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BT comes clean on Infinity modem 'upgrade'

Replacement boxes rolled out due to faulty chip

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

National telco BT has been sending letters out to its Infinity broadband customers saying that it will swap their modems for a better version for free, but failing to mention that the real reason for the generous offer is because they could be faulty.

The letter to customers, which was forwarded to The Reg by a concerned reader, comes from BT’s managing director of customer service Warren Buckley and screams out in bold: “We’re giving you an even better BT modem for free."

“To make sure you always get the best possible broadband service, we’re going to swap your Openreach modem for a better one, for free,” it explains. “The new modem improves your broadband connection so your BT Infinity will be even better.”

After a bit of gentle nudging, however, BT revealed that the promised new modem wasn’t an upgrade, as the letter implies, but a replacement aimed at resolving a newly found design flaw.

This is the statement we got back:

We can confirm that Openreach has been replacing some of its modems with more reliable updated versions. This is because the connection could sometimes drop with some of the early modems that we deployed.

There has been no health or safety risk whatsoever associated with this issue but it is obviously important that the connection doesn’t drop if the customer is to enjoy their service.

As a result, we are offering to visit any affected customers to provide them with an updated modem. In the meantime they can continue to use their old modem without any safety concerns.

The dropped connection was caused by a malfunctioning chip which is prone to overheating, a BT spokesman told The Register, although he was at pains to point out there was never any risk of fire.

Still, BT customers may be appreciative if in future the telecoms giant comes clean on such matters. ®

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