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What do OFCOM have to say about this

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What do OFCOM have to say about this

I guess before I go to far I need to admit I work for a company that is also overseen by ofcom .

F9 seem to maintin that they can chnage the contract (iddlI guess before I go to far I need to admit I work for a company that
is also overseen by OFCOM (though not for much longer:-) .

F9 seem to maintain that they can change the contract (idle timeouts)
with impunity. This is not as clear as they are suggesting.

With a normal contract if I sign a contract for the supply of 'beer'
and the the supplier decides they what to change the terms of the
contract to 'supply of root vegetables' I can reasonable argue that
they have so fundamental changed the nature of the contract as to
render it null & void.

Now I could argue similarly; When I signed a contract for an 'always
on' service that to change this into a 'service on demand' is a
fundamental change.

What I would normally do then is, consider the contract closed and
seek to find another party with whom I could enter into new contract.

The various regulated markets however are not quite like that :-) If
my water supply company decides they are going to change to 'piped in
oil' I have a problem finding another company with a pipe to my house.
Fortunately I don't have to. The 'regulated companies' don't have the
ability to change contracts in any way they like.

Now among F9's many customers affected by this there must be many
lawyers who work from home an need their alway on connection (that box
the geek set up that lets you talk to clients :-) I feel the power of
self interest here might be useful :-e time outs) witn
13 REPLIES
Ben_Brown
Grafter
Posts: 2,839
Registered: 13-06-2007

What do OFCOM have to say about this

As the Terms & Conditions have changed, you do not have to accept the new Terms & Conditions.

However if you do not accept the new T&C's, unfortunately your connection with us will either need to be migrated away or cancelled.

Can I ask what concerns you about idle timeouts? They only affect two of the products we supply (ADSL Home Surf and Broadband Plus) and most people will not notice any difference as most ADSL equipment will reconnect automatically when the connection is needed.

Also the ADSL is always on, if the connection times out then you can reconnect straight away. You are still able to use the connection all the time if you need to.
David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,291
Thanks: 29
Registered: 19-07-2007

What do OFCOM have to say about this

I'm on, one that isnt effected by this, but my router and I'd imagine the routers of people on these connections, will automatically reconnect the instant a connection is dropped.

This leads me to a simple question, if every person on the 2 services affected have the same reconnect instantly setting ticked, wouldnt it be exactly the same as having the connection on 24/7, so no real difference, except maybe to the login server?
irondutchess
Newbie
Posts: 7
Registered: 06-08-2007

What do OFCOM have to say about this

Quote
I'm on, one that isnt effected by this, but my router and I'd imagine the routers of people on these connections, will automatically reconnect the instant a connection is dropped.

This leads me to a simple question, if every person on the 2 services affected have the same reconnect instantly setting ticked, wouldnt it be exactly the same as having the connection on 24/7, so no real difference, except maybe to the login server?


If all it takes is for users to tick a box so their router instantly reconnects, or they can just download a free program to keep the connection alive, what do f9 hope to gain by having your connection time out?
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What do OFCOM have to say about this

I suspect the vast majority of customers who are non-technically aware who don't use the internet a lot will probably not even question it, or even understand that it's happeneing.

So f9 will gain something if for example 30% of customers deliberately find a way to keep the connection alive and the other 70% don't
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What do OFCOM have to say about this

As for the title of this thread, not a lot. Ofcom haven't shown the slightest interest in helping me to define what broadband means as a term and as a product.

In my opinion they are just another junket having a free ride at the tax payers expense. :twisted:

Mark
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What do OFCOM have to say about this

Quote

If all it takes is for users to tick a box so their router instantly reconnects, or they can just download a free program to keep the connection alive, what do f9 hope to gain by having your connection time out?


Ah buy my modem redials automatically after a dropped connection and I get:

Verifying username and password......
Error 734: The PPP link control protocol was terminated.


Eventually reconnects after between 3 - 5 minutes!

Mark
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What do OFCOM have to say about this

Hi Mark,

How quick are you getting your connection to reconnect when it drops. if 2 fast then it will cause problems, set it to about a 15 second delay and usually should connect straightaway. Doing this will give both ends the chance to reset the old connection, allowing the new connection to be made.

As for the timeouts this won't affect me, as I'm on broadband premier, but here is one question, what if you run your own ftp or webspace, or even smtp.

if using the smtp you could end up getting mail bounced if the connection is timed-out, thus losing important emails.

as for ftp and webspace, people may think your system is down or having problems, thus possibly giving you more grief.

other than that I see no problem with the lines being disconnected if idle for a period of time.

regards
mike
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What do OFCOM have to say about this

Quote

As for the timeouts this won't affect me, as I'm on broadband premier, but here is one question, what if you run your own ftp or webspace, or even smtp.

f9 have already stated that BB+ is not a service designed for running servers and customers wanting to do so should upgrade to premier.

However I think there is one application which does fall foul of this... running a VPN.... I regularly connect to my home machine from work via a secure tunnel to give me a virtual desktop, an idle timeout would leave me unable to re-initiate the connection from the remote location, so I'd be locked out until I get home. You could argue that the tunnel/VPN is still a server, which technically it is, but I don't see it as something to compare to an ftp, mail or web server.... it's a bit of a grey issue which at the moment isn't a big deal because most people don't use VPN's or tunnels - but it will be different in the future when this kind of activity will become common.
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What do OFCOM have to say about this

Quote
As for the title of this thread, not a lot. Ofcom haven't shown the slightest interest in helping me to define what broadband means as a term and as a product.


Time to eat humble pie Shockedops: I received a reply today, sod's law isn't it? Maybe they are snowed under with enquiries fro F9/ +Net/ FOL users!! Apparently, the last time that Ofcom defined broadband was the Wholesale Broadband Access market review statement of May 2004 (see it in full here http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/wbamp/wholesalebroadbandreview/broadbandaccessreview.pdf). I have found the following definition of a broadband service though:


Quote
1.17 In the December consultation, based on the evidence available to Ofcom and having considered responses to the April consultation, Ofcom proposed the following three characteristics for categorising services as broadband:

the service is always-on, i.e. no dial up is required. This feature allows the
user to maintain a permanent connection to the network so allowing real
time delivery of services such as e-mail;

• it is possible to use both voice and data services simultaneously, whether
they are provided together, for example over the same access route, or
separately, perhaps using more than one access route; and
• it has a faster downstream speed than a dial up connection.


So it's official then. As of the 16th September, BB+ will have to be renamed as it is no longer eligible to be called a broadband service!!

Your thoughts please, especially from CS.

Mark
Ben_Brown
Grafter
Posts: 2,839
Registered: 13-06-2007

What do OFCOM have to say about this

As far as I'm aware we will no longer market BB+ as always on, for this very reason.

It could still however be argued that the ADSL is always on. Your line isn't ceased when the idle timeout is reached. On the other side of the argument you could argue that anyone using a modem that uses a dial up style connection (like the Voyager 105) isn't on broadband, when clearly as far as they are concerned they are on broadband.
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What do OFCOM have to say about this

But you can't market Broadband Plus as a broadband package going by the definition provided by Ofcom. They have stated that to qualify as broadband it needs to be an always on service which clearly this is now not.

The best you can do is to advertise it as super fast dial up" because that is all it has become. And by calling it a broadband product, is that not misleading potential customers who are going to be expecting the Ofcom definition of the service? Woudn't this come under the Trade descriptions act?

Mark
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What do OFCOM have to say about this

i must admit I agree with Mark, even though it won't affect me.

Broadband is supposed to be a permantly on connection, unless there are circumstances out of the control of F9, BT and the EU. So unless there's a major fault somewhere, or the lines get blown down, then it should be permantly on.

Change the name from BB+ to Highspeed Internet Connection or HIC for short... Cheesy

And to the other point yes I believe it would be in breach of the trade descriptions act

regards
mike
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substantive change to service

My point was not simply that F9 might change the service in a way that I don't like and might cause me to 'churn off' it is more the companies regulated by ofcom are not free to just make any changes to the service they like. It's not like buying widgets, where only contract law come into play. The reason there is a regulator is they they are REGULATED. They cannot simply say "there it is take it or leave it" if you don't agree to the changes in contract you can go elsewhere. It does not work like that in regulated markets. For example you can bet BT would just love to say to F9, we are dropping all your lines every hour unless they are busy. BT would save real money here, actual kit need not be bought. Howere they ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DO IT, they are regulated.

If you made the contract for 'broadband' be sure you cannot change it to connect from one end only on-demand..

As to the ADSL being in place (thanks to BT keeping their end of the deal) the wires are also in place and there is a voltage on the line also, none of these make it on.

If F9 want to offer an 'offline' ADSL service I'm sure they can do do so. Given the right price they may even sell it but it has nothing to do with existing customers of theri 'online' service.