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BT Sues Tii for GBP72m Over Allegedly Faulty Kit and ADSL Outages

Friday, June 11th, 2021 (4:37 pm) - Score 4,464
Law internet uk isp

Telecoms giant BT is suing Tii Technologies (formerly Porta Systems) for £72m in the UK High Court (Technology and Construction Court) after they allegedly supplied 95,256 faulty jack test (JT) blocks between 2006-2016, which reportedly caused a spate of copper line ADSL broadband outages (mainly impacting ISP Sky Broadband).

According to The Register, BT alleges that the issue cost them £43.7m in engineer callouts, as well as £10m to modify the blocks and a further £19m had to be paid out to the ISPs who complained. BT claims that Tii was obliged to deliver JT blocks that were fit for their intended design life of 40 years, but when asked to make them compatible with modern IDC wire terminations the supplier used bare steel contacts which rusted (i.e. causing ADSL connections to become unstable).

On the other hand, Tii said they delivered 195,000 metal shims to cure the problems, but BT is alleged to have ignored them and gone ahead with its own double-jumpering fix instead. In addition, one of Tii’s workers suggested that BT’s own engineers could be partly to blame: “I have attended various site visits with the block supplier and have always found that it is an installer problem (usually using the wrong tool), never a block problem.”

The case is said to be ongoing. We have asked BT to comment, although they’re unlikely to be able to say much until after the case has been resolved. We should add that JT blocks are usually installed in exchanges and consist of two metal contacts, one fixed and one sprung, pressing against the fixed contact. Engineers who need to test a line can wedge the sprung contact open with a test adapter and connect a test probe in its place.

Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. AW says:

    Double jumpering WORKED. Shims might have, but they would have taken just as long and no guarantee. Im doubtful rust was the issue though as they were junk from day 1, and i seriously doubt it was a tool issue, becauae they were ALL junk. My personal thought is that they were just made with poor tolerances.

    1. Darren Tarry says:

      Also poor quality plastic that retains the metal parts.

  2. TAM says:

    Christ. I remember when these came in. The fault symptoms where classic , kept on hearing the same reports from end customers , day after day. It didn’t take long for us to identify the problem , we were using them as TAMS blocks in our local exchanges . Solution was to jumper straight from the LLUT to the bar Pr, bypassing them. And it did cost OR a fortune , 3-4 truck rolls per customer as most engineers would miss it and all tests would pass. I’m sure i even raised a product alert to be told ‘ we’re doing it wrong’ ‘ or using the wrong tool’ . As previously stated , they were rubbish from day 1. You only had to look at them to know that.

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