According to a report at The Register, AOL UK and Freeserve have condemned BT Openworld, the monster telco's ADSL service as a "national disgrace". Both companies resent Openworld's market share, and point to a relationship between the supposedly separate divisions within BT. There are currently 30,000 ADSL customers in the UK, several on the EuroGamer staff in fact, and BT Openworld is apparently increasing in size by some 1,000 or 2,000 customers each week. Incredibly, BTIgnite, the service dedicated to installations, handles nearly 500 BT Openworld customers a day, but Freeserve and AOL UK are allocated an astonishing 13 and 20 a day respectively. Is someone getting a drink? Another point to be made is that BT Openworld isn't actually as good a service as some of its competitors. Users have complained on many counts, that latency is absurd, download speeds are suffering even in areas of low contention and that on the whole the service is shoddy. These customers also risk being thrown off for running mail, FTP or HTTP serving programs from their connections. In stark contrast, while Nildram's residential ADSL service advises against such practices, this writer was even able to seek assistance with some of them, and has received no grief, despite running SMTP and other usually-restricted services pretty much all the time. Customers of BT Openworld apparently just don't know what they are missing for the most part. We phoned up BT regarding ADSL and were immediately put through to Openworld sales, despite assurances from us that our query was not about installation. Apparently it's company policy. When asked about resellers such as Nildram, our Scottish chum on the other end of the line lowered his tone and told us that he wasn't in a position to help. Our findings somewhat contradict those of BT, who defended themselves, insisting that no cross-department bias exists, and that our claims are groundless. AOL UK and Freeserve have a slightly stronger case, pointing out that BT's actions probably go against Oftel enforced regulations regarding ADSL. Regarding the news that BT have secured two thirds of the nation's ADSL customers, Freeserve company secretary David Melville said, "If this is true we will be consulting our lawyers." His opposite number at AOL UK agrees. Oftel has declined to comment, pending an investigation by the regulator.
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