Network threat for Orange Broadband

Orange has been warned to fix its broadband problems or risk losing ground in the cut-throat high-speed internet market.

The telecoms giant was flooded with complaints last week after a “major national outage” left scores of users unable to connect to the internet for more than two days.

Orange blamed the problem on a “network equipment failure”. But Ian Watt, senior analyst at Enders Analysis, says: “Network failures are something that can hit any of the providers. It becomes a problem when you get an above-average number of them.

“Orange is a strong brand but it seems to have lost its way recently. If it doesn’t get on top of these customer service problems quickly, and they could become a serious issue.”

Orange says the failure only affected customers within its Local Loop Unbundled (LLU) network. The company has 2 million internet subscribers, with 1 million using its broadband service. Not all of its broadband users are on an LLU network.

Orange started offering broadband earlier this year after parent group France Telecom merged the company with internet service provider Wanadoo.

Watt thinks part of the problem is that Orange has to follow a pan-European strategy directed from Paris. “Orange has got to start making some announcements that actually have a bit of an impact in the broadband market,” he adds.

“It just doesn’t seem to be keeping up with the pace. It’s already having a bad time and this is another problem, and something it has got to counteract.”

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