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