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ISPs left in the dark over ADSL crash

Not only did BT keep users in the dark when a fault cut off the UK's ADSL users, but it didn't tell ISPs what was happening either
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor

BT has been criticised for not keeping ISPs informed about the technical problem that crashed ADSL and narrowband unmetered connections across the UK on Tuesday.

The fault, which occurred in Colossus -- BT's IP backbone network -- sometime on Tuesday morning, is thought to have affected well over 100,000 surfers. It was located and fixed within a couple of hours, according to BT, but many users were experiencing problems until the end of the working day.

Frustrated users found it virtually impossible to get through to BT's helpdesk as it was soon flooded with calls, leading to widespread confusion over the cause. This situation was made worse by the fact that Internet service providers (ISPs) were also left in the dark about the problem.

"We're disappointed with the lack of information we received from BT about what the problem was," Ian Buckley, marketing manager for Zen Internet, told ZDNet UK News. "We weren't told what was happening, so our helpdesk wasn't able to pass information on to our customers," Buckley said, adding that Zen had to rely on online news sites to discover what the problem was.

BT has confessed that there was a time lag in informing ISPs about the problem. "Our first priority was to find the fault and fix it," a spokesman said. "I admit there was a bit of a delay in telling people exactly what was happening, but that's normal in this kind of situation."

It seems likely that it will take several days before precise details about the nature of the technical fault are available.

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