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Fibre and Freedom, Forever Delayed: Digital Voices 20/10/2012

Digital Voices this week has been peppered by an awful lot of moaning around delayed services, things not materialising and that which perhaps should be but isn’t and probably never will.

Maybe it’s the October Effect finally getting to everyone – the nights are drawing in, it’s getting colder and we’re all tired and fed up of waiting for decent connections to become available.

Whatever the reason for everyone’s sour grapes, no BT fibre in their manor or lying politicians, there’s also a couple of heroes in the comments this week who are telling it like it is with style. Whoever you are, we salute you.

Fibre and Freedom, Forever Delayed: Digital Voices 20/10/2012

Telling It Like It Is Internet Hero of the Week – Half a million homes losing 4Mbps of broadband speed, says TalkTalk

Is one David Germain. A man after our own hearts, David launches into a well versed tirade about the differences between a megaBIT and a megaBYTE and that the use (abuse?) of the word ‘Unlimited’ when it comes to internet services.

As everyone and their gran should know by now Unlimited more often than not comes with a caveat, meaning it’s unlimited either at certain times of the day, or subject to certain conditions like traffic shaping.

No ISP these days is allowed to advertise ‘Unlimited’ services without clearly stating any conditions that will affect one’s ability to munch through terabytes of torrented files.

David also points out to another irate commenter switching over to Sky from TalkTalk that “You will find that BT are the people behind Talk Talk which is the same wire the same exchanges as SKY.”

True to an extent, though we should point out that Sky’s service differs to TalkTalk in that it doesn’t shape traffic.

‘Living In The Sticks Is Nice But The Technology Sucks’ Comment of the Week – 4G will wipe out Freeview in 1.9 million homes, confirms Ed Vaizey

Digital TV and broadband perhaps aren’t essential human rights that are pre-requisites for modern day existence. But they are pretty good. We’re in the 21st Century, why can’t we have all the Made In Chelsea and hamster videos we want on demand?

Talking about the news that 4G on the 800MHz spectrum will screw up Freeview, one ‘grabme’ gushed:

“Get over it, is tv worth having a heart attack over? Secondly having little boxes and cables is very old fashioned when you could get a smart tv or media device to stream tv instead of ugly coaxial everywhere.”

The mysterious uk1 came back with:

“Have you ever considered that in some rural areas we struggle to receive even 1mb broadband which can barely even play the videos on sky let alone smart tv!
We also have no chance of 4G anyway as we can barely pick up 3G!”

While grabme was making a point about streaming services meaning we don’t have to rely on broadcast media for funsies any more, for those out in the sticks that’s as much of a non-option if you stand to lose Freeview thanks to 4G.

That said, the UK networks are going to have to provide 98 per cent 4G coverage if they want to keep their licences. So if you’re unlucky enough to live in that 2 per cent margin and you really want some form of internet, then perhaps you should consider moving or take the B4RN approach and JFDIY.

Non-sequitur insult of the Week – Tesco’s £2.50 unlimited broadband: what’s it worth?

When it comes to trading insults on the web there’s nothing like a good non-sequitur to really throw a curveball in the works and befuddle your opponent.

We’re not sure what has rattled the cage of one ‘AHeadhunter’ but we like his pithy ‘Learn to play Bridge’ jab at Darren Foster.

We’re not sure what Bridge has to do with Darren’s well constructed gripe about network quality hobbling his BBC iPlayer, RTE Player and Vonage fun but maybe that’s the point.

Guy Fawkes The Only Man Ever To Enter Parliament With Honest Intentions Comment of the Week – BT’s killer RABIT foils copper cable thieves

The good old Killer RABIT story continues to be a rich seam for comment gold.

On a story about technology designed to nab criminals nicking copper phone lines, the pithy Andy chimes in with:

“We are still awaiting the Technology that Alerts us to when a politician is lying to us in Parliament. Or are they working on the expected overload.”

Until top boffins at CERN find the Higgs Boson for sure, we can’t begin to start work on the Illudium Q-36 Bullingdon Drive that’ll be needed to power such technology.

Humble Pie Eating Comment of the week – What is The Loop? Manchester’s secret 10Gbps network

Goes to… well, us! Part of the fun of Digital Voices is reproducing some of the less than savvy comments and having a laugh at their authors expense. Especially if someone’s made a serious typo.

Well, we’re no angels – despite having the Firefox inline spell checker add-on installed and being general spelling Nazis occasionally even we screw up. I know, I know. It’s almost hard to believe.

So when we posted a story about The Loop earlier this week we made a boo boo by putting in the wrong link to the site. The URL wasn’t working for us and we naturally assumed that the site had crashed under a surge of interest from fibre-starved Mancunians.

However our journalistic spidey sense was obviously on the blink that day – we hadn’t thought to check if the equivalent was available which should’ve been our first investigative port of call.

Hats off and eternal kudos to Pfm for pointing out our rookie error.