Bad Stuff broadband Business

UK Broadband — Not Fit for Purpose

Ignore the pachyderm! By 2017 100% of the UK will have broadband (supposedly).

It would seem that far too many people are happy to skirt around the issues, to deliver platitudes and sound bites to willing journalists who don’t actually feel like investigating the truth or facing the elephant in the country. Particularly in the countryside. I was brought up in Yorkshire where a spade (particularly when used for a fibre dig) is a spade.

UK Broadband is quite simply not fit for purpose. There – a trunk, 2 flappy ears and a long memory. See it?!

Oh yes, there are a few people in the nation who can use iPlayer to watch TV shows they’ve missed without buffering, catch up with friends and family on Facebook and not worry about the automatic video downloading, make the odd Skype call without sounding like an alien or being pixelated, and game with others around the world. The applications mentioned, though, are not bandwidth intensive or real-time critical, though, so it would be more than remiss if our telcos couldn’t provide sufficient connectivity for these types of activities. More worrying is that a huge number of people cannot do any of these things, let alone do more.

Smart meters (a truly bad idea, anyway) are not going to work for many, especially in rural areas, tele-health is bordering on impossible still, innovation has gone by the wayside, etc. Not only have we not been able to do this since the ADSL roll-out, it is looking increasingly unlikely that we will be able to do so this decade. The claims that 20,000 people per week are being connected with “superfast” broadband start to fall over the minute you log onto any of the broadband consumer forums and read the real-world experiences behind such claims. It is just hype, crafted for the press release, and spread with jam for the minister appearances in front of the House or news cameras.

The truth is that however much money the UK government seems to throw at BT to deliver nationwide broadband (ADSL, now superfast), the company continually fails to do so. And in a spectacular fashion that requires successive ministers to lie to the public about progress. As good little boys and girls, we all believe what we read in the press and see on TV (right?). We are endlessly told that all is going well, that by 2017 100% of the country will have broadband, and that the mandarins in Whitehall know that they are getting true value out of our money. Yet even though we can see this is definitely NOT the case (as can PAC, NAO etc) we allow good money to be thrown after bad, and with nary a challenge in the mainstream media as investigative journalism appears to have lost the wheels from its wagon.

Recently, there has been a surge in network outages (VirginMedia being the most recent at the beginning of last week), and an increasing number of complaints about (1) paying for superfast and getting nowhere close, (2) people being disconnected for months whilst the ping pong game between ISP and telco fail to resolve faults or long line issues, (3) dirty tricks campaigns that prevent utterly fed-up communities from JFDI themselves, and so on. The list of failures within telecoms at present would be almost funny, in fact, if it wasn’t so very sad that as far as connectivity goes Britain is quickly becoming a third world nation.

Many network operators surveyed recently say that their networks are at full stretch now, and that without substantial investment the strain of IoT (Internet of Things) could cause further breakages. Consumers know first-hand that this is the case because their connections often grind to a halt. Yet, where is the long term cross-party plan, after discussion with that most vital stakeholder (the consumer)? Where is the inquiry into why BT failed to deliver the first round of broadband, yet persistently lied in saying that 99.7% of the country had precisely that? And who the eff decided to set the procurement up so that it could all happen again? (Yeah, yeah, no one ever lost their job buying IBM, but an entire country is losing out right now).

Where is the platform for the great and good of the broadband world, who unsurprisingly do not lurk in Whitehall or Westminster like the paid lobbyists, always ready to advise the policy wonks on what is required and how to reach the day where we can all sit back and enjoy our connectivity? After all, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that in order to break the cycle of the Broadband Groundhog days of the last 2 decades, the entire country needs to be fibred up with an upgrade path for the future that is gigabit+. Whether individual homes and businesses are on wireless, mobile or a wire, it all has to be fibre-fed. And the closer the fibre is to each premises, mast, hub, etc., the better.

Where are the MPs flocking in droves to Lancashire, Oxfordshire, etc. and exclaiming in joy at the solutions being put in place by (mainly) privately funded alternatives? Where are the lessons learnt from all that has gone before being put into practice? It sure ain’t in a £10M pot for innovation that includes one company whose directors recently all resigned, some satellite providers, and a voucher scheme or two. Where is the MORAL FIBRE, the concern to find the right solution for the well being of this nation, the cojones to face up to errors and JFDI right?

We have covered all this before — over and over, I daresay — and for more than 20 years now. We have shouted, even from within Westminster and Whitehall, but hell, what do we know? We are only the people who need to use it.

If BDUK had adopted Fibre To The Village Pump as even a possible concept, you can guarantee right now that BT would not be sticking cabinets in B4RN villages and cutting through water pipes or fibre, as happened last week. As a BT shareholder, I would want to know what they think they are doing with the company’s capital if that is the best plan they can come up with to capture market share. I mean, really, why compete with a gigabit network that has the support of pretty much all of the community when your only offering is a substandard tech using over-lengthy copper phone lines? (And yes, we know BT could do FTTH on poles, but are all still holding our breath to see this actually occur in Dolphinholme).

Quite simply, these days it is depressing to be a British broadband campaigner. You watch (seemingly on an endless loop) the farcical decisions, policies and spend coming from an establishment that cannot even manage to keep track of its own files, which are on paper (water-damaged is today’s excuse). ON PAPER? Really?!? They feel fit to advise us on digital issues when no digitisation has been done, and even when it is done the serfs (sorry, civil servants) lose it on trains?

So, back to the elephant….

British broadband via BDUK is not fit for purpose today, nor at the current rate will it be in the future, and nor are those making the decisions to spend (WASTE) our money with a company that cannot deliver fit for purpose either.

[And if you want to know how I would deal with the elephant — aside, of course, from addressing it in articles such as this one — I am available as an experienced, consumer-oriented, opinionated, best practice Solution Seeker who has a weekly show on TechQT that discusses all of this broadband stuff and more.]

broadband Business Net

Why Broadband isn’t Always the Problem

Broadband traffic management may be to blame for your problems suggests Lindsey Annison

I know, I know. It seems anathema, really, in a world of hyperfast comms, but sometimes it’s not the broadband pipe to your place at fault.

Let me apologise for my absence. Part of it was indeed the pipe. It broke. Big style. Then, once having realised the connection was non-functional, my next problem was actually reaching the people who could fix it. I rang and rang. And rang. Which is not so easy when you have no mobile coverage and have been relying on t’interweb for VoIP. (When did all the phone boxes get taken away to be showers in boutique hotels, anyway?)

Since being fixed, (which I say glibly, like it was some menial task and that all is well again; which it wasn’t and it isn’t) the problems have continued and have become, as many have discovered when buying from a different service provider than those in charge of the pipes, a whole new kettle of fish. Stuff doesn’t work, though of course I am paying for it to work. This has now become a debate sinfin with a World Cup level of ball passing prior to someone paying for a penalty to occur going on.

It seems we are now into the phase of network and traffic management issues. Is this the precursor, the “getting you adapted phase”, for the real sting in the tail of what is going on with net neutrality?

You can run a squillion speedtests. None of these will prepare you for how an app, a service, SAAS, a program, a feed, etc. will work because YOU, the consumer, cannot possibly know where the resources are being directed by your provider or any of the other servers on the network you traverse as you meander round the net. However righteous your purpose, or however much you pay per month, those ol’ servers may not play ball with you if they are set to a different mission.

Broadband Pipe

Oh yeah, you have a fat pipe all right, but it is only to the tap in your garden. Beyond that, the water pressure can be raised and lowered as the supplier chooses, and that can include dribble as much as flow. And for this there is no regulation. If your supplier decides to divert all resources to watering pitches in Brasil whilst you look to prepare the wicket at Headingley — tough. This ain’t cricket, you may shout. (Hooray, it’s finally the season for whites and willow and sandwiches on the green.) Your complaints will go unheard and actually your supplier may be entirely unable to solve the problem, however fat the fibre optic pipe (more likely slim and tired Victorian copper) to your house. If a server somewhere across the network has decided to …um…not serve, then the bits wot you need to do whatever it is you wish to seem to go into hiding. Not available., time out, server not found, etc.


The Google Blinkers are Coming Off…

Despite my overwhelming obsession with broadband campaigning (which has now consumed nearly two decades of my life) I do actually have a real job, one which was the actual cause of me getting involved in broadband in the first place. As one of the first Internet marketers in the world, back in 1995 I was having major problems delivering the services my clients wanted. Not only was I on dial up costing per call (roll on FRIACO), but I also regularly had computers blown up by power surges because of my rural location. and today, little has changed — my productivity is still minimal compared to my capabilities, purely due to the poor quality of my connectivity. I worry less about my connection, though, as the electricity problem has been reduced with surge protectors, UPS, etc., though, and I also no longer want to work every day and night!

Back in ’97, I think, I finally decided to move my site off GeoCities and all the other freebie sites I had created a presence on, and instead get a domain and a single point of presence. One of the discussions in the industry at the time was the importance of having keywords in your domain name. Having had a quite a few clients by that point, though, I already realised that relying on search engines to generate traffic was not the be-all-and-end-all of Internet marketing, and I hated with a vengeance the term “Search engine optimist” and all variants thereof. In fact, just that TLA on its own could set me off. SEO? Pah, don’t you know about webrings, or fora, or bulletin boards, or IRC, or who you can find on ICQ, or how good some of the niche directories are, or.. or…or…

Google, when I began, wasn’t even a gleam in a garage, and there were multiple engines with different ranking algorithms and rules you had to try to satisfy to get decent listings across the many engines to get traffic. I registered WebPR, as I felt that it was all about being open with the public and building relationships. I’m still very happy with my domain, though I no longer use it to get work. (In fact, it is deliberately set up at present to avoid that pain!)

broadband Business

Broadband funding

Broadband funding for rural broadband projects is not working that well says Lindsey Annison.

Recently, I was part of a very interesting discussion on TechQT about funding broadband, particularly for areas where there has been (or where it is perceived that there will be) a level of failure in the superfast roll-out.


Whilst many will argue that both the commercial deployment and that associated with the BDUK funding are still ‘in progress’ (and, hence, this discussion could be deemed to be premature), it is already becoming clear that there will be a shortfall not only in coverage percentages and the tech being used (FTTC or worse, instead of full-blown, full-fat FTTH or FTTP),  but also in availability even where the area has been deemed covered.

What will people do in areas where the superfast solution is not being deployed? Or in areas where FTTC simply will not technically work? Or in areas which appear to have been forgotten or ignored?

broadband Business

Future Broadband Planning Requirements

It seems to be one of those weeks where UK broadband stories are coming thick and fast. Not only that, but more and more people are pitching in with considered opinions on stories and, in fact, the comments are beginning to make for far more valuable reading than the original articles! And perhaps that could be the case here too. 😉

I want to follow up today on two stories that have broken this week on new build and broadband.

The first story was on ThinkBroadband, regarding a new build housing estate in West Yorkshire and broadband availability for the new homeowners in Calderdale. ThinkBroadband believes that this new estate will have a reasonably good chance of achieving that oh-so-elusive “superfast” connectivity from cab 106 — approx 93% chance of greater than 30Mbps. (Bear in mind that this is only in reference to download, so anyone looking for a reasonable upload should hold their horses before buying!)

The ThinkBroadband article makes the point that though this is not a rural cab it has been funded by BDUK, which if you recall was for the Final Third and rural properties, so questions probably ought to be asked as to why taxpayer money is being used to fund what should have fallen into BT’s commercial rollout in Halifax.

Oh look, in the comments! Questions *are* being asked!

John Popham notes:

This is all good news for the people who live in this area, but….. this is a relatively new housing development built well beyond the point when most of society realised that broadband was an essential component of life. And now, the taxpayer is having to subsidise their connections. This does not make any sense at all.

Can it be that difficult to put planning conditions into new developments that they must make provision for fibre-to-the-premises connections? From the developers’ viewpoint it would help the properties to sell.

Popham makes an extremely valid point that should be raised over and over again. Why have planning agencies, housing developers, and the government not yet cottoned on to the importance of building homes that are broadband enabled? Isn’t that like building houses that from the moment the architect gets involved are not legislated to be environmentally friendly, cheaper to heat, with a reduced carbon footprint and so on? Ah….no, we have not yet mastered that either.

So whereby countries other than the UK can 3D print a whole house out of recycled materials for less than £1500 in a couple of hours, we have not yet quite gotten around to enforcing environmental standards on new build, let alone tech requirements?

broadband Business

Memorable Gigabit Broadband Day

Gigabit broadband makes for memorable day

What with all the kerfuffle over poor broadband in the UK (read: BDUK, BT’s superfarce rollout…and possibly superfalse advertising, too?), it was quite nice to wake up yesterday to good news from the fibre broadband world. There have been far too few of these days over the years, as in actuality the believed-to-be good news is normally followed by reneging, backward shuffling, failure to deliver, etc. I am more than just cautiously hopeful this time, though.

Interestingly, towards the end of a week of TechQT shows on the broadband subject last week (which culminated on Friday eve with Prof Peter Cochrane), after the Thursday show (the one with our international colleagues) I raised a question on Twitter regarding investment:

Investment in UK telecoms



Despite the missing hyphen, I am sure you get the drift. Not that I am by nature an impatient person (I am!), but after 18 years of battling for decent, affordable, ubiquitous (preferably full-fat fibre and FiWi) broadband for all across Britain, sometimes I find it all very frustrating. Investors as a whole seem to believe the hype that Broadband Britain actually exists, or at least that it will one day soon(ish), hence job done. Clearly, though, the job is not done and — much to Britain’s detriment — nothing close to what is required on a national basis yet exists.

Obviously, communities have been trying to resolve the gigabit broadband issue for quite some time, and there are start-ups that are rolling their sleeves up too (e.g.,  Gigaclear, Hyperoptic). It seems, though, that large corporations have also become bored of waiting for gigabit Britain to occur. Go York. (The last time I spoke to CityFibre it was with regard to using their York Core to reach outside York to offer community project backhaul in the rural areas, so perhaps someone who lives in North Yorkshire should now pick that discussion back up?)  Also, there are rumours that Virgin is on the verge of announcing a rural expansion of its network as well. All of this should, of course, please the bods in Westminster and Whitehall no end, as they are always ranting on about how vital competition in Telecoms is, although in reality their support for such an end has been difficult to clarify.

broadband End User ofcom

Fit Broadband Policy

Is broadband fit for purpose, writes Lindsey Annison

Some years ago a few of us touted the notion that broadband could become an election issue on the next hustings. And it sort of did, although not to the extent that many of us at grassroots without a connection would have liked. It triggered some hastily written speeches for Party Conferences, though, and some grandiose promises which of course have never been implemented.

As we run up to the next election (<groan> Have the last lot even achieved anything yet?!), perhaps it is time to bite the bullet and consider some of the aspects of broadband that seriously need to be taken on board by those campaigning on the hustings, and also by those who have desks in Whitehall and Westminster, etc. (Could it be they all work from home these days? Doubtful, but it’d be nice to think that at least a few know the difficulties of teleworking in modern day Britain.)

Philip Virgo’s rather canny A Confucian view of UK broadband, spectrum and cybersecurity can be found on his Computer Weekly blog this week, and as we can but hope that the powers-that-be can actually find a free moment to read I would like to expound a little on the piece’s first section, to start educating our potential candidates for those doorstep meetings they shall soon be starting. Last week at TechQT the three considerations Virgo mentions were covered — transmission, capacity and protection — and Martin Geddes finally nailed it (in his inimitable style) to being a simple question that any person can ask and answer:  Is my broadband fit for purpose?

rosetteEven the most non-techie person can assess whether or not the connection that they are paying for (or are using for free in a hotspot) is FIT FOR PURPOSE. It either works to do what you are endeavoring to, or it doesn’t. Simples.

Waiving wayleaves may seem like a simple solution to one problem, and the arguments given by Philip Virgo’s Confucius contributor covers some of the reasons why this is so. However, it goes beyond wayleaves to my old bugbear, fibre tax. We have made it nearly impossible for new entrants to enter a level playing field should they wish to play the fibre game.  Aidan Pauls’ slide show on the UK VOA fibre tax illustrates just how problematic the issue is, and though it may be from 2010, sadly nothing notable has changed since 2000.

As a regulator, Ofcom is over-populated with ex-Telco employees and is toothless. Well, not so much toothless, but it is as if they are putting their dentures back in after a night’s sleep whenever circumstances require they react to current events of the day/week/month or year in a timely fashion. And that needs to change, and fast, if Britain is to catch up with other nations. Plenty of information is out there regarding developments, lessons learnt, what has been tried and tested, etc., so maybe the Ofcom guys and gals just need to get out more?!

Listen to the voters!  Too often our candidates fail to do enough of this simple and essential task, and thus many of those who will be walking the pavements with their pretty rosettes are not sufficiently well-informed. And because they are not well-informed they assume that the constituents are in a similar boat, which is simply not the case. At the very least, the average householder can answer the Is my broadband fit for purpose? question. Enough “No.” responses, offered hand-in-hand with the odd constituent who pipes up to tell a prospective parliamentary candidate exactly how and why this is causing problems with life/work/play, and the message just might make its way back to the Houses in #thatlondon.

Can but hope.  Toodlepip till next time.

Related posts:

broadband Business internet

FTTP – Fibre To The Polar Bear

Superfast broadband FTTP is said to be uneconomic for rural areas but Telenor thinks otherwise

We hear all the time that rural FTTH (Fibre to the home, or FTTP – Fibre to the premises) is unviable. The reality, though, is that it is only unviable when we view it purely from the deploying Telco point of view AND we understand that infrastructure providers are no longer the holders of patient money (many thanks to Ben Verwaayen for this term). And while this argument has slowed Britain down for a decade (blame the Analysys Mason report that looked at the costs and ROI only from a Telco POV and not from the standpoint of every Brit, council, business, industry, sector, and ROI in social capital, etc., etc.), the lack of such thinking continues to allow other nations to leapfrog the UK in digital development.

A case in point is last week’s news regarding the small, remote, and isolated near-North Pole community of Bjørndalen, where Telenor has helped to bring fibre to 43 early adopters  (even I know Bjorn means ‘bear’, a good indicator of the usual passing traffic). The treatment of this tiny peninsula in the Svalbard Archipelago by Telenor as a miniature version of mainland Norway indicates that they consider it an ideal testbed, giving the Telco an opportunity to “scrap older technologies like copper, coaxial cable and older generation mobile networks”.

Other such testbeds could be rolled out in similar places in other countries, and in particular the UK, though Britain seems to be getting lost in defending the obsolete tech (otherwise known as “sweating the asset”) rather than focusing on resolving the key problem of setting up rural areas for the future. For instance, who could have known that champagne tourism would become a factor in Svalbard, and that even in a global economic crisis access to decent connectivity could have a positive effect on that new and thriving industry?

broadband End User internet net neutrality

My Bandwidth is Precious (GET OFF IT!) — or — Autoplay Angst

Bandwidth usage of streaming video from in page ads uses up data bundle for those people with low data caps on their service – such as satellite based broadband

Oh joy. I keep falling over sites that autoplay videos, and some — I’m looking at you, Facebook — do not appear to have a simple option to switch off this, er..uh, ‘option’. Ignoring some of the real basics are the spurious claims that our bandwidth is being protected with such tricks as  video ceasing to play when the screen is scrolled down, or “it only works when you are connected to wifi”.

First, the video by playing has already consumed some of my precious bandwidth. You can’t just mine these bits at home, you know; data bits are a commodity that have to be bought and paid for. I will press the Play button if I want a video to play, otherwise autoplay is actually forcing me to (a) view something I probably don’t want to view, and (b) causing me to pay for the privilege of viewing that something I don’t want to view, which is on the whole, utter dross. And it is usually advertising dross at that, funded by “someone” to reach an unwilling and hence unresponsive audience. You, oh advertiser, may have money to chuck down the proverbial drain, but many of us out here who are paying to receive your video message do not!

Click Here, Lindsey

Second, what on earth has a wifi connection got to do with it all? Apart from moving the video dross onto a marginally cheaper option than mobile (i.e., by using my fibre, cable or landline-based broadband tariff instead), someone still needs to pay for the bits received. And for those on satellite dishes it makes no difference how video is configured to play, the consumer is going to be extremely cross to find their monthly data allowance munched through regardless of the pain this can cause to the unwillingly disconnected.

broadband Business

RightMove, wrong data?

Broadband speed data used by Estate Agents to sell houses needs keeping up to date.

To an ever-increasing number of us, broadband is pretty darn important. So much so, that access to it (or not) can affect major life decisions. Such as where to have a coffee, or even which house to buy or rent.

If you are trying to run a business from home, broadband is essential. If you are a farmer, you need a decent connection for all the online cow passport, animal movement, SFP etc forms. If you are of school age, you need to study and upload homework. If you are isolated, it can give you access to friends, family, and the world generally. Basically, it is the 4th utility which many of us cannot live without and many people are catching up with this reality.

broadband End User mobile connectivity Net

Call Me a Cynic, but…300Mbps on a Mobile?

Lindsey Annison shares thoughts triggered by an eye-opening pre-Mobile World Summit mobile broadband announcement.

Just spotted a pre-announcement for the Mobile World Summit starting Monday in Barcelona. It was on a Spanish TV channel (24h) and said “Surfing the Net at 300Mbps on a mobile is no longer science fiction.” (But in Spanish, obv).

300Mbps on a mobile would be cool. And would make FTTC, all of BDUK’s efforts (ahem), and every penny of taxpayer’s money and council subsidy obsolete and a waste of public funds – where there is coverage. Which is pretty much what everyone was warning the government about before the process even began.

End User travel

Dear website, I know what I want – YOU don’t.

grrrrIt keeps happening. I go on a website to do a particular thing – e.g download Real Player onto a different computer or visit a website for a specific purpose – and the site makes assumptions and decisions for me which are completely erroneous.

broadband End User

W-w-w-why wi-fi works

why-fiIn the last 2 years, I have travelled through 22 US States, the Caribbean, UK, France and Spain. In the last three weeks alone, I have clocked up 1000+ miles per week in 3 different countries. During 90% of that time, my phone has been on airplane mode after being hit with substantial bills for roaming charges a couple of years ago. Public WiFi is the answer.

Living without a mobile number is not as tough as it seems as long as there are plenty of places to access wifi.

End User social networking

Never, ever change your Twitter handle by @LindseyAnnison

twitter online profile Here is my experience of handing over my beloved and much-used Twitter handle, plus associated domain names, email addresses and contacts, to a good cause.

To cut a very long story into one (longish) paragraph, Digital Dales started out as a voluntary organisation helping Yorkshire Dales businesses to go online in 1999-ish; watched all our tourist businesses, agriculture and industry nearly be dragged into oblivion by the stinking, greasy smoke of the Foot & Mouth pyres in 2001; morphed into a broadband event organiser, run by a rural broadband obsessive, to try to get everyone online firstly whilst the countryside was shut, and then because it was and is vital to rural survival anyway. In 2013, wanting a change of direction in my own life, I decided to hand over the name to a community group doing Digital in the Dales – Fibregarden, who are installing fibre optics (FTTH) to every home and farm in Garsdale and Dent because BT didn’t feel like doing IT.

I thought it would just be a matter of transferring the domain names, and handing over the Twitter account – change the password, start tweeting, folks. Oh, how naïve!

End User security

Intro & Password Pain by @LindseyAnnison

I’m grateful to Tref for leaving the corporate treadmill and embarking on this new venture.  Although he never appeared to hate, or even dislike, his day job as some others in the industry seem to (in fact, having seen him in situ in the Timico offices several times, he seemed to positively revel in it!), I am very much looking forward to his posts, especially about monetising this blog, and hence the new company. So, I would first like to say thanks for the chance to guest post and wish him the best of success.

I guess I’d better briefly introduce myself. I have campaigned for ubiquitous, affordable and, in particular, rural broadband since the mid 90s when I was trying to set up my Internet marketing business in the Yorkshire Dales.  I met Tref because he was kind enough to allow a bunch of broadbandits to invade the top floor of Timico for a colloquium a few years ago. I am currently trying to take a break from all things broadband to write more books (I have so far published six), an internet marketing course for SMEs, and to get back to my core skillset (Internet Marketing and Web PR), and my own business which keeps being put on the backburner because of the broadband shenanigans in the UK. I’m a guest/ghost blogger on many sites, copywriter, occasional ranter, and can be found on Twitter. Usually late at night.

I thought I would begin my guest posting with a tale of woe – the Absolute Pain of Passwords. Is it just me or do others have this problem too?

I have several devices – an iOS smartphone (the iThing), an Apple tablet (iThing2), a Windows laptop, a Remembering PasswordsPC (that can boot into either Ubuntu or two different versions of Windows) and a Mac Mini. That makes a total of seven separate devices. And then there are the many times I might need to use someone else’s device eg whilst travelling, when my battery is flat, cybercafe etc.

If I go to log in to, say, a social media account on one of these devices, and I cannot remember my password, then I either have to find one of the other devices that is logged into the account – which can be a pain if I am not in their location – or, and this is where the nightmare begins, hit “Forgot password”.

This action then kickstarts a chain reaction of marginal chaos.