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Do You Want To Choose The Wholesale Network For Your Service

MrToast
Grafter
Posts: 550
Registered: 31-07-2007

Do You Want To Choose The Wholesale Network For Your Service

Its clear that the characteristics of a service provided over any LLU network can differ from one provider to another and of course with respect to BTw’s offering.

Price is not the only question. There may also be differences of speed (both down and upload), QoS management, contention ration, arrangements for migration and so on. Further, there may be simple differences of personal choice.

We have seen during the past year how a pricing change by the wholesale operator (BTw) can quickly affect the landscape of retail products. Even if the different network products can be closely matched at the outset there is no reason to suppose that future changes will be synchronised between different wholesale providers who have different network topologies and customer mixes.

Further, there seems to be an amount of consternation regarding the prospect of some PN customers having their service migrated to one LLU provider or another. The currently available operator being Tiscali.

Is the answer to all this simply for PN to introduce new, additional products with their advertised characteristics and price? Customers could then request a re-grade to one of the new products in the normal way. Its just that some products in the PN portfolio would be based upon the BTw network and others on a Tiscali or an Easynet LLU product.

I don’t know if you all think this is a reasonable way to go. LLU does offer advantages for many, but its not all one way. Each customer has their own mix of requirements. We may of course have to pay different rates for the privilege of staying on BTw. Who could complain at that given the choice.

Perhaps this is what PN were thinking of… If its not possible perhaps they could enlighten us as to why.
43 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,729
Registered: 04-04-2007

Do You Want To Choose The Wholesale Network For Your Service

My concern would be that once Plus.Net move you over to one of their LLU partners, that there would be no easy way to migrate back to a BT Wholesale ISP.

Plus.Net already has some customers on Tiscali products (256k), in fact one of my referrals are. Some time ago they decided that they would like to upgrade to a faster package, but where told that they would incur the full BT activation fee again.

Chilly
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Do You Want To Choose The Wholesale Network For Your Service

This is the first Poll I've voted in for a while, nicely constructed and fairly balanced Smiley
I do feel it is vital that customers are given choice considering the negative aspects of being on an LLU service, probably most importantly for most is the current lack of an easy migration route. I've been looking forward to the rollout of LLU by PlusNet for a long time and it is something I've been very interested in taking part in. Unfortunately It seems as if they're managing to organise it in the way that is becoming the norm for PlusNet. Ignoring the customer.
LLU is something that is important to the growth of 'Broadband' and the market in this country and it is something that offers great advantages for the customer and ISP's. But if people are forced onto an LLU service, then face (the inevitable) problems if they choose to migrate (for whatever reason) then it's going to be yet another blow to PlusNet's reputation. Surely trying to get enough customers to volunteer to move would be a better approach. Or at least offer some assurances to those customers who will be forced to move to cover the downtime and costs.
Yes, it is largely down to BT and the LLU providers to provide migration methods and yes this will only happen with time and increased uptake, but come on PlusNet, take some some responsibility for your actions.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Do You Want To Choose The Wholesale Network For Your Service

If PN insist on moving people over to LLU without their say so then they should:

While there is no migration method between LLU & IPstream...

1) Give 30 days notice of such a change to give people time to consider their options.

2) If you decide to migrate out PN should wave any contractural obligations (except deferred activation & hardware) as if it were a change to your T&C.

3) Users on LLU should not be out of pocket should they decide to migrate after being switched to LLU. i.e. PN should pay any reprovide fees so they are on the same playing field as IPstream based customers.

That being said, progress is being made between BT, OFCOM and the LLU providers to enable a migration between the two systems but there is no date yet announced (that I know of) for when this will be available. It could happen next month or in 6/12 months time.
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Do You Want To Choose The Wholesale Network For Your Service

Peter,

Surely asking for the option to remain on an IPStream product is not too much to ask. What would a customer do if faced with having to either go on LLU or Migrate when all they really want is a IPStream product with Plusnet should a future migration be required it is simple and easy enough.

Regards,
ceridwen
Grafter
Posts: 937
Registered: 14-10-2007

Do You Want To Choose The Wholesale Network For Your Service

tomspcs,

I think this is a list of preferences:

ideally PN should make LLU opt it
failing that PN should make LLU opt out
failing that PN should at least give the customer reasonable notice, and ability to migrate without penalties
If PN fail to even do that, then I think they are heading towards another PR disaster.

Matthew
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Do You Want To Choose The Wholesale Network For Your Service

Quote
Surely asking for the option to remain on an IPStream product is not too much to ask.


Clearly it is otherwise I'm sure PN would have offered it.

I suspect in order to bring in the savings, all users on an LLU enabled exchange will be moved via some form of bulk migration scheme. Having to deal with individual customers deciding if they want to move or not may well negate any savings made in the additional resources needed to develop / manage such a system.

Quote
What would a customer do if faced with having to either go on LLU or Migrate when all they really want is a IPStream product with Plusnet should a future migration be required it is simple and easy enough.


PN must have a reason for doing it this way but as yet I have been unable to find out why - we are still discussing this in PUG. Because this is PNs decision, PN must be responsible for any costs incurred by the user should they wish to migrate. If PN are treating both LLU & IPstream exactly the same and it being PN that decides which connection is used, the cost to migrate away should also be the same.
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Do You Want To Choose The Wholesale Network For Your Service

Well,

I hope there will be some compromise. Iam not faced by this series of events as my exchange hasnt got any LLU scheduled for it yet let alone being enabled lol.
Actually im still getting over the shock of my Brother in laws exchange ( only a small one serving less than 4000 premises ) having already been MZX Dsl enabled compared to alrger ones which server neigh on 12,000 premises and even more lol.

Regards,
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Do You Want To Choose The Wholesale Network For Your Service

If PN are running on Tiscalis backbone i never want to be on PN LLU and will stay at BT.

Not bothered though, probably wont be with PN much longer anyways.
Neil_A
Grafter
Posts: 450
Registered: 04-04-2007

Do You Want To Choose The Wholesale Network For Your Service

This issue is a complex one that faces all ISPs using LLU - AOL, Wanadoo, Bulldog, Pipex, UK Online, Tiscali, F2S and PlusNet (not an exhaustive list).

As far as I am aware none of the above ISPs offer a choice to the customer. The reason being the costs of using LLU are lower and in general the performance will be superior to BT's network so it makes commercial sense to use LLU where possible. Tiscali are well recognised within the ISP industry as being excellent at operating large scale backbone networks which is what we are buying from them.

We also know from our trial with Tiscali that their fault diagnosis and resolution tools are a leap ahead of what BT Wholesale provide to us so during the trial we were able to resolve customer issues far faster than we currently can with IPStream.

The process that we and all ISPs are forced by BT Wholesale to go through to migrate customers from IPStream to LLU is time consuming and cumbersome and simply doesn't allow for an opt-in or opt-out.

We and other ISPs using LLU are lobbying Ofcom, BT and Openreach (the new BT arm that deals with LLU) to ensure that there is a robust transfer process from LLU to IPStream so that it is easy to move from ISP to ISP irrespective of the wholesale access product. If LLU and competition at the infrastructure level is to be a success in this country BT cannot be allowed to make it more difficult for an LLU ISP to operate than an IPStream ISP. This is called equivalence and is the cornerstone of the TSR (Telecoms Strategic Review) that BT have been forced to sign by Ofcom.

Our contract with Tiscali is to provide 20,000 lines over LLU this year. With nearly 200,000 broadband customers at present and growing every day that is a relatively small number of our overall customer base. The experience we've seen on the trial is that customers get a good service on the LLU network. I'm sure it won't be perfect first time, these things never are, particularly at a £14.99 price point. But we'll work with our wholesale suppliers to make sure we're offering the best service possible for the price our customers are paying.

The choice for us as an ISP is simple - use LLU to reduce cost or face not being as competitive as other ISPs. The former means we can offer a good price and service, the latter means customers leave for other ISPs. What would you choose?
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,878
Registered: 04-04-2007

Do You Want To Choose The Wholesale Network For Your Service

Quote
We and other ISPs using LLU are lobbying Ofcom, BT and Openreach (the new BT arm that deals with LLU) to ensure that there is a robust transfer process from LLU to IPStream so that it is easy to move from ISP to ISP irrespective of the wholesale access product.


This is good. BUT it should be sorted BEFORE you start forcing customers over. TBH customers don't care about you reducing costs, unless its going to change anything price / speed or functionality better for the customer.

Im on PAYG so I know my account pays for itself as far as customers are concerned. What would I gain from being moved over to LLU other than I might loose my ability to migrate and will now have 3 parties involved in the provision of service.

How PlusNet can say Tiscali wholesale are great shows how short thier memories are. Remember Datastream?
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Do You Want To Choose The Wholesale Network For Your Service

a good post but most customers transferred to LLU will not know that they then can't switch easily right away to IPstream. Plusnet must make that clear to everyone and, if the customer doesn't want to be stuck with (I'm sorry) a pretty poor product from PN of late, then they MUST be offered a free migration. It would be tantamount to deception to move customers to LLU without their knowledge that they couldn't transfer out easily.

If easy transfers are not available from day 1 on LLU this must be made very very clear. I would suggest putting it on your home page.
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Do You Want To Choose The Wholesale Network For Your Service

Quote
Tiscali are well recognised within the ISP industry as being excellent at operating large scale backbone networks which is what we are buying from them.


You obviously have never used one of Tiscalis services. Overcrowded pipes, speeds 10% of what they should be, ping in games on 300+ every night between 6 and midnight, crap customer service and no respect at all for fixing faults on lines. I know 5 people that were on them, experienced the same problems as myself, and have you read their CS forums, its all the same complaints, speeds not even close to their specified line speeds even though they say its unlimited/unrestricted and all they say is run speed tests etc etc and refuse to acknowledge its a problem with them. They had me running round in circles for 6 months (yes 6 months) as they didnt log what was said in calls, i just kept getting told to try through the main BT box, then they said its my router, then they said its my telephone line, then they said its spyware and viruses on the PCs, after 6 months when we cancelled them they had made no attempt to do stuff all on their end, so yep, definately great service. They will do anything to avoid doing something.

I have no doubt they will do exactly the same with their LLU backbone as they did with their ADSL one.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 2,526
Thanks: 925
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Do You Want To Choose The Wholesale Network For Your Service

Quote
Well,

Actually im still getting over the shock of my Brother in laws exchange ( only a small one serving less than 4000 premises ) having already been MZX Dsl enabled compared to alrger ones which server neigh on 12,000 premises and even more Regards,


Well be amazed at this! Our exchange EABDF serving a tiny semi rural community of 200 is also MAXdsl enabled since 17/3/2006.

To be fair it was only ADSL enabled back in October 2005, so it was almost certainly provided with a new DSLAM at that point.

The sad bit is that with my stats 43.5 Db attenuation 11Db SNR I'm unlikely to see any real improvement Cry

Maurice
shellsong
Grafter
Posts: 2,191
Registered: 03-08-2007

Do You Want To Choose The Wholesale Network For Your Service

@theoldpostThat's a poor SNR for that attenuation-- is it all external to you or is some of it to do with your house phone wiring or your router/modem? I'd have thought you ought to have another 10 dB or so in hand at that attenuation. Even so you might be able to double your present speed on MaxDSL

Maybe it's time BT treated your community to new copper!