User comments on ISPs
  >> BT Broadband


Register (or login) on our website and you will not see this ad.


  Print Thread
Standard User trolleybus
(learned) Sun 29-Apr-12 14:49:45
Print Post

Infinity 2 Business user up and running


[link to this post]
 
As a business, the Internet is a major plank of our communications strategy and our single BT exchange supports our broadband service, Redcare and the fax machine. We are VoIP users with four registrations. What has been patently obvious to us for a long time is that the broadband upload speed needs to be at least 0.5Mbps and ideally a lot more. Originally it was marginally above this threshold bur recently hovered around 0.3Mbps which is unacceptable for our needs.

By sheer accident, rather than by careful research, we noticed that we were in an area for an 80/20 service from BT, so ordered the service once the MAC came through from TalkTalk.

<Quote>
You ordered: BT Infinity for business - Advance (option 2) up to 80Mb downstream up to 20Mb upstream on a 24-month minimum term.
Your broadband speeds will be either the speeds of the option you’ve chosen or the maximum speeds your line can support, which we estimate are: 67600kbps for downloads and 20000kbps for uploads.
<End Quote>

Downtime during the switch over was approximately an hour but this was really only achievable because we opted to retain our existing DrayTek 3820Vn router. Information for the settings to use in the router was very thin on the ground and the only steps we took was to disable the ADSL port and enable the WAN port with an “always on” 100M full duplex service. Obviously the WAN logon details and password were entered. I forgot to add the fixed IP in the configuration but it latched onto that IP address anyway.

The supplied WAN Ethernet cable was used and a single computer was connected to the routers Gb port with nothing else connected. Using the BT speed tester it reported back 67Mbps down but ‘only’ 5Mbps up. I thought QoS was on and therefore affecting the up speed, but it was inactive. So the reasons for the ‘slow’ up speed are unknown.

Now for some serious cons with the service.

Mail Relay is necessary because we are using our own domain name and our own email client [MS Office 2010]; this is a major issue to setup with BT but its use requires authentication to their SMTP server ONLY when not in the office but not when served by the router. So laptop users do not get a transparent switch from one environment to the other and have to carry out manual configuration as they arrive and leave the office. No such issues when using TalkTalk.

Unknown if this was a blip during extensive setup testing, but we hit a 200 emails per hour limit almost immediately with emails being deferred. Bit of an unknown if they would be automatically resent in the next ‘hour’ slot. What triggers the numerical count is an unknown factor, is it an actual email or the sum of CCs? And does drop box figure in the numbers? Just four of us in the office but what if there were 20 users on the LAN who could quite easily generate more than 200 emails ever hour. This is hardly becoming a business service.

A BT letter arrived to say that with our new service we were obliged to have a minimum spend of £500 per year. With faxing becoming less important I doubt that our calls spend would be any more than £20 a year! The jury is still out on what this is all about but was told that as our rental for broadband and line rental exceeds £500 a year then there was nothing to worry about. So why mention it all in a letter.

There were numerous other free goodies thrown in, like free connection to Wi-Fi Hotspots and 500 free minutes to UK landline numbers but determining whether this is true or not is difficult to know and will only become apparent in due course.

You would think that as a business service there would be a single phone number to call the help desk with whatever problem you have. Well there is, but you have to run the gauntlet of multiple choices which can be as many as 6 only to find that the real live person is always busy with a wait time often exceeding 10 minutes. This person will generally only deal with one specific aspect and for your next query you are shunted off to another department. Hang on a moment I have a business to run here that doesn’t factor in hour long phone sessions with BT.

Would I recommend BT as a business broadband provider? Not really but we do have that extra up speed we were looking for but it came with a trade off against the transparent convenience from our previous broadband supplier.
Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Sun 29-Apr-12 15:24:14
Print Post

Re: Infinity 2 Business user up and running


[re: trolleybus] [link to this post]
 
Don't TT do 80/20 on their business service? They do on their standard service. Re:
... to call the help desk with whatever problem you have. Well there is, but you have to run the gauntlet of multiple choices which can be as many as 6 only to find that the real live person is always busy with a wait time often exceeding 10 minutes.
I couldn't agree more with you.

I just took 2-3 minutes navigating through the options, followed by over 15 minutes waiting, to be told somewhat abruptly on saying the first of the two things I was ringing about, that I could do that online at bt.com. My reason for ringing was that the information I needed to make a decision on either question wasn't online.

My questions ended up being answered, but not satisfactorily. It seems we have some "special deal" which is reducing our Rental plus E & W to just the cost of the rental. I could see this on our bill, but no explanation, hence the call. She was unable to tell me what this deal was or how it originated, (I think I have since worked that out, as their product range looks to have changed since we went onto it, when I think it wasn't chargeable), but if we chose to (either or both) pay the annual rental saver, or move to Anytime calls, that deal would be cancelled.

So in effect instead of paying nothing for the £3.15 option, we would pay the full £4.90 for the other.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk
My domains,website and mail hosting - Tsohost. Internet connection - Plusnet Value Fibre.

"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Standard User fowler002
(member) Sun 29-Apr-12 18:33:14
Print Post

Re: Infinity 2 Business user up and running


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by RobertoS:
Don't TT do 80/20 on their business service? They do on their standard service. Re:
... to call the help desk with whatever problem you have. Well there is, but you have to run the gauntlet of multiple choices which can be as many as 6 only to find that the real live person is always busy with a wait time often exceeding 10 minutes.
I couldn't agree more with you.

I just took 2-3 minutes navigating through the options, followed by over 15 minutes waiting, to be told somewhat abruptly on saying the first of the two things I was ringing about, that I could do that online at bt.com. My reason for ringing was that the information I needed to make a decision on either question wasn't online.

My questions ended up being answered, but not satisfactorily. It seems we have some "special deal" which is reducing our Rental plus E & W to just the cost of the rental. I could see this on our bill, but no explanation, hence the call. She was unable to tell me what this deal was or how it originated, (I think I have since worked that out, as their product range looks to have changed since we went onto it, when I think it wasn't chargeable), but if we chose to (either or both) pay the annual rental saver, or move to Anytime calls, that deal would be cancelled.

So in effect instead of paying nothing for the £3.15 option, we would pay the full £4.90 for the other.


we've been on the evening & weekends deal for the past couple of years, we got a letter saying that if stay with bt for 12 months then we would get it for free and if we leave bt with the 12 month then we would be charge the £3.15/month(or whatever it was back then as prices have gone up over the years). we didn't have to pay the line rental upfront, just had to commit to 12 months.

due to this before I ordered infinity and line saver I phoned up to check that we wouldn't be charged the £3.15/month for moving from standard monthly line rental(£14.60/month) with the free e&w to infinity(with the e&w) + 12 month upfront(£129 = £10.75/month). I'd gone through to the broadband sales department but was transferred over to the customer options(think that's what it was), the lady I spoke to said we wouldn't be penalised as we're not leaving bt.

thinking about it I think we had been on the e&w for free before we got that letter but it did not include 0845/0870 numbers at that time, when we got the letter it mentioned they were going to be including the 0845/0870 numbers and start charging for it unless agreed to staying for 12months.

was going to order infinity online going through quidco(for £50 cashback) after I'd checked about the e&w thing, but the lady I spoke offered it for £17.25/month for 12 months. I didn't check at the tiome but looking at mybt said it was a 18month contract, phoning back up found out its 18month contract @ £17.25/month for 12months then £26/month for the remaining 6 months


Register (or login) on our website and you will not see this ad.

Standard User qasdfdsaq
(newbie) Sun 29-Apr-12 20:06:43
Print Post

Re: Infinity 2 Business user up and running


[re: trolleybus] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by trolleybus:
The supplied WAN Ethernet cable was used and a single computer was connected to the routers Gb port with nothing else connected. Using the BT speed tester it reported back 67Mbps down but ‘only’ 5Mbps up. I thought QoS was on and therefore affecting the up speed, but it was inactive. So the reasons for the ‘slow’ up speed are unknown.

I'd say the reason is simply a bad speed tester. The BT one is exceptionally bad for upload speeds, in fact most speedtests out there aren't much better. The best I've come across so far is Visualware's test here:

http://mcslhr.visualware.com/myspeed/mycapacity_50mb...

Chances are you're getting the full speed fine.

Mail Relay is necessary because we are using our own domain name and our own email client [MS Office 2010]; this is a major issue to setup with BT but its use requires authentication to their SMTP server ONLY when not in the office but not when served by the router. So laptop users do not get a transparent switch from one environment to the other and have to carry out manual configuration as they arrive and leave the office. No such issues when using TalkTalk.

I'm not sure why you'd use BT's mail server(s). There are plenty of other options out there, including running your own mail relay. Email isn't really a core part of the broadband service, so I wouldn't fault them for just that.
Standard User trolleybus
(learned) Sun 29-Apr-12 21:37:50
Print Post

Re: Infinity 2 Business user up and running


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by RobertoS:
Don't TT do 80/20 on their business service? They do on their standard service.


I suppose they might elsewhere in the country but apparently not where we are located. We are on the Farnham, Surrey exchange feed from a cabinet next to the sports centre.
Standard User trolleybus
(learned) Sun 29-Apr-12 21:53:11
Print Post

Re: Infinity 2 Business user up and running


[re: qasdfdsaq] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by qasdfdsaq:
In reply to a post by trolleybus:
The supplied WAN Ethernet cable was used and a single computer was connected to the routers Gb port with nothing else connected. Using the BT speed tester it reported back 67Mbps down but ‘only’ 5Mbps up. I thought QoS was on and therefore affecting the up speed, but it was inactive. So the reasons for the ‘slow’ up speed are unknown.

I'd say the reason is simply a bad speed tester. The BT one is exceptionally bad for upload speeds, in fact most speedtests out there aren't much better. The best I've come across so far is Visualware's test here:

http://mcslhr.visualware.com/myspeed/mycapacity_50mb...

Chances are you're getting the full speed fine.

Mail Relay is necessary because we are using our own domain name and our own email client [MS Office 2010]; this is a major issue to setup with BT but its use requires authentication to their SMTP server ONLY when not in the office but not when served by the router. So laptop users do not get a transparent switch from one environment to the other and have to carry out manual configuration as they arrive and leave the office. No such issues when using TalkTalk.

I'm not sure why you'd use BT's mail server(s). There are plenty of other options out there, including running your own mail relay. Email isn't really a core part of the broadband service, so I wouldn't fault them for just that.


Thank you for your response. Fair enough about your comment on the speed testers available to Joe Public but what was the installation engineer using we he commented that there was a full 80/20 at the cabinet?

As for SMTP servers it is a question of reputation. SMTP is available from our domain hosting company but as many other domains are hosted on the same IP address, it frequently gets tagged with a bad reputation resulting in emails being bounced back. A private mail server avoids some of these issues but is a very expensive option.

An ISP SMTP server rarely, if ever, gets tagged with a poor reputation and if it did the ISP has the clout to restore its reputation level within a matter of hours, if not sooner. You say there are plenty of options out there, well I am willing to learn what these might be. Otherwise in my book SMTP is very much a core part of the broadband service provided and should meet customers expectations.
Standard User qasdfdsaq
(newbie) Sun 29-Apr-12 22:00:15
Print Post

Re: Infinity 2 Business user up and running


[re: trolleybus] [link to this post]
 
The engineer will probably be looking at his JDSU which just shows your line's sync speed. Your IP profile will be lower and TCP throughput lower still, though both only by a few percentage points.

Running your own SMTP server costs nothing. Well, maybe the hardware to run it on... which will vary depending on your needs. As for other alternatives, I tend to find services from the big providers to be perfectly suitable - Google, for example has far more clout than BT and in my opinion runs a more portable, more reliable service. Ultimately though, I along with 2/3rd of others out there apparently, don't use ISP provided mail so can't comment on it's long-term reliability.
Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Sun 29-Apr-12 22:38:35
Print Post

Re: Infinity 2 Business user up and running


[re: trolleybus] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by trolleybus:
As for SMTP servers it is a question of reputation. SMTP is available from our domain hosting company but as many other domains are hosted on the same IP address, it frequently gets tagged with a bad reputation resulting in emails being bounced back. A private mail server avoids some of these issues but is a very expensive option.
Change your host. It's usually a piece of cake. Who is it and what does it cost?

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk
My domains,website and mail hosting - Tsohost. Internet connection - Plusnet Value Fibre.

"Where talent is a dwarf, self-esteem is a giant." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Standard User MHC
(legend) Mon 30-Apr-12 19:41:30
Print Post

Re: Infinity 2 Business user up and running


[re: trolleybus] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by trolleybus:
There were numerous other free goodies thrown in, like free connection to Wi-Fi Hotspots and 500 free minutes to UK landline numbers but determining whether this is true or not is difficult to know and will only become apparent in due course.


I have the BT VOIP service and YES the 500 minutes per month to 01/02/03 and 0845 numbers works fine. Mobiles, 0844, 09xx, 087x are charged. One big plus for me is the 10p to USA for up to an hour.

WiFi hot spots - great service ... I sit at Heathrow and can be logged on - recently I had a near 8 hour wait and used a hot spot for most of the time. One of my PCs is often used in a place with no fixed line - there are a couple of residential/home office connections with OpenZone enabled - easy to connect and FREE!

Some aspects may not be perfect but there are a lot of facilities that BT offer/give that others do not. And helpdesk calls for Broadband and VOIP are to 0800 numbers and thus free.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit
Standard User andrum99
(newbie) Fri 03-Aug-12 21:14:39
Print Post

Re: Infinity 2 Business user up and running


[re: trolleybus] [link to this post]
 
You would think that as a business service there would be a single phone number to call the help desk with whatever problem you have. Well there is, but you have to run the gauntlet of multiple choices which can be as many as 6 only to find that the real live person is always busy with a wait time often exceeding 10 minutes. This person will generally only deal with one specific aspect and for your next query you are shunted off to another department. Hang on a moment I have a business to run here that doesn’t factor in hour long phone sessions with BT.


I ran into the same problem at work once, and eventually got through to a very helpful UK-based BT call centre. I made the presence of mind to ask for their direct number - 0800 000000 is their number. It is apparently for BT's corporate helpdesk. Phoned them every time since then and they have been very helpful: straight through to a real person - no button pressing to select options etc.

HTH

Andrew.
  Print Thread

Jump to