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Systems failure hits BT broadband upgrades

'Thousands' moving to 1Mb service left unplugged

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"Thousands" of UK ADSL users upgrading to a 1Mb service have had their broadband connection cut off because of a systems failure at BT.

At this stage it's not known exactly how many people upgrading from 512k to 1Mb have been hit by the snafu but some readers tell us that when they contacted BT tech support they were told that "thousands" had been caught up in the mess.

One reader who contacted us yesterday after his broadband connection had been down for more than 24 hours told us: "Since jacking up the line to 1Mbit, I've had no broadband connection 'whatsoever' now for 26 hours, with BT passing me between and betwixt technial and order management, whose estimates of when it all might be fixed range from 10 am yesterday morning, to perhaps today, or maybe tomorrow."

Another told us: "What a joke. No one knows what's going on."

Details are still sketchy but it seems that BT Wholesale suffered a "systems failure" on Monday that created a backlog of orders for punters looking to regrade their xDSL services from 512k to 1Mb. The systems failure would have affected all ISPs and their customers looking to regrade earlier this week.

Normally, the switchover is only meant to result in a downtime of around 30 minutes as punters are disconnected from their 512k service and reconnected to the faster service. As a result of the glitch, though, punters were disconnected from their 512k service - but not reconnected to the faster one.

As a result these users have been without broadband for the last 48 hours or so.

A spokeswoman for BT Wholesale said that it was still working to clear the backlog of orders. At this stage she was unable to say how many people had been caught up in the mess, and how many had been left with no broadband. ®

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