Broadband and Shared Line

  spuds 22:58 26 Feb 2003

On ConsumerWatch we are often talking about transferring to Broadband.Thought this might be of interest. About 4 months ago,a friend asked BT to install another telephone line into his property for internet usage.This was completed without any problems.He as decided to move from Freeserve Anytime 56k to the recently advertised Freeserve Broadband offer.He made a check with Freeserve, and was informed that he was in an area suitable for Broadband connection.BT are now telling him, that because the installation is on a shared line (which he was not aware of), they cannot connect him to Broadband.It would appear as though this is because he lives in a small rural village with most lines connected on a shared basis.Most villagers are not aware of this fact. We wondered if anyone else as had this problem.Should add that he as never managed to obtain more than 31.000bps, and we often wondered why, now we think we know.

  Forum Editor 23:38 26 Feb 2003

of sharing telephone lines between two subscribers has been around for decades, and in the past was quite common - particularly in country areas. It was originally developed to overcome local shortages of equipment and/or exchange resources.

Nowadays the system is referred to as DACS, which stands for Digital Access Carrier System, and many subscribers have no idea that they are sharing a line with another person. The two subscribers can use the line at the same time, and normally there's no problem...........until one or both of them connects to the internet. That's when a degradation in line quality shows up - as it has in this case.

BT will tell you that they are under no obligation to supply a line service that's of data quality - their contract with all of us is to supply an analogue voice quality line service, and nothing else. That's the official position, but many people have found that if you speak to BT politely (but firmly) and explain why you need to have a standalone line they will often play ball and supply one. There's no guarantee of success, but it's worth making the enquriy

  spuds 21:48 27 Feb 2003

Three phone calls today and the problem seems to have been solved.BT now agree that the original order was for an internet line installation, and they are now re-installing the connection.Freeserve have the contract for the Broadband service on a special promotion package deal. Would add though that BT tried to push their Broadband service, as a proviso for the line conversion.Long story concerning contractual obligations, so I won't go into that. But proves that it can be done, if you go about it the right way.

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