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* Posts by rhydian

245 posts • joined 6 Aug 2008

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Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo

rhydian
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At least it wasn't an air raid this time

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/05/25/air_raid_warning/

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rhydian
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Re: Red X

"Fuck your red X. I now ignore them completely until I actually crash in to a hazard"

FTFY

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Yahoo! Japan! launches! service! for! the! dead!

rhydian
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Re: Seriously folks

A few years ago Radio 4 had a programme about wills, and how they're having to take in to account more and more online services. For example, who gets the stuff in your Ebay account (not to mention paypal)?

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BT Broadband issue

rhydian
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The last one was a routing foul-up in their network. Seems someone's let the work experience kid in again.

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Virgin Media goes titsup AGAIN. The cause? Yet MORE DNS strife

rhydian
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ISP provided routers are all (with very few exceptions) rubbish. Settings like DNS are locked out so that those with less technical acumen don't feel the need to pratt about with them and stuff up their connections.

Of course, when it comes to times like these then this shortcoming does cause a lot of issues, but expecting ISPs to supply top-class routers for nowt isn't realistic. Anyone who wants a properly manageable router should buy one themselves and ISPs should not put any impediments in place to stop that happening.

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USA to insist on pre-flight mobe power probe

rhydian
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Re: I wonder how they got this information?

"Tigers here in the west midlands?!?!"

Depends which side of Kidderminster or Bewdley you live...

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You 'posted' a 'letter' with Outlook... No, NO, that's the MONITOR

rhydian
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Also, its not an "age" thing. Some users are simply not interested in engaging their brain when using an electronic device.

Case in point: SatNav berks.

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rhydian
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Re: But these are actually intelligent people ....

The best/worst one I had was with a laptop. I asked the owner "what's wrong with it"?

The answer I got was "your the computer expert, you tell me..."

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rhydian
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Re: VPN.

Teamviewer is a better option, as it doesn't rely on the user setting anything up other than a shortcut.

VPNs are fine when your in control of the kit though.

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BT at last coughs to 'major outage' after broadband went titsup across UK on Sat

rhydian
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Re: Wasn't a DNS issue...

BT offer business Infinity packages.

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rhydian
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Re: Wasn't a DNS issue...

Agreed, it wasn't simply DNS falling over. I'd swapped my BT homehub router for a new Netgear on friday night (configed to OpenDNS). Spent most of saturday morning trying to get it to work again before I heard the news.

Good job I'm leaving them...

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BBC: Bumpkins, hobbits need fairer coverage

rhydian
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Re: Not surprising...

Yes, S4C does cover a much smaller population, but it does do rural a hell of a lot better on a much smaller budget. Remember BBC news got a right hammering a few years back for not making it clear when what it was reporting didn't apply to Scotland/Wales/NI (Mainly education and health stories).

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rhydian
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Re: Not surprising...

You don't get many naturists in the countryside, the lack of patio heaters puts them off

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rhydian
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Of course by now the townies are all up in arms about the massive increase in "Urban" foxes (identifiable by a backwards baseball cap and fake american accent). The problem is that townies don't have the common sense to stop shooting each other and start shooting the foxes...

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rhydian
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It depends who your AM/MP is . If you have a Conservative or Plaid member they're usually from a rural area themselves and have some idea of what's going on away from Cardiff/London.

The Lib Dems used to be pretty good, until they started parachuting idiots in to seats like Montgomeryshire who were torn to shreds over issues like wind power.

The worst however are Labour. As their powerbase is in urban areas they simply don't care about the countryside or its residents. (See windfarms, fuel prices, land subsidy rules).

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rhydian
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Not surprising...

This has been going on silently for years. For example, the Countryfile programme, which used to be on sunday mornings, would at least attempt to be balanced between the views of actual rural dwellers and those who read those "South Ruralshire Life" magazines. Now that its gone prime time the focus has swung over markedly to the rambler/naturalist/Guardian reader/holiday cottager.

S4C at least does recognise that its rural viewers do in fact live and work in the countryside, and therefore appreciate programmes that reflect that.

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Ofcom to BT Openreach: From now on, you'd better kill 70% of gremlins within 2 days

rhydian
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Re: FTTP - see Verizon, JT, etc

My uncle (Ex GPO) said it was between copperweld and aluminium for the worst stuff ever to be used for phone lines. After it had been in place for a while, corrosion would make it so brittle that it would crumble in the junction boxes.

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rhydian
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Been there, done that....

I've had countless similar experiences with openreach. Their crowning glory was during an office phone system install.

I'd ordered a phone system from BT (an Avaya IP office), in late June/early July, for fitting before Sept 1st. To cut a long story short BT would only offer an installation date of late september. That was until I said I was cancelling the order and going with a local independent supplier. Suddenly the install date moved from late september to late august, but I told them to stuff it, but to keep the ISDN2 line order in place, scheduled for a mid-august Wednesday.

Fast forward to that Wednesday, and I'm waiting at our new office for the engineer to arrive. When 4pm rolled around and I didn't see a van or an engineer I got rather annoyed. After calling up BT it seems that Openreach hadn't assigned the job to an engineer, and the best they could offer me was to re-schedule for 3 weeks time.

I unsurprisingly hit the roof, asked to speak to a manager, but as it was 4:55 "none were available". I demanded a call back before 10am the next day, threatening to invoice BT for my wasted time, the holiday I would miss sorting this out and look to move our five figure annual spend to another supplier. Surprisingly enough they seemed a bit more attentive after that. I was called at 9:30 the next morning saying an engineer was on his way. 11am I had an openreach engineer on site to hook up the lines, who apparently had been told to get to me "bloody quick".

Another classic is not being able to handle addresses on new installs. Twice I've had new line installs delayed (one by two months) because Openreach are convinced a given address/postcode does not exist, despite there being active lines there.

Openreach need a very hefty kick up the backside. They still act as if they're an internal maintenance division, and the ISPs/Communications Providers are left to take all the flak and take a dive in the OFCOM user satisfaction surveys. If Openreach was listed separately in those surveys I would bet they'd top ANY of the ISPs by a massive margin.

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rhydian
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Re: Do they still charge for technical support calls?

My personal approach would be for openreach to become more like the regional electricity suppliers (SP energy networks, Western Power distribution etc).

You'd contact/pay Openreach directly for your Copper/Fibre line back to the exchange , and deal with any faults/upgrades with them directly (i.e. the line rental part of the service), then pay an ISP for internet access/calls or whatever. The line rental cost might rise (to cover Openreach having to invest in callcentres etc.) but at least you'd be able to contact them directly in a fault case.

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rhydian
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Re: OpenWretch

That's a classic case of the Openreach Merry-go-round. Where openreach has more customers than working lines in a given area (usually rural).

What happens is that if someone reports a faulty line, Openreach will simply swap the faulty line with a neighbour's (working) line. That neighbour then reports a faulty line, and its passed on again...

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rhydian
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Re: Do they still charge for technical support calls?

Half the problem is you can't call openreach unless your an ISP/Communications provider. You have to go through your own ISP/CP, who then call Openreach, who then screw up, call the ISP/CP back (if you're lucky) who then call you (only if you're very lucky).

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rhydian
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About bloody time

Its about time Openreach were made to offer a better service level for domestic customers. They are by far the worst utility for installation and repair delays. Even business response can be slow due to Openreach's wide reaching organisational incompetence. Their reluctance to fix known, long term faults is legendary.

My only fear is that MBORC (Matters beyond our/openreach's reasonable control) will be invoked far more often to make up the shortfalls.

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rhydian
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Re: FTTP - see Verizon, JT, etc

"If they hadn't been such cheapskates after privatisation in the 80's and put so much aluminium rather than copper underground, it wouldn't be in such a crap state either."

The GPO/PO telephones used aluminium and even worse stuff (copper coated steel was probably the worst) when copper prices shot up in the 60s/70s. This was before privatisation.

And as for BT being ready to "fibre up the whole country" in the 80s, that would have killed any competition stone dead. I also doubt they were serious, they had only just started installing system X and system Y digital exchanges in the early 1980s, and were only starting on shifting their backhaul over to fibre.

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BOOM BOOM: Dixons fires the human cannon

rhydian
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Amazon, John Lewis and Appliances Online should do the job given enough time. Unfortunately some people still see tham as the "go to" for an overpriced appliance with a pricey extended guarantee

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David Cameron wants mobe network roaming INSIDE the UK

rhydian
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Re: Noooo

"Parasitic bosses dont - if you turn your phone off you are slacking even on holiday - if there's no signal then your really free."

The problem I'm seeing is that you seem to have your work phone on holiday with you.

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rhydian
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Re: Landlines

Have you seen one recently? Most of the really rural ones are long gone.

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rhydian
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It's all a matter of spectrum...

The big benefit of national roaming would be that those on EE/3 could take advantage of Voda/O2's lower frequency spectrum, which carries better over distance (in my experience).

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rhydian
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Re: Noooo

Could you remind people that mobile phones do in fact have an "off" button...

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Broadband bumpkin BONANZA: 8 altnets shortlisted for £10m UK.gov subsidy

rhydian
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Also, Most churches aren't exactly bristling with connectivity (a few I know of have no mains electricity or water/drainage installs of any kind)

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Londoners urged to cut landlines and take up wireless broadband

rhydian
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"I don't accept that it costs £14/month (BT's prices) to maintain a bit of copper between you and the exchange/cabinet, my copper wire has been in place for over 30 years, where is the cost for the line? the equipment you talk about is the PSTN voice equipment right?, not the ADSL+ stuff?"

Your line rental pays for the maintenance of that line and the exchange equipment its connected to, along with the poles, cabinets, electricity supplies and so on that line. The ADSL part covers the cost of a DSLAM port, the backhaul back out to the outside world and so on.

If you weren't paying line rental, then your ISP/Comms provider would simply roll up those access and maintenance charges in to your monthly rate. That's what electricity supply companies do with their "no standing charge" tariffs. Your still paying for the cost of getting a line to your house (and maintaining it), but wrapped up in a single monthly payment.

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Dixons and Carphone Warehouse confirm £3.7bn MEGA-BORG

rhydian
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Re: tthe Poole retail jungle

This reminds me of Aberystwyth back in the late 1990s and Early 2000s. Thanks to the vagaries of takeovers, Dixons were directly opposite Currys on the High Street. The only difference was that Currys had fridges and washing machines on display, while Dixons had cameras. In the end they moved the Currys to an out of town retail park, and Dixons were gone not long after.

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rhydian
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It was hilarious. The whole point of going there was to compare TVs with my own eyes, so I asked to get BBC2 on all the 32" ones they had in a row (about 5). Sales droid answers that due to not having a TV licence, they couldn't do it.

John Lewis got my business instead...

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rhydian
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Re: to misquote McNealy...

The easiest and quickest way to kill off out of town retail would be to make high street retail attractive again. The way to do that is to realise that people do like to drive to shops, and thus charging a fortune for town centre parking isn't the way to go.

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rhydian
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This will be the first merger ever...

...Covered by an extended 5 year guarantee!

But seriously, the new borged being will need to sort out the frankly dismal level of product knowledge that the average Currys/PCWorld sales droid has. Carphone warehouse might have a few issues, but I've always found their customer care to be at least "reasonable".

Currys on the other hand couldn't show me a live broadcast on a TV they had for sale as the shop hadn't actually got a TV licence. Then, when I asked about integrated freesat TVs, the sales droid BSOD'd and had to fetch the supoervisor. When I told the supervisor I didn't want to look at an LG because I'd experienced faulty ones in the past, he said my doubts were unfounded.

That was until I pointed out the LG on display which was turning the screen off once a second...

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We'd switch mobile networks, but we can't be bothered – survey

rhydian
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Re: I have a little list...

Much obliged. Have an drink.

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rhydian
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I have a little list...

I'd consider moving to an MVNO, but its sometimes a right struggle to find out which network they use in the background. Living out in the sticks only one network has 3G capabilities locally.

If there were a list of MVNOs and which network they used it would be damned handy.

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rhydian
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Re: Explain please

MNO = Mobile network operators (Vodafone, O2, EE, 3)

MVNO = Mobile virtual network operators (Tesco Mobile, Talk Mobile, ASDA mobile and so on)

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Canuck cops cuff teen suspect in swatter-for-hire case

rhydian
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Re: data transmission devices?

"Yes the police and technology are not exactly best friends. Mind you I was curious as to how these false alarms put the police in danger, I don't think a false alarm about a bomb can actually explode....."

I'd imagine the thinking is that as there are only a fixed number of SWAT or bomb disposal units, ones sent to false callouts aren't available to cover real ones, meaning the officers there will be at risk.

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Birmingham's Computer Bookshops Ltd goes titsup

rhydian
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Even 10 years ago...

When I was starting my degree course, I remember a lecturer telling us "Don't bother with the Library. By the time the book is written, checked and published the information is out of date". While this wouldn't be true of more general works, I really can't see how a tech books specialist survived this long.

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Mae Microsoft yn addysgu Swyddfa, Bing, siarad Cymraeg*

rhydian
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Re: The main point to remember here is...

I work with an organisation with offices all over Wales (15 sites) and we've never had any issues with standardising language for documentation or with general conversation.

And if your looking for a closer example, what do English people call a small bread item ideally shaped to contain cooked bacon?

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rhydian
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The main point to remember here is...

That Welsh/Cymraeg is an official language of Government in Wales, and has legal parity with English. Therefore anything that helps those working with Welsh in the assembly is an useful aid, especially when it can be used by the greater public. In comparison England doesn't actually have an official language.

As for "Well you can speak English perfectly well" arguments. Yes, I can speak English, but in my work and home life I genuinely don't need to unless dealing with firms like EE or BT business. Heck, even my (Spanish owned) electricity supplier offers welsh language billing. It's a peculiar trait of some English speakers to not quite understand why anyone would want to speak anything else (the classic "when abroad simply speak louder" mindset).

And as for "Welsh isn't even standardised", neither is English (hence all the choices of "xyz English" for MS word spell checking).

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Dixons tells HQ workers: Yes, that IS a creaky trapdoor you hear. You're at risk of redundo

rhydian
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Joke

They should have gone for the extended guarantee when they took the job...

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Chucking cash at sport and broadband starts to pay off for BT

rhydian
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Re: Openreach Monopoly

You can't blame the government for Wight Fibre not tendering for the contract, or for Fujitsu to throw their toys out of the pram when they wouldn't be awarded every single contract.

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rhydian
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Re: Meanwhile...

AndrueC is right on the money. If you don't like an ISP's approach to web filtering/traffic shaping/costing then go with one of the others like aaisp.

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rhydian
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Most of the mobile networks offer Wifi-via-mobile broadband kit now.

The big disadvantage of depending on mobile in rural areas is that there's usually only one mast. If that goes pop, then you lose phone and internet until it gets fixed.

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rhydian
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And the removal of free evening calls from new broadband contracts (its now either weekends only or extra for anytime free calls)

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rhydian
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The article said that Openreach SALES were flat, nothing about profit.

And while Openreach is a monopoly, its a monopoly that has to make its kit available to anyone who asks for it at a price set by the regulator.

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Cameras for hacks: Idiot-proof suggestions invited

rhydian
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Re: A step backwards

" It's a shame because with the kit and technology available to journalists and others today, we should be in a golden age of reporting but the cuts make that impossible."

The problem is that its that "kit and technology" that's driving down the revenues of publishing and journalism, both online and in print. There's no point making a beautiful looking magazine if not enough people will pay for it.

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BT fibre 'availability checker' looks into FAR-OFF FUTURE. Again

rhydian
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Re: Same here

"Meanwhile, the fact STILL remains that broadband at that speed CAN be provisioned in Romania for much cheaper than Britain, in spite of the difference in GDP!"

The difference is of course with wages that low, your staffing costs are also lower (meaning less cost to pass on to your customer)...

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rhydian
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Re: @wonko

"I don't get why that is, I am in a similar situation, exchange only line... what is the difference to putting the VDSL support in the exchange vs a cab? I can't see what the problem it..."

A commentard on another BT/openreach story explained that there's an industry body (Basically the big ISPs and exchange kit makers) that governs what can and can't be put in to BT's exchanges. Apparently VDSL kit doesn't play nice with other kit, therefore the usual response is to stick a cab just outside the exchange for those lines.

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