Technological Isolation

Overjoyed as I am at the fact that we have got a flat to go to and won’t be homeless at the end of the month, there is a problem. When we visited the new flat last week a quick check of all the mobile phones present showed that there was little or no mobile signal on 3, Orange, T-Mobile or O2. My dad did actually receive a call while we were there, but my identical phone on an identical network didn’t pick up a signal at all. Later I looked at coverage checkers at all those networks and Vodafone too. They all show that the signal strength there is “Outdoor only” which means that the signal is so poor that it can’t penetrate walls to allow reception inside the house. As for mobile internet or 3G and mobile broadband, forget it. Not gonna happen.

So having accepted that our mobile phones will probably only ever ring if left on the windowsill, I asked about the landline at the flat. Apparently there is a phone socket, but the current tenant doesn’t actually use it. It will therefore have to be re-connected by BT. Re-connection takes time, and broadband is likely to take ten days after that. In all likelihood, I will not have any telephone or internet for a couple of weeks after moving in. I will also be several miles from people that I know and in no fit state to walk or ride anywhere to see them. I’m going to be cut off.

No phone and no internet makes Steve go crazy.

Hi, I’m Steve, and I’m an internet addict!

Help me.

Author: Latentexistence

The world is broken and I can't fix it because I am broken. I can, however, rant about it all and this is where I do that when I can get my thoughts together. Most of the time you'll find my words on Twitter rather than here though. I sometimes write for Where's The Benefit too.

7 thoughts on “Technological Isolation”

  1.  I have the same problem in my flat with our mobile phones, digital radio. There are TWO place in the whole apartment the digital radio can sit in and they’re at opposite ends of the place, by windows. Wireless internet doesn’t always work in the bedroom for the laptops. 

    When we moved into this place, I phoned BT and said “You might think of this as a reconnection, but we’ve never been with BT before so it’s a NEW connection for us, can you waive the £150 please?” A few minutes later, they did, thank goodness.

  2. “Re-connection takes time, and broadband is likely to take ten days after that. In all likelihood” – when you order the line, you have to ask for a simultaneous order – then they give you a code to pass on to your ISP and you get internet the same day as phone.

    btw, have you looked into Vodafone sure signal? don’t know the cost, so sorry if this is a daft idea.

    1. Just to confirm: moved today. Phone went off at old house, and on at new house, complete with internet – all same day. BT line, plusnet internet, took number with us (though it worked just as well last time, when we didn’t). The estimated times they give you are worst case. Good luck!

  3. You do not have to use BT, and other suppliers may be able to get Openreach (previously known as BT Wholesale) to get a connection date quicker that BT Retail (sounds daft but true).

  4.  …and if the line is actually inactive you can get the ball rolling on arranging an installation date now, as the current user doesn’t need to also contact the phone company as there is no current user. 2-3 weeks can be normal wait time for a new connection at the moment, very much depends on area.

  5. Unfortunately I can’t order anything yet, because I have no idea when the house will be ready and we will be given keys, so I can’t arrange to be there for the engineer to visit. I have the same problem with arranging to switch the pre-payment meters for gas and electricity.

    The good news is someone nearby is using a BT Homehub, which means there are BT Openzone and BT Fon WiFi networks available from inside the house. I can use one of those for a couple of weeks.

  6. You might find your energy company will try and charge you to exchange the meters, this is becoming increasingly common. If the charge is astronomical, you might want to look at http://www.ebico.org.uk as you can stay on the current prepayment meters but avoid the usual inflated prices (if you are a high energy user, avoid this advice).

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