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Wet Weather Blues, 80Mbps High and Rising: Digital Voices 01/12/12

Digital Voices is our round up of some of the funniest, rageiest and downright provocative comments we get here each week. Some of them are insightful and inform the debates, some of them take the comment wars to new heights (or lows, depending on how you look at it) and some are just plain baffling.

All the same, we love a bit of chatter here and invite everyone to have their say on whatever broadband or digital TV issue is making them tick or to field any questions.

We try to answer and get back to everyone and try to keep the debates clean. We’ve not had to excercise the banhammer much but we can and will if things get out of hand…

The best comments are republished here every Saturday in Digital Voices. Here’s the cream of the crop for the week ending 01/12/12.

Wet Weather Blues, 80Mbps High and Rising: Digital Voices 01/12/12


‘Why do we even need fibre, 1Mbps is enough’ Comment of the Week: Labour MP declares class war on Lancashire Rural Broadband

To be fair, we kind of get where one ‘sympathetic newsreader’ is coming from. Right now we’re seeing 10Gbps and 20Gbps fibre broadband demoed in industrial estates and universities when some parts of the UK can’t even get 1Mbps.

The commenter, talking on a rural broadband story, argues that expensive lines should go where there’s the highest commercial demand which makes perfect business sense.

But arguing the toss that ‘1Mbps is enough for basic emails etc’ and therefore anything anything more is “completely frivolous” because you “won’t ever need to download a 4gb file from steam in less than 5 minutes” is disingenuous and a little silly.

That would ignore the fact that a 1Mbps connection isn’t enough for things like Netflix and Lovefilm, Group Skype video calls and it won’t be enough for busy households. Why shouldn’t those in the sticks have access to those things too?

It’s not frivolous to suggest that in ten years time our web habits will have changed dramatically. Who ten years ago could’ve predicted the rise of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter and who knows what we’ll be doing online a decade from now?

Piracy/‘F**k the System’ Comments of the Week: The Pirate Bay: Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, O2, Orange and T-Mobile ordered to block site

Content theft is not something we’re in favour of but we can understand the reasons why people would want to download illegally something not only because they can but because we get that consumers feel like they’ve been getting a raw deal for years.

All the same, tough titty. If you can’t be bothered to wait a week, three months, half a year for the next Transformers movie or whatever, hard luck. Wait it out. It’s not like in this digital day and age we’re stuck for things to watch.

Our sentiments were echoed by June Clark who thundered “Go rent a room in Pentonvile! if you excuse theft, then you also are a thief! NO-ONE likes a theif!! You want something? BUY IT!!… Theft, is theft and so is stealing. Free downloads of stuff that isn’t free, IS Theft, get used to it and get a life!!”

You go girl.

BT blamed for not controlling Mother Nature Comment of the Week: Foul weather plays havoc with BT’s engineering plans

How high is the water momma? We’ve heard BT lambasted for cherrypicking, fibbing over whether FTTC is ‘real fibre’ or not and generally being a right crock of sods. But until now we’ve not heard the UK’s biggest telco blamed for the weather.

Measures Beyond Our Reasonable Control means exactly that. BT can’t help it if the firmament decides to soak our soggy and septic isle for the third time in a year.

We really feel for Miffed, who has been patiently waiting for some good FTTC news all year only for the dream to be repeatedly dashed.

“So far I’ve been waiting three months for FTTC at a new address and had: two missed appointments I took days off work for, appointments changed without consent, a phone line installed on the wrong day – resulting in a mad dash home, my order cancelled and rebooked THREE times, and a third missed appointment at the weekend.”

Seeing as we’ve been waiting and waiting for a new broadband line ourselves central London (of all places) for over nine months now we can well appreciate Miffed’s frustration.

But as much as we’d like to be able to we can’t blame BT for the weather. Losing your phone and broadband services is one thing, losing your home, your livelihood or your life because of the floods is another.

That’s our Digital Voices wrap-up for this week. Check back for the best of the below-the-line banter next week.