Ntl extends business ban on cable service

Combined with a failure in the cable operator's set-top boxes, it makes a bad week for customer relations

Customers of cable operator ntl's broadband service were left angry this week by what they view as a change in ntl's terms and conditions. Users are not allowed to use the cable modem service to run a business, but users claim ntl has now extended this ban to prohibit any activity the firm believes is related to business or commercial interests.

Cable modem customer Zane Wilson claims he was informed he was breaking ntl's terms and conditions when he accessed his business from his home service. "Your ntlworld account should not be used to forward, route or transfer any material/data related to your business or commerical information," he was told in an email.

Wilson does not believe this is fair. "Ntl wonders why consumers are losing confidence in broadband technology but its own advertising promotes some of the uses it has just banned," he told ZDNet. "The new bans make ntl's broadband offering more of a fast web/email service akin to TV Internet than an Internet service."

Ntl claims it is reviewing its terms and conditions. "We can re-issue it in a clearer, easier format to understand," the company said in a statement.

Ntl was further embarrassed this week when a batch of its set-top boxes was found to be faulty.

Users were left without digital or interactive TV as ntl worked to replace the boxes. Ntl has refused to say how many boxes were faulty but claims a "very small proportion" of users in London were affected.

"A number of customers in London-based franchises have had to have their digital set-top boxes replaced due to a technical issue. We are sorry if any customers have been inconvenienced by this," said ntl in a statement. The company would not go into detail about the fault.

Have your say instantly, and see what others have said. Click on the TalkBack button and go to the ZDNet News forum.

Let the editors know what you think in the Mailroom. And read other letters.