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BT mess up leased line order for Isle of Wight startup
Friday 25 July 2003 18:21:00 by Andrew Ferguson

For many people who have dealt with BT in the ISDN and leased line area this is not too much of a surprise, almost everyone in the IT industry has been on the end of some sort of mal-administration by BT, or knows someone who has. In this case it appears that Broadband Wight were fooled into believing their 100Mbps fibre line was going ahead smoothly over a period of several months, but unfortunately they only discovered the order had not been processed at all just before launching the service.

Much is written on The Register about the mistakes BT have made in this case. Namely that it appears the original BT account manager never placed the order, and this person has now left BT. What is missing though is any questioning of Broadband Wight themselves, if you are spending the money to install a leased line this is usually a large amount of capital expenditure and you would normally track the jobs progress very carefully. The only clue to monitoring the installation of the leased line was that they were "believing it to be partially installed". In fact to almost launch the service and discover it is not there is approaching a classic comedy farce. One must also ask how long a period of testing the service prior to public launch was planned.

The moral here is to develop an ongoing relationship with any company providing key elements to any project you are running, and ensure either by site visits or demonstrations that key milestones are met. Certainly this is a poor performance from BT, but also it is a little concerning that nothing was noticed sooner by BBW.

Update 26th July 10am: The CEO of Broadband Wight has contacted us with some further information on this case. Apparently they were in contact with this account manager almost daily, it would also appear that the account manager was able to block other ways of checking the progress of the install. The description of the launch was actually BBW wanting to demonstrate the IP connectivity to prospective customers, and thus be able to discuss prospective orders, rather than a full public Internet service launch.

Interestingly we have had email from people in other parts of the UK who also have had bad experiences with BT on provisioning connections.


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