Who makes the decision?

  spuds 10:59 14 May 2008

A number of ISP's are now providing complete packages for internet, telephone and television services. Usually it the BT line that provides the connections via the local exchange possibly through a LLU own provider system.

BT/Openreach are usually the maintenance team if faults occur on the line and street boxes. But who actually decides if there is a problem, and what should be done about it, and at whose expense. I assume that the ISP's have some form of contract with BT/Openreach!.

  Pine Man 18:21 14 May 2008

I have a 'friend' at BT who tells me that all of the ISPs have to use Openreach to have work carried out at a telephone exchanges, either for fault repair or merely changing over ISPs etc. He also suggested that BT may possibly get preferential service from Openreach over other ISPs. However I had an issue with a fault on my line and O2 seemed to get an Openreach engineer to the exchange faster than BT. Who knows?

  spuds 15:09 17 May 2008

The reason that I raised the question, was due to problems that I have been experiencing over the past few months, both with the telephone and internet services.

An engineer from BT/Openreach Broadband made a visit yesterday and did some modifications to the cable-work and boxes etc, so that I now have a special direct broadband link to my router and computer. This visit was arranged by my internet and telephone service provider on Thursday evening at 6.30pm for a morning visit on Friday. I was given a choice as to when it was convenient for me, so you cannot ask for better than that.

Regarding actual decision making, it appears that it was a combination of three parties all working together. My ISP, BT/Openreach and myself. The ISP told me to inform the engineer as to what I thought was wrong and work from that. We had a discussion, we agreed, and he did the work with extras included. The ISP contacted me later in the day by pre-arrangement, and tried a little tweaking from their end. Over this weekend I have been instructed to watch the performance of the broadband service, and keep a record of certain things. On Monday, again by pre-arrangement, I am expecting further communications from the ISP and possibly BT.

Regarding costs, it appears that the ISP pays for the engineers time usually on a daily basis,with any parts used, charged as extras. In this case and visit, the BT/Openreach engineer was doing work solely for the ISP on that particular day, with a further eight visits to other customers.

What was a little concerning, had I been a BT subscriber (which I was for many years), the work undertaken would have been free in most cases. But in the case of people transferring from BT to another provider, then the work undertaken might be chargeable, depending on the ISP and their decision making.

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