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    BT Adjusts Support for Slow UK FTTC “Fibre Broadband” Lines

    This is a discussion on BT Adjusts Support for Slow UK FTTC “Fibre Broadband” Lines within the General Computing and Internet forums, part of the Community channel category; BT Adjusts Support for Slow UK FTTC "Fibre Broadband" Lines - ISPreview UK The Managing Director of Andrews and Arnold ...

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      BT Adjusts Support for Slow UK FTTC “Fibre Broadband” Lines

      BT Adjusts Support for Slow UK FTTC "Fibre Broadband" Lines - ISPreview UK
      The Managing Director of Andrews and Arnold (AAISP), Adrian Kennard, has noted a number of interesting changes to the terms of BTWholesale’s up to 80Mbps “fibre broadband” Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC / VDSL) connections, which appears to take away some of the ISPs flexibility and at the same time make it harder for consumers to get the connection speed they expected.

      A little over a year ago FTTC installs that failed to reach their forecast speed (i.e. within the first 90 days of service and which cannot be adequately fixed by Openreach) still benefitted from some protection, which essentially involved BT giving ISPs the option to either accept the lower speed, cancel the install (i.e. re-instate ADSL or refund the costs) or reappoint an engineer to try and get a better speed. Simple.

      In practice though Kennard said that “BT seem to have no means to ask us that question, and so complete the install at the lower speed and we have to complain and dispute the billing if it is cancelled, and so on.” Perhaps partly as a result of that problem, and the rising adoption of PCP-Only (Self-Install) FTTC lines that don’t require an engineer to visit your home, the rules have gradually been changed over the course of several revisions (FTTC Handbook Issue 9 vs Issue 12 – Page 17).

      A recent letter of complaint, which was sent this week by Adrian Kennard to BT, summarises the core issues. But for the purpose of this article we’ll ignore the matter of contract notification (that’s an issue for the ISP and BT to settle) and just focus on the changes themselves, which are interesting from a purely informative point of view.

      AAISPs Letter of Complaint (Extract)

      You can see that between issue 9 and issue 10 you removed the requirement for the engineer to attempt to reach the forecast speed, and removed the ability for us to request a re-appointment to make such an attempt. This is clearly a material change and detrimental.

      You can also see, between issue 11 and 12 you have made a change which is materially detrimental to the provision of the Service as it lowers the threshold which is considered an unacceptable speed for provision of FTTC services from the minimum to the 10th percentile which is significantly lower
      .”
      Under the changes BT essentially gives ISPs the option of either accepting a lower speed or cancelling the service (with an appropriate refund) via a Cease Order. But crucially there’s no optional to have an engineer resolve the issue and by using a 10th Percentile speed the level at which a line would be considered at fault has been reduced.

      It’s important to reflect that the 10th Percentile, from what we can see of the evidence and BT’s approach, appears to reflect the lower performance experienced by 1 in 10 similar lines; this needs a little explanation. BT typically splits their line estimates into two Ranges (A and B), with Range A reflecting the predicted performance of a good quality line and Range B when your line is one likely to suffer from various wiring issues (poor quality etc.).

      According to BT’s data, and using the best case performance scenario as an example (e.g. a short and fast copper line), FTTC should deliver a best Range A speed of 79.99Mbps and this stays roughly the same for the 10th Percentile rate. By comparison a Range B prediction on the same sort of line would be 69.71Mbps and this drops sharply to 54Mbps for the 10th Percentile rate. The importance of this change is reflected when you look at how the text has changed between Issue 9 and 12 of the FTTC Handbook.

      FTTC Handbook Issue 9 Extract (July 2013)


      A service must have been investigated by Openreach for under performance since its Service Activation date (i.e. the line will not synchronise at a speed above 50% of the predicted rate at the time of sale or the line rate has dropped by more than 25% over a 14 day continuous period).


      FTTC Handbook Issue 12 Extract (September 2014)


      The service must have been investigated by Openreach for under-performance since its Service Activation date (i.e. the line will not synchronise at a speed above the 10th Percentile point of sale predicted rate, (please see section 16.2), or the line rate has dropped by more than 25% over a 14 day continuous period).

      We have queried the changes with BTOpenreach and hope to have their perspective in the not too distant future. In fairness, the 10th Percentile adjustment is arguably reflective of Ofcom’s voluntary Broadband Speed Code 2010 for ISPs, which states the following:

      Ofcoms Broadband Speed Code 2010- Extract


      If asked to explain further or asked to state the definition of “significantly below”, the ISP should provide information on the access line speed achieved by the bottom 10th percentile (or above) of the ISP’s similar customers (“the minimum guaranteed access line speed”) and explain that if the customer’s actual access line speed is below the minimum guaranteed access line speed, then it will follow the process set out in the 4th Principle [ISPr ED: resolving customer speed problems].

      In a practical sense this probably won’t change much given past problems (especially with securing an engineer visit to improve speeds), but it’s sometimes interesting to note these things.


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      Re: BT Adjusts Support for Slow UK FTTC “Fibre Broadband” Lines

      this must affect me then because i am on bts 80 meg pack and i am only getting 45 roughly half of what i am paying for.

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      Re: BT Adjusts Support for Slow UK FTTC “Fibre Broadband” Lines

      Quote Originally Posted by deadman1984 View Post
      this must affect me then because i am on bts 80 meg pack and i am only getting 45 roughly half of what i am paying for.
      Then they are taking the mick.
      Get on their 40/10 product & pay less.

      If they estimated significantly higher than 45 meg & are investigating a fault, then still downgrade to 40/10 until it's fixed or insist on a refund / compensation.

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      Re: BT Adjusts Support for Slow UK FTTC “Fibre Broadband” Lines

      yea but theres not much difference in price for the sake of 3 pound

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      Re: BT Adjusts Support for Slow UK FTTC “Fibre Broadband” Lines

      That's still £36 per year to the bill payer.

      Why not make the effort & treat mum to something extra this christmas?

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      Re: BT Adjusts Support for Slow UK FTTC “Fibre Broadband” Lines

      lol funny oh buy the way they have now accepted g fast which could happen in 2015 so maybe my speed may go up to what i am paying for who knows. as for the speed bt are given me i dont blame them i blame the god damn lines my line must be old to be struggling to hit 80 meg, i mean who knows how old my line is if my council house was built in the 50s or 60s it could be really old.

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      Re: BT Adjusts Support for Slow UK FTTC “Fibre Broadband” Lines

      I wasn't joking deadman.

      Honestly, who's going to notice the difference between 40 & 45 meg anyway?
      Your signature suggests that you won't lose anything on the upload either.

      Seriously, i've switched electricity tariffs in order to save £50 per year before.
      Add that to savings made elsewhere & you could have the equivalent of a playstation 4.

      Besides, it's the principle.

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      Re: BT Adjusts Support for Slow UK FTTC “Fibre Broadband” Lines

      Quote Originally Posted by deadman1984 View Post
      this must affect me then because i am on bts 80 meg pack and i am only getting 45 roughly half of what i am paying for.
      You are paying for upto 80, so you are getting exactly what you are paying for.


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      Re: BT Adjusts Support for Slow UK FTTC “Fibre Broadband” Lines

      Quote Originally Posted by dholdi View Post
      You are paying for upto 80, so you are getting exactly what you are paying for.
      That would still be true if he was getting 1Mb downstream.

      The point is that he's getting 45Mb on an 'up to' 80Mb package yet could be paying less for 40Mb on an 'up to' 40Mb package.

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      Re: BT Adjusts Support for Slow UK FTTC “Fibre Broadband” Lines

      Absolutely, there is a saying about knifes and sharpness that springs to mind.


     

     
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