ADSL, Asynchronous whatsit, er, Digital Subscriber Line, whatever. . . It is the seriously fast way to connect with the Web. Last May, like a lot of you, I signed up for BT's version, BT OpenWorld.
BT wanted us all so much it waived the £150 connection fee and the promise was that signers-up could well be connected in the summer. This being a BT promise, I did not hold my breath.
Soon afterwards a BT spokesperson let slip that BT was anxious to milk the last drop out of primitive, but highly profitable, ISDN technology, which involves a mild hike in speed and the need to rent two lines and pay double charges for connection. The fact that BT was running ADSL installations at a snail's pace had nothing to do with the existence of this elderly golden goose.
Oh, and there was something about blocking rivals' access to ASDL.
Over the year I was loftily informed by important people in call centres that I had to wait my turn for ADSL. Patiently, and with increasing pleasure, I watched BT's share price go into free fall. A week or so ago there was this wonderful report about how BT had paid billions for its 3G telecoms licences and now there was this cheap telecoms system called 802.11 which would make 3G redundant before it even got started.
Now suits at the top of BT are being asked to go. Ah, poor darlings.But what about my ADSL? In France you buy a kit in the supermarche and do it yourself.
But wait. A couple of weeks ago I rang BTand asked to be put through to the ADSL people. It turned out that they had lost the plot - and my name. But, astonishingly, they took down all the details again and promised an engineer would turn up one Friday morning in a few weeks' time. Then a letter arrived promising a CD-ROM software disk and a user guide - and that they would not necessarily honour the installation date. BT! At the time of writing there are two days to go and today the CD-ROM pack arrived. I'll report next week - but don't hold your breath.