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Fast24 first 2Mbps ADSL users starting to appear
Wednesday 20 August 2003 14:25:00 by Andrew Ferguson

Fast24 has been advertising its 1Mbps and 2Mbps services for sometime now, the original go-live date for their basic 500kbps broadband service was 23rd July. It would appear that this went ahead, but the higher speed services which were scheduled to be available from 12th August according to the original press releases, suffered some delays.

Users are now posting on Fast24's own forums that they have just this morning seen their speeds jump from 500kbps to around 2Mbps. This extra delay was due to problems with some core routers, a firmware upgrade has fixed this and now the 1Mbps and 2Mbps services are possible.

Fast24's service is based around the BT Datastream with In Span Handover (ISH) service which has allowed the ISP to provision a 500kbps in the short term, until the higher speed service issues were resolved. Certainly not an ideal solution and one that has apparently created an avalanche of calls to Fast24 support. The launch of new competitively priced broadband products never seems to go smoothly, suppliers seem to constantly underestimate the amount of demand and expectation from users.

In our own forums there has been a steady stream of unhappy users waiting for Fast24 to activate their service, lets hope that today marks a turning point. We will be keeping an eye on things, and if the backlog does not clear rapidly we will report back. One matter that has caused concern was that orders along with money were taken from people as early as the start of July for the high speed services, but apparently the ordering system has now changed so that users will only get billed when its 7 days before the expected activation date.

We are particularly interested in hearing the experiences from Fast24 and other Datastream users in relation to the peak speeds they can attain at off peak periods. This is to see if the practice of provisioning a 2000kbps ATM back-haul is common amongst the various providers for users of the 2Mbps ADSL services.

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