When Infinity is Finite – do @BTCare about the Whitstable 18?

Free the Whitstable 18!

No, not the latest legal system scandal. This time, it’s a case of when you’re not good enough to be in the first 66%.

Regular reader(s) will know that here at HDG Towers we have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of BT Infinity in Whitstable. From initial reports of a June rollout and watching it slip back each month, I decided to do a little digging. While doing this digging I noticed that my nearest green cabinet, the box that I’m so keento see connected to fibre, was different to others.

Contacting our friends at Openreach, I enquired further…

Thank you for your interest in our Fibre Broadband project. We are rolling out one of the fastest and largest commercial deployments in the world. Our commercial deployment will have extended to 66% of the UK by the end of December 2014. We aim extend this to 90% of the UK, in partnership with other sources of funding, e.g. local and National government.

…so far so good. I know Whitstable is on the list to be connected imminently. But then…

The rollout is based on the commercial criteria for each cabinet and Whitstable cabinet 18 to which your line is connected, has been deferred out of the programme as a high cost cabinet.

My poor little cabinet, so desperately in need of some care (see photo) is not worth upgrading.

I have often bent the ear of anyone who will listen to tell them my thoughts on digital haves and have-nots. A few years ago I would ask “why are BT pushing fibre to big cities when rural communities don’t have broadband?” This year it was “why are BT rolling out 160MB Infinity to big cities when towns don’t have any Infinity at all?”

And now it is “why are BT rolling out Infinity to the house up the road but not here?” 

Where cabinets are not commercially viable Government funding is available to Borough and County Councils to improve fibre coverage and it is worth contacting your Council in relation to this.

I will be contacting the council, but these scarce funds should be being spent on rural communities where it is difficult to rollout fibre, not to fill in the gaps where it is inconvenient or just a little too expensive.

I’d rather see my council tax helping our friends over in Herne who have to rely on wireless because their broadband is useless, and my many years of phone bills can pay for my cabinet.

Thank you very much.

Whitstable 18 – unloved
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Jonathan Gwyer

Jonathan Gwyer first delved into geekery with a ZX81 in 1981 and has been working in IT since 1990.

A Microsoft Certified Professional with many years of large corporate experience and training, he now focuses on helping small businesses make the most of their IT.
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When Infinity is Finite – do @BTCare about the Whitstable 18?

by Jonathan Gwyer time to read: 2 min