Broadband News

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Be to combat congestion hotspots with network upgrade

16 Jan 2009 | 19.44 Europe/London

Be customers are being promised a multi million pound network improvement scheme which should start easing congestion within a month to six weeks.

Be’s Managing Director, Felix Geyr, has revealed to SamKnows that he has just received funding to boost the company’s network to counter concernfrom some customers that Be and O2's growth, on the same network but under two separate brand names, has caused connections to slow down.

Whilst Geyr believes some of the complaints may be down to people having high expectations of Be, due to it being a pioneer in local loop unbundling and launching the first up to 24Mb service, he does accept that the network needs to improve to keep ahead of customer expectations.

“I take calls and I go on our forums so I know that some Be customers think there are now too many people on the network and that speeds have slowed down,” he says.

“They do have a point, and I have to say we and O2 wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we weren’t signing up new customers, but we think we’re still performing well. It’s true, though, that we have some capacity issues and that’s why we’ve got this funding to improve the network.

“Our customers normally come to us for our high speeds and good performance and a lot of them are in to gaming and downloading, so performance is very important to them, and so they’ve noticed any drop in speed, whether real or perceived, far more than another ISP’s customers would.”

Speeds will not instantly go up, he cautions, because the ISP monitors its network and attributes red, amber or green lights to each area depending on how connections are performing. Red and amber areas will get the first influx of investment but upgrade work will normally involve a four to six week delay between being commissioned and being finally switched on.