Friday 24 June 2011

Putting all your eggs in one BT basket

This has happened to me twice already, and having come from the lovely fibre-optic world that was Telewest (now Virgin Media) it’s frustrating. On the day when BT upgraded my broadband to ‘up to’ 20Mb, I instead (or as a result) experienced a fault at the exchange leaving me without broadband or telephone for three days. And since Freeview comes with my BT Vision box, I was without that too. That was a surprise; fair enough that a loss of broadband means a loss of on-demand content, but to lose the ability to set a recording (which was my first indicator that this too was broken) and once you try rebooting the box as a result, find you’re unable to watch anything, was decidedly odd. Is this ‘bad design or ‘by design’ I wonder? I suspect a bit of both.

Last weekend the connection speed dropped so low the on-demand service stopped working again. A couple of speed tools suggested I was getting a measly 500kbps, and the diagnostic suggested by the BT engineer indicated I was configured for ‘up to’ 4Mb; so I’d found something else on which to deliberate. I suspect, but who knows, I am a victim of BT throttling; my daughter having found the delights of YouTube, corresponding with an email warning that I had used 32GB of my 40GB monthly allowance, is a clue. However, if I believe BT, since the on-demand service doesn’t contribute to the monthly allowance, I wouldn’t have thought this should make a difference and at least that part of the service should still work.

It doesn’t help that my rather creaky Home Hub instils so little confidence. I reboot it on an almost weekly basis and often get stronger signals from wireless devices other than my own; this I hope to address with the new hub I’ve ordered today. But BT, if you’re able to hear this, because with your service there’s no telling whether you’ll get the message, don’t stick “free delivery” on the image unless “free” really is one of the delivery options; it’s kind of annoying.


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