Friday, August 05, 2005

5 August 2005: Broadband

So we're having problems with Bulldog. Who'd have thought?

Despite reading varying reports about their service (including some very bad ones from Blagger), the lure of 8Mbps broadband was too much. Total cost only five pounds a month more than we were paying Pipex for our 1Mbps service, too good to be true?

Well, maybe. Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) means many things, but mainly it means companies other than BT are allowed to have control of your telephone line at the exchange. As a result of this, these companies can offer upgrades that BT as a whole can't (or don't) and thus you can get faster ADSL internet. Bulldog began LLU on our exchange back in June, so after a short period of wavering due to the mixed reports, we decided to go for it.

Bulldog took control of our phone line on Wednesday. Hurrah! And guess what? Our broadband speed is exactly the same as it was before - 1Mbps. The only difference is that now our phone doesn't take incoming calls. You try to call us, you'll get through to 'BT Answer 1571', which I'm sure is a surprise to BT since we have nothing to do with them any more. We can make outgoing calls, but that's it.

So Rob and myself have spent a lot of the last two days on the phone to Bulldog's various technical supports. Apart from a lot of 'our line is very busy, please call later' recorded messages and a number of 'not my department, mate' real people, it does seem that they won't be able to get anyone to talk to us for 48 hours about the phone, and quite possibly never about the broadband.

My instinct is that neither problem will ever be fixed, and we'll leave Bulldog at the end of our initial month. Maybe they'll surprise me, but reading the testimonies on Blagger makes me fear we may have to go via Ofcom or even the small claims courts to get our phone line back. Still, we'll see... only three days in...

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