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We’re in the process of changing various utility providers and BT are on the list due to their high charges. I now find that our exchange is “unbundled” and BT are the sole provider of broadband. Is there any way round this?

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Triassic said:

We’re in the process of changing various utility providers and BT are on the list due to their high charges. I now find that our exchange is “unbundled” and BT are the sole provider of broadband. Is there any way round this?

I think you need to start with BT --but then you could change later I think

BT/open reach  have to allow others to use the phone lines

 could be wrong --ask for quote from anther provider if you already have a phone line

Edited by scottishjohn

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48 minutes ago, Triassic said:

now find that our exchange is “unbundled” and BT are the sole provider of broadband.

 

I think you mean the exchange is still “bundled”. That means that any ISP has to go through BT's modems and backhaul (from the exchange to their own routers) at the exchange end but still other ISPs can be used. If the exchange is unbundled then a few other providers (e.g., TalkTalk) can put their equipment in the exchange and you can get a line from them instead of from BT, though BT Openreach still has responsibility for the copper pair from the exchange to your house.

 

E.g., the local exchange I'm on at the moment is not unbundled  (LLU services: No) so there's just BT equipment in it but still I get my broadband via Andrews & Arnold.

 

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Sorry, yes you’re right it’s not unbundled.

 

When I check with Sam says the only provider is BT Wholsale. We tried a few other broadband suppliers but our exchange is not on their list.

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Practically speaking it doesn't make much difference to you. It can mean that your service has less potential speed, issues take longer to get resolved (as BT prioritise their direct customers over those of wholesale buyers). Whereabouts are you?

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I will be getting a quote from Juice broadband when we are nearer our contract end date next February.  Neighbours are very impressed with it - our speed is very slow here and I believe it is better.  It is a satellite system and local to this area I think but no doubt there are others around the country. 

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2 hours ago, Triassic said:

When I check with Sam says the only provider is BT Wholsale.

 

Yes, but another ISP can provide broadband (but not telephone service) via BT Wholesale. I would be very surprised if, for example, Andrews & Arnold (just a happy customer) can't provide at least a basic ADSL service.

 

I'm not completely convinced that Sam's site is fully up to date; it says my exchange doesn't have FTTC but I know it does ('cause I've got it, didn't particularly want it but it was expedient at the time I connected and it's nice to have).

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Maybe that’s the problem, we also wanted a land line as part of the deal .

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Told BT I wanted to leave as my broadband deal was to expensive and she reduced it from £60 for broadband, landline and BT sport to £27 for the same bundle. 

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Maybe only useful for a few but an option not many know about: I have a “wires-only” broadband service where the copper pair coming into the house has only broadband on it, no voice telephone service. There's a recorded announcement on the line saying is in use so BT engineers don't think it's unused and reuse it for somebody else. For my “landline” connection I then use a voice-over-ip (VoIP) service.

 

Per month it's £10 for the copper pair, £25 for the broadband service and £10 to upgrade it to VDSL/FTTC. The VoIP service I use (sipgate) is free though you, of course, have to pay for outgoing phone calls which are at reasonable rates but don't have the various cheap/free rates that BT has. You can make emergency calls on the number when you've registered your address with them. The downside is that phone calls go through the modem/router and either a telephone adapter box or a computer (which may be a smartphone) so you need power to do that.

 

The advantage for self builders is that it's easy to move your telephone number when you move to the house and for a transitional period when you might want to be answering the phone on site during the day and where ever you're staying in the evening that's easy, too.

 

More: https://edavies.me.uk/2018/08/telephones/

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5 hours ago, Ed Davies said:

Per month it's £10 for the copper pair, £25 for the broadband service and £10 to upgrade it to VDSL/FTTC. The VoIP service I use (sipgate) is free though you, of course, have to pay for outgoing phone calls which are at reasonable rates but don't have the various cheap/free rates that BT has. You can make emergency calls on the number when you've registered your address with them. The downside is that phone calls go through the modem/router and either a telephone adapter box or a computer (which may be a smartphone) so you need power to do that.

 

So you are paying £45 for that?

 

I am paying BT £39 per month for landline, broadband AND the SIM in my daughters mobile phone (which is a bit more that the very cheap SIM I have in my own phone as she eats "data" like it is going out of fashion)

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1 hour ago, ProDave said:

So you are paying £45 for that?

 

I am paying BT £39 per month for landline, broadband AND the SIM in my daughters mobile phone (which is a bit more that the very cheap SIM I have in my own phone as she eats "data" like it is going out of fashion)

 

From all I've read, Andrews & Arnold do provide a first rate, business class, service, though.  Had they been able to offer FTTC at the time that our local cabinet "went live" then I'd have paid a bit extra to use them, TBH.  They have good customer service and from what I've read they don't tend to throttle back speeds at peak times, unlike some other suppliers (and yes, PlusNet, that means you...). 

 

I doubt that I'd have had all the hassle I had getting our VDSL 2 service to work at a reasonable speed if I'd been with Andrews & Arnold, as I wouldn't mind betting that they would have resolved the problem quickly, whereas it took PlusNet months to finally get it sorted, and over the past few months I've noticed that we are starting to get the speed throttled back in the evenings to pretty much what it used to be before they fixed things, which I'm guessing is just contention (not sure, but I think that a lot of ISPs run higher contention ratios than Andrews & Arnold).

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1 hour ago, ProDave said:

So you are paying £45 for that? 

 

I am paying BT £39 per month for landline, broadband AND the SIM in my daughters mobile phone

 

I'd be paying £35/month for ADSL rather than VDSL.

 

At the time I connected BT were in the process of upgrading the exchange here and were taking no broadband orders. In addition, there was a problem with the previous tenant stopping the line so I could take it over. A&A got that all sorted for me though I finished up with VDSL because there physically weren't any ADSL ports available. Since then I've had no problems other than once where my IP address got DoSed for some unknown reason. A&A sorted that quickly and gave me a new IP address in a different block so all happy.

 

A while ago I was on PlusNet (so, effectively, BT) and had a problem on my line which took ages to sort out with “if it turns out to be your modem or wiring we'll charge you XXX pounds” nonsense. Not doing that again.

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4 minutes ago, Ed Davies said:

A while ago I was on PlusNet (so, effectively, BT) and had a problem on my line which took ages to sort out with “if it turns out to be your modem or wiring we'll charge you XXX pounds” nonsense. Not doing that again.

 

That's EXACTLY the problem I had with PlusNet, and they were pretty bullish about making me aware that I'd be charged some exorbitant sum if it turned out that there was a problem with our equipment.  I knew full well what the problem was, as did OpenReach, but for whatever reason Plusnet weren't good at talking to OpenReach, despite being part of the same group.

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19 hours ago, Pete said:

Told BT I wanted to leave as my broadband deal was to expensive and she reduced it from £60 for broadband, landline and BT sport to £27 for the same bundle. 

 

The old new customer / existing customer conundrum, although last time I tried with BT, they refused to budge on price, only offering an improved package once the order for another provider had gone through the system (I could have stayed as the offer was in the cooling off period).  Switched to EE (same group, better deal and £50 preloaded credit card). £25.50 a month line rental, broadband and anytime calls.

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I've been with Plusnet for years in my old house with zero problems.  

I contacted them first about getting a line to my new house and the person I was speaking to had no idea band wasn't prepared to put me through to someone who did - so I contacted BT.

 

Connection charge fixed at £50 despite needing a new pole. £20 connection charge and £10 delivery charge.  £70 gift voucher on completion, so effectively £10 all in.  Then 18 months at £25 for landline and broadband.  £10 per month cheaper than my Plus Net deal.  Can't lose. ?????????

 

Completion was due to happen on Dec 28th.  I knew this wouldn't happen as I knew a new pole was needed.  Not too concerned to start with as my new house is in the garden of the old one;  I could use my old cordless phones and internet connection until the sale went through on the old house.  I was also told that, should further work be needed, (as I knew it was, which is why I asked the question) it would still all be completed well before the end of January. 

 

So why am I still waiting????

 

Around the middle of January a team arrived to install the pole, they knocked on the door, explained what they were going to do and confirmed the placing for the pole.  After an hour or so I looked out, there was a deep hole and the pole was on the drive.  An hour or so later, it had all gone quiet so I went have a look.  Hole filled in, pole disappeared, no one there.  

 

And there began the saga.  It was about 2 weeks before an engineer came back out.  He told me the contractors reported back that when they dug the hole there were services there so they could not continue.  They sent him a photo of a black hole where nothing could be seen.  

 

I explained that there were no services.  I know the history going back to 1950 as the original house was built for my grandparents.  I was able to say exactly where all services were routed, and being fair he remembered me telling him this on his first visit.  

 

'It will be prioritised' he said and someone will be back within the week.  This was the middle of February.  

 

I still have no pole or line installed.  I am currently phoning BT every couple of days.  They are all, bar one, very polite, very sympathetic and full of reassurances.  But nothing happens.  I can't speak directly to OpenReach. 

 

I was told on Wednesday that the pole was going up that day and the work would be finished by the 21st.  I phoned on Thursday when I got the guy saying - 'no you weren't told the pole was going up on Wednesday, you were told the work would start Wednesday'.  Err no! the work started in December.  I hung up on him.  I spoke to the case manager today.  He is as helpful as he can be but still nothing is happening.

 

The contractors (apparently) have said they will contact me direct but I have had no contact - so now we are into yet another week.  The only saving grace is that the completion of the sale of the old house also keeps getting delayed so I can still us the phone and internet from up there.

 

Contracts should be exchanged next week though and completion very soon after so then I am snookered

 

 

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12 hours ago, Hecateh said:

Contracts should be exchanged next week though and completion very soon after so then I am snookered

Are there alternatives in your area to having an Openreach line. I got totally pissed off with Openreach after months and months of arguing and them not doing what I wanted so I used a WiMax company. They installed everything within a few days, faster broadband and a landline number using VoIP and cheaper than BT.

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I won't bore you all repeating my phone line instalation saga, but suffice it to say I got my installation fee refunded because of the ridiculous and stupid delays.  It was something approaching 2 months for them to find a working pair of cables from the top of our road to the exchange.

 

What I saw in my many discussions with the many people that attended and the many junction box pits that I looked down, was an archaic network designed 100 years ago for telephony, that is in a woeful state of chaos and degredation and is a wonder anything works at all.  And almost nothing seemed documented.  To find a spare pair, the procedure was cut a pair, listen to the line to see if it was live or dead. If live re connect it and try the next one.  And this procedure was repeated at every junction pit and there are 4 of them before our line reaches the "trunk" cable at the top of the road, where the pit contains a massive amount of junctions.

 

Next time you see an OR man sat at a junction cabinet for a couple of hours you now know what he is doing, that "trial and error" technique to even find the line he wants to work on.

 

Not long after connection we got them back because the BB speed was poor.   Simply by re making the corroded connections on our line in the 4 junction pits they doubled the broadband speed.

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As an ex BT employee (decades ago😱) I knew of these problems even back then. This “finding spare pairs” was always a problem. I remember being up a pole one day trying to find a spare, I was on the phone to “routing and records” the department that kept records of pairs and issued new ones and being told “pair 9 is spare “ I tested it and it was a worker and the cable went to a nearby house. The guy on the phone was adamant I was wrong and his records were right 😤. The main problem with broadband is that the BT network was only ever designed for speech.

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15 minutes ago, joe90 said:

The main problem with broadband is that the BT network was only ever designed for speech.

Exactly, BT do not offer a broadband service in the sense that Openreach only guarantee  a copper pair for speech quality to a certain standard (SIN5xx for some xx I can't remember, 516?). If it happens to work for broadband as well that's a bonus. If it cuts off everything above 3 kHz that's not their problem. I think it's different with FTTC and, of course, with FTTP.

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Apparently their first attempt at finding us a spare pair to the exchange, they found one that was "dead" and 24 hours later they were back again as that "dead" one was a leased line and they had a very unhappy customer complaining,

 

I know the old twisted pair network is out of the arc, but you really would have thought, 20 years ago when broadband was introduced, from THAT point onwards all NEW cabling installed would have been something very much better.  But no they have just carried on with the same rubbish.

 

As far as I know we got the last "good" pair down our road. There was another pair that was spare but tested as dud.  Next time someone builds a house (or the guy down the road finishes the one he started before mine) and want's a telephone line, they may have some work to do.

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7 minutes ago, Ed Davies said:

Exactly, BT do not offer a broadband service in the sense that Openreach only guarantee  a copper pair for speech quality to a certain standard (SIN5xx for some xx I can't remember, 516?). If it happens to work for broadband as well that's a bonus. If it cuts off everything above 3 kHz that's not their problem. I think it's different with FTTC and, of course, with FTTP.

 

I was involved in ISDN2 when it was first rolled out and yes some customers were “lucky” to be within limits and others not. I was involved then in finding out why some theoretical people were within limits but ISDN would not work?. We found out that there had been a world wide copper shortage in the past and BT experiemented with aluminium cables but because of corrosion problems they had to have copper tails at each end so identifying these cables were all but impossible (no records kept😱). We proved that the limits using aluminium cables were quite different from copper. So luck of the draw.

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23 hours ago, Hecateh said:

I've been with Plusnet for years in my old house with zero problems.

 

Today's Plusnet isn't what it was.

Edited by richi

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