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TalkTalk hitting bandwidth buffers in Outer London areas
Monday 26 November 2007 09:02:26 by Andrew Ferguson

TalkTalk, the country's largest user of fully unbundled broadband connections, is having problems in the 020 8 telephone area according to The Independent. 020 8 represents the complete outer London area and encompasses a great many exchanges.

The problem appears to be that the Opal network serving the exchanges requires extra bandwidth capacity, and Opal (which is part of the Carphone Warehouse group) has missed a number of deadlines to add the extra capacity. This lack of capacity has shown up in the form of 2,000 complaints over 'non-connectivity' issues. A note from the chief executives office acknowledges the problems:

"In the 0208 areas of London, all exchanges are affected by intermittent bandwidth problems."

Email sent from the office of The Carphone Warehouse's chief executive, Charles Dunstone

The item in The Independent suggests TalkTalk has 2.5 million users, but this is the total for the Carphone Warehouse group which includes AOL customers. The proportion of unbundled TalkTalk customers is likely to be higher than the national average of 50% in the 0208 area due to the number of unbundled exchanges in the outer London area.

Almost all broadband providers have hit capacity problems at some point in the last seven years. The difference between the various players is how they handle the problem and how fast enough capacity is made available so that the customers are happy again. If TalkTalk's customer services are indeed not aware of the problem, then it does not bode well.

"TalkTalk is committed to delivering the very best home phone and broadband service to all our customers. As part of this commitment we are continually expanding capacity in each regional area of the UK and at times there will be imbalances between supply and demand, this is currently the case for some customers living in the Greater London area. The upgrades to restore a normal level of service are well advanced. This is an ongoing process, which will disrupt customers for a maximum of a few days only, during peak hours (normally evening). We unreservedly apologise to any customer experiencing a problem at this time. "

Network disruptions affecting some customers in the 0208 area


Posted by c_j_ over 9 years ago
Well who'd have thought it. Broadband that costs nothing is worth just as much (if not less, given the hassle of getting back onto a real service).
Posted by johnmustow over 9 years ago
I suspect that it may ibvolve more than just outer London. Here in Milton Keynes we have a problem that only manifests itself between 17.15 and 22.15 most nights and my guess is that it is to do with lack of capacity when everyone gets in from work
Posted by PVTele over 9 years ago
We had an issue here in Wool, Dorset (01929) with complete interruption of voice and IP service around 20.00-21.00 each night. This was some weeks ago. The interruption has now been corrected, but speeds are very now patchy, sometimes as low as 2.9 on an "8 Mbps" connection.
Posted by wppclarke over 9 years ago
There are similar problems elsewhere as well. I've been asked to help two friends who have recently connected to Talk Talk - on different, well-separated, exchanges in the South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire Areas (Goldthorpe and Skelmanthorpe respectively). In each case connectivity has been non-existent or extremely poor, but coming back for short bursts of activity now and again - before dying. Just the luck of the draw when Talk Talk is actually worth using. Forget mid-late afternoon and early evening!
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
When has Talk-Talk not been pants, unbundled or otherwise ?
Posted by rollsjohn over 9 years ago
TT unbundled our exchange in September. Before then the connected speed was always 1.1 but since the unbundling connected speed varies between 1.8 and 750 the latter being early to late evening. Antoher problem is constant drop-out which occurs throughout the day. To top it all our phone now rings with the American ring tone (one long ring then pause instead of double ring). TT customer care have said on several occasions that problem has been fixed which plainly it hasn't. Would like to go back to another ISP but fear there may difficulties and cost charges now our line is unbundled.
Posted by paulherzlich over 9 years ago
This is more than just 0208. I am in 0207 and I have been using to measure my speed at all hours of the day. When things are clear, I can get 6900kbps. Absolutely fine. However, in the afternoons and evenings, it routinely drops to 1000kbps to 512kbps. On Sunday evenings it drops down to 200kbps. However, I notice it is not only a problem with bandwidth, but also a problem with DNS lookups. I suspect their DNS servers are even more overloaded (i.e. underpowered) than their bandwidth.
Posted by ste__ over 9 years ago
Oh dear.. I feel so sorry for the customers who have paid nothing for this service (not)
Posted by nycsupport over 9 years ago
BT Openreach moved my ADSL connection from a steady 2Mbps IPStream connection to the TT LLU so that I can get 'upto 8Mbps'. The most I got was around 4Mbps, but I keep getting drop outs, and like roolsjohn my telephone ring changed. I live over 200 miles from London! What a botched Job!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"This lack of capacity has shown up in the form of 2,000 complaints over 'non-connectivity' issues."

Im shocked its only 2000 complaints.
Posted by CaptainW over 9 years ago
Perhaps they have stopped taking trouble tickets now that they have 2000 registered - quite a clever work around on TT side of things as they will just be advising customer's "it's a known issue" now!

Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
LOL CaptainW, you are probably right, though personally id say the whole service they provide and anything they get involved in is a "known issue" LOL
Posted by Horizon911 over 9 years ago
The article is incorrent in saying that 0208 covers all of outer London. 0208 covers all of the "outer" areas of "inner" London.

As someone who lives in "proper" Outer London borough, I do not have a London number, or postcode for that matter.
Posted by OH_NOES over 9 years ago
So this is what has been happening to our Phone and Internet....

Tech Support didn't tell me anything about capacity problems when I phoned them up about the dodgy "US style" phone ring and 300KB internet during the evenings....

We are in 0208 and I can tell you this "capacity" problem has been crippling us for a few weeks now. Surfing is almost impossible now, had to wait 4 mins for this page to fully load!

downloading a linux distro from Rapidshare, but thought "stuff it" when the speed went down to the shocking 2.2kb/s
Posted by OH_NOES over 9 years ago
Just for the record, I am pretty sure they are "capping" customers on a 2MB line profile, to try and ease the congestion problems...Thats what they had done to us, until I phoned them up and pointed this out (apparently my line has always been on a 2MB profile since connection and I was having a dream when I was tested it at 7.5MB)
Posted by nitebot over 9 years ago
Us AOL subscribers across the country are having problems too. Check out the AOL UK help boards. I think this is on the back of the TalkTalk problems but of course CPW won't admit it.
Posted by 2doorsbob over 9 years ago
nitebots right my brother in law was having dropout problems with talk talk's own wired modem ..i swapped it for his old billion router and tweaked the nic's mtu down to 1400.. the cheap crap talk talk sent out was reading the line all over the place ..with my fingers crossed its been quite stable so far
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