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Tuesday 29 April 2003

BT in being Evil shocker [lurks]

BT is Evil. We all know this. No other country in the world with similar technological demographics and demand for Internet access has seen broadband rollout so incumbered as that which our favorite monopoly has managed in the UK. Even if they have a fraction of the population density and high-tech industry. Yet for all that, most of us have broadband now. Either via BT's DSL offerings or cable modems, so we've not had cause to direct napalm and bile in BT's direction for some time.
Today that changed. You see we still have a few folks who don't have broadband. One doesn't really care (Spiny) and one has set up a campaign (Houmous) to get BT to ADSL-enable his exchange. These chaps are in the significant numbers within the UK that are not serviced by broadband and so may have rightly pinned some hopes on BT's new 'midband' package which will have a 97% UK population coverage being as it's based on ISDN technology.
There had been a lot of speculation on this midband package. The midband term coming from the belief it was a 128k service, always on, based on ISDN. Sure it's not going to be much good for leeching CumFiesta-KateAndKim.mpg on a regular basis but it's a big step up from regular dial-up and ISDN right? Even if it wasn't going to be always-on, there was talk of having always-on e-mail via the ISDN d-channel.
I saw today on the register that they have the seen the documents detailing what the BT midband package is actually going to be. Let me summarise it for you;
  • Costs £35 a month.
  • Service limited to 150 hours a month.
  • 64K dial-up, 128k uses 2X inclusive hours.
  • 2 hour session limit (requires reconnect)
  • Usage over 150 hours charged per hour.
  • No always-on e-mail system.

You can't make this shit up. They're charging between £5 to £10 more than BT's ADSL offerings. What does that buy you? Well it buys you a crappy 64K dial-up ISDN connection which you can't use for more than 5 hours a day on average. You'll get thrown off every 2 hours which will please gamers no end. This, ladies and gentlemen, is basically BT bundling ISDN with a flat-rate ISP service and nothing more. No concessions, no improved service, no serious attempt at improving Internet access for those out of range of ADSL.
It's a farce. It's an insult. It proves once and for all that BT have absolutely no inclination to drive forward broadband in this country unless it can be absolutely positively proven that they will make money out of it today. These are the same pricks that piss away billions on loss-making 3G ventures. I really thought that BT were improving, I thought they were showing signs of behaving just a little bit more like a progressive multi-billion pound telecommunications operator in the new millennium. How fucking naive of me.
Of course just as much blame should be dumped squarely at the foot of our Luddite government which has let this country lounge as a second class Internet backwater through the lack of subsidies or incentives. Instead they'd rather concern themselves with the Evil things Carol Vorderman says people get up to on the Internet and craft daft uninformed legislation such as the RIP act.
Death to BT and death to the Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and utterly incompetent 'e-Minister'.


  1. Anyone know if there's a technical reason for this fuckwittery? Why not just do 128 sdsl at half the price for fucks sake?

  2. I'm glad I live in an adsl area, I'm getting that 1meg adsl from nildram next week for less than a fiver a month more than this stupid idea.

  3. The gear that's in exchanges to do voice telecoms will also do ISDN. Since basically ISDN is just POTS with the ADC and DAC stage removed from it. Running anything else requires putting gear in exchanges and BT are basically trying to stretch out the cost impact of that infrastructure so they end up paying for it closer to a time when it might pay for itself. That's fair enough if they were a regular private company but they're a telecoms monopoly and these sort of services should be imposed upon them as part of their ongoing license to print money. Rememeber, the British public used to *own* BT and were stiffed out of that when the company floated. What you're seeing now is the direct result of what happens when you turn an essential state service into a private company purely interested in delivering to its shareholders.
    That is why the government's involvement in broadband in this country was essential from the beginning but of course when that particular revolution was beginning you were lucky if most MPs could send a fax.

  4. I couldn't really care when there was no trigger level set, now that's changed (currently 156/350) I may start a campaign too. I just don't know where I'll get the time from to go door-door leafleting.

  5. What ever happened to the rural ADSL trials that were taking place? I assumed this was the technology to be introduced in areas where demand didn't reach levels to make full DSL commercially viable.
    Last I heard, the trials were successful and they were planning on rolling out this service.

  6. What I think you are refering to is the so-called mini DSLAMs. Basically the large and very expensive bit of equipment that goes into exchanges to enable them for ADSL usage. The mini DSLAMs require less rack space (which is a big bonus in many of the exchanges) and are quite a bit cheaper. The effect of those will be just to reduce the trigger level required on some of the exchanges. BT sets the trigger levels based on how expensive it will be for them to upgrade an exchange. The mini DSLAMs are a tool to make it cheaper which is useful in some instances, it wont make BT bite the bullet and invest any sooner if their ridiculous 'trigger levels' aren't reached.

  7. Spiny: Is that 'trigger level' anything to do with that 'trigger bug'? :o)Spiny: Is that 'trigger level' anything to do with that 'trigger bug'? :o)

  8. Nice find Lurkula, I thought I smelt a rat when they announced that mid-band was going to be ISDN-based the other month.
    Still, surely the puntaz deserve what they get from BT. It's so easy to change provider now they record who your provider is at the exchange end - you don't need to dial any stoopid prefixes or have twatty little boxes to connect your phone through. Yet hardly anyone switches phone company.
    I changed to cable phone service as soon as I could, not for a better service but just to put two fingers up at BT.

  9. Well... if someone has a cable service then they wont be arsing about with midband though will they? They'll get themselves a cable modem for a bunch less money. If you live in a rural area, BT is your only ticket. Although I would quite agree that it appears there is no point to this midband service, you could just get home highway installed (you must use BT) and use your own choice of flat-rate provider. Doubtless you could find one that wont disconnect you every two hours.