Friday, October 29, 2010

So You Want Fast Broadband

I've been trying for some time to have Thanet's broadband speed improved and have even tried taking the matter up with BT's public affairs people directly. Clearly they don't quite know where we are on the map but you can help the process along by voting for an upgraded exchange on their website. If we gather enough votes, we might just get what we need one day and make the island just a little more attractive for business than it is at present!

As a brief reminder that progress can be slow for some of us, this is what I wrote in The Observer newspaper, ten years ago this month:

"In many respects this threat mirrors the socio-economic gaps in PC ownership today and raises the unacceptable prospect of second-class access to the information super-highway. In Britain, where a quarter of homes are believed to have access to the internet, one can sit comfortably inside the well-connected embrace of the M25 and imagine the benefits of the new dot-communism reaching equally in all directions. But look less than a hundred miles into the South East, as far as Margate perhaps, and the gap between new- and old-economy imagination and aspiration starts to resemble a chasm."

I concluded:

"The new 'knowledge economy' will be a harsh environment for the common man. While a universal grasp of and access to ICT will emancipate more people in the device space of the web, one must question whether UK Online can deliver a central part of its vision in time. Can it swiftly produce the army of skilled and educated experts required to run tomorrow's new economy today?"

6 comments:

Cllr. Mike Harrison said...

I am on the Committee of Newington Community Association and we have taken over the running of the Community Centre from TDC. One of our aspirations is to provide an Internet Cafe and facilities for others to come in and train folks in aspects of computer use, Internet, Email, Word Docs etc. Clearly we need a reasonably fast connection for this to be effective, as the Committee member responsible for IT matters it was obvious to me that our speed was slow and neede improving so on the phone I got!
Having spent several hours on the phone to both BT and our Internet supplier it turns out that the problem is that our line is capped at 0.5mb.
But,but,but I said we pay for a faster speed, ah ha they said, the small print says UP TO 20mb, nonetheless everyone should now be getting about 6or 7 mb but parts of Ramsgate are definitly capped at 0.5mb but the lying theivin gits still try and sell folks in those parts 'fast broadband'. The major problem is that a supplier Virgin, Sky, TalTalk etc will offer you a deal but the line speed is still dependant on BT lines that wont give you those speeds unless of course you have a direct cable connection.
Oh silly me!! thats yet another benefit that we dont have because we choose to live in a lovely part of the world that is unfortunately at the end of line in so many ways.
Come back Rediffusion !!!!!

DrM. said...

It may not be much help but the next time I meet with the public affairs lady from BT, Clare, I will raise it with her... "again"

In fact better than that Mike. I will email her directly now to point out they've done nothing since I last asked!

Mo promises though!

DrM. said...

In fact Mike, I've now emailed Clare with a cc to you and Laura Sandys for information.

Cllr. Mike Harrison said...

Simon,

Many thanks,

Anonymous said...

I have voted on http://www.racetoinfinity.bt.com/
and posted links to a few local businesses/groups, worth a go i guess?
But at present getting a dongle and relying on a decent 3g connection is the only hope.
i too pay for 20 meg, was promised up to 3meg and get .5meg.

I'm not John Worrow said...

March of the Spiders?

Well, today's the day (1st June 2012)that superfast broadband (FTTC/Fibre To The Cabinet) is listed ready for service for people on Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate telephone exchanges.

So anyone on those exchanges will be able to place an upgrade order any day soon.

Alas, I haven't found any new information for our Westgate Exchange.