Internet disconnection shows how dependent we have all become on it – Angus Robertson

After a falling tree brings down phonelines, Angus Robertson discovers how important a functioning internet connection has become.

Tuesday, 24th December 2019, 6:00 am
99 per cent of adults aged between 16 and 44 are recent internet users

The internet has not been around for that long, but already we are hugely dependent on it.

Whether for work, leisure or pleasure we rely on broadband services to stream data to our phones, tablets, computers and wi-fi networks. According to recent statistics, 99 per cent of adults aged between 16 and 44 are recent internet users, while 91 per cent of all adults in the UK were recent internet users. For some over Christmas, it will be a relief that the kids will spend more time looking at their screens. For others, it will be an anti-social distraction.

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You only really know how much you depend on internet connectivity when you are cut off from it. That’s what happened to me two weeks ago when a tree blew down during the storm in the neighbour’s garden in central Edinburgh, bringing down three phone lines.

In the meantime, engineers have managed to reconnect two of the three lines and restore services to the neighbouring properties. For some inexplicable reason, it has not been possible to repair them all.

Despite the damage being reported two weeks ago, despite the disconnection being raised with the engineers, despite the calls to have the repairs conducted before Christmas, this has not yet happened.

Rather than send an engineer up the same telephone poll once to reconnect three phone lines, it has been done on two separate occasions while leaving the third line behind.

Everyone I have spoken to at BT has been sympathetic and wanted to help. Sadly action has not been forthcoming. Poor customer service is what causes people to ditch providers and gives them a poor reputation. In this case, BT Openreach has been a huge letdown. I’m not holding my breath for any improvement.