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Benefits Bigots Bitchslapped, String Theory Tested: Digital Voices: 04/08/12

This week we’ve heard complaints and counter-complaints aimed at 4G wiping out Freeview, thieving pikeys stealing cable from BT cabinets, BT itself for dragging its heels on FTTP rollout and, gasp, ourselves for being misleading. How dare you suggest such a thing you pedant peons…

Benefits Bigots Bitchslapped, String Theory Tested: Digital Voices: 04/08/12

BT calls in the marines to fix undersea fibre link hit by cable thieves

Comments About Misleading Headline of the Week award goes to fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.

Seeming a bit miffed about our use of ‘Marines’ in the headline, the swearily named commenter said:

“Sending in The Marines is a little bit different to sending in a team of marine engineers. Nice and misleading there.”

We’ll admit that it was a turn of phrase and perhaps not entirely accurate. Guess that’s us off the shortlist for the Pulitzer yet again. But we wonder if we’d written that BT had ‘sent in the cavalry’ instead, would people be annoyed to learn that BT weren’t actually sending horses down to sort things out?

Sarcastic Comment of the week – BT’s killer RABIT foils copper cable thieves

Commenting on a story that’s seen people call for capital punishment and National Insurance Numbers be some kind of requisite for British Citizenship, it’s inevitable that someone will want to lighten things up. Kudos this week goes to the Swiftian wit of vlad_the_imp, who suggests the following measure:

“Yes, brilliant, lets replace the copper cables with ones made of string! No one will steal those! I can’t see any problem with this! oh.”

While we’re at it, we ought to replace routers with coconut shells and old tin cans.

4G will wipe out Freeview in 1.9 million homes, confirms Ed Vaizey

One of our most popular stories is on the announcement that 4G will seriously mess up Freeview once it’s live.

Understandably people who’ve invested heavily in Freeview equipment over the years are miffed about this. Help is on the way however in the form of a rescue plan that will see at least one Freeview TV or set-top box rescued from the 4G Freeview Fail debacle.

That hasn’t stopped people getting hot under the collar about this emotive subject. This week in the comments, the firey-sounding therougespeaks fumed:

“And there we go – the last remaining thing Joe Public can get for free is ruthlessly stamped out as the steel corporatist boot slams down again. Within 10 years we’ll have to pay to walk down the fcuking pavement but “ooooooh you can buy shares British Pavements plc” the commercials will say, “send off for a prospectus now!”

Perhaps missing the memo on Ofcom’s requirement for 4G licences to provide 98 per cent coverage, farmer palmer muttered:

“they would do better to get 100% coverage with 3g before they start on 4g for the city folks to enjoy..”

3G can be just as patchy in the cities if lots of people are using it in the same place and it’s doublful whether or not 100 per cent coverage can truly ever be achieved.

Melody_Blues offered some more sanguine sentiments:

“Much as it’s an annoyance for most people, isn’t TV a luxury that many people around the world could only dream of. Those of us who live in comfort in ‘western civilisation’ are so used to these things as the norm, we moan and winge at the slightest hiccup and behave like a petulant spoilt child if we can’t have what we want….i mean really, let’s be thankful we are lucky enough to have the provision of freeview/satellite TV in the first place – it’s not a necessity is it!!”

Depends on whether or not you consider TOWIE a luxury…

Britain’s first 300Mbps fibre-only village unveiled

Stating the obvious about Britain’s Backwater Broadband comment of the week goes to itpro (presumably nothing to do with the magazine). Talking about the rollout of 330Mbps fibre broadband in the sticks, itpro complained:

“this should’ve started ages ago! there is no excuse for that. There are countries in western and eastern europe where they had 100Mb/s second fibre optics since as far as 5 years ago. They just stalled all this time..It’s goint to take them ages to build the infrastructure. Expect at least 5 years”

We’ll be honest we’d love to see fibre piped to every home within the next five years too. We’re keeping an eye on the FTTP on demand trials taking place; hopefully upgrading the last mile of FTTC ought to mean one day the UK will catch up with the rest of the world.  

Righteously Indignant Comment of the Week

This one goes to one Sociology Graduate. Wading in to the argument that yes, people on benefits might qualify for Freeview as well, the Graduate replied to Garygtw85’s analysis:

“I doubt people on JSA will get it for free as Tv is not a life line but then people on Benefits get more than people who works so wouldnt surprise me!”

with the following retort:

According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation 2012 report, the income required to meet the minimum standard of living is £16,400 for a single person. Relative poverty is below 60% of this and benefits are just 40% of this. And then one has to take into account the amount of disabled people who are being kicked off disability benefits and forced onto Jobseeker’s Allowance, helped along by ignorant views such as yours, and all their additional disability costs they require being met. And in addition, the even lower amount they will actually receive when they cannot abide by the requirements expected of them due to their unfitness for work. Even with full disability benefits, they do not receive the minimum required amount, despite their extra costs due to disability that the figure does not take account of. So no, they do not receive more than people who work. It must be hard enough having to live well below the minimum standard of living without people like you condemning them as well.

And yes, a 32″ TV with Freeview and a DVD player was included within the minimum standard of living in the report. Despite numerous other things that many might consider essential not being included, such as internet, a mobile phone and a car. So, it is a necessity.”

Hats off to you Sociology Graduate, whoever you are. We’re guessing you’re not in the employ of AtoS or Unum…