Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Get a home hub 3 from BT?

Advice from BT regarding one of our FTTC customers:-

"Change the router that they had installed as it was not a BT home Hub3."

"Router that was installed was not a BT home hub3, so i suggested that the they get one from BT."

Hmm, nice one BT, not! Trying to sell your products to our customers when we are paying you to fix a broken service that we pay you for.

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Just to explain - Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) is a service which BT sell to end users as BT Infinity, and include in their service a BT Home Hub router product. It seems a nice enough broadband service.

We, as an ISP, provide our customers with an FTTC service. This uses the same underlying technology at the exchange and cabinet and in the premises as far as the handover point (PPPoE port on a VDSL modem). Unlike BT, the service we sell does not include a BT Home Hub (obviously) and is not called BT Infinity. We provide a different router (which does IPv6, by the way). The service has many differences apart from that, including a fixed IPv4 address or addresses, IPv6, a UK domain, and our constant line performance monitoring. Oh, and we provide access to the Internet without filtering.

Sadly, when something breaks, we often have to get a BT engineer out to fix it, as they have an exclusive right to work on the national infrastructure that is the BT network. They do say some annoying things to our customers on occasion. They sometimes refer to the service as Infinity (as they did in this case), and have even been known to refuse to install a service because a customer does not have a BT Home Hub.

I think this is the first case where they have said that the customer should get a BT Home Hub when repairing a fault. Oh, and it is not clear that they did int fact repair the fault in this case either.

It makes us look stupid and is very anti-competitive.

15 comments:

  1. Nice to see that they still haven't worked out the difference between wholesale and retail... perhaps, one day they will be able to learn the difference... maybe... :-)

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  2. Ooh will that solve unwanted latency caused by interleaving being turned on? ( ps I'm still waiting to hear back from support and it's been a few weeks since BT closed the fault request because it was updated )

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  3. Isn't that grounds to complain to OFCOM (or whoever it is today) for BT Retail being unfairly promoted by the supposedly independent BT Wholesale?

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  4. I have not personally looked in to this one - it was flagged up to me just now - and just gives some flavour of what we have to deal with. My escalation guys are on the case though.

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  5. Working in IT and having an interest in broadband infrastructure in the UK I very much enjoy reading your blog.

    Are you suggesting that you'd want AAISP to support the infrastructure from the customer NTE socket back to the DSLAM?

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  6. Working in IT and having an interest in broadband infrastructure in the UK I very much enjoy reading your blog.

    Are you suggesting that you'd want AAISP to support the infrastructure from the customer NTE socket back to the DSLAM?

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    1. Well, it would be interesting if there were alternative contractors one could engage for such work, wouldn't it?

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    2. Oh, certainly. I'm sure we're all fedup with BT "Engineers" turning up and promising to check things back at the pole etc and never doing so.

      Friends of mine have switched to FTTC and had a complete nightmare. Slower sync speeds than they had with ADSL2+ (<7Mb), BT making empty promises to investigate.

      I'd certainly support allowing non-OpenReach engineers, having sat some kind of course, to be able to work on the cabling. In a similar way to how electricians can work on electricity board (SEB etc) wiring so long as they get the "OK".

      I wonder though, if this is what ISPs would want. Do they _really_ want to take on that work too? I can't imagine so, unless there's some payback from OpenReach for undertaking that work.

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    3. OK, well, fair point - I suspect we would be happy if we got what we paid for. And, given that only they can do any work or even investigation, I really think they should not be able to charge if they don't find the fault (i.e. it goes away).

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  7. That's nuts.. BT need a kick up the arse from OFCOM for that kind of behaviour (if the customer was Sky or TalkTalk there's a nonzero chance they'd switch to BT because the engineer said that would fix it).

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    1. To be fair, if it was TalkTalk a move to any ISP that isn't TalkTalk would probably fix it ;)

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  8. I've had BT engineers have a right huff on the phone to me when they've gone to install FTTC at some of our customers. As there's no sign of a BT Hub (Home or Business), you can almost hear the smoke coming out of their ears - even if the VDSL modem is a cable-for-cable swap with a DSL modem.

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  9. I've had BT engineers have a right huff on the phone to me when they've gone to install FTTC at some of our customers. As there's no sign of a BT Hub (Home or Business), you can almost hear the smoke coming out of their ears - even if the VDSL modem is a cable-for-cable swap with a DSL modem.

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  10. Chris said:
    "I've had BT engineers have a right huff on the phone to me when they've gone to install FTTC at some of our customers. As there's no sign of a BT Hub (Home or Business), you can almost hear the smoke coming out of their ears - even if the VDSL modem is a cable-for-cable swap with a DSL modem."

    Same here... more than once.

    It's now in our Service Provisioning Guide that goes to our customers that:

    "Please note: Sometimes BT Openreach engineers ask for your other “Router” to complete the
    installation for you – this is not necessary and simply because some engineers assume you are
    having a BT Service. Please advise that this will be done at a later point by your ISP (eg us!). Ifvthey say they cannot complete the install, please call us (or have them call us) so we can
    remind them of the requested installation."

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