/ Technology

Which? is supporting Ofcom’s Boost Your Broadband campaign

We’re supporting Ofcom’s new campaign to help consumers get the best broadband deal possible – and we want to know your broadband horror stories… 

At Which? we have long been talking about the problem of bad broadband. It’s now an essential service, yet many people continue to be blighted by slow speeds and connection drop outs.

That’s why we’re happy to support Ofcom’s new Boost Your Broadband campaign, which helps consumers get the connection that best suits their needs.

The trouble with broadband

In my view the problem with broadband is two-fold; firstly that consumers aren’t able to access adequate connections.

Compare: broadband, phone and TV packages

This is a problem due to the lack of infrastructure, which tends to disproportionately affect people living in rural areas. We won’t stop campaigning on that.

The second issue is that consumers often aren’t on the right connections for them – it’s difficult navigating a complex market filled with jargon to get the right deal.

There have been significant efforts from government and communication providers to roll out superfast broadband across the UK – by upgrading some standard connections to fibre cables.

Yet Ofcom figures show that whilst 94% of UK homes and offices can now get superfast broadband, less than half have taken it up.

Paying more for less

Our latest research showed that most customers have been with their broadband providers for at least three years, meaning their introductory deal has probably ended.

Our analysis of broadband deals found this could leave consumers paying an average of 15% more than a new customer – but it some cases the price increase could be as great as 89%.

If customers don’t negotiate with their provider for a better deal, they could end up paying more for the same connection over time (no thanks to the price rises we’ve seen from some providers) – a quarter of the 7,000 broadband customers we surveyed had experienced a price rise in the past 12 months.

The irony here is that consumers can be left paying more money for a connection that’s inferior to what is available in their area.

I don’t blame consumers. They’ve been left jaded by a confusing advertising landscape that included “up to” speeds until earlier this year, plus an array of different words and messages that makes it hard to know what you need.

Get informed

We are pleased to see the regulator helping to get consumers informed – we are supporting their information campaign alongside consumer champion Gloria Hunniford OBE and the Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The Boost Your Broadband campaign aims to demystify the broadband market, particularly for people who might be daunted by the choice on offer. You can find out key information to help you make the right decision for you and your home on their website.

Are you aware of the type of connection you’re on? And would you know how to find out if a better one is available? Do you have any broadband horror stories?


We are with Plusnet for basic broadband and phone. They provide a reasonable service but operate what I regard as an unfair “lock in” arrangement with unreasonable exit fees if you leave the “contract” early. It is time for the regulator to stop exit fees after a set period, say 2 years.
My other grouse about broadband “contracts” in general is that they are not true contracts in the legal sense as prices can be increased during the ” contract” period. A proper legal contract is about a fixed price over a fixed period of time. I think the regulator should be enforcing proper legal contracts to make matters fair for consumers.

Your second point I am in agreement with you Dave .
On your first -boiler repair contract from BG etc -6 months down the line you get a letter saying – we dont like you for xyz reasons so your contact is cancelled and you cant claim against us -fair ?
Thats taking it to the extreme but its a logical point if you want to change the Laws of Contract in England .

As someone who spent much of their working life dealing with contracts of one sort or another I would just like to mention that a contract is not about a fixed price or any other general matter it is an agreement to what amounts to a set of terms and conditions between two parties. You need to read the contract and ind out what you are agreeing to. If you find any areas you don’t understand, or don’t wish to fully read the contract, ask questions of a confirmed agent of the other party, about any areas that are particularly important to you, note down the answers and get them to sign this. It will then form part of the contract and clarify your position as well as give you contemporaneous notes taken at the time.
You as an individual also have a lot of further protection against what are deemed unfair terms which may be buried in small print it would be unreasonable to expect the man on the Clapham omnibus to read or understand.
I suspect that the ‘proper legal contract’ actually allows the other party to do exactly what they have done and you really wouldn’t want any regulator to enforce it as you’d then lose some of your rights as a typical member of the public.

jed bailey says:
25 December 2018

Believe it or not, there are customers who cannot get the fastest broadband speeds and have no future improvement prospects. These are the forgotten folk who live so close to the exchange, (in my case 300mtrs.) whose phone line is connected directly to the telephone exchange and not through the technology in the high-speed green cabinets you see in the streets. We receive 10-17mb when no one is using the connections, but really slow speeds when everyone is using the net the street. I live 12 miles from Trafalgar Sq. and get no sympathy from BT, the local authority or government. Can someone help, please.

Yes I can help Jed – taken from the Guardian-
“It seems when Openreach decided to give Oldmeldrum fast broadband the cheapest way to do so would be to not replace the old exchange, but instead to offer the majority of Oldmeldrum fast broadband via the green boxes around the village. Those close to the exchange would not be offered fast broadband but remain connected to the old exchange.”

To add insult to injury, he says Openreach told him that one way he could upgrade was if he persuaded his similarly affected neighbours to put up some money. “I was told that we could then apply for a community fibre partnership to help pay for an upgrade ourselves. I’m not sure it is my job to do their canvassing, and pay them for the privilege to buy broadband from them at a more expensive price. It seems to me that they want me to help fund the scheme to guarantee their future profits,” he says.

Guardian Money was also contacted this week by the residents of Wigbeth in Dorset, who were told they were too far from the exchange to get fast broadband. So a group of 16 residents collectively came up with £5,500 to enable Openreach to install broadband to their community. Dorset County Council matched their sum, leaving Openreach to pay the remaining £11,000

You might not like that Jed but all I am doing is relaying the practical position as it stands now .
I have seen case after case including some in London been told the same as those others.
It is a lot more expensive for Openreach in engineering terms to do this type of than just install a fibre relay cabinet next to the old cabinet.

The government will assist villages by giving grants to help whether this is still ongoing I am not up to date with.

Get back and I can supply additional info on this situation.
I hope I dont offend by wishing you a Merry Christmas on this Christmas day and I hope things are sorted out for you .

To show its not always Openreach,s fault a stubborn pensioner is refusing Openreach access to a street cabinet to upgrade the area to fibre because he says –its on my land – his neighbours are furious -read thecnextv post ofv mine.

I have said again and again its not always BT/Openreach,s fault that upgrades to fibre are delayed in North Wales overseas investors blocked access to their land but here is one stubborn pensioner making life unhappy for his neighbours .-


“Funnily enough” he doesn’t block then from walking over his land to fix his own phone ? This isn’t an isolated case but what BT has to put up with day in day out and they get criticised by the public instead of the person refusing access to their land .
I can quote 100,s of similar situations . its so bad that Openreach had to install a website on Wayleaves –

That’s simple to sort out, but it’s typical DFM reporting. We have no fibre access, despite there being no need to cross land or dig trenches. It’s simply that BT can’t be bothered to spend the cash.

“Simple to sort out” Ian ?
and you would do what to that stubborn pensioner –shoot him ?
and the well publicized locally reports in North Wales newspapers which I posted along with links to the said newspapers a couple of years ago about US investors owning parts of North Wales and not allowing Openreach access to their land so stopping fibre to remote areas for Welsh people -get government legislation ?
You seem to forget BT is now a private company no longer has the legal right to force entry etc .

Quote “BT cant be bothered ” ??? obviously you never read my posts even recent ones .
Why should BT pay for those remote customers out of its own pocket why aren’t you hammering at the door of VM -quote we cable your street – North Wales too far away from their shareholders and SKY another $billion company ,why dont you ask them ?
There is nothing stopping any other ISP from digging up roads-for ducting -laying fibre cable etc . remember- UN-bundling legislation allowing this ?
Why cant you just admit those companies wont cable those streets because —there is no profit in it .

DFM reporting? you dont need strategic engineering analysis to see the obvious that’s just trying to complicate matters to the financial gain of business corporations .
You obviously dont know all the professionals that work for BT in every field .

Duncan said ““Simple to sort out” Ian ?
and you would do what to that stubborn pensioner –shoot him ?”

How interesting that you chose to make an extreme suggestion rather than seek clarification of my point, Duncan. By suggesting that I might wish to murder a defenceless human being I believe that – once again – you’re crossing a line in here.

The clarification you chose not to seek is straightforward, by the way. I was referring to the prevailing issue of the article – that access can seemingly be prevented by absentee (or present) landlords. Legislation can be put in place that would require compulsory access to be afforded for the purposes of FO cable installation.

I’m not going to divulge information about my precise geographical location but I can tell you that a BT technician with whom I’ve talked at length has confirmed that it would be relatively simple and cost little to use the existing infrastructure to bring FO cable to our house. The same technician also confirmed that despite Openreach being awarded billions to cable rural Wales they remain committed only to cabling those areas that will provide the greatest financial return in the first instance, despite the desperate need for FO cabling by the hill farming community and others.

Oh – and we don’t have streets, by the way.

DFM reporting? you dont need strategic engineering analysis to see the obvious that’s just trying to complicate matters to the financial gain of business corporations .

Sorry, Duncan, ,but I cannot understand what you’re saying, there. But for clarity, I should add that it is typical of the DFM to sensationalise aspects of a story it feels with enrage its readers.

You obviously dont know all the professionals that work for BT in every field .

Er, no, Duncan. Do you?

Finally, you clearly felt my using the phrase “BT can’t be bothered” was a slight on this bastion of democratic service. In fact, I simply quoted what a BT technician had told me. Living where we do it’s impossible not to detect a certain irony in the way Openreach operates. Granted, we have extreme weather, are very exposed, have a lot of agricultural machinery adept at digging through cables or just pulling them down but we do have landlines – all on poles, of course – and the simple fact is that Openreach attends and deals with issues with the landline provision almost every other day, as it does with the two cabinets that exist between us and the exchange. The cost of having at least two vans plus the inevitable cherry picker on at at least a weekly basis must be little sort of eye watering, and it seems to me that they’re playing an accounting game, whereby they fund repairs and maintenance ad infinitum yet it would, perhaps, pay them to install new lines with FO cabling in one go.

Stop being so pompous Ian you know perfectly well I said that with a touch of sarcasm.
If you cannot understand that then you are intentionally trying to cause trouble .
And you think its okay for you to use obtrusiveness in your “BT cant be bothered remark ” but take offense at me ?
FYI BT has very large departments in all fields science/technology /public relations/LAW /even has its own detective organisation etc etc .

DFM in my book is the abbreviation in electronic/electrical /etc methods to gather information on all aspects of a subject bring them together and present a viable solution .If you dont believe me check it out for yourself , you therefore presented an abbreviation that has several alternative meanings .
I am afraid you will have to prove to me that BT was “awarded £billions to fibre the whole of Wales ”
As you keep saying to me -URL please ??
While Scotland gets help from Scottish taxpayers and given to BT & others to help install fibre over and above any money advanced by Westminster its in the £100,000 of 1000,s NOT Billions !
So you are saying Wales is much richer than Scotland and its taxpayers can give £Billions to BT – that will certainly “give cheer” at Christmas to many Welsh people.
I think your friend is misinforming you.

DerekP says:
26 December 2018

Duncan, I don’t think DFM stands for Design For Manufacturing (or any other engineering) term here 😉

duncan lucas says:Today 11:03

Stop being so pompous Ian you know perfectly well I said that with a touch of sarcasm.

Ah, so now insults are fine in here? Let’s examine this.

I simply observed that the issue with land access was simple to resolve. Your retort was

you would do what to that stubborn pensioner –shoot him ?

I don’t believe my querying that was out of order. You backed down by claiming it was “a touch of sarcasm.” but you used the suggestion of murdering someone – because that’s what it was, no matter how you try to backtrack – deliberately to ridicule my observation. You compounded this by saying

Stop being so pompous Ian

which I find offensive. But then I’m sure nothing will be done about it, as the moderation policies in here seem somewhat selective.

The remark “BT can’t be bothered” wasn’t mine, as I’ve already said; it was a quote from a BT technician, although I used it in the first person.

The records pertaining to Welsh Assembly contracts with OpenReach are well documented – the most recent being here. And if you Google “Welsh payments to BT and openreach” you will also see the horrendous tales of prevarication, obfuscation and lack of committent by BT – one major reason why they were forced to split into separate legal entities.

Yes it does Derek do you think that initial/abbreviation has only one defined meaning .-
https://www2.isye.gatech.edu/~jclu/techstat/JoelLitRev/abs5.html and wiki –
DFM – design for manufacturing; designing products in such a way that they are easy to manufacture.-

I have many more in every sphere it refers to correlated data resulting in a result or statistical analysis.

DerekP says:
26 December 2018

Duncan, I must refer you to the very last word of my previous post, and beg you to make due allowances for Ian’s shortcomings, that is to say that, as a non-engineer, he doesn’t use DFM to mean what you seem to be saying it must stand for.

Thats acceptable to me Derek but I refer to the convo main title Technology .

DerekP says:
26 December 2018

Duncan, I’m sure the D stands for Daily and the M for Mail, but I’m not quite sure what the F stands for….

That depends on how “imaginative ” you are Derek.

Hi all. That’s enough on this, please. We don’t want to see arguments or accusations here. We’re all aware of the community guidelines:


I don’t like having to intervene (especially at this time of year!), so let’s continue to be polite and respectful, please. Thank you.

So its not “”£billions given to BT ” but some £100,000 from Welsh taxpayers to Wales who are in harmony with Holyrood having met and discussed it ?
Unless I am mistaken Which ? isn’t a boardroom with a CEO dishing out orders in an authoritarian tone – to “lesser beings ” , how do you think that sort of approach will go down with young posters ?
Some young people tried to post comments that weren’t allowed to be posted because they didn’t think Which ? ” had a modern -young person approach” – that’s putting it politely.

Why didn’t you answer my question on why VM + SKY etc– $billion companies wont invest in those remote areas and dont try to say –lie- BT wont let us – that would contradict Ofcom,s unbundling of the Openreach external network .
No profit Ian –no profit – VM had a chance at the beginning to take up HMG offer of FTTC years ago along with another smaller company but HMG conditions did not suite the shareholders -IE- not enough profit .
So dont make out BT got too much money from HMG – BT used BT pensioners money to add to the FTTC deal , ask BT pensioners if they think “thats okay ” .

Raymond Town says:
15 January 2019

I live in a rural area that does not have a good broadband connection because I am at the end of the line (2.5 miles from the nearest exchange). Kent County Council has been paying BT to improve local speeds, but BT has said that it is not able at present to deal with lines so far from the exchange. I would hope that the Goverment is actually still trying to do something about this problem.

In answer to your query Raymond , unusually (for me ), I present the official government line (updated ) get back with you opinion /criticisms so that we can talk about it.

Junglejan says:
16 January 2019

Erm, I was going to comment on my Virgin fibre broadband…. but seeing how the conversation has deteriorated so between Duncan, Ian and Derek- I don’t think I want to get involved! Am new to this site- not what I expected from a ‘Which’ site. Good luck guys.

Junglejan don’t go ! You are entitled to your opinion if you love VM say it, many have extolled the “virtues ” of VM – high speed etc no problem with that but mostly they live in urban areas as VM wont “cable the street ” of some remote rural village.

I dont mind differences in opinion as long as they can be discussed rationally with an engineering outlook as broadband relies on a digital network .
Many people come here looking for help and we do our best to help them if you want to put a differing point of view do so .

DerekP says:
17 January 2019

Hi Junglejan – apologies if you’ve been put off by the above arguments. We do aim to keep our debates reasonably friendly here, but, as seen above, we don’t always succeed 🙁

Some friends of mine have Virgin fibre and, these days, get a very good service from them. Longer ago, they used to get a much lower speed than they were paying for, but that got better over time.

William Stivens says:
29 January 2019

When discussing a new contract with the Virgin Media representative today I was distressed to discover that there was no flexibility on the cost their service despite indicating that I have recently retired from full time work and the current cost of £64/month in no longer affordable to myself. (my current agreement expires on 11/02/2019)
I indicated to VM that to lower costs I no longer require BT Sport or the Land Line, the response was that the cost would go up to £68/month, this is clearly ridiculous as the phone line is valued at approx £16/month and the BT Sport £12/month hence a saving of £28/month, are they seriously suggesting that I pay more for less, hence I have written a notice of cancellation of account.

William – BT will be introducing a new service in the future due to complaints of —
why do I need a landline ?–quote–
Openreach has published a short notice to give a very rough indication of how much their new ‘Single Order Generic Ethernet Access’ product might cost ISPs at wholesale. At launch in 2019 the service will enable consumers to buy a standalone FTTC “fibre broadband” (VDSL2 or G.fast) line without the voice (phone) service.

Previously consumers had to buy their phone service alongside line rental (included by default) and then FTTC broadband was optionally added on top. Today few people use their landline for making calls and thus SOGEA reverses the aforementioned approach, making it possible to buy a copper line just for broadband. Consumers will still be able to add a voice feature if they want, albeit more as an optional VoIP add-on. End of quote.

There is more but its a bit technical.

William if you are using VM cable then I hope you still have your Openreach wiring -internal + external as VM wont let others use their cable (except one “friend “).
If not it will mean a full installation which will cost .

DerekP says:
29 January 2019

William, I believe VM offer broadband only for about £29/month, but I don’t know if that’s only available to new customers.

It’s a shame that leaving (or threatening to) is one of the most effective ways of haggling, but we are where we are there. I recently retired too, so I now have little excuse for not finding the time and energy needed for a good haggle.

See also:


For 12 months Derek so not applicable to William who has the dearer bundle where a concession of £10 is given instead of £80.
Its there to stop people like William downgrading after the full price kicks in .
The cheapest (new deal ) is £42 + £25 upfront costs after 12 months.

DerekP says:
29 January 2019

Duncan – you’re nearly, nearly, almost right – for me the advertised VM b/b only price would now be £35/month + £25 setup costs.

With such rip off prices, it looks like VM won’t be getting my custom any time soon.

While the government speaks of extending the high speed broadband coverage and Which ? is backing it and many convos have aired 1000,s of posters complaining of –
I live in a remote area and get 1Mbps (or less ) the government have changed the legislation on grants for rural areas which favours big business ISP,s at the expense of charitable broadband companies .

To me –well it stinks ! that with loud proclamations of –
we must get all broadband customers onto high speed broadband– it seems that as per usual , its to their(business ) friends benefit and not Joe Public UK and big cities and towns that count .
Of course behind the scenes there must have been lobbying to renege on their promises- “white man speaks with forked tongue ” (old US Indian saying ) springs to mind.

What company have I constantly praised over the years ? – B4RN and other community operators of the same ilk.

The Liberal Democrat MP for South Lakes, Tim Farron, has given his support to rural ISP B4RN over the recent loss of their tax relief following changes to the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), which he warned could undermine the good work of broadband pioneers in such remote UK communities.

The current situation stems from an article we wrote on Saturday (here), which revealed how the Government had decided that B4RN, as well as other Community Benefit Society (CBS) based broadband operators, were seemingly no longer eligible to benefit from any tax breaks or other support afforded by the EIS (here).

As most readers known B4RN builds Gigabit capable full fibre (FTTH) broadband networks in some of the most challenging rural areas. In order to do this they rely on volunteers helping to build the network (usually in exchange for shares instead of cash) and landowners (e.g. farmers) agreeing to waive their right to payment under a wayleave (access) agreement.

On top of that any money they make is reinvested back into their network and used to further improve coverage. Unfortunately HMRC now appears to have deemed their approach to be fundamentally uncommercial (i.e. not setup to make a profit), which is kind of the point but also locks B4RN out from the benefits of EIS tax relief and sends a similar signal to other such CBS based alternative network ISPs.
Commons Question -Tim Farron (Westmorland and Lonsdale) (LD)

World-class connectivity is vital to tackling the deficit, but the Treasury decision to stop investors in community benefit societies receiving 30% tax relief could undermine the good work of broadband pioneers such as Broadband for the Rural NorthB4RN in Cumbria.

Given that B4RN has reached the parts of Cumbria that the Government and BT could not or would not reach, what assessment has the Chancellor made of the effect of that decision, and will he think again about his damaging proposals?
Answer – Mr Hammond -Chancellor-Philip Hammond MP

I am not familiar with the case to which the hon. Gentleman has referred, but obviously we want to encourage the delivery of high-speed connectivity in all areas, including rural areas. If the hon. Gentleman wishes to write to me with the details, I shall be happy to look at them and respond to him.

In the meantime some of the smallest projects might be able to seek similar support via Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR), although this is limited to a maximum investment of £1.5m (EIS caps at £12m and B4RN is already at around £6m) and a fair few full fibre projects could hit that fairly quickly (FTTP/H is anything but cheap).

One fear is that if operators of a similar size cannot access this kind of support then it may simply result in the Government eventually needing to dole out even more public funding in order to resolve a problem that, in some areas at least, the local community could have done by itself.
Dated -today- 31-1-2019

Taking into account all the deluge of irate posters complaining in many convos about their situation I think HMG has made a big mistake here.

This year Openreach is installing FTTP/H in the following areas-

The New Locations
Barking & Dagenham
Greater Glasgow
Richmond upon Thames
Sutton Coldfield

Please note this will not be 100 % coverage due to other factors.

John Hoerner says:
6 February 2019

BT internet email service is terrible – there is a problem with their server that limits the number of messages which I can understand if it is 100 or something but the limit comes into play without warning. They then blame it on outlook or something else – it is never their fault – I know they know that it is their fault but their public position is that it is not their fault – I wish someone would start a campaign to take them on publicly and force them to do something about this.

Every month I e-mail out a newsletter to members of a voluntary organisation. If ever there are problems with non-delivery it is a btinternet.com account [or several]. Multiple e-mails get rejected because the server thinks they are junk or spam and I have to resend them one by one. I am not btinternet’s customer but our members are and they are being badly served.

You have my sympathy, John. Service providers try to achieve a balance between protecting their customers and creating problems such as treating email as spam when it is not. It’s common for bulk email to cause problems. Here is some advice from BT: http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/47055/~/bt-email—best-practices-for-postmasters-and-senders-of-email It’s disappointing that it does not mention GDPR.

For years I have had a problem with sending emails to people working for our town council, irrespective of which email address I use. My emails are often treated as spam and if I don’t receive an acknowledgement I have to send a text or email to inform them I have send an email. Their IT department does not understand the problem. I used to have to send a separate email to a contact in Natural England because if I circulated minutes following a meeting, their server blocked the email. Thankfully that problem has been overcome.

A friend stopped using btinternet because of communication problems.

The problem can be compounded if emails have attachments or contain links.

It so happens I have an American company monitoring my email service which is BT .
I get reports regularly about its terrible service , in technical terms .
What I can vouch for is that BTMail goes “down ” regularly, I get the time-duration etc .
BT Mail ISNT BT is an American company so your emails wizz to an American server get looked at by the usual US “bodies ” and are sent back to wherever they are addressed to .

As you know I have criticized BT continually on this score that a $Billion company cant afford its own email service .

I keep getting offered a really professional/high security email service but it would mean me losing my email URL.
BT Mail is not secure if you think it is well——.

Nothing I send or receive has any security implications so I am not bothered about the route it takes. It is just a minor inconvenience. Just as I am thinking I have put the newsletter to bed up pop some ‘undelivered’ notifications and I have to re-send some.

BrianW says:
11 February 2019

I live in Argyll & Bute on the north side of the River Clyde in a community of 12 residents. Our nearest exchange is 1.5 miles away. I get a broadband speed on average of 5.6 Mb/s down, 0.85 Mb/s up based on speednet.com readings over the last 6 months.
If the minimum USO is set at 10Mb/s and only 95% have to reach that value. Anyone making a complaint to a provider that they are not getting USO will be told they are in that 5% so nothing will ever be sorted. If they are in the 5% then the line charge must be dropped by 50%. The loss of income per line will prompt the provider to sort the issue. Maybe!
My line from the pole to the master socket (single) passes through 4 junction boxes and the last 10 meters is 1950s rubber clad cable. I can’t change that cable but I know that low quality cable affects my broadband speed because of the higher bandwidth now required. Hi speed will never be achieved with such poor quality cable. I’ll always be in the 5% not getting USO. Survey required to enable a fix of ancient cable still in the system. BT will still try to charge for their cable fault.

Nina Battleday says:
12 February 2019

After being fed up with paying a huge price for my BT phone/broadband package I checked my contract – should have done it before, but didn’t. Then discovered that I should have been getting something like 66 mgps – I was getting a glitzy 33! I phoned BT – an engineer was sent to investigate the day after and after visits to my home and to the phone connections unit in the street discovered that there were problems with what he called the fibre port. I’m now getting my 66 mbps. So well worth checking that you are getting what you are paying for. I wondered if BT should do more to check their equipment – the engineer more or less implied that it was badly worn and needed repair.

PeterM says:
28 March 2019

We lost our fibre+voice with TalkTalk for 10 days. Fortunately, I have a mobile and could discuss the problem with TalkTalk operatives. They did not seem to realise that loss of the voice line was catastrophic for us. They had done a line test which was OK. TalkTalk said BT would come but they never did so days slipped by.

TalkTalk had contacted BT who had also done an OK line test. I should stress that we are in a block of flats fed by a multi-pair cable from the BT street cabinet. I managed to get access to a TalkTalk manager and the word “flat” seemed to galvanise him into escalating the problem with the result that a BT engineer came quickly thereafter; he resolved the problem within twenty minutes.

My conclusions are that my reporting loss of dial tone did not register with Level1 TalkTalk operatives but did with the next level up. Also worth mentioning is that so-called line tests do not really address the most likely point of failure – beyond the BT street cabinet. Solution to the problem was not explained.