Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I got dem broadband blues...

I'm in the process of moving ISPs, having been on Broadband for several years, originally on BT then subsequently PlusNet. Plusnet moved my service to an unbundled facility via Tiscali at some point last year for their own purposes.

Technical note- In the telephone exchange, there is the equivalent of a home splitter where the telephony continues on to the phone system and the data is sent off to a rack of broadband kit called a DSLAM, a Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer. Unbundling is when the data gets sent off to an entirely different rack of kit belonging to a Company other than BT elsewhere in the exchange (which BT call an OLO Hostel, OLO being Other Licensed Operator). BT's 6000+ local exchanges were never designed with this in mind so the big frame where all of the wires terminate is apparently a bit of a mess these days!

I was reasonably happy with PlusNet, getting about 6 Meg download speed and paying £15 a month for a low end 2 Gig/Month package. However, I have noticed that my usage has been slowly creeping up, mainly due to watching such things as 18 Doughty Street TV (which appears to be sick today- the curse of Ken Livingstone!)

Anyway, being a Sky Customer, I can supposedly get up to 16 Meg download speed (although I imagine <10 Meg is the most likely) and unlimited download quantity for £10 a month. The down side is that as I had been unbundled, there are no processes in place to move between suppliers so I had to do a full cancellation and wait until it was stopped before I could apply to Sky.

Anyway, this has now been done and I await my activation date with a certain amount of frustration. It can take up to 15 working days so that is potentially three weeks of being off-net. That is a long time for a Blog junkie!

As a stop-gap, I'm plugging my laptop in to broadband elsewhere to synchronise & keep up to date, but the inherent offline timeshift means that I can't readily post comments or spend the time embedding links in my blogposts.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible...


james higham said...

I'm glad you know what you're technically talking about, Ian because I sure don't.

Ian Grey said...

But James, a look on your blog tells me that you know buckets about everything else that goes over my head!

RSharma said...

Hi there,

Just read your article on the LLU fiasco with PN. I know all about it because I was one of the most vocal people against them on the ThinkBroadband forums and did everything possible to get them to notify people of the change, the consequences etc. but most of these things fell on deaf ears.

I have more information for those that need help on LLU issues especially those with Plusnet in my thread on TBB. Hope you don't mind if I post a link: Link to LLU and your Rights.

I also have a blog on all things PN if you and your readers are interested: Plusnet: The Truth


PS I am very new to blogging and I am not certain whether inserting links is acceptable but if they aren't then by all means remove them or delete my comments please. Also, please note that the word verification image does not load in FF 2.0 and I have reverted to IE to be able to post this message.

Ian Grey said...


Thanks for the comments. LLU wasn't an issue for me- until I wanted to move. PlusNet failed in their efforts to inform on the minuses as well as the pluses. They did make some effort- there was a belated option to opt out but they didn't bother to make clear why some people would.

The word verification is OK on FF 1.5, but occasionally the word doesn't appear without refreshing.

As I now post comments on lots of Blogpower blogs, I have come to loathe word verification- because I am particularly bad at mistyping it!

In order to lead by example, I'll turn it off for an experiment.