PlusNet Usertools news archive - 2004

Please note: This page is no longer being being maintained, the content is being kept for refererence

Follow these links to the news stories from 2004.

After time with little changes, we have a lot to talk about today, from some recent additions, changes through to new tools.

Navigation and Service status

You may have noticed by now, that the current Service Status conditions can be found at the right of your screen, along with the navigation links ont he left changing.

The navigation has never looked the same since we changed the layout of the website a few months back, so we decided to split the links into there own boxes. We think this looks much nicer and hope you do too

Exchanges checker

After previous annoucments stating more information would be made available, then a change of heart with information removed, we are now in a possition to offer that extended information.

The Exchange Capacity was not the originaly intended improvment. However, it is now here, and will help those customers intending to move to broadband, see if or not there exchange has available capacity for there line to be attached to.

This information is being made available after an increase in the number of people reporting that there order has been put on hold, or rejected due to lack of capacity.

Quick links

After some requests, we are please to offer a system somewhat like TinyURL. Feed it a long URL, and it will give you a shorter one, that won't upset forum modertors or break document formatting due to the lenth.

This tool can be accessed Here

Service status by SMS

After some public beta trials, we are now releasing this tool to whoever wants to use it. It provides Service Status information via SMS text message, as and when they are published.

This is a chargable service, and SMS messages are not free to send however, costs are at a minimum. The more you buy, the cheaper they are.

News archive

As with all things long, they can get hard to manage and hard to read. As such, we have now archived off some of our front page stories. These can be found using the archive link on the left, and include all stories for the past year. Other years can be accessed from the archive (we are not 1 years old yet, so little point looking for one yet).

For some time now, BT have stopped supplying data needed to calculate which exchanges are effected by Planned Engineering Works. This has resulted in the PEW plugin for the exchange checker showing green for all exchanges, which isn't true.

Due to this, we have disabled this information from any results displayed, which should help speed the whole system up a little too.

If in the future the information becomes available again, we will return it to display.

Having been around since December 03, when BT admitted to issues caused by the launch of the Home 1000 product, our status checker has served the needs of almost 17,500 people since the middle of March alone.

Since that time, questions have been asked surrounding the exact nature and wording used. As a result, we have redesigned the tool and launched it with some new features.

Along with the ability to see the existing speed capacity status, you now have the ability to see upcoming planned engineering works scheduled at your exchange. Included with both of these, are historical data, so you can see information you may have previously missed.

That is not all. In the upcoming weeks, we are going to add a snapshot of major service outages. This will allow you to see if you are possibly effected by issues in BT's network.

One downside to the new checker however, is that the existing statistics are being taken offline. The existing method of generation was clumsy and no longer compatible with the new system. We do hope to bring these back though, once we decide on the information required, the best format and make them compatible.

Following requests from users on the portal forums, the team behind the PlusNet Users Site ( are pleased to announce the launch of a new Internet Chat Facility on the site. This facility enables users to engage with one another in "Real Time".

To make use of the new service, users can make use of a "Web Based" chat facility, at However, PlusNet customers can make use of the server in their own preferred IRC client, by using "" as the Server Name and the default port of 6667.

Please note, that support can not be provided by PlusNet Support for this service, and any issues should be raised with the UserTools Team using the address on the IRC Page.

As per the service status announcement today, webstats from this time forward are now being zipped into a more transfer manageable format on the homepages server.

The downside to this will mean that users that generate their own statistics from these logfiles, will need to add a step to decompress the file.

PlusNet have been kind enough to supply a script that will do the download for you. You can download a copy of this from here. Simply change the four values located towards the top.