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Saturday, 11 October 2008

ISP speeds (a rant by any other name).

Whether actual speeds or publicity speeds are getting ever faster. Except here in Hull where ADSL2+ is a mess of slow sync and throughput speeds for the vast majority of customers. Our incumbent ISP claims, but never gives out actual provable figures, that their home customers are happy with ADSL2+. They will not provide any figures to back up that claim though not even to us, us being those of us who were supposedly on a monthly scheduled meetings with them.

Virgin Media have announced plans for a 50Mbit/sec service. How many of their customers will acheive anywhere close to that remains to be seen, but the fact they are publically declaring such speeds is admirable. Our ISP touts  service improvements then fails miserably on the  actual  giving part of that service, ADSL2+ is one such example. Okay, Virgin Media are a cable company probably using DOSIS3 9or whatever it is called) but the simple fact they talk to their customers via various news outlets is in stark contrast to how our ISP operates.

Many times our ISP  replies to  questions with the boilerplate reply of "That is being tested." which actually means "We have no idea what you are talking about.". Our ISP's technical people are a joke beyond the pale. Anything that goes outside of their abilities is immediately debunked as "not being worth the effort".

There are many people who offer up free advice to our ISP's technical people and those people offering up that advice known that of which they speak but, without fail you can bet your last penny that our ISP's technical people will not have the  abilities  nor brain power to do what it is that was asked of them.

Whether this is due to the limitations of the software used or is because those technical people have never dared to venture beyond the absolute basics or even if they are simply stuck in their ways not wanting to try and find out what sort of power the software they use provides is all open to debate. My own feelings and thoughts on the matter is that it is a mix of the first two.

To give an example. We asked them about offering their users, home users, multiple IP's as standard on their top tier service but what came back from that  request was both astounding and mystifying. The reply said "We cannot offeer multiple IP's because it would create too much work." Imagine that! Technical people   saying so and so would be too much work to implement.

There is a whole list of such replies that  seriously impacts peoples thoughts on their technical prowess.

Not that long ago I set up an ISP. The basic setup took under an hour to do. Over all the time taken from start to a fully fledged ISP setup was 52 hours. And here we have our incumbent ISP claiming something was too much work to setup. Simply amazing!

But back to speeds. With just about every ISP offering   40Mbit/sec plus it seems we users in this city with our incumbent ISP as the    provider will be stuck with slow speeds for years to come. It seriously impacts the beiief of their customers in the ISP ability to do anything beyond the absolute basics to provide a connection. They are stale. They are old hat. They are simply rubbish at every level possible.

Due to how they have handled us in recent weeks, the ignoring of emails, it is my remit now to make life for as many people within the company as uncomfortable as possible. I have instigated an E.U. investigation into their Hull operations. Particularly in what they charge other ISP's, be they  one already out there or new startups, with realtion to LLU or sharing of cabinets. I have contacted OFcom, the relevant E.U. departments (!2 in all) and am in the process of using the contacts I have within the newspaper industry to get the word out.

We are suffering here from a crap service. A service that is fixable but whether they have the ability within is open to debate. I have had to do this sort of thing before and I have no qualms in doing it again.

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