Ofcom Decides – BT Wins

By | March 10, 2017

There was only one real winner in the Ofcom decision to allow OpenReach to remain a BT company and that was BT. OpenReach whoever owns it is simply not fit for purpose.

[Further comment from today’s Daily Telegraph]: BT’s outgoing Chairman Sir Mike Rake ‘has repeatedly harked back in public to its decision during the financial crisis to spend billions to upgrade its network by laying fibre optics as far as streetside telecoms cabinets.

‘With the Government and regulators now committed to delivering full fibre, such self-congratulation over a decision nearly a decade ago has looked increasingly out of touch.  BT’s equivalents in France and Spain meanwhile have ramped up spending on their networks to leave Britain in an Internet infrastructure slow lane.’

Nothing wrong with our network – problem seems to be the customer wanted to use it. 

[extracts from BT customer correspondence]:  “So none of the above graphs point towards a fault with our network, but they don’t explain why you were seeing slower speeds and higher latency when you tested it. To explain this, I took a look at the data usage for your line and I think this provides the explanation we’ve been looking for.

‘Over the past 31 days, the amount of upload relative to overall usage has been high. Looking at just 6th March the total upload was 3058Mb (megabytes). This equates to 24464 Megabits. Assuming this was uploaded over the full 24 hour period, this could be done using a continuous upstream speed of 0.28Mbps. This is just over half of your total available upload of 0.5Mbps. For the entire 24 hour period.

“If (more likely) this data was uploaded over a shorter time, it might well have saturated the upstream on the connection for the duration of the upload. If the traceroute was run while this upload was in progress, the latency would be extremely poor. This matches the results we saw from your tracert and ping tests.

“. . . . something attached to your Hub is uploading between 2 and 5GB of data each day. I can’t tell what, as we don’t monitor how the connection is used. The most likely explanation is some sort of cloud sync service such as iCloud, Dropbox or Google Drive.”

Given the prevailing level of media (macro) concern together with a tumult of customer (micro) concerns and the underlying regulatory rationale for reform, it can only be hoped that all parties to the new accord understand that a fresh strategic approach must be found.  Meanwhile no-one should be surprised by un upsurge in competition for provision of reliable ‘full fibre’ access networks backed by excellent customer service.