What comes after SFI2?

This is what we have asked BT plc t/a BT Wholesale (and similar to Talk Talk). Will be interesting to see what they say. Other ISPs may like to ask them the same question.

I have been going over this SFI2 issue somewhat and I think I see the flaw in the process. I hope this helps you, and I would be interested in your comments.

When we report a broadband issue, having eliminated end user wiring and equipment and checked dial tone, BT do various tests, including checking the metallic path is OK to SIN349 from the exchange end. I understand you have some pretty comprehensive testing systems for this.

If the metallic path is not OK, we can arrange an engineer and there is generally no issue with charges. This is not a problem.

However, if you do not find any issue with the metallic path, the next step is that you offer us an SFI2 visit. You do not let us take any other action at that point in the fault process.

This is the step that is broken!

An SFI2 visit is simply to test/ensure a line meets SIN349 - something the exchange tests have already done pretty reliably. It is totally pointless, and severely uneconomical, for us to repeat the tests already done for this from the exchange.

So, from now on, we'll be happy to accept BT's diagnostics and agree that the metallic path meets SIN349. What we need to know is what happens next? An SFI2 is clearly pointless as we both agree the SIN349 test would pass, so what is the next step in resolving a broadband fault within the SLG when it is not caused by a failure of the metallic path to meet SIN349?

And, specifically, how do we get your fault reporting past the insistence on booking a pointless SFI2 visit at that point?

We have a policy now of never disagreeing your SIN349 exchange test and so not booking any SFI2 engineers. So I need to know the next process step please, as a matter of urgency. After all, BT have put a time limit on fixing faults (the SLG) and we want to ensure we do our part to ensuring we follow the process to get the broadband service fixed.

So, what comes after/instead of an SFI2 visit when a line meets SIN349 please?

I look forward to your prompt reply.


  1. Obviously the answer is a new as-yet-unannounced SFI3 process that probably relies on chicken entrails...

  2. Maybe their response will be......Dear Adrian, thank you very much for your email, If the line has passed SIN349 and the Broadband on that line is not working correctly then there must be issues elsewhere within the network, maybe SIN349 is not the best test procedure for proof of functional/best broadband on copper lines, in this instance we will send round a specialist broadband engineer who will endeavour all all costs to find out what the issue could be, maybe we will check any joints in the circuit for water ingress, check the line at various points from the Exchange to the EU to see if a particular section of the line is affecting the circuit. We would always strive to get the best speed from the line given its estimated length to the best of our abilitiy, we would hope to achieve this within one or two visits with the EU not needing to be present as this does not require EU input, all of this can be done at DP points in the system. If we find some of our copper cabling is old and the EU would benefit from a replacement, again we will endeavour to do this, as the customer is very important to us.

  3. So what is the current legal state of play with regard to what must by now be many thousands of pounds of disputed charges raised by BT Wholesale’s extortion racket? Presumably A&A has refused to pay each one on an ad hoc basis. Has BT then sought a court judgement against A&A for unpaid debt or just agreed to drop the charge? Has A&A ever counter-claimed? Has either side ever gone to court or are all the disputed charges just sitting in limbo somewhere until one side blinks?

    1. No, we are close to taking them to court to get credits. Usually BT cave in and credit, but yes, many thousands currently in dispute - situation normal.

  4. I don't care what documentation that unholy thing meets. It has wasps nest in it. BURN IT


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