Friday, February 06, 2015

Three Card Trick

The small town where I live is administered by three separate councils. The Town Council looks after matters unique to the town, the BoroughCouncil looks after borough-wide concerns, and the County Council administers, inter alia, the roads network; except for trunk roads which come under the Highways Agency.

At about 2.30pm on Wednesday we lost our WiFi connection. It turned out that the guys digging holes in the road outside had severed the telephone cable. They assured me that their accident had been reported, and BT was on its way. Nothing happened for the rest of the day.

On Thursday I rang the Borough Council who referred me to the County Council who said it was down to SSE as the supplier of street lighting, as it was their contractors digging holes to replace street lamps. At least I now had a reference number, and the promise to pass on the complaint.

Since four houses were affected my neighbour decided to call BT directly. Eventually he was able to speak to someone, who knew nothing, but he insisted that the problem was inside the house! However he did agree to send an engineer, but not till tomorrow. Meantime I had a call from the County Council to say the problem would be addressed next week! Thursday was a day of frustration, many phone calls using mobiles, liaison between neighbours, and general commiserations. The situation was far from satisfactory as two neighbours run businesses from home and were thus losing trade and money, and another is a nonagenarian who has heavy dependency on the telephone for family communication. 

Friday. During breakfast SSE rang to say they hoped to solve the problem, to which they'd been alerted by the County Council, "early next week" and the Council rang to say they'd passed on the message! My neighbour rang to say that the BT engineer had arrived, appreciated that the fault was a severed cable (he had no idea four houses were affected) and he would report it as urgent. I got indigestion.

By the time I got home an engineer was busy in the road reconnecting cables. It transpired that the cable had been cut in two places and is at risk of being cut again when the lamp standard is eventually replaced. After several hours we were reconnected and peace, Internet activity, and neighbourhood well being was restored. It's sobering to realise how much we have all become not just reliant on modern technology, but how we all feel at sea if we're denied it. So all's well that ends well? Perhaps, but that lamp standard still has to be replaced...

I came across this draft from 2015, never published. Whilst the challenges have remained resolved I thought it a good illustration of how quickly modern life can disintegrate. Enjoy

No comments:

Post a Comment