I know I promised to abandon ADSL but readers have e-mailed and rung about it. Here are some frequently asked questions:
Question: I registered a year ago with BT, I've checked that my exchange is OK for ADSL and it is. I've rung BT a number of times and I'm told to wait my turn.Still nothing has happened, what can I do?
Answer: I wish I knew. Keep trying: it is not impossible that BT has let you fall off the database (or that is what it seemed to be saying had happened to me) so insist on it checking that you are still there. Also you are in a queue with other ADSL providers which BT also has to connect.
Only BT technicians can do this, so says BT, although in Europe you do it yourself.
Remember, the people running BT are much the same people as ran the old GPO.
Question: Is ADSL actually as fast as they say it will be? Like, say,10 times faster?
Answer: Yes, if it is BT - but not always. At least one ADSL provider from whom I've had a brochure offer to connect you only at twice your present V90 speed.With BT, when you are going through a good patch, you can download files and programs at a speed you have never seen before.But see the next answer.
Question: Is ADSL reliable?
Answer: Sometimes, which probably means no. I find there are periods of maybe a minute and a half when it simply fails to respond to anything or comes up with the stupid 'The page cannot be displayed' message.Meantime the LED eyes on the Giger Fish, aka the ADSL modem, glow, furtively hinting that all is possibly well and that you are really a confused individual.
Question: Should I sign up for ADSL?
Answer: Yep. But at BT's current rate of connection it might not be until the end of the millennium. Jump up and down and write to your MP pointing out that, thanks to the geniuses at BT, we Brits, once the electronic communications leaders in Europe, are spiralling into the abyss.