BT's Broadband Availability Communication

  Celery is very stringy 22:26 02 Dec 2003
Locked

If you have broadband, then think yourself very lucky. For those of us who can't get it and are actually connected to an enabled exchange then our lives are a misery waiting for it.

I have registered for it twice now (4 months apart) and on both occasions have been told by BT's line checker on their website that I can get it only to find that I can't. The funny thing is, I can never get a proper reason why I can't. BT Wholesale can't tell me the reason as that would be "contrary to the Data Protection Act". They instead tell me to contact the ISP and get them to phone Wholesale who will then pass on the reason.

I am always given one of three possible reasons for not being able to get Broadband by Openworld. 1) Length of line from exchange - Fine but tell me how far away I am so I can have some idea of when I might get it. 2) Incompatible products on the Line - Fine, so remove them or 3) Line quality problems - Fine, tell me when BT are going to sort out line quality.

I can never get anybody at BT to nail down the exact reason. On the last occasion I decided to pick length of line as my potential issue and asked the ISP (Openworld in this case) to contact Wholesale. Here is the response after about 5 email conversations:

Openworld Customer Service Advisor: "Thank you for your email.

I have contacted BT Wholesale regarding the issue with your line and I did ask them the length of your line from the exchange as you have requested.

The person who I got through to at Wholesale advised that they are not allow to supply the information regarding the length of the telephone line to me, I was advised they can supply the general reason why the order has failed the tests but not the exact reason for the failure."

Helpful isn't it?

Fundamentally, I'm sick and tired of hearing PR from BT around availability. Yes, a high proportion of BT exchanges are enabled now - BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT ALL WHO ARE CONNECTED TO THE EXCHANGES CAN GET BROADBAND! In fact, only those that live within the magic 6km can, and that's naff all in the great scheme of things. What annoys me more is there is no open and honest communication from BT around timescales for flicking the trigger to say 7km or even 8km.

Does anyone else have the same issues?

Anyway, enough of my rant.

Cel

  Forum Editor 23:44 02 Dec 2003

but try to remember that when BT wholesale tell you that they can't provide you with certain information because of the data protection regulations they aren't inventing that as a reason. You aren't their customer - your ISP is, and they have obligations to the ISP under the terms of the act.

The other thing to bear in mind is that BT are under no legal obligation to provide you with a data quality phone line - their contract with you is to provide you with an analogue voice-quality only. This isn't something that falls within the orbit of BT wholesale anyway - they are there purely to sell ADSL services to ISPs.

Of course we can all think of ways to streamline the system, but that's because we don't have to maintain and run a national telephone that has its origins way back in the early part of the last century. By and large I think BT do a pretty good job, but of course there are problems with ADSL and line length. BT research engineers have been actively researching the line length problem, and we shall be seeing an increase in the radius dimension for home users, although this might be at the expense of downstream speeds.

  spuds 12:08 03 Dec 2003

I generally find that "contary to the Data Protection Act" can work in many mysterious ways.Usually to the person dealing with a problem.

Why not apply for BT broadband? They would then be your ISP.

  Celery is very stringy 21:09 03 Dec 2003

I thought the data protection act only protects personal data? I didn't think it covered non-personal data. That surely would be covered under confidentiality agreements. What I'm asking for is personal data attached to me. As BT wholesale and the ISP are data processors, surely I have a right to ask either for information they hold about me?

Anyway, that's not the issue here. All I am trying to state is that the communication from ISP's, BT Wholesale and BT itself is less than satisfactory around the precise reasons why I cannot get broadband. If you order a car and its not in stock, then you are told its not in stock and when it is likely to be in stock. Even if it is a few months, you can live with that as you know the reason and the duration of any expected wait. I can neither get a precise reason or an expected wait time from any of the suppliers in this process.

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