BT Wholesale will be upgrading the standards used for the ADSL repair service from 3rd February 2003. The new and improved faults clearance and compensation scheme will apply to the following products, BT IPStream S (engineer installed), BT IPStream Office (wires only), BT IPStream Home 500 (wires only), BT DataStream Office and BT DataStream Home 500. All the speeds of 512kbps, 1Mbps and 2Mbps for these services will be covered.
This new level of 'Standard Care' will provide a guaranteed clearance of a fault within 40 clock hours from BT Wholesale faults knowing of it, thus this should allow an ISP to start offering 48 hour clearance times for faults. The extra 8 hours allows an ISP to run through some internal diagnostics to ensure it is not their fault. Additionally the level of compensation received by an ISP will increase for faults that are not cleared in the guaranteed period, this rises to 20% of the monthly ADSL line rental, from 10%. Most crucial to this change is the fact that rather then measuring the guarantee across all the lines rented by the ISP, it will now apply to each individual line.
This level of compensation means that there is real scope for ISPs to start offering worthwhile guarantees with their service packages, and probably reflects on the fact that BT Wholesale consider that the vast majority of faults are dealt with in this time scale.
A higher level of care is to be offered soon, and is currently under trial. This will offer a 20 hour fault clearance guarantee, but is likely to come as an extra cost option.
These changes to the SLA/SLG for DSL by BT, have been some time in coming, but hopefully they will address the concerns of SME's who have held back from switching from say an expensive leased line to say a much cheaper ADSL line with a suitable backup like dialup ISDN.
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