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ISP problems with Karoo

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For anyone not aware, we have a municipal phone company here in Hull which means we are not part of BT's network. Kingston Communications offers broadband under the name "Karoo".

 

This autumn, they introduced 8Mb in 4 different flavours at different prices. My exchange was activated early in December.

 

However, I've not had a single 24-hour period whereby I've had constant connection to the service. At not one instance have I received a full 8Mb connection.

 

In the T&Cs here,

Karoo - Terms & Conditions

 

it mentions a 14-day stabilisation period. This has passed and the connection is worse now. Yet they charge me for the service which they have yet to supply.

 

Oh, and I can't switch to another supplier because there isn't an alternative in Hull. There is nothing to stop other companies entering Hull to offer broadband services, except they have the pay KC to use their hardware, which makes it not economically viable.

 

In my opinion, there's probably a case of abuse of maket position to answer to.

 

Mark

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Well - I do still have a soft spot for Hull Corporation's Telephone Network, they didn't sell out to the GPO and kept their independence, providing services to Hull and Beverley. Reinvented as Kingston Comms, they still managed to hold their own against BT and provided a world class offering - they were also the first to provide a 'Dial-a-Disc' entertainment service long before PO Telephones copied them.

 

As to your problem, irrespective of you being in an area that prevents real competition, they STILL have to provide a service that is fullsome and as advertised. Simply make your complaint known (preferably in writing), noting the problems, and asking for an adjustment to your costs until the service matches its promise. If they don't you can make a complaint to OTELO.

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Granted, they have been a cracking phone company. The untimed local calls for 5.5p were excellent. When they introduced dialup and you could connect to the internet for 5.5p for upto 7 hours (a cut-off time to stop people abusing the system and having an always-on service) was a boon. This was in the days when probably everyone else was on an 0845 number.

 

It became apparent though that they were apparently out of their depth. As you can imagine, there was a busy period from 6pm to about 8:30pm as people logged on after getting home from work.

 

Many a time has my modem dialled the number and I've heard an engaged tone from the modem's tiny onboard speaker. Or the standard operator messages:

 

"Boop boop boop, there is currently a high demand for this number, please try later"

 

and my favourite..

 

"This number does not exist"

 

Broadband was handled better, albeit more expensive than that offered in BT land, most likely from the lack of competition as an incentive to drop prices. They also seemed to be unplugging the POP server so the sysadmin could put the kettle on. lol

 

But the debacle with 8Mb is a pain. I shall write to them and demand they supply the service as advertised.

 

They state they establish a "maximum stable rate". Essentially, the bandwidth is capped. I intend to point out that a capped service contradicts the "upto 8Mb" service I pay for. It can never be upto 8Mb if it's capped at 6.3Mb or whatever. A breach of the Trade Descriptions Act I believe.

 

Anyway, enough soapbox ranting from me... :)

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We might be at cross purposes, any cap never refers to speed, but the amount of data transferred. This means it is not a bandwidth issue but one of data upload/download. FWIW, I have yest to experience 8Mb on ASDL from ANY carrier, 6.4 was about the top speed, but as you've noted it is always referred to as 'up to' and with contention rates of 20 users accessing the same pipe (compared to 10 on cable) the latter always has a bewtter chance of delivering. My 10Mb service from NTL runs from 9.8 to 7.2 at peak times, but I can live with that.

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Capped is the wrong word, I stand corrected. :)

 

The basic idea is that they set it at the full 8 meg and test the line. If it is unstable, they then lower the connection rate and keep testing until they get a stable connection. AFAIK, they then fix the line at the speed. Mine is now fixed at 6880 according to my router.

 

If it is fixed at 6880, it can never reach 8Mb ever, and be 'upto 8mb' as they advertise. Surely there's a case to answer here.

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I'm not aware of any ISP operating BB in the manner you describe. Standard ADSL technology has a maximum capability of 8mb under ideal conditions. There is no benefit at all in restricting bandwidth to those customers who have paid for the top speed and are effectively being throttled back. In real terms, I'd expect anen an 8mb connection to offer 6mb consistently due to the fact up to 20 other users are sharing the same connection. It would mean nothing to them yo restrict the line in this way, unless you were paying for an up to 6mb service, and there isn't one!

 

Why not prove the point by dtopping to their next lower tier of service (4mb?) and see what this gives you?

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