Sunday, 12 December 2010

2pointfiveman plays Robinson Crusoe in a Digital ocean

Shot of andvanced technology
 site circa. 3000 B.C.   Grimes Graves modern
addition of ladder for tourists 
Swimming or drowning in the digital ocean

Saturday morning: This is being written offline. As a Broadband customer I have used BT in England for the past 12 and a half years. At every new innovation I have taken early upgrade and  have taken the leap of faith and curiosity as the web has developed in the UK.

There have been teething problems over the years involving upgrades. It used to be don't try to do anything sensible in August as major system and software "updates" were being implemented. The internet services of banks were also prime sources of annoyance and frustration. Bank staff were to a person often very unhelpful where technical problems were encountered, especially in August. The banks saved and will continue to save millions as we have become our own DIY banker employees. So why the visitation to old sores?

Well I have been cut off from my own personal digital ocean since Tuesday morning owing to a technical fault at the exchange (along with 64 other customers).   I won't call it a personal digital cloud because clouds have a nasty habit of turning up in the wrong place and raining on you, sometimes heavily. The appearance of the term “to the cloud” in a certain software manufacturers advert emphasises the comic book nature of digital change that discourages me from using this term. (Grumpy mid-age man syndrome. Possibly?)

The service I am using is a domestic service. It is equally as important as a Business service since I engage in e-commerce when I buy from Amazon or check my local supermarkets for the availability of bargains. So why is the service desk for technical problems only open from 8.00 am in the morning? A lot of us are early risers and work during the week. I certainly would have been driving the hamster wheel of the British economy if I could only have accessed those stores. Quite important if you are twenty miles from anywhere with major high street multiples (no small independent shops any more down you high street) or happen to be a silver surfer.

I will continue to use BT though as the problem as described by the remote call centre, not Inverness this time but Chennai, would not have been any different with another ISP. The main exchange card was not working according to the local visit Engineer. It took 72 hours to establish this fact. The nature of services that use the unbundled exchanges means all ISPs are using the exchange.

This is one of the disadvantages of the “competitive market” that has evolved in this country. Providers are still basically playing with the toys provided by the British Tax payer pre-BT privatisation and still owned by BT. All that is different is the front end changes of who you pay your bill to and what add-ons you achieve in your service. Cable has not reached West Suffolk, operates in Cambridge very well although the original provider did go bust. Pity since we have a cable manufacturer in the town.

Suffolk is the home to BT's Research Institute. Just visited by the Indian Telecoms industry as reported in the East Anglian Daily Times. They appear to have an important role in the digital express to world class service promised by the coalition government. A plea to BT, please could you try to get it right in your own backyard of Suffolk a relatively unpopulated county that is surprising close to major sites of population where Suffolk residents practise innovation. Impressions now can influence future business choices. The relationship of public opinion and this coalition is a good example of influence so far as making noises and then changing their mind as negative opinion rise. Good to see this government doesn't use pollsters as much as the last. Spaniels, vicars and Brussels Sprouts spring to mind. I would be happy to explain this last comment for anybody not familiar with spaniels.

Final thoughts for this blog as I wait for the digital tide to come back in. Did we the British tax payer sell the Goose that apparently is and is going to, lay the Golden Egg? Still this was before the term sovereign wealth funds became the elephant in the room that could be the way forward for UK PLC. Norway used their oil revenue to set up a form of sovereign wealth fund. Chinese banks are effectively in the same league, the long sightedness of the deal to buy Pireaus harbour in Greece for the next 35 years shows an understanding of relatively long cycles. Most of the big construction projects in London, Middle East and Singapore seem to be underpinned by Sovereign wealth funds . In my adult earning life I have experienced at least two major recession, I might have been unaware of a couple. These on average seem to have a fifteen year cycle so 35 years would appear to be a long enough business plan. Words of chairman Mao to Nixon about longevity of civilisations driving this?. Athens could return to the centre of the world again, or is it beware of Chinese bearing gifts? That will get the conspiracy theorists going.

We are potentially in another bonanza time as the World is Turned Upside Down, yet again. It has to be remembered we didn't “abolish Boom and Bust” in the last parliamentary session of the “socialists”. We could even start a fund off with that great piece of service economy business of borrowing money as a government and then lending it to another government at a higher rate. Sorry Ireland, this isn't BandAid. As we get paid back to pay Peter, a 1% diversion of the profits into a sovereign wealth fund would start the ball rolling. Social Enterprise potentially at a national level. We could even have the big players donate their time for free. Could this be Big Society. A bit feudal but if transparent worth considering as it could actually line the British tax payers pockets rather than that of the PFI partners'.

8.00 still a little time away. I have listened to the Farming programme on Radio 4 and the tales of Fat Ducks (not the restaurant) or lack of. Apparently in the cold snap we have the wrong type of ducks. Shooting of ducks has been banned for the next weeks and the RSPB has asked walkers and dog owners not to disturb the birds. Don't make the ducks quackers! Hopefully, I won't be driven crackers with my dealing with BT.

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