Not a moan about HS2, although when that becomes an election issue it should be fun in the Home Counties, but yet another gripe about BT.
BT Group, which comprises BT Retail who you get your phone from, BT Wholesale who sell wholesale services to other providers and BT Openreach who "own" all the cables and such. But, all one company, one share price. They have to trade in this way to make it fair for competitors like TalkTalk and Sky, and what this means is that people in BT Retail have no idea what BT Openreach are doing, which helps exactly nobody in anyway at all.
My Broadband at home is and always has been appalling, and I know the technical reasons why but that doesn't stop my frustrations. I have two phone lines and broadband connections at home as one is just not good enough to run a couple of PCs and tablets etc, and as for downloading catch up TV and box sets, simply not possible.
So imagine my joy when a few months ago outside the house there were Openreach vans and men all over the place, digging up roads and going down holes - it could surely only mean that fibre was being installed and we would be able to download an album in less than an hour and maybe watch a youtube video without waiting 20 minutes for it to start.
I went and checked with the guys, and yes, it was all being installed, and all ready to go very soon they said, so I went on line and checked, but nothing could be found. Since then I have spent the last couple of months trying to get sense out of BT as to when we will get fibre, with absolutely no success. Even today according to the Openreach site the exchange is "under review" which means my cabinet is being assessed to see if it can be upgraded, despite the fact it has been.
BT Retail can't even say that much, all they can say is to register on line and I will be updated as and when there is any change.
A couple of weeks ago people arrived again and put stickers on all the new cabinets, as shown in the pic.
Pretty definitive really as to what they are saying. All nice and clear, with the Openreach logo all confirming fibre is here, but it is still not possible to order it at all. For clarity, all providers except Virgin have to buy it from BT, so nobody can do anything or sell any services until BT decide to update their systems.
So far just a standard moan about BT, but that is not actually my issue. If it was just BT being inefficient it would still be annoying, but as a private company they can do as they like really - as broadband in the UK is not guaranteed or regulated they can pretty much lay whatever cables they like. On the pic if you look closely it references Connected Counties which is the local agency set up to roll out "rural broadband". This is funded by the state to roll out high speed access to rural areas.
I live on an estate that is ten years old in a major town. Not at all sure how that classes as rural, but what it means is that BT have been paid by the government to install this service, with no need to ever pay the money back, and yet they still can't manage it well. If you look at the list linked here - Openreach - you will see that BT have every single contract, so are getting paid by the state to do what is actually their business.
That is why I am annoyed. To use the service as and when it ever gets agreed by the various parts of BT that they have installed it I am going to have to pay BT for it, even though tax money has paid for the install to be done. Like the railways, this is nothing like privatisation as most imagine it - multi billion pound profit making companies being given state handouts, and managing it badly.
Not a bad deal for BT really.