Friday, 28 October 2011

New serious limitation on all BT broadband lines!

Well, yes, I am saying BT here, because it has been confirmed very very clearly by BT that you should not have more than one PC on a single line. The exact quote is :-

"Openreach engineer has confirmed the same we cannot add multiple PC's to one single circuit as it causes instability."

Initially this appeared as just an engineer note relating to a long 20CN line. We naturally assumed it was just a silly comment, but a team leader confirmed it, initially relating to all 20CN lines, and then apparently checked with Openreach to confirm it and it seems to be any single circuit. It seems it is clear official BT policy that having more than one PC on a single circuit causes instability.

Obviously, from a technical point of view, we cannot see how this could "cause instability" - that simply makes no sense. Well, the whole statement makes no sense. We thought we bought a service that transfers packets (PPP frames) and not something that had strange restrictions on number of PCs. What this means is that if you do have more than one PC connected and an unstable line BT will refuse to fix the fault.

I suspect none of BTs other wholesale or retail customers are aware of this limitation. I would say we'd like a response from BT on this, but given we have asked several times for them to confirm they really mean this, and received the above quote, I am not sure what else these is to say.

I suppose it does mean there is no need for NAT anymore (yay!).

Odd that 10 years ago when BT launched their original broadband services (500K, 1M and 2M) with BT provided routers we were able to order routers with blocks of IPs configured to allow multiple PCs. Strange that BT have introduced this new restriction now.

23 comments:

  1. I prescribe one of these to be taken twice a day: http://193.196.182.215/fun/pics/clue-pill.jpg

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  2. And to think you've misled us all for so long, Revk. Shocking - quite shocking ;-)

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  3. A good point from the google plus...

    Russell Heilling - Wonder if anyone has told BT retail...

    "Your Hub can share the internet across separate computers and devices (e.g. games consoles)" (from BT broadband user guide).

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  4. My first reaction is that can't possibly be correct as most ISPs ship with routers that allow access to be shared or have I missed something obvious? I don't see how multiple PC's could cause line instability either and will chase BT.

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  5. I don't think it can be true either, obviously.

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  6. At least if we get a reply saying it's wrong then you'll be able to quote that to their engineers :) .

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  7. I assume this means that Openreach will refuse to fix _any_ BT retail lines with a homehub on them, given that these allow you to share the connection via BTFON?

    If not then that's clearly anti-competetive...

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  8. I have already asked that and suggested OFCOM will be interested :-)

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  9. Following various comments on mailing lists on this, we have asked BT about :-

    If Macs count or only PC
    What about iPads
    Does a network connected fridge count as a PC

    We are waiting for answers... :-)

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  10. The real story is not that BT are restricting people to one PC, obviously. The real story is that BT can make stupid statements like this - i.e. they don't have enough people with enough basic understanding of how things work to realise this is a silly thing to say. The email exchange in question had *EIGHT* BT staff in it, and involved several questions from me asking if they are really sure. It also involved the original engineer, and the person at openreach they checked with. That means at least *TEN* BT staff are all happy enough that this is a sensible statement to have made.

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  11. How are you finding BTs 'preferred method of contact' being echat?

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  12. I have no problem with echat - it is different to calls, but it does make it very easy to achive, review and quote problem conversations (or even good ones) and improve things (on either side) as a result.

    The problems we see are not echat as such, it is policies like "hard turn back" which apply the same on calls.

    Also, the break out to a call from echat works.

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  13. Well, as someone has pointed out, this is not just about technical training of BT staff allowing such a daft statement to be made. It is about basic responsibility training. This was a silly statement by an engineer. That happens. But when we query it - when we are disbelieving of it - and they go to check then they damn well should check. They should get through to someone that does know, and not yet more layers of "make crap up and hope", which clearly is what happened.

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  14. "Can I attach a Mainframe?" is another comment - I am sending all sorts of questions that are being brought up on the UKNOT mailing list.

    BT seem to have gone quiet.

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  15. BT say...
    "I can confirm that it is possible (and commonplace) to run multiple PCs over an IPstream Connect line. Of course, you'll need a router to ensure each device has its own IP address. The traffic from the various devices will share the connection, so individual applications will see a degradation in speed and jitter as more devices are added. It may be that for some particular test applications, this degradation makes it necessary to turn off the other devices. Nevertheless, as a general principle, you can run multiple devices on a single IPSC line as long as you set up your router correctly and as long as the applications can still operate while sharing the same line."

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  16. I think A&A should welcome this new BT policy. Think of all the extra lines you can sell!

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  17. Please confirm that I may connect a fridge to the internet without invalidating the type approval of the ADSL modem...

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  18. I have just bought a fifth cat, can BT confirm I can connect cat5 or would that invalidate my connection?

    JohnnyD

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  19. I have just bought a fifth cat, can BT confirm I can connect cat5 or will that invalidate my 20 CN connection by pussing it over the limit?.....

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  20. NAT causes instability?

    I could live with that :p

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  21. I tweeted this story this morning with a link stating that BT didn't have a clue. @BTCare just replied with "Hi there, is there anything I can help you with? Are you having problems with your broadband?" clearly proving my statement correct.

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