15:20 Tuesday 29 January 2013

Superfast internet not so fast - due to 'rare' fault

Written byTIM FLETCHER

29/01/13 BT Infinity - Bretby Ln, Winshill, Burton 29/01/13 BT Infinity - Bretby Ln, Winshill, Burton

INTERNET users in Burton have suffered more woe in trying to access ‘superfast’ broadband.

As previously reported, residents in some areas of the town have been left lagging behind with slow download speeds, due to delays in the introduction of BT’s Infinity high-speed internet service.

Now, users who live in an Infinity-enabled area and pay for the product say they have suffered painfully slow download speeds at peak times in recent weeks.

Chris Baker, from Winshill, claimed outdated equipment at Burton’s main exchange was to blame, but the telecoms giant has blamed ‘extremely rare’ technical issues which it said it had now resolved.

Mr Baker told the Mail: “I am an IT expert and know vast amounts about how Infinity works and I can tell you that the Burton and Swadlincote exchanges are massively over-subscribed.

“My speed in off-peak times is a steady 75 megabits a second for downloads, but in the evenings and at weekends this drops to 5Mbps, and on one occasion it was as low as 0.5Mbps.

“The service is good for around 50 per cent of the time, but when you come home from work and want to use it, it doesn’t work.

“This is going to get much worse with the take-up of the Infinity product as more cabs go live. It’s already at an unusable level at peak times.

“I can only imagine how bad it will be once the area is fully up and running.

The issue has been a hot topic on BT’s online forum recently, with other users from Burton and South Derbyshire decrying slow download speeds at peak times.

Mr Baker, a construction engineer who used to work in IT, said: “I have been in touch with various people all over Burton who all have the same poor peak performance.

“BT are refusing to upgrade the backhaul in Burton, which is a complete joke.

“Even the engineers who installed the fibre optic cables and cabinets around a year ago said: ‘This is going to fall over soon as there isn’t enough backhaul to run this area’.”

After the Mail raised Mr Baker’s concerns with BT, the firm looked into the issue and claims to have solved the problem.

A spokesman said: “We apologise for the service issues experienced by Mr Baker.

“A series of investigations revealed that the unusually high reduction in broadband speeds he was encountering at peak times was caused by an extremely rare technical issue, which has now been resolved.”

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