    BT Home Broadband

    I've just had the BT sales people on the phone. Asking me to sign up for another 18 month contract. He then went thru the usual spiel about this calls being recorded etc etc. I asked for a copy of the conversation as, I knew where it was leading to.... anyway, the sales chap then states that I can now get Fibre Optic in my area.....that's funny I say as, I've never seen any cables being laid these past 3 months...Are they laying them at night?. No sir he laughs, we can send the fibre optic signal down the telephone line???. Thats a very amusing sales pitch you have there. Sorry he says?, yes, I explained that it's my profession laying FO cable around the world and, you cannot send a FO signal down copper wire.....so please hurry up and send me a copy of this discussion. I doubt very much it will ever see the light of day but, I intend to take this to the very top.

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