"Insufficient line plant"

Discussion in 'Broadband' started by Graham, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. Graham

    Graham Guest

    A friend who runs a garage business wants to get broadband. BT tell him
    that he can't have it because there is a DACS on his line, and there are no
    spare pairs into his village which would allow removal of the DACS !!!!

    This isn't a remote location, it's about 20 miles south of Norwich!

    Is there any accepted procedure to persuade BT to install more lines?
    Graham, Oct 5, 2007
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  2. Graham

    Mortimer Guest

    I'll be interested to hear if anything can be done about this, because my
    parents are in the same situation in their cottage in Yorkshire: they are
    close enough to the exchange to get broadband (according to the BT
    line-length app) but there are very few pairs going to the village so every
    line is via a DACS. People can't even get second lines for faxes or dial-up
    so as to leave their main line free for voice.
    Mortimer, Oct 5, 2007
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  3. Graham

    Eeyore Guest

    Well .... if we in the UK are ever going to get up to speed maybe there should
    be a compulsory requirement for the provision of broadband to the home and
    business ?

    Eeyore, Oct 5, 2007
  4. Maybe the answer would be for someone to build more houses or split a
    large house into flats. BT's USO requires them to provide, if requested,
    a voice line to each premise. So if there are no spare pairs, BT would
    be forced to install new lines to the village. Hopefully while they are
    doing this they would put in enough lines to remove the DACS and allow
    for future expansion.
    Graham Murray, Oct 5, 2007
  5. The answer is to complain like hell to BT. Do it in writing and get names.
    The further up the chain of command the better.
    Their current stated policy is to remove DACS to enable broadband "wherever
    I complained right up to the CEO's office a few years back, before removal
    of DACS wasn't their policy.
    It worked for me - took them a while to do it but they did.
    If there physically aren't enough pairs in the local network for DACS to be
    removed, then BT should be putting in place plans to uplift the local
    This process should be triggered by complaints such as your friend's.
    They shouldn't just sit back and do nothing.
    Tell him to start making a nuisance of himself - and involve the press as
    I sent a copy of my DACS complaint to the Sunday Times and they ran an
    article on my problem and contacted BT.
    Anything that gives them bad publicity will help make them shift their

    Best of luck,

    George Weston, Oct 5, 2007
  6. Graham

    Mortimer Guest

    How many subscribers are typically multiplexed over a single DACS and a
    single pair back to the exchange?

    Does the chance of success depend on the number of subscribers? If so, my
    parents' village may be doomed because there are only about 15 houses in the
    village itself - with outlying farms along some of the roads in/out. Is
    there more chance of getting (for example) 50 new pairs to serve 50 new
    lines than to get 5 new pairs to serve 5 new lines?
    Mortimer, Oct 5, 2007
  7. Two lines per DACS box, IIRC.
    BT's policy now is to not fit any more DACS units, so if some more demand
    for lines was made in the village and all the DACS boxes/circuits were
    already used up, they would have to provide new line plant to meet the
    demand (and hopefully do away with the exiting DACSes at the same time).
    How about canvassing the residents in your parents' village and get them to
    apply for second lines in their houses? :)
    George Weston, Oct 5, 2007
  8. Graham

    Mortimer Guest

    When the residents asked (individually but all at around the same time) a
    few years ago, they were told that all the houses had one phone line, and
    BT's obligation was only to provide one line (subsequent ones being on a
    best-endeavours basis). There were no spare pairs and no extra capacity on
    the existing pairs (so presumably every pair had a DACS driving two lines),
    and BT did not intend ever to supply any more pairs, so there could never be
    any new lines.

    Intriguingly, when there were tentative plans to build a couple of new
    houses, one of the reasons that the plans never went ahead was that it would
    never be possible to give the houses telephone lines. This suggests that BT
    did not intend even to honour the "one line per house", which I thought was
    a non-negotiable statutory obligation.

    I think this was in the days before the exchange supported ADSL, when people
    wanted scond lines for dial-up internet or fax, so the need to un-DACS the
    lines to support ADSL didn't arise, but it is now an issue.

    BT's line tester says that various numbers in the village should support
    broadband at (I think) 2 Mbps, so line length is evidently not an issue, but
    that there may be (ie there is!) incompatible equipment on the line.
    Mortimer, Oct 5, 2007
  9. That would be the case but it's amazing how BT can react when faced with a
    media onslaught.
    All the more reason to complain - a concerted effort by all villagers
    directed towards national and local media (including the local BBC/ITV
    stations) might well make a difference. All it would take would be a bit of
    co-ordinating and letter-writing. Also involve the local parish, district
    and county councillors, and the local MP. They will all add weight to your
    The planning process does not take into account the availability or
    otherwise of telephone service as a valid reason for or against granting
    planning permission. I know this, as I am a Community Councillor involved in
    making recommendations for planning applications in my part of Wales (in
    England they are called parish councillors).
    However, it could well be that the person or persons who proposed to build
    the new houses decided not to do so for this reason? I don't think this
    would be the case, as they'd be throwing away the chance to make a few quid,
    so my gut instinct is that this is a bit of a rural (as opposed to an urban)
    All the more reason to complain.
    Again, all the more reason to complain.
    The forecast speed is greater than that in my remote-ish village.
    My forecast speed was 1Mbps but I am actually achieving 2Mbps to 3Mbps on a
    daily basis.
    (Current speed is 2.3Mbps).

    Go for it!

    George Weston, Oct 5, 2007
  10. The solution is in the users hands.. find the people with two lines and
    persuade them to drop one line and get broadband. Then start a community
    WiFi service for the ones that remain using the broadband.
    [email protected], Oct 5, 2007
  11. Graham

    jim Guest

    Why just complain to BT ? Surely if there is real competion in this
    country then any other service provider should also be compelled to
    provide service, i.e. Virgin Media or any other OLO

    jim, Oct 5, 2007
  12. Hollow laughter....
    No private company will *ever* be compelled to provide a universal service
    similar to those the Post Office or BT is obliged to honour.
    The reason for this is that they were both previously state monopolies and
    inherited those onerous obligations from their parent organisation.
    Who would want to invest in a company that was compelled to provide service
    to everyone, everywhere at a standard price? It would be economic death!

    George Weston, Oct 5, 2007
  13. and then make it worse by giving licenses to other companies that allow them
    to select which customers they supply.
    Then you introduce a regulator whose job it is to make sure BT keeps its
    prices high enough that the other operators can undercut them and still make
    a profit.
    [email protected], Oct 5, 2007
  14. A lovely positive solution - you should move to my area!
    R. Mark Clayton, Oct 5, 2007
  15. Graham

    Eeyore Guest

    I agree. I've been involved in a bit of local campaigning and it can indeed get
    results. You do need to get people to cooperate though.

    Eeyore, Oct 5, 2007
  16. Graham

    Eeyore Guest

    Given the size of VM it would sem fair to expect them to do a little more now.

    Eeyore, Oct 5, 2007
  17. Graham

    Graham Guest

    I'm tempted to set up a website to list those postcodes where ADSL is NOT
    available. Unless anybody knows of such a site? I expect it will be a
    mountain of a task ...

    I think it would have to show the email address for the person reporting the
    lack of service, and some brief details of the circumstances. I can think
    of three different locations personally.

    Does anybody want to reply here to start the ball rolling?

    -- Graham J
    Graham, Oct 6, 2007
  18. I really do wish people wouldn't make silly remarks like that. The
    regulator's job is to prevent companies ripping us off, constrained as
    they are by the law.
    Mark McIntyre, Oct 6, 2007
  19. Sorry? So does that mean VM don't have to provide a universal 999
    Mark McIntyre, Oct 6, 2007
  20. No, that's not what I meant, and I guess you know that.
    I will spell it out in case you had difficulty in understanding me.
    I meant the "universal service obligations" whereby:
    BT is under a duty to provide a telephone line to any premises in the UK
    that requires one.
    The Post Office is under a duty to deliver mail to every address in the UK
    (also for the same price, regardless of distance).

    George Weston, Oct 6, 2007
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