The Last Mile: Broadband, copper and BT

Here in Jockoland, we've had a pretty wet summer. Most days its rained. This has uncovered two problems. Firstly a leak in our roof, which our local roofing guy - Alastair - fixed. And the second is a long standing issue with our telephone line + broadband. I think I've been moaning about the dammed broadband not working since it went in in 2003. Well, today, after visit number three (over a year), we think we've finally fixed it. The cable from the pole to the house was *old*. By old, I mean the chap who fixed it (and has been working for BT for 20+ years), says it pre-dated him. It pre-dated 'master sockets'. He guessed it went in around 30-40 years ago. When its sunny, the outer shield warms up, sags, and the inner cables stretch. When its cold and wet, any water ingress into the cable stars shorting out any physical breaks. My poor broadband router was trying to be all 21st century over copper wires made for old rotary telephones and physical bells. Poor thing.

Well, two hours of running up and down ladders, and the cable is replaced. I'm getting a steady 3mb ADSL link now (compared to 50k->2.5mb depending on the rain), a 4db reduction in line noise and the line doesnt crackle anymore. Thank god.

So if you have a similar issue - keep complaining. You'll get someone in the end who can fix it.