BT has opened a service status helpline for ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) customers after another major technical blunder rocked the service's rollout across the UK.
BTOpenworld, the telco's broadband ISP, this week admitted it had supplied incorrect modem software drivers to "around a third" of its single-user ADSL customers. The glitch follows problems with BTOpenworld's IP address server which failed to recycle IP addresses after users logged off, leaving many users unable to connect.
BT said it had opened a freephone service status helpline (0800 169 0199) and would shortly post the information on its website. It said it had quadrupled the number of support staff on its helplines and would introduce a call management system to answer calls more effectively.
"We have listened and learnt, and are introducing measures. We are aware that our customer services has had problems," said a BT spokesman. "Quality of service is very important to us."
According to BT, a "small batch" of incompatible drivers were sent out with the modems needed for the single-user ADSL products. The mistake is said to have affected around a third of customers for BTopenworld, but the telco is not ruling out that it could have affected more than this.
"It is not just BTOpenworld that will have supplied the software drivers. We can't talk for other ISPs, but it has affected around a third of consumers for BTOpenworld but we are not 100 per cent sure," said the spokesman.
BT blamed Alcatel for supplying incorrect software, and said it is sending out the correct drivers on a CDRom and has also made them available online. The telco also said it had now fixed the IP allocation problem, which frustrated users last week, and admitted it has suffered from "teething problems" since the commercial launch of its services.
The roll-out of ADSL had already been delayed while the telco sorted out problems suffered during trials but has now suffered from new issues.
The spokesman added: "This is a complex technology and yes, we have had some technical teething problems like any other ISPs and companies in the States. The recent problems did not come out in the trial and have been down to the increased volume of customers."
ISDN users have also been told they face a long wait for ADSL while BT continues testing a system for smoothly transferring users from one system to the other.
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