are bt a bunch of fibbing whatsits? you decide.

July 11, 2010

Friends, I offer you the following evidence from BT’s latest advert featuring the gurning ginger idiot who left the sitcom “My Family” to extend his career and, er, be in BT adverts.

The message I am taking away from this advert, entitled “Computer experts” (heh), is that if a video on a website doesn’t display in a timely manner, the only reason is that the broadband provided to your house is at fault. All other explanations are pooh-poohed by Kris Thingumy. “Let’s go to my house!” he declares and they have jolly japes whilst the narrator tells us all that 20Mb* broadband is the way forward (and BT’s is the best).

Last night, I had the misfortune to watch ITV1.

I don’t like ITV1. It’s like Channel 5, but with pretensions to being the BBC. At least Channel 5 don’t pretend. The best they ever want to be is ITV4 and don’t try any harder.  However, the World Cup was on and as my team, the Germans, were playing, I figured I should swallow my pride and put up with Adrian Chiles’ fat face and an advert break every two minutes.

It was during one of these all-too-frequent advert breaks that the Gold-Blend-wannabe advert came on. So I tweeted my disgust at its deceit:

Alf Fairweather boredofjam

BT Broadband. Tell me how you can make the internet work faster if the service you are trying to view is overloaded? Like the ITV play[-er]?

Which is a fact. How can a server designed to serve, say, 100 people at a time, possibly manage to serve 200 people better even if those people have BT Broadband (running at 20Mb)*. It doesn’t matter how fast the end product to your house is. If the thing you’re looking at can’t cope with the demand, you will not see what is on there.

Watch the advert. BT Kris says (and I paraphrase) “No no, dumbass, it’s your broadband! It’s stinky like Adrian Chiles’ socks.”

Let’s face it folks, BT Kris is wrong. Still, I felt happy that I’d told BT Broadband off, and went to bed.

[fade out] [fade in]

I was amused this morning to discover this gem from @BTCare:

@boredofjam If it is overloaded it has reached capacity and you would not be able to make it run faster. Try it again at a later time. about 7 hours ago via Debatescape

Well, that seems to confirm what I was saying. So simply pointed this out:

Alf Fairweather boredofjam

@BTCare: I know this, but your latest advert shown during the World Cup last night appears not to.

A few moments later, I get this:

@boredofjam It doesn’t matter how fast your Broadband is if the web site you are trying to connect to is overloaded then it will be slower about 6 hours ago via Debatescape

And then! This:

@boredofjam This is the website which is slower not your Broadband speed. about 6 hours ago via Debatescape

It’s magic! @BTcare agree with me.

So, the question we have to ask ourselves this evening is, are BT lying to us in their advert? Yes or No.

By the way, BT, how’s that thing going with Phorm? You know, the illegal interception of private individuals’ data?

*Reader, please be aware that 20Mb is not what you think it is. See how that “b” in “Mb” is in lower case? This means that it stands for the computer word “bit”, and there are 8 of those fellows to a byte. Therefore a 20Mb connection is going to be 8 times slower than you think it is, and is actually running at 2.5MB (megabytes).  Of course, this is in ideal conditions and won’t be reflected by the service to your door, but this will be glossed over and mainly ignored by your provider  – no matter who they are.