The Anonymous Widower

I’ve Given In

I said in this post, that a Sky Satellite dish is so yesterday.

However, as I have received a letter from BT on the subject of broadband, I decided that the best solution would be to get a dish to get reasonable sports on my television.

The letter from BT is a classic, and it is only thanks to my MP that I got a reply.

Here’s one section.

I’ve been in touch with our supplier, Openreach to ask about Mr. Miller’s situation. Unfortunately, he’s currently unable to get fibre broadband as his phone line is routed directly from the exchange to his premises.

Openreach have confirmed that the Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) technology which they have deployed needs a fibre-enabled street cabinet to supply the service. But because Mr. Miller is located very close to the exchange and is fed directly from it, i.e. not via a street cabinet, this unfortunately means that he can’t have the fibre product at present.

So the solution to my fibre broadband problem, is to move further from the telephone exchange.

I am a qualified electrical engineer and do understand the technology, the problem and the solutions. So I can’t help but find their statement mildly amusing.

But I suppose to actually be honest about the problem, as BT has been in the end, after a kicking from my MP, would only chase customers away to other broadband suppliers, who of course because of my local loop problem, can’t actually deliver the product that everybody wants.

In my view, there should be an on-line database that everyone can access, that shows the phone and broadband standard and quality, that is available at every house or business premises in the country. After all, you might find the ideal building for your new offices and it would be prudent to confirm the status of the phones and broadband before you made an offer.

But why stop at phones and broadband, as it would be much better if all the other services were listed as well.

October 23, 2013 Posted by | Computing, World | , , , , | 2 Comments

Londoners Still Love The Hackney Eight

I was coming home from the Angel last night, when one of the Hackney Eight showed its distinctive shape coming from the direction of Saddlers Wells.

As it approached the stop, prospective passengers walked past the 56 that many of them, like me, could have taken and waited for a few seconds for the New Bus for London to arrive.

Why don’t Transport for London do the right thing and convert route 38 to the new buses?

But then us plebs in Hackney don’t count for much, as BT have shown by their non-delivery of fibre-optic broadband.

If the 38 went to Archway in Islington, it would have been converted by now!


September 26, 2013 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Sky Satellite Dish Is So Yesterday

I’ve just looked up what football matches, I can watch over the next few days, through my steam-driven broadband, BT Sport and Freeview.

Tonight, BT are showing Wigan, whilst ITV4 is showing Swansea and Tottenham. All in the Uefa Cup. As I’m seeing Wigan on Sunday, as I’m going to see Ipswich play there, it’s rather a no-brainer, which matches I’ll watch.

Tomorrow, I’m busy in Liverpool, but the only match is on BT and it’s a German one.  I’m not that sad yet!

Saturday, BT are showing a Premier League match, but as it’s Norwich, I assume they are going to pay me to watch it! Later I might want to watch Fulham on Sky, but obviously I can’t!

Sunday has some good matches on Sky, but I’m on the train going to Wigan and back to watch Ipswich. At least Virgin’s trains are higher up the speed and reliability scale compared to their broadband.

So BT Sport’s deal of free football with broadband, is equivalent to a supermarket giving away burgers made of horsemeat. It may look good, but it’s not what you want.

I’m almost getting to the point where I put up a satellite dish for Sky.

But that is yesterday’s old technology and I would only rip it out again, when fibre optic broadband became available.  I’ve no objections to Sky as a company, as they gave me good service, when I lived in Suffolk.

Fibre-optic broadband would give me everything I want.  But when will someone deliver it to me? Or is Hackney too rural for it to be hooked up? On the other hand if Innerleithen, in the Scottish Borders can have fibre optic broadband, why can’t I?

BT are keeping the delivery date secret! Which of course means I can’t plan!

I have written to my MP, Meg Hillier, who is also the member for Silicon Roundabout and Shoreditch. She said this in a letter to me.

I am very aware of issues around broadband in Hackney, particularly in the Tech City area around Shoreditch. The growth of these cutting edge businesses in my constituency  is an exciting addition but I am very concerned that the infrastructure to support their tech needs is not in place. 

She obviously has more clout than any Hackney resident, so if you have a desperate need for fibre-optic broadband, I’d send her an e-mail.  The best way is to use WriteToThem.

September 19, 2013 Posted by | Computing, Sport, World | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Disappointing BT Sport

As a BT broadband customer, who used to get Sky Sports through them, I am disappointed with their new BT Sports.  The only decent football matches are on Saturday lunchtime, when I’m travelling to see Ipswich, either home or away. The solution is probably fibre-optic broadband, but I can’t get this where I live, within walking distance of the City of London.

August 24, 2013 Posted by | Computing, Sport | , , | 1 Comment

Two Days Junk Mail From Virgin Media

They may have been inefficient at fixing my phone problems in the past, but they certainly know how to get junk mail through my door.

Two Days Junk Mail From Virgin Media

Two Days Junk Mail From Virgin Media

I’ve also read, that they still haven’t concluded a deal with BT so that their TV customers can get the matches BT has the rights to.

Most of the junk mail was addressed to that person, who doesn’t live here, the Mr. D.E.A.R. Householder.

Anything, marked without my name is instantly put into the green sack for recycling. Perhaps I should hang one outside for the postman!

May 11, 2013 Posted by | Computing, Sport | , , | Leave a comment

BT Are Making A Big Play For Customers

BT seem to be pulling out the stops to get customers to use their broadband services to get sporting TV, and especially football.

BT Are Making A Big Play For Customers

BT Are Making A Big Play For Customers

As I’m a customer of BT Vision, I don’t need to do anything.

May 11, 2013 Posted by | Computing, Sport | , , | Leave a comment

Are Virgin Media the Worst Junk Mailers?

Every few weeks, I get one of these through the post, delivered by the Royal Mail.

Unwanted Mail from Virgin Media

I have registered with the Mail Preference Service and I do have sign which says No Junk Mail. But the mail is addressed to the Occupier, which is apparently not covered by any rules. Perhaps, I should send it on to the Occupy London people.

Virgin shouldn’t really worry, as except for their trains, I don’t and won’t use any of their products. And anyway Virgin Media is expensive.

February 7, 2012 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Cutting Debts

I was listening yesterday to the BBC’s morning phone-in and they were talking about debts and especially how people have got into trouble over Christmas.

If I look at my finances over the last year, they have improved somewhat and I felt that although I’m living on my savings until my house is sold, I’ve probably got almost a year more before my avings run out, than when I moved here in December 2010.

So what major savings have I made.

The first is the the television, phones and broadband.  I like Sky Sports, and the big saving is that I can’t have an obvious dish here, as it’s a Conservation Area. Although, I could probably hide one on the roof! I did try Virgin by cable to get Sky Sports 1 and 2.  Now I’ve switched to BT Vision with of course Freeview. I now pay about £50 a month to get phone calls, broadband and Sky Sports 1 and 2.

I don’t seem to miss out on watching anything I want to, but the saving is a thousand on Virgin Media and a couple of thousand compared to Sky.

Note that I only rarely watch films on television and generally stick to the four BBC channels, the two Sky Sports channels and radio.

The biggest saving is not having a car. I don’t miss it one bit, although perhaps it would have helped on Christmas Day to get to my son’s.  But with the amount of money I save, I can afford the occasional black cab or mini-cab.

Getting rid of the car has other benefits too in addition to the obvious financial and logistical ones.

You walk a lot more, which is obviously good for you. I always walk with my eyes open too and I see things in shop windows that I might like to buy to improve my lifestyle or things that are just interesting in the street.

Walking is a real joy in a city and in no way inferior to walking in the country.  In fact, I think it is more thought-provoking.

So how many people with serious debt problems have still got the expensive television, the full Sky and an expensive car?

December 30, 2011 Posted by | Finance | , , , , , | 1 Comment

BT Broadband/Vision and Virgin Media Compared – Prices

A couple of months ago, I compared the two systems for getting TV and broadband.

The only thing, I didn’t have was any sensible price comparison. My last seven months of Virgin cost me an avverage of  £132.75 and I’ve just paid my first BT bill without any setup charges.  It was £45.85, which is a saving of about a thousand pounds by using BT instead of Virgin.

I’m also still getting junk mail from Virgin.

November 21, 2011 Posted by | World | , , , , , | 2 Comments

BT Broadband/Vision and Virgin Media Compared

When I first moved, I went the Virgin Media route and subscribed to Sky Sports 1 and 2.

A couple of months ago, I threw the cable out, as Virgin Media couldn’t give me a working landline telephone.

I now have BT broadband, with which I use BT Vision to get the same Sky channels.

I don’t regret the changes one bit.

  1. BT is much cheaper.  Not sure totally how much, as I haven’t had a bill with all my landline calls. It looks like it might be about £70 compared to £130 for Virgin.
  2. The BT service appears to be more reliable.  Virgin cable seemed to go up and down like a whore’s drawers. Perhaps this was partly due to the state of their boxes in the street, which had had the doors removed.
  3. Since I signed up with BT, I think I’ve only had one spam e-mail or leaflet in the mail. Virgin still keep sending them, although in the last week, they seem to have stopped. Perhaps, they’ve got the message.
  4. With BT, if I lose broadband, I still have the TV without Sky through Freeview.
  5. I know this is personal taste, but I think the BT website is easier to use. The login is certainly better.

So bye-bye Virgin and never may you grace my door again.

I suspect though it will be all irrevelant in the future, who your broadband supplier is. You’ll get all your TV channels other than the free-to-air ones on subscription of some sort through it.

I suspect too, that you’ll be able to subscribe to advert-free versions of things like Sky. At a premium of course.

October 16, 2011 Posted by | Computing | , , , , , | 6 Comments