WARNING: THIS IS A TECHNICAL BLOG.
So, I have some broadband issues at home at the moment. Having lived a previous life as an Internet pioneer, I know a thing or two about this stuff, so I’m pretty certain the issue lies at the exchange not with my home network.
My broadband line fails every Friday afternoon from around 2pm at random intervals until about 9pm. Also, the issues started when the whole village’s broadband went down about 3 months ago and they replaced some DSLAM cards and moved us to a new port on part of the old DSLAM.
Speaking to BT support is excruciating as they have no technical expertise at all and so can’t understand the answers you give. To make things worse, they don’t even understand the difference between a WAN (The public Internet) and a LAN (the home network). They don’t understand the difference between a DSL connection and an ethernet connection. They cannot comprehend that my home network is complex and spans 3 buildings and is a mixture of routers, wireless access points public WiFi, private WiFi static IP’d servers, printers and NAS’s which required me to extensively reconfigure their router (called a HomeHub by BT) to perform various clever tasks such as permanent IP allocation on a DHCP network, port forwarding for a Western Digital Home Cloud product and conversion of older BT HomeHubs from a router with DHCP, NAT, Firewall and random SSID to auto roaming WiFi access points.
This therefore means that unlike most home users, doing a factory reset on their HomeHub is just not an option. The problem is they are pitched at a non technical user level and cannot adapt to a technical level when confronted by such. They insist on spending endless amounts of time asking you to check the signal strength of the WIFI or ensure a cable is plugged in. They have a monitoring service which they can enable, but this only keeps a history for 5 days, which doesn’t help when the problem happens every 7.
So, as an end result, I’ve had to order a latest generation HomeHub which I’ll have to reconfigure to my requirements to prove that this new hub does not solve the problem, which will hopefully get them to start investigating their exchange.
Meanwhile I’m trying to transfer about 500GB’s of photo’s from my Father’s PC in London to my home cloud server over a 6Mb/s line which ironically requires about one week of uninterrupted download time.
As an amusing side note, when I asked why I wasn’t notified when my annual line rental contract was due for renewal which would have allowed me to obtain a discount by re-ording. It was explained to me that:
“Did I realise BT have over 16 million customers, can you imagine how difficult that would be to send an email to each one each year?”
“Hut hum”, I replied, ready to explain reality. “Did you know that there are 32 million seconds in a year? Even an entry level laptop can send around 10 emails a second. So a home user could send around 320 million emails a year without any effort at all.”
“Further more, Twitter send around 200 million push notifications an hour from a customer base of about 300 million, Facebook send around 500 notifications an hour from a customer base exceeding a Billion.”
“BT” I explained “are a parochial backwater company with a customer base smaller than most fledgling startups”
“They do however own 90% of the physical infrastructure in the UK and they do generate about 60% of UK Internet traffic.”
LATEST NEWS: It is now Wednesday 6th May 10:30am and I am on hold to BT Customer Services awaiting news on my Home Hub Delivery. It was originally due on the 29 April, but failed to appear, so a new one was sent on the 30th, this has also failed to appear, so they are arranging despatch of parcel number 3. For my Twitter followers, you will know that a similar thing happened with a quadcopter delivery from Amazon, however the customer service levels are polar opposites. Amazon sorted it out by email themselves and confirmed a refund and re-delivery within an hour. Delivery no. 2 from Amazon was tracked and arrived within 2 days.
I have now after a 15 minute conversation with BT been informed that Hub No.: 3 is coming via a 24 hour delivery service. Let’s see……
LATEST NEWS: Monday 11th May 2015… So after receiving the Hub at 5pm on Friday afternoon, my entire phone line went down some time Saturday morning. So after it’s fixed (call out date this Wednesday), I will phone BT and attempt to gloat and try to explain that I was right all along and I didn’t need a new HomeHub. By the way, I cannot change the IP address for my printer to work due to a conflict, so I’m using the old Hub anyway.
LATEST NEWS: Friday 15th May 2015…. We’re back. I have full broadband at home and at my offices. It’s even faster than it was before. I suspect BT ended up moving me to a new port on their DSLAM rather than getting more grief from me. I’ve also switched back to my old router, so if anybody wants a brand new BT HomeHub 4, it yours. I originally told them their were two problems (the phone line and the DSLAM port) they told me my router was at fault. So final score Mike Hardcastle: 2 BT: 0 There is a company called Gigaclear who hopes to bring FTTP to our village. I can’t wait for them to arrive. Minimum speed 50Mb/s full duplex, Maximum speed 1Gb/s full duplex.