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Tuesday, 23 September 2008

My ISP and ADSL2+

My ISP, Karoo of Hull fame, or infamy, has recently changed over to ADSLL2+. Yay! I hear you  shout but it is not as simple as that. In Hull, as in other parts of the U.K., the telephone wiring system here is old. Some has been replaced, most has not. Because of this ADSL2+ in the main for the vast majority of their customers sucks badly. So badly the majority have seen a drop in sync speeds. Sure, there are some whose sync speeds actually went up but they are so few and far between the move to ADSL2+ can only be seen as a failure. Not by the ISP however.

And that is where the problems start. As one can rightly expect from an ISP point of view slower sync speeds means slower throughput which means less can be downloaded. From a customer point of view lower sync speeds means slower throughput which means Internet applications, including but not limited to downloading in general, such as VOIP, watching video's, streaming music and Internet radio etc stutter and stammer as if we were back in the days of the old modem dialup world dialing into a modern Internet. Basically, from the customers point of view the whole ADSL2+ experience is a poor one.

Some have already requested to be moved back to the older, in their cases, more reliable ADSL while others are patiently waiting for the ISP to somehow magically fix whatever it is they need to fix to improve their connectivity. A few others have left Karoo and moved into the Mobile Internet world where they are finding that their speeds are better.

It is generally accepted that here we on average overall speeds are better than they are in "BT Land" and in some circumstances better then some cable areas. But, when things go wrong here it can be a long arduous fight to:
1) Get them to see the problem
2) Get them to accept that the problem exists
3) Get them to accept that the customer can be right
4) Get them to realise that some customers  are more technically aware than some of their own  technicians and  engineers
5) Get them to fix whatever is the underlaying reason for the problem or problems.

With 5 being the ultimate objective 1 and 2 can be and is the hardest to get across while 3 and 4 are nigh on impossible.

Over the course of the last week or so I have been fighting on behalf of many of their customers to get the ISP to admit they have screwed up. Indeed, during one particularly brutally honest  confrontation I said sod it and quit the forum I was on. He tried to get me to allow him to ring me (isn't that a stupid corporate thing? Asking if one can ring) but I said back that if he wants to ring me there would be strings attached which i laid out for him. So far, he has neither replied nor answered the questions posed. Sort of typical really. When the going get tough, they hide.

We shall see over the rest of this week just how much he cares about his customers and whether or not he was for real when he said I was the most technically minded of anyone outside of his immediate business associations.

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