BT Customers Confused by Ultra-Fast Broadband Rule

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  1. BT Customers Confused by Ultra-Fast Broadband Rule

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    The rollout of Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) for homes across the UK means that many people will soon be able to access broadband that hits speeds of up to 300mbps. However, it’s proving to not be without its faults – especially for BT customers.

    Confused BT customers are hammering the BT contact details for answers as to why they can’t keep their landline telephone number when moving to the providers new ultra-fast FTTP powered broadband service.

    The new FTTP service is being run by Openreach, part of the BT group, and connects to the home directly for superior speed. To date, hundreds of thousands of addresses have been connected to FTTP as Openreach upgrade the system nationwide. It’s a system that every broadband company can utilise, although Virgin operate their own service.

    But customers are being told that they can’t take their landline number with them when moving between FTTP services, and in some cases when moving from the old copper cable to the new fibre optic system. That’s a huge problem for local businesses and a serious inconvenience for individuals who have held on to their phone number for years and, in some cases, decades.

    One ccustomer’s80-year-old mother found that when she moved into a new block of flats BT could not move the phone number. Speaking on her behalf, her son said “I couldn’t believe it when BT told me they couldn’t move the landline number, it’s been possible on copper lines since about 1860.

    “It’s a massive own goal for BT given the fact their rivals can do this. Nobody in their right mind would use BT if they knew this. They have a duty of care to tell their customers before converting them from copper to fibre that they can’t take their number with them.

    “Imagine you’re a small business at new offices with fibre broadband only and have to change your phone number. It’s absolutely bonkers.”

    He’s pledged to leave BT for another company and, if that trend is borne out by even a fraction of BTs customer base, it could be a serious problem. However, BT have said that customers will eventually be able to keep their numbers as part of a planned update to be completed “over the next few years”

    A spokesperson speaking for BT added that people moving from FTTC may also be forced to move to a new number. BT couldn’t say how many customers will be affected or comment on how many customers use FTTP or FTTC, however Ofcom estimate that around 2% of the UK currently have FTTC connections.

    BT are one of the UK’s biggest broadband suppliers, with around eight million customers taking broadband from them.

  2. BT Openreach in Talks for new Ultrafast Broadband

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    BT’s Openreach subsidiary is in “early but serious” talks with Vodafone about a joint investment in a new ultrafast fibre-optic broadband network, according to a report by the Daily Telegraph.

    The discussions centre around plans to build large-scale new infrastructure to replace aging copper phone lines, which can’t deliver broadband at speeds and capacity of more modern options. The Daily Telegraph said that the two companies are interested, but that the proposed joint investment cost is uncertain, but could run into the billions of pounds over time.

    For those which aren’t aware of Openreach, they’re a company within the BT family which own the pipes and telephone cables that connect UK homes and businesses to broadband and telephone services. That means that whether you get your broadband from BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Plusnet or any other non-Virgin network, Openreach are in charge of connecting you to the network.

    Under new rules set by Ofcom, BT must sell access to its network on equal terms to all retailers, including its own consumer arm. That could add a wrinkle to any potential joint investment, with Vodafone having to seek their investment returned in other ways. Any deal could potentially result in higher overall wholesale costs for resellers like Sky, with Vodafone taking a cut from those profits.

    The Daily Telegraph report that Vodafone are understood to be demanding a period of exclusivity with the infrastructure, to allow it to build their position in the market.

    BT have seen a significant win recently with shares rising following the Competition Appeals Tribunal’s ruling that Ofcom’s demand for a ‘dark fibre’ network was unlawful.

    Ofcom had ordered BY to introduce a ‘dark fibre’ product that would allow rivals to install their own equipment to send signals along fibre optic cables, rather than paying to use the ones owned and operated by Openreach. The regulatory body also cracked down on the services offered by BT’s Openreach, which is being legally separated from BT.

    Openreach has been the subject of much controversy over the decades as the rise of broadband usage and the development of major broadband competitors like Sky have caused problems for the company. Originally a profit-making enterprise for BT, it’s been increasingly regulated to the point we’ve now reached, but broadband companies remain unhappy at how slow, expensive and inefficient the company is.

    Meanwhile, BT themselves are struggling under the weight of consumer complaints that they’re receiving. Yet again, Ofcom have named them the worst broadband supplier in terms of customer complaints per hundred thousand, with 34 making complaints about the company over the BT contact details.

    In second was TalkTalk, who are still recovering from the devastating hack which revealed thousands of financial details of their customers. That’s followed by Plusnet and EE, with 25 and 24 complaints per 100,000, respectiveof their customers. That’s followed by Plusnet and EE, with 25 and 24 complaints per 100,000, respectively.

    At the bottom of the list with the fewest complaints are Virgin Media and Sky, with 13 and 8 complaints. Virgin are an interesting case study here because they don’t rely on Openreach for their connections.

  3. BT Could Dodge Forthcoming Premier League Football Rights Auction

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    BT have successfully reinvented themselves over the last few years, moving from a tired, fusty media empire to something a little more vital – a direct competitor to Sky, in a very serious way.

    That’s been on the back of their nabbing of Premier League and Champions League football rights, which have drawn in customers to their TV, broadband and mobile packages, on the promise of huge matches from around the globe.

    However, that could all change now, as a sudden power shift at BT has triggered the exit of the mastermind behind the multibillion pound football spending plan. That news has cast doubt over the future of football rights at BT, with the new Premier League rights auction looming.

    The Sunday Telegraph learned that in the days prior to the announcement of BT’s consumer chief John Petter exit from the company, he was in discussions about taking on the responsibility of the company’s overall strategy and restructuring. Indeed, the company were extremely close to announcing Petter’s promotion when he abruptly decided to leave the company.

    Mr Petter has accepted a deal worth more than a year’s wage as part of his redundancy package, but the reveal was a blow to the BT boss, Gavin Patterson, who is under pressure after a series of costly mistakes have led to BT’s shares plunging in January.

    The two men have worked closely together for years at a number of companies, including Proctor & Gamble and Telewest. However, with Mr Petter gone, Patterson’s footing looks significantly less stable.

    Taking over strategy at BT is Simon Lowth, the company’s chief financial officer. Under the previous structure, he urged caution over increasing their Champions League spending to £400m a year (a third higher than before), and could put the kibosh on any expansion plans for BT Sport. With a keen understanding of the financial pressures that BT are facing from a potential increase in pension deficit payments and the need to invest in their customer service experience for people using the contact details for BT.

    It’s now thought that he could now use his extended remit to pull back on the forthcoming Premier League rights auction, due in early 2018. The cost of the Premier League has been rising dramatically with each passing auction, and it’s thought that BT could bid only on the two cheapest packages in an effort to save money.

    By law, Sky aren’t allowed to win rights to every Premier League match, so BT could attempt to sneak in with a low bid and retain some games. However, with interest from the likes of Amazon and other new players, it could prove difficult.

    Sky, meanwhile, are expected to try to avoid an increase in package price, after they suffered an 83% increase in cost during the last auction, which led to increased prices for Sky services.

  4. How much does BT Broadband Cost?

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    When it comes to choosing your broadband provider in 2017, there are more options than ever before. From bundled-in broadband from the likes of Sky and Virgin to low-cost broadband alternatives from TalkTalk and Plusnet, there are countless options available to the savvy shopper.

    For most of us though, we tend to look towards the big hitters of the broadband market, and they don’t come much bigger than BT.

    BT are the oldest company in the UK’s telecommunications industry and have been right at the forefront as we moved from public to home phones, home to mobile and from dial-up to broadband. Today, they offer everything from TV to mobile contracts, but their most popular service remains BT Broadband.

    So, in this guide, we’re going to share with exactly how much BT Broadband costs.

    How much does it cost?

    BT’s home broadband packages are split into two categories; BT Broadband deals, BT Infinity deals Let’s break them down.

    All information correct as of January, 2017.

    BT Broadband deals

    BT Broadband deals are BT’s lowest rung on the broadband ladder, offering slower speeds and usage caps. Their standard deal is simply called Broadband and offers up to 17Mbps download speeds, a 12GB monthly cap, 5GB of BT Cloud storage, BT Virus Protection on 2 devices, BT Parental controls and BT Sport.

    The total cost for this package is £22.99 a month, for a minimum of 12 months. That price includes BT line rental and UK anytime calls. A £9.99 set up charge will be included in your purchase.

    Alternatively, BT offer an Unlimited version of that deal, which has the same speed, but comes with no usage cap and 100GB of BT cloud storage. Also improved is UK weekend calls, but this deal is an online exclusive, so you’ll have to go to their website to buy it.

    In total Unlimited Broadband costs £26.49 a month, on a 12 month contract. A £9.99 upfront fee is charged for set up.

    Both deals come with the BT Home Hub 4.

    BT Infinity Deals

    BT Infinity deals include BT’s Infinity range of broadband, which has faster download speeds and raised caps.

    The standard Infinity deal is called Infinity 1 and has maximum download speeds of 52Mbps, along with a monthly usage cap of 25GB, 5GB of BT Cloud storage, BT Virus Protection on 2 devices, BT Parental controls and BT Sport. You’ll also get inclusive UK anytime calls.

    On a 12 month contract, this deal costs £26.99 a month with a £59.99 upfront fee.

    If you prefer your broadband without annoying data caps, Unlimited Infinity 1 improves upon the standard Infinity deal by removing the data cap and upping the BT Cloud storage to 100GB. UK weekend calls are also included.

    On a 12 month contract, Unlimited Infinity 1 costs £34.99 a month, with a £59.99 upfront fee.

    Unlimited Infinity 2 goes one step further and increased the speed to 76Mbps and boosts BT Cloud storage to 500GB (worth £100 a year) and expands BT’s virus protection software to 15 devices.

    It costs £44.99 a month on a 12 month contract, but only has a £9.99 upfront fee.

    Every Infinity deal comes with the BT Smart Hub, which BT claim is the UK’s most powerful WiFi router.

  5. How Will BT’s Takeover of EE Affect You?

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    There’s no denying that when it comes to convoluted histories, EE has the competition beat. Formed from the coming together of two British mobile telecoms giants in Orange and T-Mobile (a duo which have changed hands 9 times between themselves), EE became the latest chapter in a long and, frankly confusing, story.

    Their merger completed in 2010, creating the single biggest mobile network in the UK. Alongside that came a new name, Everything Everywhere, which quickly became EE. The years of cosy co-operation between one time rivals in Deutsch Telkom and France Telecom would soon come to an end, as rumours of BT’s interest in the mobile giant emerged.

    At a cost of £12.5 billion, the merger finally completed in 2016. BT officially became the owner of EE, becoming the biggest combined telecoms company in the UK by a long, long distance. It certainly wasn’t cheap, and it was met with scepticism from business and customers alike. Questions like whether BT would keep EE’s name, whether the takeover would affect the cost of your contract and more arose.

    So, with BT not doing the best job at explaining their plans for EE, we’ve decided to put together this guide of frequently asked questions and their answers. So, let’s dig in.

    Q: Will EE be renamed?

    A: Thankfully, for those of us who’ve dealt with the transition from Orange to Everything Everywhere and then EE, BT have signalled that there will be no change to the name of the service. We can all expect EE as a brand to stick around for a long while to come, BT Mobile just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

    Q: Will this affect EE’s roll out of 4G and WiFi calling?

    A: EE have made a number of promises in recent years, but few as prominent as their planned rollout of 4G and WiFi calling for customers. The good news is that despite the significant cost of buying EE, BT have no plans to slow down or halt their rollouts in this area. We might, however, see an end to initiatives like EE TV, which directly compete with BT TV.

    Q: Will BT take over EE’s customer service department?

    A: EE might not have the greatest record for the EE contact number in regards to customer service, but BT are significantly worse still. That’s sparked fears that BT might consolidate their customer service teams, further reducing the quality of help offered on the line.

    In this regard, EE have been quick to downplay that possibility, saying that EE’s customer service will remain independent.

    Q: Will your phone number change?

    A: No, your phone number will remain exactly as before, unless you opt to change it by dialling 150 or moving to a different contract. Equally, there won’t be a change in how easily you can access a PAC code.

    Q: I don’t want to be a BT customer, can I cancel my EE contract?

    A: Some people have strong feelings about BT, leading some to question whether they can leave their EE contract early because of the takeover. The answer is yes, but not without paying a cancellation fee if you’re still within the terms of your contract. Early termination charges are commonplace, and you’ll likely be forced to pay one if you want to leave your contract early

    Q: You’re already a BT and EE customer, will you save money?

    A: Because you’re tied in to EE and BT contracts, there’s no way for you to get a better deal at present. In the future, however, it’s expected that BT will have some combination deals with EE which will deliver saving. So, when it comes time to renegotiate your EE and BT contracts, keep an eye out for ‘quad-play’ deals which bundle TV, mobile, home phone and broadband.

    Q: Can you now get help for my BT products and services at EE shops?

    A: BT have signalled they would like to keep EE shops specifically for EE customers, and won’t be training EE staff to deal with BT issues. They feel that blending the two together would create confusion and customer congestion, and they’re probably right in this regard.

    Q: Will your bill change because of the takeover?

    A: No, your bill will remain exactly as it was. BT are operating EE as a subsidiary, which means that the structure of EE has remained largely unchanged since the takeover. As such, your billing and statements will be as before. No need to worry about your direct debits either, because the payment location hasn’t changed either.

  6. What does the Remainder of 2016 have in Store for BT?

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    BT is a company that needs little introduction. Since the days first telephones to be installed in the United Kingdom, British Telecom (or rather, its ancestors) has been there to connect the country. They’ve been with us through the lot, from home phones, mobile, Internet, pay-TV and broadband, but the company is far from done and dusted.

    Today, they’re one of the UK’s biggest broadband suppliers and now, thanks to a purchase of EE (formally Orange and T-Mobile), they own the UK’s biggest mobile network. Oh, and that’s without mentioning their dominant position in home phone lines and their management of the entire UK’s broadband infrastructure.

    Put plainly, BT are still a huge deal, but they aren’t resting on their laurels. The media and telecommunications landscape is changing at a rate faster than we’ve ever witnessed before, and as such, businesses like BT are doing all they can to keep up.

    So, what does the remainder of 2016 have in store for BT? Let’s find out.

    A new corporate logo

    Eagle eyed copyright lawyers have spotted an intriguing new posting from the telecommunications giant, apparently showing a new logo soon to come into force.

    Replacing 2003’s multi-coloured globe and elongated block lettering logo, the new logo – a simple multi-coloured circle with a blue and red coloured BT in the middle – is a bold change. Sources inside BT say that the logo is in fact finalised and will become the centrepiece of the telecoms company’s first brand change in 13 years.

    The reasons behind the change are simple; the telecommunications world is far from where it was in 2003, and so is BT. Since then they’ve forged a path in ultrafast broadband, became the UK’s biggest mobile network and launched their own Sky Sports rival in the form of BT Sport.

    A new logo would be a fitting change to reflect the fact that BT is now a new company, heading in new directions.

    More Openreach drama… Maybe

    BT Openreach is a subsidiary of BT, and is in charge of maintaining and connecting new lines to the UK’s broadband infrastructure. Over the years, it’s become more and more separate from BT (thanks to increased regulation from Ofcom), but the system remains a closed one that performs consistently poorly, allowing areas of the network to fail and new connections to drag on for an age.

    Naturally, that’s caused plenty of anger on the BT customer services line and amongst BT’s competitors, who rely on Openreach to connect their new customers to broadband. Opposition to the status quo has been very forthcoming from the likes of Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, Vodafone and many others, and we’d expect the pressure to be maintained throughout the rest of 2016.

    Ofcom have made moves to further separate Openreach from BT, but until every company with an investment and stake in the UK’s broadband network is given a seat at the table, the knives are unlikely to be put away.