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UK broadband vets see DSL connections cut

BT blamed for cock-up

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Some of the UK's longest-serving ADSL customers have lost their broadband connections because of work being carried out by BT.

As many as 100 people, who were early trialists of broadband in the UK supplied by BT Wholesale, are understood to have been cut off this week.

Now ISPs are calling on BT Wholesale to halt the work until all those affected by the snag can be identified.

One of those who is without broadband told us: "I've been told that BT migrated 20,000 ADSL customers to an enhanced network on Monday of last week (Jan 23) and that approximately 100 of those customers have since had no service, and are unlikely to do so for another week. I am one of them and am struggling to get any leverage on BT or my ISP to get the full story and to get a resumption in the service."

El Reg has learned that BT Wholesale has been reconfiguring its exchanges for DSL customers, but didn't inform ISPs because it believed the work would not affect end users. The first ISPs knew of the problem was when they were contacted by their punters.

As a result of the work, punters who were trialists some four or five years ago have seen their broadband connection axed. The only way to get it resumed is for a "cease and reprovide" order to be placed, which can take at least five working days to complete.

ISPs claim this is unacceptable and want BT Wholesale to reinstate the affected line immediately.

One of those ISPs hit by the glitch is Demon, which has called on BT to resolve the problem urgently.

A spokeswoman for the ISP told us: "We are obviously very concerned that BT has chosen to carry out exchange reconfiguration work without first establishing if it is customer-affecting. The fact that a small number of our customers are without their DSL service because of this is unacceptable and we are pressurising BT to reprovide these services as a matter of urgency and not within their usual five day 'cease and reprovide' timescales.

"We are also seeking reassurance from BT that they will not carry out further reconfigurations at the exchanges until they have ascertained what customers will be affected and have a process in place to ensure that the 'cease and reprovide' process will be as seamless as possible for customers."

A spokeswoan for BT Wholesale said it was investigating the matter. ®

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