Tag Archives: BT

VirginMedia – A Friendly Bunch

Over the past few months myself along with some other residents of Basingstoke, The council, both Basingstoke & Dean and Hampshire County and our M.P. Maria Miller have been in meetings and discussions with some rather large telecomms companies regarding broadband speeds in and around Basingstoke. (More so around, really). This came about with BT releasing that they were going to deploy FTTC to Basingstoke, which has turned out that it’s actually 30% of Basingstoke. A Meeting with them went “OK” it wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad, we offended them on a number of points, but showed some good statistics from door knocks about where the demand was. Things like 95% of people have internet and only 19% of those were actually happy with the service, Also that 70% of people would change providers and 60% would pay more to get a faster service.

All interesting information, so you’d think, but BT really didn’t appear all that interested, we have given them dates to get back to us and maybe they’ll surprise us with some good news. However, today we had a meeting with Virgin Media. to start with, it was much more friendly, with the occasional laugh coming from our meeting room. There was very positive feedback about the deployment of Virgin Cable in the area’s that BT have blindly ignored (that is most area’s outside of town).

Currently the eHampshire website only has information regarding FTTC, as this is a new deployment. If, and we hope they do, Virgin Media start a new deployment in Basingstoke, the information will also be in-putted into the eHampshire website.but I advice anyone in Baingstoke that hasn’t already to register their details on the site at http://www.ehampshire.org/ so that we can easily see the area’s in which deployments should take place.

I’m personally looking forward to a deployment from Virgin Media, as this will really show BT that they don’t have the better game, I personally believe with the bad press BT have currently got in and around Basingstoke, a lot of people will be wanting to flee away from them. Come-on Virgin, do us all a favour!

Jason

Basingstoke FTTC Trial(?)

Ok, I’m a tad angry now. BT announced earlier this year that they would be trialling FTTC in Basingstoke, Myself and a few other people I know have been waiting almost impatiently for this, due to the lack of speed and constant line drops.

The line checker to find out what connection people can get was updated with eMLC on Friday 27th, so that ISP’s could see the FTTC on the list, however, it didn’t show up for us!  Is this a mistake? Did they leave us out?

After much frustration, communicating with my (extremely helpful) ISP and a few other people, we have found out that BT are NOT enabling my Cabinet, or any of the Cabinets connecting people I know in Basingstoke, So, what/Who ARE they connecting? it seems a very small percentage (only 77 cabinets) in Basingstoke are actually going to be connected to FTTC, and most ISPs won’t even be trialling it, well, unless there’s someone on the Board of directors in town, anyway (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/30/rake_broadband/).

“In Basingstoke, for example, 50% of telephone lines are more than 6km from the exchange, and in Hampshire as a whole a quarter of postcodes get less than 1Mbps.” (Source:BBC : http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8068676.stm)

Logic and common sense would dictate that one would update the cabinets in the areas already well known for poor broadband, like Hatch Warren, Beggarwood and Chineham, but no!  They are installing cabinets in a lot of areas with already reasonable coverage, What sense does this make?

Myself and a few other people in Basingstoke, some who run businesses or work from home have vented our frustration to the person in Basingstoke & Dean Council, who is liaising with BT/Openreach of the roll-out in Basingstoke. We have also been in contact with the Gazette’s news desk. by this afternoon people were getting the response of “you as well, huh?”

Anyone in Basingstoke wanting to vent about this, in-fact, even if you are not particularly interested in having high speed FTTC, but think others should be entitled to have vaguely decent internet in Basingstoke (where, of course most places get less than 2Mb), Then Please. Contact Andy and the Gazette – I won’t put their numbers on here, but you can ask me for them and I shall reveal all, The more people that complain about this the sooner they come to their senses and actually do a REAL trial.

J

UK Internet with BT 21CN

Well, I’ve not posted for a while. and there’s good reason too. I’m always a big fan of Technology, the way it’s moving and what it brings with it. The Internet is one of those things that has been moving relatively rapidly (though maybe not so much for the normal home-user). However with my ISP, I do get to test some nice connections (sometimes) and connect to test networks, with test routers and so on. I even run a router that I have written a bit of code for, so that I can run my IPv6, VPN links, Fail-over connections & some customised routes (including a tunnel system to have IPv6 on my laptop no matter where I am in the world).

Anyway, For those that don’t know, In the UK most of the lines are supplied by BT, This means if you want internet you can choose any supplier you want, but many of them will be using BT lines to your house, and BT equipment to hook it all up. This, however isn’t too bad, or rather, Wasn’t. BT have been rolling out their 21CN network, which I am connected to, this is supposed to be next generation ADSL, when it was first installed, it was OK, and around a month ago it became unusable. My ISP (AAISP) has been attacking BT regarding this problem, and I’m not alone with the problem, there seemed to be a number of people on my exchange that had the same problem. this is what I get on my line:

Jason Line Graph

The Green bars (going up) ar latency on the line, the higher that bar, the slower things are to respond.
The Red bars (going down) are loss on the line – the lower this bar the less things that get to you
The White is a line disconnect
and the green dots are download (from the internet), and reddish-brown is upload (to the internet)

As you can see, if I tried to download anything I got latency (went slow) packet loss (things just didn’t get to me) and line drops. not to mention my download speek was around 50K if I was lucky on a 4mb line. BT have access to these graphs, and persisted for a very long time that there was nothing wrong with the line. Anyway, a couple of nights ago, they admitted there was a problem, and nailed it down to a Cisco IOS bug in some of their routers, and they did some test work on my exchange / BRAS last night, this took them around 45 minutes and all of a sudden my line was alot better. and I could download at my full speed.

This problem with BT (along with a few others) that seem to show just how incompetent BT are at times has pushed my ISP to look into other  wholesale LLU providers, as an extra option on the BT infrustructure. Although I’m not exactly a fan of some LLU providers from what I’ve seen of BT, could they possibly be worse? probably not.

just to note: this isn’t the case that this problem existed, I can deal with that, technology has it’s problems. What I can’t deal with, is companies like BT that have sole control over fixing them, saying there isn’t a problem when they have been given the evidence to show that there is a problem.

I will be looking forward to the FTTC rollout, and will be testing it. Lets hope BT can do a better job with that than they have done with 21CN

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edit:
BT Have finally fixed my line (actually they did this last week) and everything has been working again, and of-course I’m getting my full download-speeds again. still – I’m waiting for FTTC and my ISP have signed up for Be* LLU wholesale – so I may switch to this to get away from BT for a short while. – This turned out to not be a bug in the code, but they had over filled the pipes from Basingstoke…. Thanks BT, Nice going…