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Terrible infrastructure,why do we need to put up with it??

SidSnot66
Dabbler
Posts: 24
Registered: 07-10-2011

Terrible infrastructure,why do we need to put up with it??

I have not long returned from a break in  Belgium/Dutch border area.While there i used the internet and played games online and it was an eye opener, i am amazed at the quality and stability of the service and yet i was in the countryside and not a town or city.The price was slightly higher than what we pay over here and with similar plans.What surprised me is i have since found out that Belgiums ISPs  aren't even amongst the best providers on the continent, seriously being outdone by Belgium ,really !!! What has this country come to??Personally i believe that we, as customers, have sat back too long and accepted BTs sloth like speed when it comes to upgrading the phone and broadband infrastructure, they seem to want to keep the profits but not spend on the upkeep of their services, afterall the government did sell it off at an incredibly ridiculous price when it was privatised.
So now , what im going to do is , and i urge others to do likewise , I am going to write to my MSP and insist that he pushes BT forward and faster with their supposed upgrade of my own exchange, and demand that they give him a credible timeline of instalment , i do have one card up my sleeve, i have spoken to all of my neighbours and they too have spoke of their frustration with poor internet and telephone services, so it has inspired me to produce a leaflet which im going to hand to the mothers and fathers at my kids schools and get feed back and support from them, as well as posting some leaflets at my local library/community centres(2 of)....i'll let you all know how i get on
17 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 13,924
Thanks: 515
Fixes: 8
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Terrible infrastructure,why do we need to put up with it??

Well what do you expect? - This is the United Krumble!
We don't do anything properly anymore. Its just the bare minimum provided by those at the cheapest price offering their service with huge cost cutting measures tomaximise their own profits. Nothing good comes from economies like that.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
x47c
Grafter
Posts: 878
Registered: 14-08-2009

Re: Terrible infrastructure,why do we need to put up with it??

Perhaps you cannot remember when BT was totally in public ownership?
In effect all the "profits" when to the government - so they could waste it instead
There was no investment AT ALL in the infrastructure.
That is why we have dodgy aluminium instead of copper in the telphone cabling, cos it was cheap in the 1970's so they used it.
That why the cables were laid direct in the ground and not in ducts - 'cos it was cheaper/easier.
That is why when my phone went off in the 1980's - I had to wait for a week+ before they came to fix it.  Now when it happens it's a matter of a day at max and on one occassion it was fixed in a matter of hours.
With all due to respect to you, you seem to have no concept of the costs of doing some things or that the UK is one of the most over populated countries in the EU.
We are not like say Denmark with 5m population - we have near 70m.  That's a lot of properties to wire up, not to mention the backhaul capacity to install to service some 25million plus homes.
You try and look under some streets in the UK and what with the sewers,rain water drainage, gas, water, electric, telephones, you try and even find space to fit another duct with fibre optic even in it....and I haven't even mentioned tree roots to avoid and mysterious pipes found where no one knows what they do.    Oh, and lets not mention the traffic chaos while it is being done - and those who moan about that aspect.
I'm sure BT would love to stop wasting time fixing all the crap infrastructure built when it was in public ownership - and instead focus on bringing up to date broadband - but they can't because they spent so much time fixing people's dodgy phone lines.
Then there is the vandalism..........copper thefts etc.
I have heard costs mentioned to totally fibre up the UK of £40billion - where is the money going to come from one asks when we pay £6 per household per month for a broadband service - I mean I ask you - I'd multiply it by 10.
Do you remember the 50p/month levy proposed to be imposed on phone lines to help pay for some of this - there were howls of outrage........says it all to me really.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,345
Thanks: 609
Registered: 23-09-2010

Re: Terrible infrastructure,why do we need to put up with it??

Sadly we have gotten used to paying the highest prices for the worst services on many things.
Nothing will change until we stop putting up with standing in queues as though companies are doing us a favour just deeming to serve us.
In any industry larger numbers always equate to lower prices, better services, and bigger profits. All we get here is bigger profits and higher prices.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Terrible infrastructure,why do we need to put up with it??

and not just standing in queues but being in a never ending telephone queue and when you do get through the person on the other end either cannot help you or has an accent you cannot understand.
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
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Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Terrible infrastructure,why do we need to put up with it??

Can I remind people that BT is not the only telecommunications company in the UK and OFTEL (now OFCOM) stopped BT upgrading the infrastructure to allow the cable company (now Virgin Media) to have a technical advantage over BT so that they can offer services which BT could not. Now that these restrictions have been removed BT now can offer TV services.
Steve
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 6,696
Thanks: 249
Registered: 13-07-2009

Re: Terrible infrastructure,why do we need to put up with it??

Quote from: x47c
With all due to respect to you, you seem to have no concept of the costs of doing some things or that the UK is one of the most over populated countries in the EU.
We are not like say Denmark with 5m population - we have near 70m. 
I wonder why that is?
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,826
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Registered: 24-09-2008

Re: Terrible infrastructure,why do we need to put up with it??

Sometimes I wonder if the ‘element of competition’ is such a good thing.
I don’t know anybody who hasn’t got broadband (who can get it and wants it). Yet the ISP’s continue to advertise, surely the ISP’s must realise they are ‘churning’ the same customers. The only way they could expand their customer base is to improve the services and delivery BB services to the many who ‘just can’t get it’.
Same with Gas and Electricity, in retrospect I think it was wrong to privatise them, because of ‘profits, dividends, management bonuses and advertising’ comparatively the cost per unit of Gas or Electricity is more now than it was pre-privatisation.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Terrible infrastructure,why do we need to put up with it??

I Guess there are arguments for both sides of this, at one time a lot of people who worked for the government had jobs for life and they were almost impossible to get rid off if the were unable to do the work correctly but in private companies they would soon get rid of you.
Equally private companies are about survival and that comes down to profit which can easily move into  "greed" as can be seen with the profits made by some of them but these days things are changing fast and with more competition consumers have greater choice in most areas and it is the  combined purchasing power of customers that can lead to the quickest change.
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,547
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Terrible infrastructure,why do we need to put up with it??

If I compare my broadband experience with what I get in Spain there is no competition.  We win on all scores. The Spanish telecoms is unbelievably poor in comparision.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,345
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Registered: 23-09-2010

Re: Terrible infrastructure,why do we need to put up with it??

Quote from: journeys
Same with Gas and Electricity, in retrospect I think it was wrong to privatise them, because of ‘profits, dividends, management bonuses and advertising’ comparatively the cost per unit of Gas or Electricity is more now than it was pre-privatisation.

I don't think that privatisation was the problem. The real problem was that, unlike some other countries, we allowed foreign companies to buy our core utilities.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 24-09-2008

Re: Terrible infrastructure,why do we need to put up with it??

Quote from: billnotben
we allowed foreign companies to buy our core utilities.

Good point,
all those management charges going out=zero profit=nil tax
Community Veteran
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Registered: 21-03-2011

Re: Terrible infrastructure,why do we need to put up with it??

Pre-privatisation with GPO/BT back in the eighties it would take BT a minimum of ten weeks to install a business phone circuit in the City of London (Square Mile). Mercury Telecoms, now part of Cable and Wireless came along and cut down the installation time to 10 days and the cost was much lower. The nationalised company performance was so bad that we had a Director whose unofficial role was to bribe GPO/BT engineers to install lines quickly (typically 10 days). Thankfully in these more enlightened times bribery does not exist and the BT standard installation time is 35 working days from the date of a written order.
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
alanb
Grafter
Posts: 459
Registered: 24-05-2007

Re: Terrible infrastructure,why do we need to put up with it??

Yes, this happened in all sort of ways.
A company I worked for about 25 years ago has a large BT PABX. BT would not allow our telecommunications staff to do anything to it, even minor programming changes had to be done by a 'qualified' BT 'engineer'. Consequently, the company ended up paying for BT personnel to be on-site at all times. It was handy though, because the BT people knew how to get round the red-tape and were often instrumental in getting other telephony matters dealt with quicker than they might otherwise have been.
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,322
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Registered: 21-03-2011

Re: Terrible infrastructure,why do we need to put up with it??

The company I worked for had a technique of installation planning involving the local strip club, copious beer/whisky and brown paper envelopes....
Nowadays you raise the install order by email to your ever changing account manager and hope the central Help Desk will provide information if the service doesn't arrive. Accurately predicting engineer arrival times involves a Ouija Board.
However to get back to the original post - dear old Gordon Brown missed an excellent opportunity to "fibre" the country when he squandered the windfall revenue of circa £25 Billion from the mobile phone bandwidth auctions. If he'd done that we'd be in a much better competitive position now with a fully developed online economy.
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.