Big Eye, September 15, 2015

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My friends and Mrs E claim that I am a cynic and it would be fair to say they have a point. I expect the worst and assume that promises are empty, guarantees are worthless and human beings always resort to looking after number one when faced with options. This doesn’t make me an unhappy or particularly angry person but it does invade every aspect of day-to-day life. Sometimes I resist my instincts and give someone or some business the benefit of the doubt in the hope 
that my trust in them or 
their products will be rewarded…..

Recently I was persuaded by adverts that smart phones and mega-speed broadband connections would benefit the Big Eye household and so I decided to accept their offer of a tremendous deal that would involve mind-bending download speeds and a 4G connection everywhere. Naturally, I assumed that if I was receiving adverts promising the ultimate in connection I could trust them because there are laws about misrepresentation (or lying).

Nobody living in the sticks will be surprised to hear that my naive enthusiasm for their blandishments was short lived once I’d checked their claims and looked at signal data from their own sources. The package included whizzy technology allowing me access via Wi-Fi to their phone system when I was “out and about” visiting flower shops and hanging out with my urbane sophisticated pals in ‘pop-up’ restaurants etc. Further investigation of the maps showing where these shrines to modern living were placed indicated that my nearest ‘hot-spot’ was a mere 15 miles away.

You only have to spend five minutes in any shop queue or at the bar in your rural local before your neighbour will start flicking his phone and waving it about above head height in a bizarre rain-dance ritual in a forlorn attempt to ‘get a signal’….we invariably fail. We fail because these telecoms officials showering you with their overblown, cheesy banal piffle in the form of adverts offering their services have no concept that we don’t all live in a stylish street full of loft apartments with coffee shops littering the street.

West Norfolk’s carrot crunchers, it seems to me, have been entirely abandoned by the telecom industry but still they try to rope us in and charge exorbitant fees for services they struggle to deliver and it’s time KL&WNBC woke up and realised that we are rapidly sliding into a communications backwater and began thumping tables.

It no longer funny or acceptable that we should be treated like some ‘third-world’ abyss and as I sit writing this piece I stare pathetically at a phone showing neither 4G, 3G, or even 2G…I have no service.

In the meantime if Henry or Liz wants to really do something for us maybe they can do a bit more than express concern. Perhaps they can rock some boats and get some action.

Somebody needs to sort it out now before my cynicalometer goes up to max again!