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TalkTalk broadband hit by huge demand

Carphone now has 1.4 million unbundled broadband and phone customers

According to a report by The Independent newspaper, Carphone Warehouse would appear to be grappling with the weight of demand for its Talk Talk broadband service. The high street store now has 2.5 million broadband customers in total including those signed up to AOL, the UK arm of which Carphone owns.

Worst hit appears to be the outer London area which means that systems are "grinding to a halt" according to a complaints team member interviewed by the newspaper. Complaints are thought to be in the thousands, with many having connectivity problems.

Unbundling not helping

The company admits that exchanges are "affected by intermittent bandwidth problems." Thinkbroadband suggests this is due to Opal Telecom, a Carphone Warehouse company, missing deadlines to upgrade the network capacity.

Many of the customers in this area are using combined phone and broadband services (known as 'unbundled', as they are unbundled from BT) which put extra strain on the Opal network. Carphone says it now has 1.4m unbundled customers now - representing 55 per cent of its total broadband user base.

Carphone announced its half year profits earlier this month including a pre-tax profit of £56m. And that's before all those iPhone sales and including a £7 million cost for integrating AOL Broadband customers.