Internet service provider (ISP) BTopenworld has warned around 30,700 heavy users of its BTanytime service that they will continue to be isolated from other customers, despite a series of complaints over the new dial-up number they have been allocated.
BTopenworld recently allocated a dedicated section of its network for heavy users under a separate dial-up number, with a 3:1 user-to-modem ratio. The ISP claims that it made the move to protect the quality of service for its 1.4 million other customers, who have a user-to-modem ratio of slightly more than 8:1.
Indeed, the Advertising Standards Authority recently told BT to stop advertising Anytime as fast and reliable, because it wasn't.
But following the move, many users couldn't connect using the new number, prompting a raft of complaints. BT has claimed that the heavy users are experiencing difficulties because their bandwidth hunger is near insatiable and lines are already taken up.
Duncan Ingram, senior vice president at BTopenworld, told vnunet.com: "Demand from these users has simply expanded to fill the capacity we made available for them. We're not going to bring them back into the fold as it would adversely affect the quality of service for the vast majority of our customers."
The ISP said that usage patterns for the new number show that BT would have to provide a modem for nearly every heavy user to offer a quality service, which it says is not financially viable.
BT is now offering these users a month's refund if they go elsewhere. It is also pitching its broadband ADSL service with free installation to the users.
Ingram said that BTopenworld was also ready to throw up to 2000 users off the service over the next 10 days. The ISP will cite terms and conditions violations, either through the length of use within one day 'unattended use' (BT's definition of 'anytime' is no more than 16 hours in any 24) or for allowing multiple users through one subscription by sharing passwords.
"The worst case we found was 43 users running up a total of 240 hours between them in one day, on one account," he said. "We've had subscribers running businesses over it, but by far the majority of expulsions are for unattended use."
However, BT said that, even following the expulsions, the service for heavy users is unlikely to improve.
In a letter to customers, BTopenworld president Ben Andradi said: "We're taking action against [those breaking terms & conditions] to protect the integrity of the service. This should improve availability on the new number but, with the level of service we're seeing, it's possible that the benefits will simply be swallowed up."
Ingram added: "We don't want them to leave but they have that choice."
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago