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BT Works To Fix Fibre Speed Crash

BT’s Home Hub routers to blame for not-so-superfast broadband

On by Matthew Broersma 1

BT has confirmed that a fault with its home routers was responsible for precipitous speed decreases experienced by some BTInfinity super-fast broadband customers.

Customers began complaining about the speed-drop issue on BT’s BTCare community forums in May, and according to their comments it appears to have been affecting users for several months.

Sub-1Mbps speeds

Some users reported that their fibre-based Infinity connections, which are capable of speeds of up to 40Mbps, at times drop to below 1Mbps.

BT confirmed that the issue “occasionally” affects “a very small segment” of its fibre customers, and is due to an issue with the BT Home Hub 3 wireless router. It occurs only when customers are connecting via a wired connection, and doesn’t occur when users connect wirelessly, BT said, confirming customer comments.

The issue doesn’t affect non-fibre broadband customers, and isn’t related to any previous network or hub issues, BT said.

BT noted that users can fix the issue by restarting the hub, or by connecting wirelessly. However, customers reported that the issue may quickly reappear after a restart, with some saying they needed to restart their hardware several times a day.

“If I restart the BT hub black box, the one with the three blue lights, it goes back up to 37, until the next time it suddenly drops again,” wrote one user. “I reset it this morning but I guarantee within 24 hours I will be back to snail’s pace again.”

Hub replacements

Several customers reported that BT had fixed the issue by replacing the Home Hub 3 hardware. However, BT said it is currently testing a fix for the hub that will be implemented remotely, eliminating the need for further engineer visits.

“We are working hard to resolve this; a proposed fix is currently in test and will be rolled out as soon as possible,” BT said in a statement.

BT did not specify when it expects the fix to appear.

More than seven million premises can currently access BT Infinity, but that will rise to around two thirds of all UK premises by the end of 2014. BT is bidding for Broadband Development UK (BDUK) funds, which should mean it will bring fibre to other parts of the UK beyond the two-thirds.

The company is in heated competition with Virgin to roll out super-fast broadband across the UK. In April, following in Virgin’s footsteps, BT doubled download speeds for some of its fibre customers.

Fibre expansion

The telco recently won a contract to provide remote parts of Lancashire with fibre as part of the BDUK process.

However, last month the company abandoned plans to bring fibre broadband to Kensington and Chelsea in part due to restrictons on installing cabinets that might deface the area’s “historic streetscapes”.

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Matthew Broersma

Author: Matthew Broersma

TechWeek Freelance
Matthew Broersma
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