ME and Ophelia

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Narrowband users in rural areas are
discriminated against by British telco monopoly

Narrowband dial-up is costly, slow and restricts users from selecting services that are available only to Broadband users.

My internet service provider, Tiscali, charges around GPB 8 each month for unlimited access between 8am to 6pm, seven days a week. Fair enough. Trouble is, I get up around 6am and I've not waited two hours before checking emails and visiting blogosphere.

Evening TV news between 6pm and 7.30pm is a repeat of what's on my homepage during the day at BBC News online. Concentration wanes by evening time. Too tired to watch TV, write or absorb a book. Hours pass more quickly surfing bits and bobs and reading snippets of news online.

Felt lonesome over Christmas and New Year. Computer was troublesome and slowed things up. Took hours to blog a post. Got lax with surfing timeframe. Had no idea it was so costly.

In addition to my landline phone bill, my January Tiscali bill - including 17.5% value added tax - was GPB 111 and December was GBP 95. Bang goes my savings for new food freezer for the kitchen.

Narrowband users in UK rural areas are discriminated against by British Telecom - who have a monopoly on installing Broadband. Schools and businesses in rural areas without Broadband, are working at a disadvantage. Narrowband dial-up is extremely slow - even sluggish at times - and costly. Users cannot compete globally.

Other users around the world, with access to Broadband, have a distinct advantage. Which is unfair to those whose telco has a monopoly - and is permitted by their Government - to decide which areas (or not) to install Broadband.

Why should British Telecom volunteer to spend their huge profits on installing broadband in rural areas? By doing so, it would reduce their landline revenue from narrowband dial-ups. Despite what BT say, unless pressure is put on them by the Government department that issues the telco Licence, they will never install Broadband in small seaside resorts like here.

Wish my MP, Dr Oliver Letwin, was a blogger like Clive Soley MP and Tom Watson MP. Then he'd have first hand experience of this important issue and advise other MPs, whose constituencies are in rural areas, to take note: to compete globally, the whole of the UK - the land of the English language - needs access to Broadband.

Note this report, quoting the Chairman of BT - Rural areas face 20-year wait for broadband.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 3/16/2004
Comments: Post a Comment
0 comments Newer›  ‹Older