broadband Business Net

The BT engineering visit lottery – get yer tickets ere

Broadband engineering visit lottery results in 3 cancelled appointments.

BT has some great engineers on the ground. I witnessed one in action recently when he did some troubleshooting on my line and found a corroded pair of wires creating noise. The knock on effect was a modulated line with slower speeds. It was fixed. Great.

On Thursday Mrs Davies called me whilst I was in London to say “the internet isn’t working”. Now I love her a lot but whenever she says the internet isn’t working it is working and usually it is down to user error with whichever gadget she happens to be playing with. Either that or Microsoft software.

On this occasion I got home and found that indeed “the internet wasn’t working”! A quick skeet showed me that the VDSL modem was kaput. A technical term for “knackered” – from the same school as vorchsprung dorch technik (or however they spell it). It’s kind of ok because we all have mobile connectivity in our house. Frustrating for my wife who has grown used to “lightning” speed connectivity. Lots of “” in this post btw.

The upshot of it is largely that the kids couldn’t play Xbox live games and she who must be obeyed could not catch up with the Hairy Bikers on the iPad in the kitchen. Not the end of the world I’d say but certainly noticeable from a family feedback perspective.

My parting shot on the way in on Friday was “Not to worry” and “I’ll get someone out with a new modem”.

Engineer internet

miscellany submarine cables and submarines – dive dive dive

submarine cable map courtesy of my old alma mater today, Bangor University. It’s nice to get invited. We are opening a new Laboratory and then the Annual Engineering Lecture. This year it is entitled “Submarine Engineering across the years”  and is to be given by Rear Admiral (retd) Paul Thomas CB, FREng, FCGI, FIMechE, Hon FNucI, Hon FSaRS. That’s more badges than most of us could possibly dream of!

The subject is quite convenient because some time ago I bookmarked a website thinking it was cool and would come in handy some day. Well now it has and whilst absolutely  nothing to do with today’s lecture it is fascinating to see where all the undersea cables are. The whole internet is underpinned by relatively few connections really.

If you click on an individual cable line it tells you who owns the cable, how long it is, when it was laid and where it lands. This is big business. Some of these cables are very long. SeaMeWe3 for example is 39,000km, stretches from Germany all the way to Australia and South Korea and is owned by a cooperative of 16 organisations.

Keeping it topical, some governments, ours included want to monitor the traffic running though these cables. When you look at the map it makes you realise how absurd this is.

I have visions of Rear Admiral (retd) Paul Thomas in his sub pootling along following the cables to find his way home – a bit like the pilots in their Sopwith Camels during WW1 following the roads and railway lines. Fiendishly clever. Splice the mainbrace, Klingons on the starboard bow, land ho, take her down number one, dive dive dive, etc etc etc.

I’ll let you know how the lecture goes 🙂