Month: March 2017

BT Leased Line Engineer

Ofcom fines BT a record £42m for slow broadband installations

BT failed to compensate rivals for delayed line installations

BT has been hit with a £42 million fine for failing to install high-speed business lines fast enough, in what is being described as a “serious breach” of contract terms.

Following an investigation by Ofcom into BT’s fibre rollout arm Openreach, it was found that BT had abused the terms of its contracts by cutting compensation payments for delayed Ethernet line installations.

These high-speed business lines are the most common type of leased lines used by businesses and public services, offering high-speed and high-capacity data transfer to both BT and other telecoms providers.

Regulator Ofcom found that between January 2013 and December 2014, BT “misused the terms of its contracts to reduce compensation payments owed to other telecoms providers for failing to deliver ‘Ethernet’ services on time”. The fine represents the largest ever made against a telecoms company.

BT breached competition rules and exploited its position as a “significant market power”, Ofcom ruled, as most telecoms companies rely on BT’s infrastructure to host connections to customers for services such as broadband.

Gaucho Rasmussen, investigations director at Ofcom, said in a statement: “These high-speed lines are a vital part of this country’s digital backbone. Millions of people rely on BT’s network for the phone and broadband services they use every day.”

“We found BT broke our rules by failing to pay other telecoms companies proper compensation when these services were not provided on time,” added Rasmussen. “The size of our fine reflects how important these rules are to protect competition and, ultimately, consumers and businesses. Our message is clear – we will not tolerate this sort of behaviour.”

As part of its obligation to Ofcom rules, BT is required to install Ethernet services for other providers, including Vodafone and TalkTalk, in accordance with contracts, and to provide compensation payments for delays past 30 days.

The investigation was opened after Vodafone alleged that BT had abused contractual terms by extending the delivery of Ethernet services without its consent, and had failed to provide any compensation.

BT has admitted its failings, and has agreed to compensate the companies affected. Clive Selley, CEO of Openreach said in a statement: “We appologise wholeheartedly for the mistakes Openreach made in the past when processing orders for a number of high-speed business connections. This shouldn’t have happened and we fully accept Ofcom’s findings.”

BT’s compliance knocked 30% (£18 million) off the total fine, however the company is likely to pay as much as £300 million in compensation payments to other telecoms providers. A further £300,000 will also be paid to Ofcom for a failure to provide adequate information during the investigation.

The fine comes less than two weeks after the BT agreed to officially separate Openreach, complying with demands issued in November by Ofcom, which believed BT’s monopoly over network infrastructure was anti-competitive.

Orginal Source: ITPro

BT Openreach Van

BT Openreach legal separation agreed

Ofcom has announced the legal separation of Openreach, concluding work started in the 2015 Digital Communications Review. The changes to Openreach’s purpose, strategy and governance are outlined in the accompanying press release and include:

  • The Openreach Board will run the company.
  • Openreach’s Chief Executive will in future be appointed by, and accountable to, the Openreach Board.
  • Openreach will have control of assets – such as the physical access network – required to deliver on its purpose.
  • Openreach will be obliged to consult formally with customers on large-scale investments.

Openreach will become a distinct company, incorporated as a legally separate company within BT Group, with its own ‘Articles of Association’.

Openreach – and its directors – will be legally required to make decisions in the interests of all Openreach’s customers, and to promote the success of the company.

Further information can be found here

What is a Leased Line?

A Leased Line is an always-on, dedicated, fixed-bandwidth, symmetrical, fibre-optic internet connection.

Leased Line Quote

What is a Leased Line Used for?

Businesses use Leased Lines to carry large amounts of data.  Because a Leased Line is symmetrical i.e. the download speed is exactly the same as the upload speed, copying or downloading files to another building or website server is equally as fast.  Whereas when using FTTC (more well known as Fibre broadband) your upload is not symmetrical and is shared among many other users.

  • High Speed Business Internet Access
  • Connecting two buildings or locations together
  • Enable the use of Business VoIP Phone Systems
  • Enable remote working with the use of a VPN
  • High Capacity Public Guest WiFi Hot spots

What is the Advantages of a Leased Line?

There are many advantages associated with a leased line in comparison to Fibre Broadband (FTTC) or ADSL:

  • Symmetrical Speeds (i.e. upload data at the same speed as you download)
  • No contention (i.e. you don’t share your line bandwidth with another other business)
  • You’re able to reliability host mail and web servers
  • Connection doesn’t slow down at peak times
  • 100% Service Level Agreement, service credits from the first second of downtime.
  • Issues and problems are resolved within a 4 hour find and fix SLA window.
  • Faster download and upload speeds (of up to 10Gbit/s)

What is the Disadvantages of a Leased Line?

When considering a Leased Line cost is a major factor, but the advantages far outweighs the disadvantages:

  • Installation Lead-times (Can take up to 75 working days from order to activation)
  • Monthly Cost (Leased Lines are considerably more expensive than Fibre Broadband, FTTC, FTTP and ADSL connections)

Leased Lines are Dedicated

Cost effective methods to connect to the internet such as Fibre Broadband (also known as FTTC) or ADSL share internet bandwidth with many users, whereas a leased line provides a dedicated internet connection.  A dedicated connection means: no other business or individual shares your internet connection or bandwidth, it’s for your sole use.

Leased Lines are Symmetrical

Downloading information or data from the internet is usually fast using Fibre Broadband (FTTC) or ADSL however uploading data will take longer.  This is because the upload speed is less than the download speed.  However a Leased Line’s upload and download speed is the same, making a leased line symmetrical by definition.

What is a Leased Line typical speed?

Leased lines can deliver speeds from 10Mbit/s through to 10Gibit/s – It totally depends upon your requirements.

Leased Line Internet Connection

There are many functional uses for a leased line, however the most common is to provide a dedicated high speed connection to the internet.

What is a Leased Line Typical Costs?

The cost of a leased line connection depends upon a varying number of factors, the most common are:

  • The length of the fibre optic cable required to deliver the connection to your business premises
  • Fibre presence in the area
  • The speed you require
  • The length of contract you’re willing to sign

Leased Line Quote

What happens when I place a Leased Line Order?

A feasibility study is carried out to ensure the leased line circuit can actually physically be delivered to your business premises, this involves checking what local fibre optic infrastructure is present in your area.

A leased line planner will then visit your business premises to carry out a site survey ascertaining where an NTE (Network Termination Equipment) can be installed along with a fibre optic junction box.  During the site survey the planner will also inspect the route which the fibre optic cables will follow all the way to your property to a local point of presence (PoP).

During the site survey the leased line planner may have identified additional costs (also known as ECC or Excess Construction Charges), these charges are usually incurred because there isn’t fibre presence in the last mile to your business premises.

Once the site survey is complete you will be advised of any additional charges (Excess Construction Charges – ECCs) to provide the Leased Line circuit to your business premises.  Usually the leased line connection provider has an allowance of £2,800 for any ECCs and any additional costs above this will have to be covered by the customer ordering the leased line.

If no excess construction charges have been identified or excess construction charges were identified but fall within the £2,800 allowance the Leased Line order will proceed to delivery. If excess construction charges were identified outside of the allowance (£2,800), the ordering customer has to approve the additional costs before the provide of the leased line proceeds into the delivery phase.

What is a Leased Line most likely to cost?

Exascale are able to provide a very competitive leased line quote, we believe our leased line costs are one of the lowest in the market.

Leased Line Quote