Line too long would ordering a new line help?

Discussion in 'Broadband' started by Dave, Oct 2, 2003.

  1. Dave

    Dave Guest


    I live about 3km from the exchange but apparantly my line is around 7km in
    length. The odd thing is that the postcode checker says that I should be
    able to get broadband. Looking at the exchange map on the BT site shows
    that I'm connected to the nearest exchange so my line must loop around
    several neighbouring streets before getting to me.

    If I ordered a new line would that come in any shorter? Can I specify
    that's it's ADSL and if it still can't be used for ADSL can I get BT to

    Or am I left with dial up forever.........

    I'd consider midband if it wasn't so expensive.

    Dave, Oct 2, 2003
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  2. Dave

    David Hearn Guest

    David Hearn, Oct 2, 2003
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  3. Dave

    David Hearn Guest

    Oops - sorry for the first blank post - my finger bounced on the button when
    clicking on reply, and the message box that came up had the Send button
    where my pointer was, so when the finger bounced, it clicked on that button
    as well!

    Anyway - Being 3km (as the crow flies) from the exchange is very different
    from actual path that your line takes. Its not the distance which is what
    they measure, its the loss on the line, which is approximately 1dB per km.
    Old limit was 5.5dB, now its 6dB.

    A new phone line will most likely be taken from a box in your street, which
    would have very similar losses to your existing one. I believe that BT do
    not guarantee any line is ADSL compatible and therefore if you order one and
    it doesn't meet the required loss, then you've got no comeback.

    David Hearn, Oct 2, 2003
  4. Dave

    Dazzlin Guest


    In the same boat with the Postcode checker & then finding out I am just
    slightly over the maximum Db loss level/distance. Bad news as I already
    ordered my modem & splitters.....?!

    When I spoke to BT they said they were going to be trailing another method
    to get past this problem, but did not seem to think anything meaningful
    would be forthcoming this side of Christmas. Until then I am one of the
    doomed 6% (where does this figure spring from, is it just encompassing the
    ADSL enabled areas because there a many people still fighting to get their
    exchanges enabled) on an ADSL enabled exchange area, but over distance.

    I would also question if it is financially worth it for BT to
    investigate/resolve the problem for just 6% revenue increase, but don't have
    access to the figures/logic.

    Suppose if this allows future users in more remote areas to order earlier it
    may make sense............

    Dazzlin, Oct 2, 2003
  5. Dave

    Sunil Sood Guest

    The 6% was indeed an average and did come from all ADSL enabled exchanges
    (from information supplied by BT to OFTEL)

    I don't know how long ago you spoke to BT but the figure has actually been
    reduced to 3% now after BT altered the maximum Db level they would accept to
    provide a 512Kb service.

    BT altered their line test limits at midday on the 24th September - so if
    you failed with an order placed before then I suggest you reorder and see if
    you pass under their new line loss limits.

    Sunil Sood, Oct 2, 2003
  6. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Ooooh, that's quite exciting. I'm sure it's more complicated that this but
    why can't they fit signal boosters into the outlying junction boxes?
    I suspect the government have a fair bit to do with how much trouble BT has
    to go to.
    Dave, Oct 2, 2003
  7. Dave

    Sunil Sood Guest

    Expense - would cost about $500 for a signal booster and they would have to
    be fitted *per line* :)

    Sunil Sood, Oct 2, 2003
  8. That's not *strictly* true, if you specify at the time of ordering that the
    line is specifically for
    ADSL use only then you do have some comeback. I failed my initial line test,
    ordered a second
    line (which subsequently failed) and managed to get all my money's what I did -

    1) Call up the sales people, order your new line and *specifically* says
    that you want it for
    ADSL use only and if it doesn't pass the line tests then you'll want the
    line removed and the charges
    dropped and that you want that clause on the order sheet. If Operator #1
    says they can't
    do that, end the call politely and try took me about 3 goes
    before I got an operator who
    would accept that clause (she also confirmed that it wasn't the first time
    she'd had someone request it).

    2) Call back the next day under some pretext or other and during the course
    of your conversation ask the
    Operator to confirm what is written on your order...this is important
    because you need to 100% confirm that
    the ADSL clause is actually in there.

    3) Sit patiently and wait for your installation date, when it arrives make
    lots of cups of tea/coffee for the Engineer
    since its not his fault that your first line failed the test.

    4) Now here's where you might feel like banging your head against the seems that new lines *may* take
    up to 42 days to be registered within BT's online ADSL suitability checker.
    Now since many ISP's use this (or other systems
    linked to this) your ISP might fail at the first hurdle to even confirm your
    line *might* pass the test. The trick here is to
    hassle your ISP (politely) to get a manual check persistent here,
    the ISP will blame BT, but the ISP *can*
    get it done....mine did eventually. Otherwise the alternative is to wait up
    to 42 days to find out your new line has failed too...very annoying!

    5) If all's well, you now have a working ADSL line, congratulations. If
    not...then like me, you now have to start trying to get your
    money back....take a deep breath, think calming thoughts...and dial BT again

    6) The "trick" here is to be calm, polite and knowledgeable. Being angry
    won't get you anywhere....knowing your facts will. Explain
    to the operator what has happened. Tell them that since you stated at the
    time of ordering that the line had to be suitable for ADSL or you didn't
    want to pay for it. If you're *very* lucky they'll say "no problem, I'll do
    that for you now"....if you're not so lucky they'll say "I'll have to speak
    my supervisor". At which point the supervisor will say "We don't do that".

    This is where being calm and polite comes into play, just state clearly
    again that they shouldn't have taken your order if they could not fulfil
    side of the "deal". Again, if you're lucky the supervisor will agree and
    you'll get your refund, if not...then it's time to have some fun....

    Tell them that according to their *own* website, BT say they will refund all
    money if the Broadband service can't be provided....this will invariable
    be followed by a pause...some muttering at the other end of the
    line...followed by "where does it say that?"......

    You can then point them at a section on their website (which isn't at all
    easy to find..but persistence always pays off in the end) which states -

    "BT's Conditions for Telephone Service will apply to provision of
    telephony service, subject to the following modifications, which applies
    only where BT determines that a PSTN line is ordered solely for
    the purpose of accessing the BT Broadband service:

    (i) if, following line test it is discovered that BT Broadband Service
    cannot be provided,
    BT will allow the Customer to terminate the PSTN service without paying
    the relevant cancellation charges, and refund any connection charges paid.
    However, BT will bill for any use of the telephony service in the interim."

    (I can provide the link for anyway who *needs* it...I don't wish to post it
    directly here incase it's "moved" to a less easy to find place!).

    Now here they may argue that you didn't order the BT Broadband service (if
    you went for another ISP as I did), at which point you start to mutter the
    words "monopoly" and "OFTEL" this point the Supervisor decided I was
    taking up far too much of their time and agreed to *fully* refund all my

    The moral of the story is....its by no means *guaranteed* that you can get
    your money back, the point is that BT's own rules and wordings make it
    sufficiently ambiguous enough for you to pursue it.

    Hope this helps,

    John Edward Scott, Oct 2, 2003
  9. Dave

    Sunil Sood Guest


    The latest version of BT's ADSL checker normally updates this sort of
    information with 24 hours.

    Sunil Sood, Oct 2, 2003
  10. Glad to hear they've changed certainly didn't a few months back when
    I was going through "the process"
    John Edward Scott, Oct 2, 2003
  11. Dave

    Dazzlin Guest

    Nope still in the remaining 3% (boy this smarts)

    The acceptable DB loss was increased from -54 to -60, but still outside

    Whoever planned my exchange to house (only built two years ago) route must
    have loved spaghetti or long walks in the country as he didn't take a very
    direct route.

    Catch up with you all in about 6 months if I am lucky......?!
    Dazzlin, Oct 2, 2003
  12. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Just like me mate!!! I'll probably end up putting my own satellite into
    orbit before broadband comes my way.
    Dave, Oct 3, 2003
  13. Dave

    Ian Guest

    Re BT did they give any idea of new distance/line loss figures?
    I have seen the figure of 10km being banded about

    Who in BT gave you this info?

    Sorry for questions but desparate for ADSL !
    Ian, Oct 8, 2003
  14. Dave

    Dazzlin Guest

    After I sent a sarcastic Email I got this back.......?!!

    Thank you for your e-mail regarding broadband availability in your area.
    Please accept my apologies for the delay in replying to you and for any
    inconvenience this may have caused.

    As you may know, due to technical restrictions Broadband can only be
    supplied on lines where the routing is less than 6km from the local
    If you put a signal down a cable, the signal will get weaker as the cable
    gets longer. This is referred to as line loss. For ADSL services, there is a
    limit for the a mount of line loss that we will accept on a line. If the
    line noise exceeds the 60db limit, the quality of the service deteriorates
    to such an extent, that we cannot offer you an ADSL broadband service.

    As an indication, connections with a line longer than 6km exceed this limit.
    This is not 'as the crow flies' but the actual physical length of the
    cabling. Your premises are not within this distance therefore we are unable
    to provide you with Broadband service. Additional information can be found

    BT is committed to extending the reach of ADSL as far as possible and future
    trials and technologies may yet increase the operable distance further. I
    can make you aware of alternatives if you wish: BT Midband is an alternative
    flat rate (fixed monthly fee), high-speed Internet package designed
    specifically for those customers who can't yet get broadband in their areas.
    A monthly usage limit will apply. A PAYG option will be available for
    customers who exceed the monthly limit so that they can continue to surf. BT
    Midband is powered by ISDN technology and is capable of speeds from 64
    kilobits per second (64k) up to 128k. BT Midband enables customers to have
    direct access to the Internet without the need to have an ISP. Customers
    will need to contact their preferred provider for additional functionality
    like email. Customers who already have an ISP and want to continue their
    current email account must check that their ISP supports digital access.
    More Information can be found at

    BT is also currently working on ways of providing faster internet access to
    customers who cannot receive BT Broadband in their area.

    1 - Way Satellite access can add high speed download capability to End Users
    existing Internet access and enables 'always on' download connectivity, at
    speeds up to 10 times a conventional telephone line. Satellite is a variable
    bit rate (VBR) service, designed for single PC users. It is ideal for
    applications requiring large data downstream download, such as email, text,
    graphics, video and audio etc. Uploads are reliant on a standard,
    non-broadband connection like dial up which means it is not an option if you
    plan to play multiplayer Internet games. 2 - Way satellite offers much more
    responsive connections.

    2 - Way Satellite
    BT Wholesale are investigating a one to many 2-way Broadband satellite
    product that enables Service Providers and other operators to offer a fast
    Internet service to End Users throughout the UK. The variable bit rate (VBR)
    service is aimed at corporate teleworkers and SME's who are currently beyond
    DSL coverage. The asymmetric service consists of a downstream path, used for
    the delivery of content and an upstream path for the carriage of Internet
    requests. The ideal applications for this service include large file
    transfer, such as email, text, graphics, video and audio etc.

    If you are interested in Satellite Broadband please contact 0800 9179189 for
    more information.

    Wireless Point-to-Multi Point
    BT Wholesale Broadband is actively exploring opportunities to deploy
    Broadband wireless technologies. This could both extend the geographical
    coverage of the existing Broadband portfolio and provide 'in-fills' to voids
    in existing coverage areas. Wireless Point-to-Multi Point (PmP) is one
    technology being explored. Wireless PmP is also known as Wireless DSL and is
    capable of delivering 500Kbps up to 1 Mbps of bandwidth per end-user. It
    uses conventional base-station (tall mast) technology that is inherently a
    line of site architecture. Each base-station is able to serve a radial
    distance of 2 to 3km; this is significantly increased when deployed at
    optimal sites.

    Mesh Wireless
    Wireless mesh networks (WMNs) is a technology that is gaining significant
    attention as a possible way to roll out robust and reliable broadband
    service access. Mesh Wireless is a one-to-many constant bit rate (CBR)
    Broadband service, that will enable Service Providers and other operators to
    deliver their own Broadband solutions, to customers beyond DSL technology.

    Mesh Wireless is a flexible high bandwidth technology, which can provide
    both a symmetric and asymmetric service. Service is delivered to end users
    via an Outdoor unit situated on the end users roof, which is connected to an
    internal receiver. Up-front investments are minimal, because the technology
    can be installed incrementally, one node at a time, as needed. As more nodes
    are installed, up goes the reliability and the effective bandwidth that all
    subscribers enjoy.

    The BT Wholesale trial, originally formulated to establish the viability of
    broadband wireless, used Radiant's Meshwork technology to deliver Video on
    Demand (VOD) content, at up to 5Mbps to trial lists in the Pontypridd area.
    The trial was conducted at 28Ghz using an early version of Radiant's
    technology. Subsequently it is unlikely that this technology will be
    deployed in its current format at 28Ghz. BT is committed to increasing
    broadband coverage and is actively exploring other broadband wireless
    technologies including Mesh.

    Thank you for taking the time to contact BT.

    If you should have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact me
    again via email.

    Alternatively you can call our BT Broadband Support Team on 0800 800 060.

    Thank you for contacting BT Broadband and I hope you have a pleasant week.

    Yours sincerely
    Danny McCaffrey

    BT Broadband Contact Centre
    Dazzlin, Oct 9, 2003
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