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Why has my neighbour got phone and Internet but we haven’t?

PUBLISHED: 13:06 28 November 2018 | UPDATED: 13:15 28 November 2018

It was a very very long wait to get through to find out when our phone line would be restored. Pictere submitted

It was a very very long wait to get through to find out when our phone line would be restored. Pictere submitted

Archant

When you can’t blame the network or the engineers for the lack of rural Internet

The engineers worked pretty much round the clock to restore phonelines and internet after a major fire in the roadside communications box. Picture Getty ImagesThe engineers worked pretty much round the clock to restore phonelines and internet after a major fire in the roadside communications box. Picture Getty Images

“We’ve got Internet,” says our neighbour when he calls round to drop off a parcel.

“We’ve had it since Thursday,” he adds.

It’s Tuesday, we’ve had no phone or Internet for 12 days and it’s no less frustrating now than it was 12 days ago.

But believing everyone else was in a similar situation somehow made it less of a drama. Rather like when we get power cuts and we check and see if the neighbours are off too.

If I stand in the road I get a mobile signal, not much help with a long call waiting system. Picture Getty ImagesIf I stand in the road I get a mobile signal, not much help with a long call waiting system. Picture Getty Images

We feel quite relieved when they’re also in darkness as then it’s definitely not our fault and all we can do is run around hunting for the candles we said we’d buy after the last power cut.

Remembering we didn’t remember to buy them usually takes about as long as it does to start the ‘we ought to have a box for emergencies with candles and matches and battery lights’ conversation we have every power cut, a conversation which tends to follow the very well-worn ‘but where would we put it?’ and ‘we’d have a proper place for it if you didn’t have so much clutter’ path.

I can’t work out why our neighbours have Internet and we don’t – nor why I didn’t think to ask them to let me know when they had it back. The Internet abruptly stopped when there was a very significant fire in the green box of important wires 12 days ago. Phonelines and internet ceased for, depending on who you talked to, anything from a few hundred to 1000 homes.

This green box of tricks is nearly two miles away so even on a good day by the time the signal gets to us I think it’s forgotten it has a job and it turns into glitter or sunbeams – our Internet is pretty useless. But at least it’s a little bit of Internet, and we use it a lot.

There is a new shiny green box opposite us, but our phone line and internet comes from a box nearly two miles away. Picture contributedThere is a new shiny green box opposite us, but our phone line and internet comes from a box nearly two miles away. Picture contributed

Hearing about the fire I’d tried to call to see what was happening. But that involved standing in the road waiting for a mobile phone signal and there was always, the automated message said, a 25 - 45 minute wait to talk to someone. Every time a vehicle came past I had to get out of the road and on to the verge, the signal disappeared and I lost my place in the queue.

I tried, a lot, for about a week, to get through. Then decided I wasn’t that sure about our password anyway which they’d insist on if I ever did get to talk to someone, I gave up and went to my friend Bella’s and used her super speedy Internet.

I picked up our phone a lot hoping for a dialing tone, but nothing. The engineers were working pretty much round the clock and apparently some people in the next village were reconnected after a few days, but with other people’s phone numbers.

We had nothing, or I thought we had nothing - so why has next door been back on for five days? Rob had a week of no Internet and is now working away. I stand in the road, get a mobile signal and send him a message wondering if he has any idea. ‘Did you turn anything off or unplug anything,” I ask, thinking surely not and we’ve just at the end of the queue.

‘Button on the modem is switched off’, says the reply.

I turn it on,..the Internet is very definitely back.

‘Sorry’, he replies.

We still haven’t got a phone landline though.

‘Have you unplugged the phone,’ I message back.

I haven’t had a reply.

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