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BT doubling speed at no extra cost

familycolvin
Grafter
Posts: 46
Registered: 23-06-2007

BT doubling speed at no extra cost

Yesterday BT announced that with effect from today it was doubling the speed of all existing and new users at no extra cost, and without an upgrade charge, and with the intention of providing 2MB as standard. See
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/07/19/bt_broadband/

Does this now mean that:-
1 all the outstanding "free" upgrades that we PN users are patiently waiting for will now go to the back of the upgrade queue?
2 BT, and thus PN, will now be waiving the charge for a specific upgrade request (as opposed to waiting for ever for our "free" upgrade) ?
21 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,877
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: BT doubling speed at no extra cost

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1 all the outstanding "free" upgrades that we PN users are patiently waiting for will now go to the back of the upgrade queue?


Officially no but his is BT so i would be inclined to say yes off the record!
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BT doubling speed at no extra cost

As for 2, no as well.

This announcement has come from BT Retail, which is BTs own ISP. They are bound to exactly the same type of contract that PlusNet are, when it comes to the purchase of broadband from BT Wholesale.
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BT doubling speed at no extra cost

Erm, think you've gotten a bit confused.

The BT you are refferring to are the retail company, basically they are in the same boat as PN.

BT Wholesale on the other hand are the chappies doing full exchanges at a time, and hence providing the mass upgrades. (Which they charge to the ISP's including PN and BT Retail) at about a fiver a head. (Both companies are absorbing this cost)
The difference is, that PN have been unthrottling their customers straight away, whilst BT have waited till now to do it.

Because exchanges are done on an exchange basis, all ISP's served by each exchange get done at the same time, so we won't be any further down the queue.

BT Wholesale will still be charging PN for the one off upgrade requests, so PN will of course continue to pass this cost on.

Its just a case of PlusNet leading the way again, but not neccesarily handling it in the best way for customer relations.
Be assured that we are still in front of the other ISP's in many ways, but the gap is closing.....
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BT doubling speed at no extra cost

Wow - 2 posts whilst I was typing!
Think you got the full story though between us Wink
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,877
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

BT doubling speed at no extra cost

You spent a while typing then ;-)
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BT doubling speed at no extra cost

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waiting for ever for our "free" upgrade
be patient, i too thought we would be waiting forever for the free upgrades, but one day i turned my machine on and tadaa 2.2mbps. It was lovely feeling that i'm sure you will experience one day Wink
familycolvin
Grafter
Posts: 46
Registered: 23-06-2007

BT doubling speed at no extra cost

Daniel, Philip & James

Thank you for that information.

James, I appreciate that is the way it is meant to be but I can't help but share Daniel's suspicion that it is probably not the way it will be.

Only time (and already we have waited a long time) will tell.

Deep down I really don't understand why it is taking so long. I imagine that like all the voice exchanges that DSLAMS are software controlled, and whilst we clearly have to wait for any physical conection for a BT engineer to plod round to a cabinet, or similarly to install a new DSLAM, I have difficulty in believing that anything physical is actually going to change to give the speed increase: much more likely to be a software download and update.

OK I accept that there are probably about a thousand exchanges so that won't happen overhight, but I still dont think it should take more than a couple of weeks, as opposed to the 6 months it seems to be taking. Can't help thinking that BT is simply dragging its heels as it seems to do over anything which looks like reducing its revenue.

Maybe I am just an old cynic Smiley
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BT doubling speed at no extra cost

BT Wholesale is part of British Telecommunications plc (“BT”), a subsidiary of BT Group plc.
Therefore being part of the same group and ultimately owned by the same shareholders its unlikley (whether right or wrong) that BT Retail or BT Openworld customers won't get preferential treatment (even if it is publically denied).
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,877
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Registered: 05-04-2007

BT doubling speed at no extra cost

My point exactly - on the record of course they won't off the recor they probably will.
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BT doubling speed at no extra cost

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I imagine that like all the voice exchanges that DSLAMS are software controlled, and whilst we clearly have to wait for any physical conection for a BT engineer to plod round to a cabinet, or similarly to install a new DSLAM, I have difficulty in believing that anything physical is actually going to change to give the speed increase: much more likely to be a software download and update.

OK I accept that there are probably about a thousand exchanges so that won't happen overhight, but I still dont think it should take more than a couple of weeks


Normaly, I would agree, but that is on the provision that all that is taking place is the upgrade of customers.

The problem is, that isn't all that is taking place.

A huge network wide upgrade prorgram is also in operation, to handle all these customers with now faster connections, and to secure stability and extendability for the future.

There is little point ungrading customers, only for them to see speeds drop as a result, due to a network incapable of sustaining such capacity.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,877
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

BT doubling speed at no extra cost

I always forget that until you say it!
familycolvin
Grafter
Posts: 46
Registered: 23-06-2007

BT doubling speed at no extra cost

Quote
huge network wide upgrade prorgram is also in operation, to handle all these customers with now faster connections, and to secure stability and extendability for the future.

There is little point ungrading customers, only for them to see speeds drop as a result, due to a network incapable of sustaining such capacity.


Philip
Somehow it comes across to me as the sort of smoke screen that BT shoves out to hide the real truth that sounds eminently plausible until you stop to think about it for a while.

I imagine they would have preferred to upgrade the whole network before offering the speed increases but yielded to OFCOM and media pressure. So they are now doing them in parallel, both the speed upgrades and the network capacity upgrades.

If we accept for the sake of arguement that the speed upgrades could be done in 2 weeks whilst the network capacity upgrades are going to take 6 months, say (in fact network capacity upgrades of one sort or another are going on all the time: an estimated 800 DSLAMS are added each month), then the question is do you do the speed upgrades, at the beginning, the end, or as you go along, given that the speed upgrade is not dependent on the capacity upgrade?

You (or BT) make the point that there is little point upgrading customers to see their speeds then drop, which sounds sensible until one recalls that it has already been made clear that there is no guarantee that you will get 2mb all the time anyway, particularly during peaks when contention is high, or even at all in some cases.

But you could just as well argue that it would make a lot more sense to do all the speed upgrades first, end users would get the benefit at times when contention was low but may not see it when it s high, would be arguably no worse off if the system fell back to current speeds in those situations, but would begin to experience the opportunities that it offers.

BT in turn would build up some real experience of where the extra demand is coming from and could then focus its capacity improvements where most needed.

Returning to my original point about whether we will be pushed to the back of the queue, I have now located the original BT press release. The following abstract shows the writing on the wall.

"In February, BT gave all its retail broadband customers speeds up to four times faster at no extra cost.

Now existing customers on Broadband Basic, BT’s entry level service, will start to be migrated from up to 1Mb to up to 2 Mb from tomorrow (i.e. today now)"

Unlike the overview given by James that we are all being done together, that statement has a strong sense of "we have already done the upgrade for many of our customers and we are now going to do it for the rest in double quick time". Were it a physical thing then I could buy into James's vision, but if we accept that the speed part is a software driven upgrade then it begins to look suspiciously like there is some serious prioritisation going on.

Mike
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,878
Registered: 04-04-2007

BT doubling speed at no extra cost

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You (or BT) make the point that there is little point upgrading customers to see their speeds then drop, which sounds sensible until one recalls that it has already been made clear that there is no guarantee that you will get 2mb all the time anyway, particularly during peaks when contention is high, or even at all in some cases.


This is certainly not the case at all. If BT sudenly upgraded all of PlusNet's customers (and any other ISPs who are awaiting) to a higher speed, not only would a lot of people instantly see a performance loss, the ISPs would also have to sudely cope with a massive bandwidth increase that if done over time can be scaled for much more easily.

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But you could just as well argue that it would make a lot more sense to do all the speed upgrades first, end users would get the benefit at times when contention was low but may not see it when it s high, would be arguably no worse off if the system fell back to current speeds in those situations, but would begin to experience the opportunities that it offers.


Since there would be no traffic prioritisation in place a bandwidth hungry user downloading the latest films (or linux distros) for example could easily interfer with someone else's low bandwidth web browsing

Returning to my original point about whether we will be pushed to the back of the queue, I have now located the original BT press release. The following abstract shows the writing on the wall.

Quote
"In February, BT gave all its retail broadband customers speeds up to four times faster at no extra cost.
Now existing customers on Broadband Basic, BT’s entry level service, will start to be migrated from up to 1Mb to up to 2 Mb from tomorrow (i.e. today now)"

It's just sales hype from a customer you yourself do not trust. Nothing in this says from tomorrow everyone will be upgraded, it says from tomorrow we will start upgrading people. In relality it might mean people dont start seeing the benefits for weeks or month.

Yes you might be correct and in any case what I say is just as much conjecture as what you say, but I doubt BT will sudenly push all the other ISPs to the back of the queue, knowing it will only invite more questions and investigations and go in the wrong direction of the trust they are trying to build with these other ISPs for one thing to discorage them from going down the LLU route if nothing else.

Chris

Chris
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BT doubling speed at no extra cost

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Philip
Somehow it comes across to me as the sort of smoke screen that BT shoves out to hide the real truth that sounds eminently plausible until you stop to think about it for a while


Normaly, I would agree. Releasing such news in the middle of a upgrade program, would normaly signal the trump card has been pulled from the deck.

Unfortunatly, this is not the case here.

The information regarding the network upgrades, where announced in the very same BT news release as the Mass Upgrade program (and within an hour of announceing a seperate Bulk regrade program).

This meant customers (the ISPs in this case) had been made aware of this, prior to even being allowed to submit orders onto the mass regrade program.

Dated: 7th Jan 2005

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Part 1 - Overview
From 23rd February, BT Wholesale will be undertaking a major transformation of the BT IPstream broadband network. This is expected to last until 31st July 2005. This is a large, but necessary, task and will involve a short outage for your end user customers. Testing has shown that the outage will be in the region of 2 to 30 seconds.

This work will enable us to introduce a range of new and exciting future developments that can help our customers to develop further differentiation in the broadband services they offer.

All BT IPstream services will be included in the network upgrade and there is no action required by Customers.

Part of this transformation is uplifting our network to support higher end-user speeds. This briefing provides details of how customers can upgrade their end-users speeds, in conjunction with the network uplift, over the coming months


It then goes on to section 2, talking about the regrade program

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PART 2 - BT IPSTREAM END USER SPEED UPGRADE PROGRAMME

This optional programme will be available for the duration of the network uplift program. This is planned to begin on the 23rd February and last until 31st July 2005.


The July date is known to have been extended by to August 31st within a briefing posted towards the end of February.

The network upgrade isn't something pulled from this air. It is happening and affects every customers, not just those getting a upgrade.