Letters July 22: BT dragging its feet over broadband

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From: David T Craggs, Goldthorpe, Rotherham.

AM I the only one who becomes incandescent when I see the almost daily, often full-page, BT adverts in the media? The company’s advertising bill must be astronomical and I ask the question – if the company is so flush with money why are many of us still waiting for our superfast broadband?

I understand that of the 27 EU countries the UK is 12th when it comes to download speed and 16th for uploading. In my opinion BT has dragged its feet on broadband provision, preferring to compete with the likes of Sky for Premiership football and other “fancy” packages.

As far back as I can remember, millions of us have regularly paid our monthly landline rentals to the point where we have more than paid, and in advance too, for our superfast broadband connection.

Of course the problem goes back to when BT was privatised and given, for a reason I never understood, the landline monopoly. I suspect that had the use of that thin phone cable that comes into our homes been open to competition, like our gas pipes, electricity cable and even our water pipes were, we wouldn’t be in this unacceptable position now. Even new homes are being built without a superfast broadband connection, and blame for that can be placed at the door of Government for not insisting that BT install it as the norm.

Just a few days ago I contacted BT, asking them when I can expect my two-year-old home to be connected to superfast broadband. Their reply was – we’ll let you know. The company couldn’t even give me an approximate date. One would think that I lived on a remote farm up in the High Pennines. I don’t. My home is in a built-up area in the centre of South Yorkshire.

Speaker’s arrogance

From: Alec Denton, Guiseley.

THANK you for your editorial during the week concerning the treatment by the Speaker of the House of Commons of Greg Mulholland MP when he attempted to support Sam Brown of Otley (The Yorkshire Post, July 15).

Thank you also for publishing Tom Richmond’s comments on Saturday concerning the appalling treatment of both Greg Mulholland and also of Mary Creagh, two excellent Yorkshire MP’s, by the same John Bercow, who as Speaker of the House of Commons is charged with upholding fairness. I hope these two excellent pieces of journalism have by now found their way onto the Speaker’s desk.

To balance the political book, on Saturday morning I saw Stuart Andrew, our local Conservative MP, hard at work conducting an open surgery in Guiseley Morrisons, a service to constituents I am unable to picture the arrogant and ignorant John Bercow providing. We have some good MPs in Yorkshire from across the political spectrum and I hope they can work together at Westminster to support the changes mooted for our county.

Steeped in memory

From: Don Metcalfe, Annes Court, Southowram, Halifax.

IAN McMillan’s musings on tea making remind me of my early days as an apprentice motor mechanic at Halifax Corporation Transport Department.

The year was 1948, the staff were members of the Amalgamated Engineering Union. For some reason this union provided quarter pound packets of Typhoo tea. This was distributed to the staff.

My job was at 9.30am to take 14 pots to the canteen, with the tea leaves in them and “Bull” the tea. This tea was then taken to the workshop for 10am.

At 10.10am the buzzer sounded and I took the empty pots to the washroom. There I drained the water from each pot and dried the tea leaves on pieces of toilet paper on the radiators.

At 12.15pm I put the tea leaves back in the pots and “bulled” the tea at the canteen. When work re-started I took the empty pots again to the wash room and carried out the earlier procedure.

But this time I added a pinch of salt to each pile. At 2.45pm I put the tea leaves in the pots and “bulled” the tea again! After 3.10pm I could finally wash away the tea leaves. I later learned that “bulled” was a Bradford term, but someone may know better.

Clarifying essay title

From: Dr Dennis O’Keefe, University of Huddersfield.

I WOULD like to point out that in “Batting for Britain in the Shadow of War” (The Yorkshire Post, July 18), your excellent presentation of my essay, the title of my Bramley Award for the Yorkshire Society’s history essay prize was in fact: “Not Playing the Game? The Continuation of Cricket in Halifax and the Calder Valley during the Great War”, rather than “WWI and the day Northern cricket stood against the Establishment... and won!” as stated.

Also, I may have inadvertently given the impression that all the members of a single team at Mytholmroyd Sunday School Cricket Club perished in the Great War. Although 11 players did die in the conflict, they were not from a single team, as the club had sufficient members to support two sides at the outbreak of war. The intention had been to emphasise that so many players had been lost as would have made up a complete XI.