BT has coughed to a crappy glitch with its Home Hub 3A router that is blocking some VPN connections.
However, the one-time state monopoly appears to have taken a long time to acknowledge customer gripes, which have been piling up for weeks.
BT said it had taken a while to respond to individual complaints because it was essentially compiling a dossier so it could pinpoint the technical blunder.
That's despite the fact that subscribers had been saying since early March that their VPN connections were going titsup ever since BT upgraded its kit with a new firmware version.
On Wednesday, BT said in a lengthy thread on its customer forum:
The Hub team have asked us to pass on their huge thanks for all the help you have given us. The details you have provided have been key to getting to the bottom of what was going on here.
As you guys thought, the new firmware (184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.37) has introduced an interop issue between the Home Hub 3A and certain types of VPN configuration.
We are currently working on a resolution to this and will roll out a change to the Hub as soon as possible, but this will take time.
In the short term while we’re working on this we can suggest connecting to your BT Wi-Fi connection as a workaround for this issue. If you are still having problems having tried this workaround please let us know and we will offer further support.
The Register has been told by a number of readers that BT had initially fobbed them off about the cockup.
Some were apparently advised that they needed to buy new routers to resolve the problem, which – the customers who contacted us claimed – involved being locked into new 12- or 24-month contracts with BT.
We on the Networks desk at Vulture Central are delighted to see that the company is finally accepting the blame for this snafu. BT told El Reg:
BT can confirm that new firmware update has introduced an issue between the Home Hub 3A and certain types of VPN configuration. We are currently working on a resolution to this and will roll out a change to the Hub as soon as possible, but this will take time.
Meanwhile, it would seem that BT is fighting to wrest the title of "SuperFail" from Virgin Media – which was previously regularly appearing in these pages in connection with its router woes. In February, BT said it was "puzzled" after some Infinity customers complained about being abruptly disconnected from the fibre broadband network when using the telco's Home Hub 5 wireless router. ®