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Bonkers Blog October 2017

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9 October (Part 2) - Live in DA16? Then read this (or at least the last half)

Before we beat around the bush, if you live in Welling and your internet connection is crap, go here now!

If you are reading this you will have access to some sort of internet connection and itֹ’s unlikely to be an old fashioned dial-up. Remember them?

I first went on line in 1983 with a download speed that would today be rated at 0.0001 Mb/sec. By the early 1990s the speed was up to 0.02 Mb/s and I was a contributor to Bulletin Boards. When the ‘proper’ internet became available I cautiously connected at 0.05 Mb/s for a couple of minutes twice a day in order to keep the phone charges down.

Broadband came to Thamesmead in 2000 and a 512k. connection was £40 a month but when it dropped to £30 I jumped on board.

Being on line all the time became an addiction and then a necessity. A small company based in South London offered me a 2Mb/s connection for no more money than BT’s half megabyte and I have been with that same ISP ever since. At one time I had two 2Mb/s connections ganged together giving nearly 4Mb. It seems crazy now that 4Mb/s is not enough to do any more than browse a simple website and send the odd email. YouTube, i-Player, Netflix. Forget it.

Back in 2003 and 2004, 4Mb was a miracle and I provided wi-fi to two neighbours when having an internet connection was still something of a novelty.

When fibre became available that small ISP provided me with an industrial grade Cisco router. The BT engineer showed up to make the connection, took a look at it, and quite literally ran away. Mine was his first broadband connection job and the first fibre connection on the local cabinet, but his BT training had not prepared him for a rack mounted Cisco.

BT made the poor man come back the same day and all was well. I now look after five fibre connections for that relatively small ISP and get business grade service at a reasonable price with all the web hosting and fixed IP addresses I ask for thrown in for free.

So spare a thought for Bexley residents who still can’t get a fibre connection and are stuck with stone age copper based broadband. BT Openreach’s fault obviously but aided and abetted by Bexley Council stupidity. They gave BT an excuse to do nothing.

On 21st December 2010 Openreach wrote to Bexley Council informing them of their intention to install a fibre cabinet outside 250 Bellegrove Road.

Fibre cabinets are permitted development so asking for permission is just a formality. On 14th January 2011 Bexley Council gave Openreach the OK but asked them to liaise with a resident who might not want a cabinet outside his house. He must be mad, I’d love a cabinet right outside my house, the connection speed might go up from 70Mb/sec to nearer 80.
BT seems to have taken the easy way out. Avoid any aggro with a resident and take their business elsewhere.

And so it is, seven years later, you still can’t get a high speed internet connection in parts of Bellegrove Road.

The subject has been mentioned on BiB before and the correspondence trail between interested parties from 2012 to the present day is available to read on line.

With the correspondence going nowhere a petition to the BT Chairman has been organised. Councillor James Hunt has put his weight behind it and if BT is keeping you in the electronic dark ages you may wish to add your name to it. If you have a DA16 address then you most certainly should.

I hope it fares better than my own ‘petition’ to BT. There is a long standing fault on the Thamesmead exchange and Teresa Pearce MP has drawn it to the attention of BT’s Chairman. Unfortunately he has yet to do anything constructive about it. It’s more than a month since his office reacted at all.


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