Saturday, 1 November 2014
I am a fan of BT (British Telecom for those of you who might not know) who provide telephone and broadband services here in the UK. I have been a customer for the best part of half a century. Living in the wilds of the Scottish Outer Hebrides I am very much aware of the problems of providing services to remote communities and am always grateful for the fact that we have, generally speaking, good and relatively inexpensive communications (thanks in no small part to large Government and EC subsidies).
Many of my neighbours have little or no time for BT. So it comes as an even bigger disappointment to me when they let me down. For a long time now broadband on the Island has been very poor both in terms of speed and reliability and there have been petitions and news campaigns: all to no or little avail. Basically there is not enough capacity to meet demand and it will be a few years before the exchanges are brought up to date and new fibre-optic cables laid. I can live with poor broadband but not without it! Recently BT asked me to run some tests because their equipment was showing that I had a connection. I did and I do (at this moment). Unfortunately I couldn't run the tests on my Macbook Pro (which can connect to the router by ethernet) because the Flash Player needed updating and there was not enough capacity in the broadband signal to do so. Catch 22.
An engineer was due to visit last Thursday afternoon because there is a problem with the phone line too so that may be affecting the broadband. He didn't and there was no apology or explanation. Another call to India. Another visit arranged for Monday morning. Hopefully he will find a fault and rectify it. If he doesn't he'll be able to tell them that. The more complaints the more likely it is that action will be speeded up. Unfortunately 'the system' is such that if complaints are not made then there is no problem.