Broadband’s turn-on frustrations

It’s synonymous with high-speed connectivity, so why do new users have to wait so long to get broadband? SA Mathieson delves into BT’s exchanges to find out

A main distribution frame at a BT telephone exchange in BirminghamThis Guardian Technology article involved visiting a BT telephone exchange in Birmingham to see how broadband connections are made, which is where the image was taken.

In 2012, I received an email from Johnny from America about why it was still so hard to get broadband in Britain, which I replied to here.

Continue reading “Broadband’s turn-on frustrations”

Full tilt: Virgin’s 140mph Pendolino trains

First published in T3, March 2002

‘Fast’ and ‘trains’: two words that tend to be strangers in Britain at the moment, what with strikes, complaints about service levels and fare-rises and the demise of Railtrack, the company meant to look after the tracks. Despite all that, 2002 will see Britain’s biggest rail operator begin replacing its entire fleet of vehicles – with ones that go faster.

Virgin Trains operates two of the four long-distance UK networks. West Coast runs from London Euston to Birmingham, then on to the north-west, north Wales and Scotland. CrossCountry runs the long-distance trains that go everywhere from Penzance to Aberdeen, through a hub at Birmingham New Street. The company is probably the least popular rail operator at the moment, with a poor record for punctuality and reliability. Continue reading “Full tilt: Virgin’s 140mph Pendolino trains”