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FOI response - TfL (Read 104,281 times)
CJT-80
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Re: FOI response - TfL
Reply #30 - Mar 15th, 2011 at 10:35pm
 
bazzerfewi wrote on Mar 15th, 2011 at 4:51pm:
I am just a humble user of the telecom services and do not fully understand its implications but it appears to me that the industry is all driven by profit and the general public do not understand all the different pricing structures.

There's nothing wrong with profit that's what makes the world go around but it's all the different pricing and plans that confuses people.

It could be made easier if Ofcom put their mind to it



bazzerfewi,

I agree whole heartedly, and that is a point I will be making as part of the Ofcom consultation on Simplyfing No Geographic Numbers.

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Re: FOI response - TfL
Reply #31 - Mar 15th, 2011 at 10:51pm
 
Thanks for your support CJT-80
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WWW bazzerfewi aom@blueyonder.co.uk  
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Re: FOI response - TfL
Reply #32 - Mar 16th, 2011 at 9:59am
 
Perhaps the answer is re-nationalisation or at least removal of inter-connections between networks.

Indeed, the whole sorry mess of premium numbers masquerading as "local rate" et al could not have come about if it weren't for the move to a single multi-provider (connected) system.

Despite what people claim in this forum, I believe that in general, users of 084 numbers still think of telecoms as if BT is the norm which is why we are where we are. They apparently have a level of understanding which is below that needed in order to act as an informed consumer in a free-market.
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« Last Edit: Mar 16th, 2011 at 10:00am by Dave »  
 
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floella2
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Re: FOI response - TfL
Reply #33 - Apr 6th, 2011 at 4:25pm
 
Yes, renationalisation (of everything) is the answer. Thatcher's idealogy that privatisation would create competition and benefit the consumer was a blatant lie. What actually happened is communication, electricity, gas, housing providers etc etc etc colluded to rip us off and that is why the country is in so much debt - the money is all going in one direction, to the greedy few. Net stop, scameron and the NHS.

I appreciate this may appear off topic but in actual fact this is the real reason the 'regulators' such as ofcon (servative) are doing pretty much nothing.

Oh to anyone who blames 'new' labour for the mess, 'new' labour were in actual fact a continuation of the failed tories.
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Re: FOI response - TfL
Reply #34 - Apr 6th, 2011 at 4:36pm
 
I am not sure if anybody has raised this (I am simply looking for the latest 020 number for TfL Journey Planner as it has changed AGAIN!!!!!)

I am not a lawyer but I am curious to know whether it would breach competition rules for a Government body to quote BT prices as they are effectively advertising BT as a service provider without a mention of all others. Obviously they cannot quote ALL the service providers but this may be a sneaky method to ban government use of 08 numbers altogether.

Also, the service provider quoted would, I imagine, always be the cheapest so as to make the number appear less punitive to callers. Well if I was a marketing director that would seem logical to me anyway.

Oh yeah, regarding the 0843 Journey Planner, it is damn hypocrital of TfL to display posters warning of the risks to women using unlicensed minicabs whilst making it very difficult indeed to plan a safe way home after a night out.

Does anyone know of the new number for 0843 222 1234 please because the one listed on here no longer works.

Thanks
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Dave
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Re: FOI response - TfL
Reply #35 - Apr 6th, 2011 at 4:44pm
 
floella2 wrote on Apr 6th, 2011 at 4:36pm:
I am not sure if anybody has raised this (I am simply looking for the latest 020 number for TfL Journey Planner as it has changed AGAIN!!!!!)

[]

Does anyone know of the new number for 0843 222 1234 please because the one listed on here no longer works.

Thanks for pointing this out Floella.

I've changed this number several times over the last week or so, having checked to see if it was working. I have no requirement for this myself; I simply check for the benefit of site users.

To date you're the first person that's pointed out that the listed number is now defunct; answered with the recording that says the number has now changed to 0844... (the same message as is on 7222 1234).

The number ending 18 was only put on there yesterday.

The working numbers have been going upwards and if you add 1 to that number, it goes through to the familiar hold music. I have therefore updated the listings.
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« Last Edit: Apr 6th, 2011 at 4:51pm by Dave »  
 
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Re: FOI response - TfL
Reply #36 - Jun 29th, 2011 at 12:42am
 
Dave wrote on Dec 8th, 2010 at 11:58am:
Quote:
There is a capacity restriction on 020 numbers as it is correlated directly to the number of channels we have in our telephony system. This limits the number of calls we can handle at any one time. On the contrary, by moving onto 0843 number we have opened up this capacity using network routing, thus enabling us to enhance our at-once call handling to better serve our customers fast and efficiently. Additionally, the new non-geographic number will not only provide much needed extra capacity but will also allow callers to get through (even at the busiest of times) and their query dealt with immediately during major incidents or at times of severe travel disruption.

It would perhaps be interesting to learn of what that capacity limit is. Huh


There is none. You can have as many channels as you like on just about any number you like. We flex the number of channels up during busy periods at work and that 'flex' might be another 90 channels for 30 days.

You might run into problems when trying to add more spans from the non serving exchange, but the wonders of datafill allow you to do all kinds of things like re-map DDI's etc on the fly, you can also split off the SS7 and send that over another line all together if your demand is high enough. Adding network routing is by the by in this case (While the contact centre is in London) all calls will still transit the same bits of the PSTN and end up within the 020 cloud. If we drop the DJSU's we have bigger problems than people not being able to find out where there train is.

What they mean is they didn't want to get the from there existing provider so moved to a new provider (at the same time they moved all there internal numbers etc) they decided to get more channels off the new provider, and add a few more channel cards to there PBX... They could also be SIP trunking from there telco as well.


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« Last Edit: Jun 29th, 2011 at 12:43am by Q »  
 
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CJT-80
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Re: FOI response - TfL
Reply #37 - Jun 29th, 2011 at 10:17pm
 
Dear Q,

Thanks for your recent post, could you (for those who don't do telephone speak) please translate that into a more basic form?

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CJT-80

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Re: FOI response - TfL
Reply #38 - Jun 30th, 2011 at 8:21pm
 
Q wrote on Jun 29th, 2011 at 12:42am:
There is none. You can have as many channels as you like on just about any number you like. We flex the number of channels up during busy periods at work and that 'flex' might be another 90 channels for 30 days.


When you start getting up to running contact centres you tend to use 30 channel ISDN lines, as the name gives away you can have 30 calls going on at any one time. Easy - thats a single line usually presented as BNC plugs or an RJ45 which you plug into your phone system. As you only have one number (In this case lets presume its the old 020 7222 1234 one) the 1st call will come in on channel one, and then 2 and 3 all the way to 30. When you hit all 30 channels in use you get the busy tone (As a user calling in).

To deal with this shortage you add another ISDN30 (which gives another 30 calls) brining your total simultainious calls upto 60, if thats still not enough you add more and more and more till you cant plug any more lines into your phone system. As all the lines relate to the same number (in this case) the BT (or whoevers exchange you use) is told that any call for 020 7222 1234 should be directed down any of the channels listed within the dial plan for that route. That way you add more lines but don't need more numbers or anything like that.

If you have ever come across featureline the principle is the same, but that's done using analogue copper lines, not fully digital lines as in the world of ISDN.

Quote:
You might run into problems when trying to add more spans from the non serving exchange, but the wonders of datafill allow you to do all kinds of things like re-map DDI's etc on the fly, you can also split off the SS7 and send that over another line all together if your demand is high enough.


A span or a trunk is just another name used for the (in this case) ISDN30 lines we are talking about.

If you try and bring in 30 lines from say Wood Green exchange, and another 30 from Muswell Hill you can sometimes run into configuration problems where the telco makes a mess of things and your calls end up going to odd places. The problem is all to do with number blocks and the way there allocated, configured & routed over the network, and explains why they where so slow to offer number portability to people who wanted to keep there 'old' home phone number when they moved out of the serving exchange area.

Datafill is the the routing and config behind the public phone network. It tells exchanges how to route numbers and calls and all sorts of fun stuff. If your a big enough player in the telecomes world (or pay enough) you can have services from the telcos where you can have 1x30 channel trunk from Wood Green with the numbers 020 8521 0000 -> 0999 and a backup line from Muswell Hill that has no numbers on it. If your main line fails you can fail over and take the numbers with you onto the Muswell Hill trunk in one hit without having downtime or to re-advertise your entire number block in times of trouble.

SS7 is the guts of it all - wiki is your friend as there's a lot to cover off. When you start getting lots and lots of voice lines you need to deal with all the call setup stuff (On an ISDN line you have the 'D' channel for that) there comes a point where you can lump all of that SS7 traffic together and connect it into the public network anywhere you like (well almost) That way *all* your call setup traffic is pushed over 1 line and not split into each ISDN line. (If that makes sense)

Quote:
Adding network routing is by the by in this case (While the contact centre is in London) all calls will still transit the same bits of the PSTN and end up within the 020 cloud. If we drop the DJSU's we have bigger problems than people not being able to find out where there train is.


DJSU's are (or where as I'm not sure how many are left in traffic now) Digital Junction Switching Units. They where installed into the BT network when 'London' started getting big (Prob goes back to the 01 to 071 and 081 move) The idea of those is to keep calls within London that never need to go outside of London. Before DJSU's a call from London to London might of gone a 'long' way round phone network in order to get up the road. That was and is silly so they stuck in some extra switches at key exchanges to manage London only calls and number routing.

If the DJSU's fell offline or all broke there would be issues with the call volumes in and around London which may break other parts of the public network because thats the only way the traffic can flow.

Quote:
What they mean is they didn't want to get the from there existing provider so moved to a new provider (at the same time they moved all there internal numbers etc) they decided to get more channels off the new provider, and add a few more channel cards to there PBX... They could also be SIP trunking from there telco as well.


I spoke to TfL at length about all these changes some time ago, and part of it was they where changing there phone systems, suppliers and everything - they did it in one hit and this is the result. I can't give any details but they have numbers in the 020 3 block as apposed to the 020 7.
True its 'easier' to divert a 08xx number, and true you can get some funky services (like in-coming geographic call hand off) Think National Rail Enq - a caller from 0191 will have there call routed to a northern call centre, while someone from 020 goes to India!
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Re: FOI response - TfL
Reply #39 - Jun 30th, 2011 at 8:25pm
 
As for adding more channel cards - well see the stuff above. At some point you run out of space in your phone system, like in your PC or router when that comes its time to upgrade some more.


SIP obviously is VoIP related and people are starting to do stuff with it now to replace ISDN30 lines as it costs less and can be sold and a bundled deal with your internet provider.


The only onther thing I missed off was 'flex' its a term used to change the ammount of channels or bandwith you can flex up or down. A good example was the old ADSL ATM central's ISP's had to use to connect you to the internet.

You could start off with a 155Mbit line, but you had to upgrade it to the full 622Mbit by the end of the contract, there where ways to go up and down, and you could once your minimum term was over and done with, but there was always a lower flex limit which you could never go below.

Hope that all helps anyway - if not let me know and I'll try break things down even further.
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Re: FOI response - TfL
Reply #40 - Jun 30th, 2011 at 9:02pm
 
Q wrote on Jun 30th, 2011 at 8:21pm:
When you start getting up to running contact centres you tend to use 30 channel ISDN lines, as the name gives away you can have 30 calls going on at any one time.

Thanks for this insight.

I know that many of these phone systems in GP surgeries that use 0844 numbers have underlying geographics to deliver the calls. I tried calling a few of these we have from three phones simultaneously and they all got through, as I expected.

But could you shed any light on what the limit on the number of incoming calls will be?

If a surgery has one ISDN30, will it always allow 30 speech channels or can users rent ISDNs with less so as to save money? How many pairs does an ISDN30 occupy?
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Re: FOI response - TfL
Reply #41 - Jun 30th, 2011 at 9:24pm
 
Well I suspect the local quack won't have a full 30 channel span. They might have a couple of ISDN2's (Which is 2 channels per line) or they might use feature line or something like it.

In general;
ISDN2e = 1 copper pair
ISDN30e = Optical fiber (Though can be delivered over 1 or 2 copper pairs in some locations (normally 020 7 land)
Feature Line = 1 copper pair per voice channel
SIP = Normally 30 calls per trunk

As a rule if you buy an ISDN30 you are required to activate 15 channels minimum. You can then buy more channels till you hit all 30. Once that happens you need another line.

If you uses an ISDN2 I think the limit is 14 channels before BT will make you order a ISDN30 instead.

There is no way for an external user to know how many lines go into any given phone system. In theory there is no limit to the number of calls you can have going on at once.

There are clues, like during a busy period (Winter time in this case when everyone is ill) you could take a best guess based if you get the engaged tone and how many of the locals have complained down the pub about not getting through. Also if you visit your local quack and they still have people on a front counter actually answering the calls see what phones there using, the branding may give away what phone system it is, you can then look at basic (low cost) configurations and see what options you come out with.

If you know the geo numbers and have access to an ISDN line of your own you can watch the call setup data and that would give you a clue as to what line type is is and how many channels. I suspect your not in the telecoms world though and wouldn't be able to do that.
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Re: FOI response - TfL
Reply #42 - Jun 30th, 2011 at 9:31pm
 
Q wrote on Jun 30th, 2011 at 9:24pm:
Also if you visit your local quack and they still have people on a front counter actually answering the calls see what phones there using, the branding may give away what phone system it is, you can then look at basic (low cost) configurations and see what options you come out with.

The GP phone systems I'm talking about use IP Office if that's any help.
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Re: FOI response - TfL
Reply #43 - Jun 30th, 2011 at 10:00pm
 
It is.

Google is your friend with regards the configurations...

They might be using VoIP for there inbound number, otherwise it will be a digital line of some sort either ISDN2 or ISDN30.

I don't think those boxes can take many analogue lines in there most basic configuration. Google them and you will find all the specs and versions of the actual back end.

Depending how big a GP it is I'd take a punt at maybe 4x ISDN2 which gives 8 active voice channels at any one time. I don't know who provides the systems for them these days but you should find something on the net about it.
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Re: FOI response - TfL
Reply #44 - Jul 1st, 2011 at 2:19pm
 
Thanks again Q.

The only thing I can tell you about the incoming numbers for these GP phone systems is that they use number blocks associated with the local BT exchanges rather than BT prefixes that may be used STD code area (town) wide.

I have a question about termination charges. Where a telco that operates an NTS number, e.g. 0844, and passes calls on to geographic numbers operated by another network it presumably incurs a termination charge. Is this correct and is it likely that this will be the same as (or roughly the same as) if an OCP had passed the call directly onto the same landline number?

I imagine that a normal call that doesn't involve an NTS will look something like this (Figure 1):

[Caller]---[Caller's telco]---[x]---[Receiver's landline telco]---[Receiver]

[x] is the point of interconnection where the termination payment occurs.

I accept that there are transit operators involved sometimes, but let's keep it as simple as we can!

Where an NTS number is used (that terminates onwards to another operator's number), will it look like this? (Figure 2):

[Caller]---[Caller's telco]---[x]---[NTS telco]---[y]---[Receiver's landline telco]---[Receiver]

Am I right in assuming that the termination charge at point [y] in Figure 2 will be the same as that at point [x] in Figure 1? And if so, hence why it is that 03 providers charge because they have to terminate calls on other networks?
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