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Missing Paperwork Delays UK Broadband

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the check's-in-the-mail dept.

Government 81

nk497 writes "UK broadband funding is being delayed... by missing paperwork. The government is doling out £530m to boost UK broadband, but needs European Commission approval first. The department responsible for broadband says it's sent the necessary documents, but the EC says it hasn't received them. It's the latest delay to the funding, following competition concerns over BT's dominance in the market."

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"EC says it hasn't received them" (4, Informative)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 2 years ago | (#40865891)

What part of something like Registered Return Receipt Mail with Insurance don't these people understand?

If you have Important Document A to get somewhere, you pay the $20 it takes to send it top level Registered, and it gets there.

Quoting from someone I heard from a US Post office, "If you send something Registered, and it doesn't arrive, someone loses a job."

Thread over.

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (4, Funny)

FBeans (2201802) | about 2 years ago | (#40865905)

$20 doesn't go very far in the UK. Also firing someone in the US post office probably won't help much easier. We have a standard of quality here in the UK, one that we like to consistently under achieve!

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (1)

BeingMindRead (2699749) | about 2 years ago | (#40865925)

Heh, but you don't understand. They want it delayed. Post office is just an excuse. Nothing in this world happens by random - or have you heard of truly random number generator? No!

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (1)

FBeans (2201802) | about 2 years ago | (#40865943)

Nothing in this world happens by random - or have you heard of truly random number generator? No!

I have. Random occurs at the quantum level. http://www.fourmilab.ch/hotbits/ [fourmilab.ch] This site creates "hot bits"; truly random numbers. " HotBits are generated by timing successive pairs of radioactive decays detected by a Geiger-Müller tube interfaced to a computer."

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | about 2 years ago | (#40866597)

Computer can not create random numbers, but there are many analog ways of producing random numbers, roulette comes to mind.

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#40866857)

Computer can not create random numbers

Stick a length of wire into your sound card's mic jack, then sample the white noise.

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | about 2 years ago | (#40869131)

I think I did the random number thing about 30 years ago when playing Dungeons and Dragons with dice.

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 2 years ago | (#40866599)

have you heard of truly random number generator? No!

Of course I have. Not a software one, of course; you can't get a true random generator from a deterministic process. But hardware ones based on quantum phenomena can be had for a few hundred dollars.

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (1)

1s44c (552956) | about 2 years ago | (#40867095)

Nothing in this world happens by random - or have you heard of truly random number generator? No!

Of course I have and so has most of slashdot.

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (3, Interesting)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 2 years ago | (#40865931)

Sadly true - and it's not just recent. I remember that around 15 years ago, I sent an application pack for a PhD course at a major UK university via Royam Mail recorded delivery. This was a big pack of papers - not just an application form, but substantial portfolio of previous work. Of course, it vanished into a black hole - and I missed the applications deadline as a result. The Royal Mail was very apologetic and there was some derisory compensation offer, but I'd eat my hat if anybody lost their job.

It was all for the best anyway - I stepped back from it, realised I'd rather go into the world of work rather than further academic study and, I suspect, my life is considerably better now than it would have been if I'd spent a further 3 years studying rather than earning.

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (1)

Inda (580031) | about 2 years ago | (#40866207)

If if was that important, you should have sent it 'special delivery'. 'Recorded delivery' isn't worth much; you're just as well off getting 'Proof of posting' which is basically a receipt.

I worked there for a few weeks, dreaming of that nice summer job where you're home by lunch time. My dreams were shattered. The place is run by idiots in a panic. They couldn't even provide me with hundred-year-old technology - a pushbike.

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (2)

Ash Vince (602485) | about 2 years ago | (#40866465)

If if was that important, you should have sent it 'special delivery'. 'Recorded delivery' isn't worth much; you're just as well off getting 'Proof of posting' which is basically a receipt.

Yes, well recorded delivery does only cost £3 so that is not really surprising. Special delivery is more akin to the $20 Recorded that the USPO offers according to someone else in this thread although that is still loads cheaper at under £10 (that insures something up to £300 in value I believe). Recorded Delivery is really only designed for letters that have no value but you need a proof of reciept

I worked there for a few weeks, dreaming of that nice summer job where you're home by lunch time. My dreams were shattered. The place is run by idiots in a panic. They couldn't even provide me with hundred-year-old technology - a pushbike.

The post office do provide bikes, and they are cool. You probably didn't get one because they cost a fortune. They are made by Pashley who are probably one of the best bike manufacturers in the world if you want something that is heavy but could survive a head on collision with a truck and come of unscathed (Not so sure about the rider)

http://www.pashley.co.uk/ [pashley.co.uk]

I used to have one of their unicycles years ago that someone lent me to learn on and it was amazing. It might be a bit heavier but in terms of abuse it would put up with it was great. If the post office gave a full bike to every part time member staff you could probably sell it for more than you got paid in wages

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (1)

antdude (79039) | about 2 years ago | (#40869307)

What was your derisory compensation offer like? ;)

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 2 years ago | (#40869493)

About 30GBP. Which under the circumstances felt like a bit of a joke.

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (1)

antdude (79039) | about 2 years ago | (#40869577)

Wow, how lame. :(

Re:under achieve! (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 2 years ago | (#40865953)

I'm not asking for competence - that would require a shipment of registered snowballs to hell!

I'm more grumped out at the *particular* reason they chose, "not receiving a document".

It all came up for me years ago about a contest entry not being received, and the US Post at that particular branch (representing the national system) "we don't guarantee delivery". (!?) "What about proof of mailing?" "No." So getting rather angry by that point, I said something like "if I had to send the oly original copy of an Egyptian Papyrus to a consultant across the country for analysis, how do I make SURE it gets there?" and that's when I heard the particular phrase to use of "Registered Mail".

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40869101)

Even if you use registered mail, it doesn't mean much. A few years ago I paid a ticket, and they cashed the check, but still claimed the ticket was "unpaid".

I THOUGHT the UK was a sovereign state. Why do they need permission from the central EU government? If one of the U.S. states decided to rollout broadband, they would just do it. They don't need permission from the Congress to enact land improvements internal to their state borders.

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 2 years ago | (#40869823)

Yeah, if they were serious about getting it there on time, they would have used Fedex.

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (1)

Havenwar (867124) | about 2 years ago | (#40865929)

Well, that's assuming it didn't arrive. On the other hand it's much more likely it's just on the bottom of a pile of mail on some desk of someone who got fired, is on vacation, or just didn't realize it was important. While british mail is rather incompetent from what I hear, politicians and bureaucrats still hold the title in losing paperwork, so I'm more inclined to believe it's on their side.

Re:that's assuming it didn't arrive (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 2 years ago | (#40866001)

That's the entire point of that service. It creates a trail to prevent this story's nonsense, and even your good guess.

Sender points to his slip that says his Docuement entered the Black Hole (Mail Service).
Black Hole says that they delivered the Document.
Receiver has to *sign for it*.

So then it just takes a couple questions under perjury to close the gap.
"Did you bother to check the mailbox in question?"
"Did you see the Document package?"
"Why didn't you sign for it to pick it up?"

So yes, in 2012 I don't want to read news stories about people not receiving documents. Make up ANY other excuse than that.

Re:that's assuming it didn't arrive (1)

Havenwar (867124) | about 2 years ago | (#40866033)

Okay, I see your point. Still I have seen the problem more often than not - "secretary X signed for the document along with 600 other things she received that day. We will ask her where it might have ended up as soon as she returns from her five week vacation."

Also worth noting: sending registered mail internationally is far more complicated and expensive than the $20 originally quoted, and tax payers tend to get annoyed when governments spend money. "What do you mean they spend £X on sending a letter? Why can't they use regular mail like regular folks? Always wasting our money they are!"

Re:that's assuming it didn't arrive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40866279)

I sent some non-perishable food from mid-west USA to Great Britain, registered and high-priority 3-day guaranteed. Was around $20-$30. That was about 2 years ago, so I'm not sure how much prices have changed.

Re:that's assuming it didn't arrive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40866305)

You should start by not assuming the prices are comparable in the other direction. This letter wasn't TO the UK but FROM the UK.

Re:that's assuming it didn't arrive (2)

dontclapthrowmoney (1534613) | about 2 years ago | (#40866601)

I sent some non-perishable food from mid-west USA to Great Britain...that was about 2 years ago...

Has it arrived yet?

Re:secretary X (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 2 years ago | (#40876805)

Bingo, both to you and the guy talking about the ticket ahead of me.

I'm quite happy for Secretary X to sign for 600 things then leave for Bermuda. Because then *the news story changes* from "document not received" to "document received but then incompetently mishandled".

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (1)

digitig (1056110) | about 2 years ago | (#40866253)

It's good to know that the US Mail takes registered post so seriously. I had call to use UK registered post quite a lot last year, and about one item in three went missing -- far worse than for standard post where I only lose about one item in twenty. The Royal Mail's response was offhand, and in most cases all I succeeded in recovering was the original postage cost. All the registered post gave me in the end was proof that I had sent the item, so I did avoid some hefty penalties I could have been hit with -- but the Royal Mail offers proof of posting for free, so I could have used that.

At work, if we need to send time-sensitive material we use private courier services, who do much better. But if the UK government didn't see this as time-sensitive (was there a deadline?) then why bother? In a government department sending something by courier will cost a lot more than just the courier cost. There will have to be a whole approvals process for the expense, for a start, with piles of paperwork and justifications. Much simpler to just send it down to the post room.

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about 2 years ago | (#40866593)

Try getting compensation from a courier firm.... they are almost up to Post Office standards ...

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (1)

satanclause (2626589) | about 2 years ago | (#40866997)

Of the last two items of mail I've had from HMG here in the USA, one was sent through Deutsche Bundespost and the other was sent through Malta. So either the government doesn't trust the Royal Mail to deliver its mail, or the prices are so over-the-top that it's cheaper to ship the mail abroad and send it from there.

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about 2 years ago | (#40867499)

About 'Registered Mail' in the USA. It's a level of service that the US Government trusts enough to send classified documents and objects through. Not the highest levels, of course, but still extremely sensitive documents. Other companies will use it for much the same purpose, in addition to shipping expensive objects such as jewels.

As such, while it's not perfect, all handlers of registered mail have to pass security investigations, which tends to ensure a certain level of reliability. It's not the fastest delivery system as a result - nobody cleared available? It sits in a safe.

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | about 2 years ago | (#40867767)

What the hell is wrong with the UK mail system??? Here in the US, in my entire life there has been _ONE_ instance where I have even HEARD of something getting lost in the mail! And that was sketchy shareware that I suspect may have never been sent in the first place! You lose one in _TWENTY_ in the standard post? Seriously?

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (1)

digitig (1056110) | about 2 years ago | (#40870723)

I do receive lots of other people's mail, if that's any consolation.

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#40867097)

If you read the small print you will notice that Royal Mail International Signed For only tracks and insures the package until it leaves the UK. After that you might get a signature on arrival, if you are lucky.

I had to take RM to Small Claims Court over this years back. I sent a part back to Hungary for repair and they lost it. The judge was a bit of a dick actually. Awarded me £10+costs because the item was faulty and thus valued at car-boot-sale price, even though the whole point of sending it back was that it was under warranty and would be replaced with a working one.

Re:"EC says it hasn't received them" (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | about 2 years ago | (#40868489)

Hopefully they remembered to make a photocopy of the documents before sending them ;)

44.58 UKP via UPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40871051)

I just checked.
To ship a 200g UPS Envelope from London, UK SW1A 0AA to Brussels, Belgium 1040 is UKP 44.58 via UPS Express Saver
Guaranteed delivery by the end of the next business day, signature required, Internet tracking.

By US Standards, that's outrageous, but there's probably a cheaper way to do for that matter.

Irony? (2)

FBeans (2201802) | about 2 years ago | (#40865895)

Is it just me or is it Ironic that the UK broadband is being delayed! Perhaps the government have reached their mail-data-limit for the month and are being heavily throttled? On the other hand, it could be as simple as a lost packet!

Re:Irony? (1)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | about 2 years ago | (#40865957)

Ironically the red tape seems to be very broad! :-D

Re:Irony? (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#40867121)

Even 25 years ago they could have faxed the damn documents. Unfortunately these are the Luddites in charge of delivering the government's promise to have the best broadband network in Europe by 2015. I would have added "ha!" but it really isn't that funny.

Re:Irony? (1)

alostpacket (1972110) | about 2 years ago | (#40870883)

I was not involved!

And I thought ... (0)

Stormthirst (66538) | about 2 years ago | (#40865897)

... the American government was incompetent!

Re:And I thought ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40865915)

Depends who is in power at the time. Sometimes it's the Right Wing Incompetent party and sometimes the Right Wing Insane party.

Missing documents? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40865901)

Hey, don't look at me!

-- Julian Assange

State aid clearances (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 2 years ago | (#40865903)

Ah... state aid clearances...

The philosophy behind the system is sound - Government subsidies to particular companies distort the market, so in a competitive marketplace, such subsidies shouldn't happen unless there's an over-riding social benefit. And it's important that there's somebody impartial to check whether such a social benefit actually exists. Sounds fair enough to me.

In practice, if you ask any UK civil servant (or, I suspect, a civil/public servant in any EU member state) who has had to deal with it what they think of the process, they will likely curl up in a little ball, clutch their head and rock slowly back and forward while letting out little moans of pain. It's slow (if you can get through it in less than a year, then you have been exceptionally clever or lucky), torturous, confusing, sometimes mired in politics and gives the overal impression of having been designed by Franz Kafka. Oh, and it also seems to involve lots of hard-copies of documents (the spread of electronic working having been a little inconsistent within the EU bureaucracy).

The UK doesn't have broadband? (1)

Havenwar (867124) | about 2 years ago | (#40865913)

Since when? Did someone steal it all?

Re:The UK doesn't have broadband? (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | about 2 years ago | (#40865945)

Hmm, there are still places with poor broadband coverage, or they may mean "high speed" broadband (e.g. FTTC), which only a fraction of the UK has. I don't have it and I'm on what is laughably called the Cambridge Science Park Exchange. We don't even have 21CN [wikipedia.org] enabled on this exchange and only one LLU provider.

Cynically I suspect BT of deliberately not rolling out 21CN or FTTC on this exchange, because they don't want any of the small to medium sized companies on the park switching from high cost leased lines. Not that 21CN is much use, it was out of date before they even started rolling it out.

Re:The UK doesn't have broadband? (1)

Havenwar (867124) | about 2 years ago | (#40865973)

The headline says broadband is delayed which implies it doesn't exist, that it has yet to be introduced at all - not that it has poor coverage.Of course I'm aware that the UK has very poor broadband saturation, but honestly I don't find it to be so bad as to be called non-existent.

Re:The UK doesn't have broadband? (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about 2 years ago | (#40866475)

Cable broadband saturation is definitely poor - sometimes, only one side of a street has it. ADSL-based broadband is essentially ubiquitous in all towns and cities, although some remote rural areas are lacking.

However you look at it, the vast majority of the UK has access to some form of broadband.

How well they work and how fast they are, now that's a whole other story...

Re:The UK doesn't have broadband? (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about 2 years ago | (#40866637)

Ahh the cable companies mess ... Loads of small companies who signed people up to cable TV and broadband as they laid the cables.... and so only cabled up the people who wanted it then ...

These all eventually were merged into what is now Virgin Media ... who now have the legacy of this patchy system ....

Can I have cable broadband, no sorry your building has not been cabled, even though I live in the centre of a large UK city, two doors down from the telephone exchange!

Re:The UK doesn't have broadband? (1)

rufty_tufty (888596) | about 2 years ago | (#40866077)

At least you're on the science park exchange, try being on either the Bar Hill exchange or the Cottenham one.
3Mb on a good day...

Re:The UK doesn't have broadband? (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | about 2 years ago | (#40866113)

Ouch. We can at least get 7-8mbps most days.

Re:The UK doesn't have broadband? (1)

Blahah (1444607) | about 2 years ago | (#40866357)

I don't know what's wrong with your connections - I'm in Cambridge and I get 100mbps, with speed tests always coming out at 98mbps or above. I guess the difference is I'm on Virgin instead of BT.

Re:The UK doesn't have broadband? (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | about 2 years ago | (#40866999)

You can't get even get Virgin fibre in this bit of Cambridge (i.e. Chesterton). Well if you believe their website you can't. It may be wrong. Mind you their website doesn't think our house exists. It thinks the one next door, which is exactly the same age and design, exists, but not this one.

Re:The UK doesn't have broadband? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40867583)

It's easy to tell if you can get Virgin cable at your house: go outside and look at the pavement along your boundary wall/fence/lawn. If you see a 2" diameter hole, or a black plastic plug, that's probably the ducting for cable.

Re:The UK doesn't have broadband? (1)

megalomaniacs4u (199468) | about 2 years ago | (#40866453)

We had a similar story. Our local exchange (500m away) got 21cn and they (BT) refused to sells us a faster 21cn connection because we already had a 2mb leased line (from before BT's 8mb adsl max rollout) and they could not sell us a cheaper solution...

Re:The UK doesn't have broadband? (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 2 years ago | (#40866341)

UK broadband is... inconsistent. Very good in places, appalling in others, and still not available in a small minority of places (mostly rural, but with a few surprising urban blackspots).

I'm lucky - the place I moved into in April (a South London outer suburb) is in an area covered by Virgin Media's cable service, and seems to be at the better end of what they offer. My service is advertised as "up to" 100mbit downstream and 10mbit upstream. The router is capped at 10% above those levels. In reality, during the evening peak (7PM-10PM), I get around 85-90mbit downstream and 8.5mbit upstream. Outside of the peak, I tend to get around 104mbit downstream and 9.5mbit upstream. It's been reliable so far and, touch wood, I'm happy with it.

In my old place in New Cross Gate (South London inner-suburb), where I was still on the BT copper network, my service was advertised as "up to" 8mbit downstream and 0.5mbit upstream. I got the full upstream and around 5mbit downstream. I lived there for 7 years - when I moved in, that was an excellent connection. However, it had no upgrades at all over that time and by the time I left, it was well behind the curve. It was also unreliable, particularly during periods of wet weather (rarer than you might expect in London, but they do happen), because the local exchange apparently had issues with water seepage.

A couple of miles from there you have Lewisham, which is known as a broadband blackspot, despite still being very close to central London. Unless things have improved over the last month or two, the area was known for dismal broadband speeds - the lucky ones would get 2mbit downstream (with frequent cutouts), while many were below 0.1mbit.

Basically, if you are lucky enough to live in an area with new and/or well-maintained infrastructure, you can get a pretty good broadband service in the UK. But a lot of BT's network is pretty much crumbling and they've not been in much of a hurry to do anything about it.

Until I moved into my current place, the fastest connection I'd ever had was a 10mbit symetric JANET connection in my room at University more than a decade ago (though your chances of being able to download from anywhere outside of the local network at that speed were pretty much zero back then, of course). That was a great connection, but today's students are unlikely to be as lucky as I was. Back then, there were no effective restrictions on what I could do with it, so online gaming and whatnot was very much on the menu. Since then (largely as a result in the rise of P2P traffic, which put a big strain on what was supposed to be an academic resource), the firewalls of doom have descended across most university networks in the UK, making things much less fun.

Are they using email? (3, Interesting)

aglider (2435074) | about 2 years ago | (#40865981)

It's been something like 20+ years ago I've lost my last email.
Because of a failing relay.
Unless this paperwork is really worked on paper. In which case I can guess:
- the envelope has been handed to the post office, but never left it;
- they missed the proper stamp value on the envelope;
- they missed the proper destination address on the envelope;
- the envelope reached the destination but got handed to the wrong office which trashed it;
- the paperwork has been written in English and sent to a German/French/Italian only speaking office;
- the paperwork has been sent to Cowboy Neal;
- all of the above at the same time.

Re:Are they using email? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 2 years ago | (#40866553)

- they missed the proper destination address on the envelope;

What do I write on the outside of the envelope for it to reach your ass?

Re:Are they using email? (0)

sumdumass (711423) | about 2 years ago | (#40867135)

c/o ben dover

Makes it easy to reach any ass

Re:Are they using email? (1)

aglider (2435074) | about 2 years ago | (#40867453)

Can you write?
These are good news, finally!

Olympics (1)

mailhosted (2699873) | about 2 years ago | (#40866055)

They're all at the bloody Olympics rather than working, probably didn't even bother posting the letters

Re:Olympics (2)

second_coming (2014346) | about 2 years ago | (#40866185)

On a side note, my company's sister company has been told they will have to wait until after the Olympics have finished before BT will enable their FTTC connection.

Even though the exchange is enabled and ready to go (and they are in the building next door to the exchange).

Apparently BT have all their engineers on call in London.

Why do they need permission? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40866223)

Improve broadband = Should have done years ago.

Shame on the UK for not voting in a compitent goverment - Oh wait what were the choices again ;-)

We need someone to start up a Techie party that promises to minisime the number of people involved in pointless administration and finally get the UK into the 21st century. Most of the goverment departments still use their own databases of people and are not linked - so they end up sending paper records to other govement departments for someone to type back into another database.

There are so many examples where they can't seem to plan how to integrate systems securely and third paries charge 100's of millions because they know the specs will change every time the product is delivered. What's that an email wasn't recieved - HIT RESEND.

Any politicians reading this - STOP WASTING OUR MONEY ON ADMIN

Re:Why do they need permission? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40866579)

They'd be *much* scarier if they were competent.

UK Broadband market is screwed up. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40866261)

There are only really two options for broadband in the UK

1)Virgin media which is cable based

2) ADSL which you can pay various different companies for but they all have to use BT open reach to get the telephone line to your house.

Customer service is poor across the board, Virgin media have always been poor, its been the one constant through their various different owners. The company you buy ADSL for is limited in what it can do because the bottom line for them is no matter how good a customer service they try to provide BT OpenReach will make them look like idiots because:-

A lot of the time they don't bother to turn up to apointments, they don't phone you to let you know either.

Sometimes they do turn up at your house but don't knock the door and put a 'sorry i missed you' card through the door and then leave.

I live in south wales and the current waiting time for an apointment is about 9 weeks. I don't know if this is typical of everywhere in the country but i wouldn't be supprised if it was.

Re:UK Broadband market is screwed up. (2)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | about 2 years ago | (#40866407)

They have to use OpenReach unless they have LLU at your exchange, in which case they use their own equipment. ISPs with LLU can generally be spotted because they're cheaper and/or faster (because they're not paying BT's wholesale metered rates).

Re:UK Broadband market is screwed up. (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 2 years ago | (#40866893)

You are getting your dividions of BT mixed up, BT openreach maintain the connections to your house (and I think they also run the FTTC equipment in the cabinets but i'm not positive on that), BT wholesale run ADSL and phone equipment at the telephone exchage and sell service on it to service providers (including BT retail).

So you can escape from BT wholesale by using a LLU provider but you will still be relying on BT openreach to fix any faults with the cabling to your house.

Re:UK Broadband market is screwed up. (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about 2 years ago | (#40866469)

Because I live out in the sticks, it's BT Openreach that repairs the line out to my house whenever it fails even though I'm on LLU. A significant part of the line is overhead, which isn't wonderful for ADSL, but it gets the job done at about 5Mbps and eight miles from the exchange.

I have *never* had any of the problems you've experienced, although at one point I had to persuade the engineer *not* to repair the line because the power was off anyway and I didn't think it was safe for him to work up a ladder in the 60mph winds that had damaged the cable ;-)

Re:UK Broadband market is screwed up. (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | about 2 years ago | (#40866793)

There are only really two options for broadband in the UK

1)Virgin media which is cable based

2) ADSL which you can pay various different companies for but they all have to use BT open reach to get the telephone line to your house.

Utter crap. There are many other options.

Firstly, in the vast majority of urban areas what is on offer is LLU ADSL2+ which is theoretically up to 24Mbps. This is often capped at 1Mbps upload but if you need to upload lots then SDSL is available in many places too. I just got a quote for my home address on the edge of London and Surrey and found I can get SDSL to the home (if I get a mortgage to pay for it, £600 per month but that is a commercial offering not really aimed at home users)

I just checked my home address on the sky website and found I can also get Sky Fibre to the home, offering 28.3Mbps (not up to, they actually said between 28.3 and 28.3Mbps). That is for £20 per month.

My current internet is a dirt cheap offering from talktalk. It is still an LLU account that offers up to 10Mbps. I just looked on their site though and they can offer up to 78Mbps for not that different to what I currently pay.

I tried my old address too that is in Manchester and found very similar results. In both places I can get fibre connections, and at similar speeds, off quite a few different companies.

The reality is that the internet market in the UK is saturated with different providers offering differing speeds. Maybe you were talking about rural areas but then you really should have made clear that you were not counting cities since that is where most people in the UK live. My home address is right on the outer most edge of London and I can still get fibre there. I am sure that would change if I moved 200 yards away but then I would be in the middle of a field with no road either.

I live in south wales and the current waiting time for an apointment is about 9 weeks. I don't know if this is typical of everywhere in the country but i wouldn't be supprised if it was.

No, the rest of the country is nothing like south wales, that explains a lot.

Firstly, there is nothing there. It is a wonderful place to go on holiday but it is so remote it is untrue. Last time I was there was a few years ago but I could even get a signal on my mobile phone. In heavy rains my mate who's family live there can't even drive to the local town without using the 4X4 as the roads all flood.

Then there is the financial aspect. The reason nobody lays fibre that far into the countryside is that most of the people using it would be sheep. South Wales does not contribute very much to the economy does it? The cities are mostly decimated (Swansea is an utter hole, Cardiff is not too different) by the loss of industry and they do not show any signs of finding an alternate source of employment.

I would bet that you are still quite young, in which case you will probably leave the area as soon as you are able to move out and go to university. Other wise you must live in one of cities in question while you are still at university. In either of these cases you need to realise that most of the rest of the UK is very different. I would suggest you get on the M4 and go exploring. If by any chance you are a grown up then why are you still there? South Wales is not exactly an IT hotspot is it?

Buried in soft peat (1)

tomtomtom (580791) | about 2 years ago | (#40866283)

Obviously the forms will now have to be buried in soft peat for 3 months before being recycled into firelighters before they will lift a finger to do anything about this.

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40866571)

Why does the UK need EU permission to do local utility work?

Re:Why? (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about 2 years ago | (#40866675)

Why does the UK need EU permission to do local utility work?

From TFA: "Broadband Delivery UK uses £530m of public money in the commercial sector"

Which brings up competition rules about governments subsidising private industry to make them more competitive in the EU market.

Re:Why? (1)

Pax681 (1002592) | about 2 years ago | (#40866687)

Why does the UK need EU permission to do local utility work?

they don't need permission they applied for EU money to help pay for the rollout

Strong argument against Data Retention by ISP/Gov (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40866691)

schadenfreude - schadenfreude/SHädnfroid/
Noun:
Pleasure derived by someone from another person's misfortune.

I have to admit, part of me is happy this morning upon hearing this news. Another part of me says, quit your whinging.
Fact is: Last time I compared products available for residential broadband in the UK to California, USA : You're years ahead, mate!
I enviously spied speed/price offerings of sub-$50/month for 100Mbps! From three different Carriers. Whoa.... This is not available in my country for any price-point.
I'm struggling over here. w a max of 30Mbps usually less, for a higher price still! So dont' any of you lot complain about Virgin Media....I reckon they're throttling and spying on you less than these ruthless, customer-despising monopolies we call ISPs over here!

Seriously ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40867187)

Reprint, sign, FedEx/UPS overnight. Problem solved in one day, requires less than a half hour's work. This has to be one of the lamest excuses ever used.

Bloody paperwork (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#40867669)

I can't even turn on the kitchen tap without filling out a 27b/6...

My particular catch-22 (1)

Andy_R (114137) | about 2 years ago | (#40867725)

Ever street around me can get BT's 'infinity' broadband, with download speeds in the 30-40 meg range, but my street was forgotten about when BT upgraded the exchange and we're stuck with less than a tenth of that speed. Getting this omission dealt with is an ongoing nightmare, BT's 'infinity' division seadfastly refuse to talk to customers. Despite *being* a telephone company, they have no phone number on their website!

After bashing my head against this one for a while I found they will talk to me when I put my 'residents association' hat on, but want to know what funding we have in place to contribute to the cost of putting their mistake right... and here's where it gets Kafaesque:

They won't tell us what the problem is, because we don't have funding. We can't get funding because we don't know the cost of solving the problem, we don't know the cost of solving the problem because we don't know what the problem is. ...but it doesn't stop there...

We DO actually know what the problem is! The green box at the end of our street is the only one in the whole city that doesn't have a new type of green box next to it plastered with BT inifinty stickers. All we need is for BT to put this new box in, which they have already done free of charge for the rest of the city, but because BT won't officially confirm this really is the problem, they won't talk to us about it, or tell us how much it would cost to do, so we can't get funding, even though the council are talking about offering us funding!

Re:My particular catch-22 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40868371)

vandalize/destroy that particular box, telephone company comes out to fix it and upgrade it at the same time... win, win

NO NO NO (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#40869525)

you don't do that kind of thing yourself you head down to the local pub and mention that you might buy a few rounds if that box has an "accident" that way you have plausible deniability .

Factually untrue article FTL (1)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | about 2 years ago | (#40867925)

The government is doling out £530m to boost UK broadband, but needs European Commission approval first.

No, they don't. The UK is a sovereign nation whose government does not need permission from Brussels to engage in the normal domestic functions of government such as rolling out basic services to their citizens. This isn't some matter of foreign or trade policy for which EU buyin would be critical. Nor is it some matter with broader continental repercussions.

The UK should just go ahead and do it, the EC will not pick a fight for no reason -- I credit them with far more sense than that.

[ And no, I'm not a rabid anti-internationalist, hence the distinction between foreign policy that requires cooperation/consensus and domestic policy that is best dealt with by the democratically elected and accountable national government. ]

Re:Factually untrue article FTL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40869377)

The article isn't completely clear about what areas are affected. I think it could quite easily be Cornwall, which has been allocated European funding of the order of several hundred million pounds. Now obviously BT aren't going to do this until they are sure the money is there.

Did anyone tell them... (1)

CCarrot (1562079) | about 2 years ago | (#40870089)

Did anyone tell them to check their spam filters?? :p

Yes, Minister (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40871105)

(on answering inquiries with an official reply)
Bernard: It just says 'The Minister has asked me to thank you for your letter' and we say something like 'The matter is under consideration', or even, if we feel so inclined, 'under active consideration.'
Hacker: What's the difference?
Bernard: Well, 'under consideration' means 'we've lost the file'; 'under active consideration' means 'we're trying to find it'.

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