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Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Fibre!

Well, not quite.

I got a letter from Libby Barr at BT, offering me fibre broadband, and for free! Well, almost. I'd have to pay £60 installation fee, and £5 to make it unlimited, and after 12 months they're going to hike the price up to an unspecified (but I'd guess quite large) number.

And it probably isn't fibre; it's probably fibre to the cabinet (FTTC), then copper to my home, which isn't nearly as good, but which dishonest ISP's call "fibre" instead of what it really is. Not that BT is dishonest, of course. Just a little over-enthusiastic.

This is probably to do with the new BT cabinet that's sprung up a few hundred yards away from my home.

So I called Libby, and after a few choices on her automated switchboard, I got through to one of her minions. Libby, apparently, is humble enough to write to me, but too important to talk to me.

I told the minion about the letter, and asked when I could have fibre? "Not available", he said. "So why did Libby write to me offering this?" I asked. This is called "switch selling", you offer a great deal, but when the customer tries to buy, he's told that this isn't available, but would you like something that isn't a great deal instead. Switch selling isn't nice, so I complained. There is now a formal complaint in the BT system, and if they do this again, I'll escalate to the Advertising Standards Authority.

I don't mind them advertising this on TV, but when they send a letter to my home, with my postcode, it would be very simple to check availability before doing the letter. Clearly, they don't care.

However, the minion told me that the cabinet is indeed fibre, and that fibre (meaning FTTC, I guess) will be available to me in four months. That will offer me "up to" (which means in practice it can be anything they care to mean) 38 mbit (and that will probably be only download, upload will be a lot less).

I checked their pricing It's £32/month normally for BT Infinity 1, so that's what it will rise to after a year. Upload is half the download speed, which is better than I'd expected. BT Infinity 2 is "up to" 76 mb for £45/month. For comparison, my 100 mbit ethernet is costing £500/month but that's falling all the time.

But! If fibre is available via BT, it will be available via all the others. So when it does arrive (four months promised) I'll look around at what deals there are.

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