Sunday, 3 April 2011


Last Thursday we noticed our download speed had decreased from the normal heady heights of about 500 Kbps to about 90 if we were lucky.  Although we were still receiving email, using Remote Desktop or the Internet generally was simply hopeless.

My heart sank (we've been through this frustrating process before).

We called our phone service provider.  A BT engineer eventually spoke to us Saturday and although he tested the line and said it was fine (we had deduced that as we were talking on it and it was as clear as a bell), he said there was nothing else he could do for us.  His hands were tied.

We knew that in our nearest village of Maenclochog the Post Office, Sarah's Newsagents and General Stores and Ysgol Gymunedol Maenclochog were affected (the village is over three miles from us) and we also knew all our neighbours were in trouble.  Even though we told the BT engineer this, this information was apparently 'irrelevant' - how can this be?

I know for a fact that many of our friends and neighbours had to go through the rigmarole and expense of swapping out routers (shops that supply IT hardware are about an hour round trip for most of us) and fiddling around with the micofilter.  This along with dire warnings that if the engineer arrives on site and it is found to be the fault of your equipment you will be charged hundreds of pounds.

Why can they not join the dots?

Our ISP could tell there was a problem at the exchange in Maenclochog on the Thursday when we first raised the issue.  Apparently though the powers that be have to wait for enough ISPs to call in and complain before they look further than the end of their nose.  This can take a while in an area where there are fewer businesses using the Internet on a daily basis and the population is generally low.  It took until Monday afternoon until we were back in business - literally.

This weekend it has dropped to a crawl again.

We are running an IT company in a very rural area.  It is crucial we have broadband to operate.  But no-one seems to care at BT.  Come on UK PLC, we need to do better than this.

We spoke to our local MP's assistant after last weekend's debacle and it looks like we will be speaking to them again come Monday.


Chris Stovell said...

The speeds here are shameful too; all the talk about superfast broadband makes me laugh as you just know we'll be last in the queue. I hope someone listens to you.

Preseli Mags said...

It's appalling service. We were all being told the same thing. The really worrying thing is that it's a problem and it's down to BT to fix it but I don't think they know how. Changing ISPs makes no difference because, in the end, all paths lead back to BT Openreach.

GaynorB said...

Our speeds in semi-rural Staffordshire aren't wonderful either. We have run the speed tests and contacted Orange (our provider) many times. On one such occasion we found that we had been 'capped'. We suffered our penalty and after 3 months we were 'uncapped'. No difference!! One dept was telling us we were uncapped when we weren't.
More speed tests and about a month later our speeds went up slightly.
My husband works from home, in IT, as well, and it is certainly problematic.
In France, we have a house in a far more remote country village location, and are getting much higher speeds.

the veg artist said...

I left a comment on Preseli Mags' blog on Thursday about this, as we'd been off for days. The young engineer who called on Thursday morning to fix my line (nothing wrong with the line - just broadband!) said that there were about 100 homes and businesses off then, and that they were "dropping like flies". I was lucky. He had a phone number for the section that needed to re-programme each customer individually to effect the repair. Even though it was nothing to do with his branch of BT, he rang, and broadband came back on within a few minutes. It was the fourth such housecall he had made Thursday morning, all with the same problem. He's a local lad, so if he comes out to "fix your line", you could be lucky!

Rob-bear said...

This lack of service is appalling! I guess BT out to save money, at government request/demand no doubt, and they're taking it out on the customer, simply because they can.

Horrid. Utterly horrid!

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