Monday, January 18, 2016

Dear David et al

Apologies for tardiness regarding posts,

Up to our eyes in it at the moment with the opening skirmishes of the perennial battle with the forces of crack willow in which I have once again been joined by Lord Ludgershall.

Reports despatched from the front line, and will be up on here the moment the pigeon lands, there's no censorship here.

By way of a commercial break, and if anyone out there wants to give me money for logos between posts, I'm happy to pimp most things. Here's a letter we chucked together last week and sent to Flash, Citizen Jez, our own MP and many people at the nation's premier supplier of telecommunications via the medium of poles and lines
We had a nice reply from Flashy's man, and "la Nokes", our active MP, left a very nice voicemail, intimating that she was on the case. Jez is a bit busy with submarines at the moment, and didn't the Beatles try this kind of thing in the sixties and how soon before Jez pipes up at QMT " I have a letter from Chris in Hampshire who wants to know why all our submarines are not painted yellow"

Effective opposition anyone?

Anyway, we await a response from our friends at the telecommunication company, although we have made a point of ignoring any calls flagged up as International.

Why Maureen, Why?

Never can a company have been so undeserving

Stable Cottage
Barton Stacey
SO21 3QJ
01962 760442

7th January 2016

Forgive me for writing as I am sure you are very busy, and my problems must be small beer in comparison to the main business of your day, but I am at the end of my wits and am inclined to draw your attention to my own situation regarding broadband service, for which I apologise in advance.

Some years ago, my family and I were pleased to make our first connection to what we were promised was the future of internet connection, a broadband service via poles and lines that allowed us to surf the internet and answer phone calls simultaneously.
For a short period things went well and we walked tall, confident in the knowledge that we were at the forefront of contemporary technology.

And then the wind blew.

Our line went crackly and the internet ran away.

Many hours were spent on the phone, filters were changed and eventually a man came out to fiddle with a connection, and internet returned.

And then it rained, and the internet went away again

Many hours were spent on the phone, filters were changed and eventually a man came out to fiddle with a connection, and internet returned.
My children began their secondary school education, and the internet became essential. There was homework to be completed, research to be undertaken and pieces of work to be submitted

And then a brief zephyr sent the internet away again.

Many hours were spent on the phone, filters were changed and eventually a man came out to fiddle with a connection, and internet returned, but by now my children were accustomed to spending evenings at other peoples' houses or in school to do their school work and my wife and I occasionally huddled together in the garden of a neighbouring garden to blag some internet from a nearby holiday cottage.

This pattern continued for over a year before the leading provider of telecommunications via poles and lines to these Isles agreed that something should be done.

And at this point, I'll let in a little light on our location.

We live forty miles from, what some would have, as the greatest city on earth. Yes it's rural, but we are a minute from a major road network in the south of England betwixt a town and city each five miles away, both of which have a population of over seventy thousand and rising
The ancient telegraphic spur that runs a mile down the lane to feed three houses, including our own home was initially put in to serve the main house of the village and its staff quarters with the first phone line to the area. Some years later the remainder of the village were provided with a phone box from a different telephone exchange before all of the houses were connected up to the supply which currently provides a perfectly use-able broadband supply to the remainder of the village including our next door neighbour.

During the process of deciding on what course of action to take, my exhortations to connect to next door's supply thirty yards away albeit to a different exchange, were met by obfuscation and a dead bat, and the telecommunications company’s planning department decreed that twenty five poles and a mile and a half of line must be replaced in order to preserve this ancient telegraphic spur to these three houses on the very limit of being able to receive a broadband supply ( 7.5 km from the exchange) rather than put one pole in the ground, bury a bit of cable and connect to the other exchange that supplies the property next door from a closer exchange with a reliable broadband supply.

By this time my children had completed their school studies (mostly at other people's homes) and were off to University. Our broadband service via the new twenty five poles and line remained close to unusable and I developed an eye condition usually associated with steroid abuse or stress. It's a tranquil life on the river where I work and the withered husk that remains of my form is testament to a life free of steroids, the condition was attributed entirely to my dealings with BT (sorry name popped out there) over many years. This coincided with a lengthy exchange of emails with the head Office of BT (oops done it again) and I received contrite replies, a small refund, and we both agreed to part company.

Six months later, my eyesight returned to what it was before the BT broadband debacle.

For three years, the lady who sleeps on my left and I got by on 15GB of 3G mobile internet a month for around £20.

Youtube, live streaming and internet TV were but a dream that we occasionally experienced on holiday (nine miles up a single track road in the north of Scotland, an hour off mainland Croatia, fishing on a tributary of the Loire)

But we were content with our daily checking of emails and purchases on eBay.

And then the children returned.

Having wallowed in a surfeit of gigabytes available in the urban environment, our 15GB was done in a night. Monthly charges for extra gigabytes are punitive and for a few months the monthly bill for our mobile internet service approached £200, which to us is a lot of money, as we don't live in the big house. I am the riverkeeper/gamekeeper and my wife works in the local school.

We have been forced to return to the service provided by the ancient telegraphic spur that serves these three houses, and now it doesn't work. It is unable to cope with modern internet life. When it was just about working and filling our home with 0.5 mb of internet it took over twenty four hours to download a copy of a newspaper to which I subscribe,

yesterday’s news today, if you will.

Two months ago our 0.5mb died altogether.

I once again revisited the circus that is BT customer service, my first three attempts to register a broadband fault lasted almost three weeks and resulted in line engineers arriving to fix a telephone fault

Broadband was not their thing, line faults were their bag.

Further attempts to book a broadband engineer began to make my eye twitch and I resolved to try for a couple more weeks before once again washing my hands of the shower that is the leading supplier of telecommunications via poles and lines to these Isles and resigning myself to the crippling cost of providing an internet service for my family via the mobile network.

We have since been visited three times by Broadband engineers, all of whom gave of their best, but could not restore the 0.5mb supply and departed scratching their heads at the decision taken five years ago to replace twenty odd totems and a mile and a bit of line rather than connect to the neighbouring exchange via a pole thirty yards away providing what would pass as a reasonable broadband connection for the countryside.

For the past two months I have paid for a broadband supply but received not one byte. At no point have I been offered a refund or any genuine sympathy been shown to our plight. I have suffered the stress of having to deal with a company that takes obfuscation as its watch word and holds its customers in contempt. I have been informed that BT will be in touch to advise me of their next course of action, but I won’t hold my breath.

I know a couple of planners, and am aware of the fine line that must be trod by in order to progress our Isle as it fills up and the hours that must be put in to achieve that end. I am not convinced that the BT planning/heritage department put in the required research, when they made the decision five years ago to maintain an ancient telegraphic spur a mile or more long with the ropiest of internet connections, rather than connect to a supply a few yards away albeit to a different exchange,


To recap: Forty miles from one of the greatest cities on earth - BT broadband supply via Poles and Lines 0 – 0.5mb.

Places that members of our family have experienced a far faster internet connection during the past five years:

Greek Islands (who’d a thought with their economy)
Croatian Islands (keen to join the high rollers of the European Union)
A riverbank an hour north of Inverness, nine miles up a single track road
A riverbank in the Sologne, a long way from anywhere
Bologna, Florence, Genoa, Rheims, Dublin
Most of the Balkans, where Child A was backpacking last October

Internet supply from exchange 7.5km from our home to which we are connected: 0-0.5mb
Internet supply from exchange 2km from our homen to which next door are connected: 8-12mb

Why are we still connected to the former?

Yours in much frustration and a dearth/absence of internet supply

A family of four, on average household wage paying up to £200 per month to receive low quality 3G mobile broadband supply

Superfast broadband indeed

Chris de Cani

on behalf of Rachel, Maisie, William and Otis de Cani

I promise that I will do my best
To do my duty to God and to the Queen (crikey! the commitments we made back in the day,I may need to revisit that one)
To help other people (still holds)
And to keep the cub scout law

a late amendment to the Cub scout law: I promise to post any replies I receive, on internet supply, submarines or otherwise.

This post has been brought to you via the medium of a decidedly shaky mobile broadband supply,

No poles or lines

Definitely no poles and lines


testvalleybirder said...

Chris ....

Saw this (link below) in the paper recently. Read the BIO of John Petter (BT Chief Exec) - maybe you should email him.

Good luck

Test Valley River Keeper said...

Hi Richard

Thank you for that I will drop him a line and thanks for reading the rubbsh that I write