May 2012: The rain in Essex falls mainly in BT ducts

And the support desk said:

"But are you quite sure the router is switched on and plugged in?"

This reminds me of this excellent lawyer story:-

Q: "Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?"
A: "No."
Q: "Did you check for blood pressure?"
A: "No."
Q: "Did you check for breathing?"
A: "No."
Q: "So then is it possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?"
A: "No."
Q: "How can you be so sure, Doctor?"
A: "Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar."
Q: "But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?"
A: "It is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere."

This (true) story is wonderfully reminiscent of many encounters with the support call screening process that BT demands is performed before it accepts the remote possibility that its ancient copper cable infrastructure might be the cause of a problem.

All 5 DSL lines into the premises started becoming unreliable last Thursday after a couple of days of exceptional rain. I have lived here 9 years and recognise the symptoms - water in the wires. I tried to report the problem to the ISP to get it sorted, which triggered the usual autonomic response designed to filter out the 90% of calls that are made by the technically ignorant who have tripped over the power lead.

I accept this is necessary, but perhaps there should be an effort to engage brain and maybe ask a couple of questions  designed to see if the caller is indeed a complete twat or knows enough about broadband to be sent straight to the next level?

Something like "What do the letters ADSL* stand for?" And then I discovered that no one in the BT call centre could answer it!

Cable junction boxes bobbing about like mines at sea! The leaky ones are at the bottom, of course.

The conundrum - these lines all arrive over the same BT copper infrastructure, and the results are wildly inconsistent. Why?


01245 227##4


5536 kbps / 960 kbp


01245 227##9


5696 kbps / 864 kbps


01245 225##2


896 kbps / 928 kbp


01245 690##4


7716 kbps / 1005 kbps


01246 225##8


4864 kbps / 960 kbps

So weary are we of the buck passing that goes on between BT, BT Wholesale and its customers like Entanet, that I thought about getting an end-to-end BT connection.

But why should we waste yet more money because BT defiantly refuses to accept that this is a ridiculous situation?

So as far as BT goes, it's another SNAFU, and covered in small print somewhere.

The immediate problem eventually subsided as the water drained away, but a promise of fibre to the box on the corner was tantalizingly dangled - and then withdrawn.

So we still pay the same - regardless of the speed of DSL service provided.

Who do we sue?

*ADSL = Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line