Thursday, August 11, 2005

When is DSL not DSL?

There really is no such thing as a level playing field for competitors who use Bell Canada's underlying infrastructure. Case in point - we recently tried to migrate a client from Bell to the other carrier's service. Bell has ADSL service in place today and to avoid down time we thought to order the new service on one of the other working lines in premise.

"Not DSL capable" is what came back. So we tried another. Ditto. And again... Ditto, Ditto, Ditto. So how come Bell managed to get 4M DSL working on this one lonely line? Answer: Bescause they wanted to and because they could.

Never mind trying to get Bell to re-provision an existing line to be DSL capable - they won't. (Why would they - for a competitor's service?). How about ordering a new line and requesting that it be DSL capable? In theory, this should work - but in practice it is really hit or miss (and usually miss unless you can actually get to talk to the installer on the day of the install). They either won't put the request on the orders or the provisioners can't read the orders. Perhaps training is an issue (see earlier Blog).

Bottom line - DSL is a "luck" service. If you get it, you are lucky. Otherwise, businesses will have to be content paying through the nose for dedicated T1 or higher facilities if they want a guarantee.