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This is the UK website for Peter and Maureen Scargill. We live in the Northeast of England and also on occasion in Andalucia in Spain.

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Digital What?

According to the “Digital Britain” report, around 11% of homes cannot currently achieve speeds of 2Mpbs – and so the proposal is to fix faulty wiring and use satellite to fill in.

Well, the faulty wiring bit I can go along with – but satellite – I’ve had various forms of satellite and no amount of technical progress is going to fix the fact that the satellites are thousands of miles up in the sky and the latency makes for example Skype conversations virtually useless. Also one of the original satellite companies recently contacted me and I checked on their pricing – they are STILL taking us to the cleaners – so all that will happen now is that tax-payers will give them their money as against the privileged few who can afford them – this is NOT the solution – there are a boatload of alternatives – WIMAX where a large aerial, say at the top of a hill supplies a wide area…. is one solution, high altitude balloon is another (same idea as satellite without the thousands of miles) – but the real solution is to force BT to do their job properly!

Ofcom will now be able to force service providers to notify households who are downloading and sharing content illegally – HURRAY they’ve finally done what they’ve been wanting to do for years – control the INTERNET – this is big-brother CHINA-STYLE!! What next, selective control of material to make sure our nation sensibilities are not offended?  Social workers calling at your door because you’ve been reading too much right-wing material?

As for 3G networks – which really are pathetic in the UK, the proposition will “provide certainty for investment and an incentive towards greater roll-out” – what? sorry? Last time I contacted Orange to see why we didn’t have coverage in our village they insisted they would LOVE to provide coverage but every time they’d tried to find somewhere to site a masts the “mothers against masts” brigade had stopped them. Until we breed ignorance out of people we’re never going to roll out proper 3G or proper solar and wind power systems for that matter in the UK, instead we’ll just continue to piddle about.  We need a government that is brave enough to take a lead on this an ensure we have universal 3G coverage and policies which ensure the prices are practical – only THEN will we have a truly “digital Britain”.

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