It’s like a huge weight has been removed from my computer – or someone has given the hamster some performance enhancing drugs! after almost 6 months of dodgy internet Virgin Media have actually got around to fixing the problem in the local exchange and Me and 600 of my closest broadband neighbours can all use the internet again, without being thrust back into 1996.
It all started back in October when I began to suspect our wireless router of being pants / getting interference from the other 11 wireless networks you can see in our house. In hindsight it was just the beginning of the problems, it was so hard to diagnose because at the time it really depended on which way you held your face. I phoned virgin media, but because the wires where all in daisy’s room I never actually followed it through.
Now with super-slow-wet-string
When I did get to sorting that bit out routing all the wires into another room so I could call at night when it was broken – all ready with wireless and wires and laptops – the man on the phone said – oh yes its a known problem, have £5 – it was like I got a small prize for spotting there was something wrong and bothering to phone.
Then it got really bad – at the end of November beginning of December I got “super-slow-modem-broadband” installed in my house – the wet string was obviously drying out. So I went on a campaign of social media attack and twittered and forumed virgin until they basically admitted it was all broken and stopped charging me for broadband. but event that was in January*.
So since then I’ve been moaning to anyone who comes within 5 yards of me and mentions the internet -” my broadband is naff ” it’s a great shame because back before October I was a Virgin Media evangelist. I would have recommended it to anyone, the speed is always what it says it is, never slows down at night, always fast, no connection problems for well over 10 years.
Now? I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone – not because the product isn’t good – it is fast, it doesn’t slow down and it doesn’t cut out – when it works – it’s just if Virgin Media over sell their broadband in one area – you could loose your broadband for 1/2 the year! .
* moving for us was a pain – we have no BT line – and that takes 6-8 weeks, which is how long i was told the fix was going to be (to be fair it was from when they said that)
Having slow broadband is like having your arm cut off; well that might be a bit harsh. It’s more like when you trap your thumb in the door, and then it swells up a bit and then every time you do something it you knock it and start to realise just how much you actually use your thumbs for picking up stuff and holding on to things.
My Friendly Broadband Provider Virgin Media have told me that it’s something more complicated than they are willing to explain and it will take 6-8 weeks to fix – which is a long time to have a swollen thumb.
I’ve thought about moving to some other way of getting the internet into the house but the lack of physical BT wire means it would need reconnecting and surprise surprise that takes 6-8 weeks.
My Insecent moaning on twitter and in emails has gotten me £15 of my bill – but i still don’t have broadband I would call in any sense of the word broad.
Sorry for the rant I just need write that down.
I hate not knowing – currently we have temporary slow internet, it’s slow between 5ish and 11ish every night.
Simple i think it’s the broadband provider getting all slow – except it’s not because when you plug a wire directly in it’s OK
Simple I think wireless in our house is broken/slow/getting interfered with. – except i don’t think it is – because copying between the pc’s on the wireless isn’t (that) slow.
At this point I am really annoyed – not at the lack of good broadband, although that does wind me up, but at the fact I don’t know why it’s not working I don’t even have a plausible theory.
So I harumph downstairs, and moan a bit, about it all to Ruth, who if she’s honest isn’t really that bothered – by not knowing what it is.
Despite this Ruth comes up with something I don’t have – a theory, it’s the bit of the wireless between the wireless and the wires, I’m not 100% convinced by the logic but given I don’t have a theory and if I’m honest because I would be really upset if it was right, I troupe back upstairs to try.
(un?)luckily for me that isn’t it – slightly but not much faster copying files from a wired PC to a wireless one.
So now here I am stuck, grasping at any straw that passes, but mostly really annoyed ! I hate it when i don’t know why something doesn’t work. For me getting something working or not isn’t the point of the exercise it’s understanding why and how it does or doesn’t work.
It’s really annoying (did I mention that) and all the time while i write this – I’m reminded I don’t know what’s wrong by the stupidly SLOW INTERNET…. Arggggh
So, it’s all gone a bit quiet at theJumps, hasn’t it? I expect you’ll be wondering what’s been going on.
Well, on the domestic front, we’ve just been pottering about. Seeing friends, learning about World War II (Daisy’s very interested, we talked about evacuees, this morning), visiting museums and galleries and whatnot, grabbing opportunities to get into the soft play cheaply, going to Gymbobs and Rainbows… you know, just stuff. Daisy’s in a very Resistant to Formal Education place, but I figure she’s five, she’d (hopefully) be spending most of her time playing even if she was in school, at this age, and the Formal Ed stuff is only to make me feel better, anyway. All the real learning around here goes on when I’m not looking.
On the political front – well, the government have published their education Bill, on the back of this week’s Queen’s Speech, and it represents an unmitigated catastrophe for home education. To summarize:-
- It demands that local authorities maintain a register of home educated children, then lists a comprehensive selection of ways to refuse to put people’s names on it. The Bill lays no duty on the parents to notify the authority that they are home educating (if, for example, their children have never been to school and they are therefore unknown to them), but if they discover you, they can hold it against you (that bit is here). It specifically says that whether or not the education being provided is suitable, should not be considered. The important thing is that you didn’t tell us.
- Similarly, it demands a detailed twelve month plan of how you plan to educate your child at home, to be submitted to the authority and accepted by them. If you deviate from the plan, then you will be judged, not on what you actually taught the child, but on the fact it was different to what you were permitted to teach them. Never mind if you quickly realised that your particular child needed something different – you will be punished for claiming the slightest degree of autonomy, for not taking your rightful place beneath our boots.
- If you have already been refused a place on the register, or had your registration revoked, then that in itself can be used as a reason to deny a reapplication. Once you’re off, you’re off for good.
- One of the reasons allowed for, for denying a child a place on the home education register, is “if the authority consider that it would be harmful to the child’s welfare for the child to become a home-educated child, or[...] to continue to be a home-educated child”. The subjectivity of this question is vast. Since there are local authority officials who believe that all home education is bad, and all children should be in school, then they could make this declaration about anyone. That single clause, there, has the potential to entirely outlaw all home education in England, irrespective of how good it might be. It’s almost enough to make you throw in the towel, isn’t it? For good measure, there are also officials who will see welfare issues for home educating disabled parents, unemployed parents, parents educated to a lower level than they would like, black parents, asian parents, gay parents, religious parents, etc, etc, etc…
- Ed Balls has stated in the House, this week, that there is no compulsory interview alone with the child, but he neglects to mention that the Bill specifically allows for authorities to deny registration if you object. So, I guess he means there’s no criminal come-back, but you don’t get to home educate.
- They have included the line about the child’s “wishes and feelings” about being home educated, both as an excuse to get them alone and ask, and as a BLATANT removal from parents the right to make unpopular decisions on their children’s behalf. How many children would rather not have to go to school every day?! I don’t see the DCSF enshrining THEIR right to over-ride their parents decision in law, do you?
All in all, it’s a very nasty piece of work. The thing I object to most, is the vindictiveness. It’s the idea that the education the child receives is of no importance, because we will use that child to punish you for not conforming to our absurdly convoluted and pointless bureaucracy. Home educators kicked up a fuss, and the Secretary of State appears to have responded by saying “I’ll teach you to argue with me”. Who was it who called him a bully? That’s exactly what violent partners do. They hit you round the head until you’ll agree with anything to make them stop.
Democracy is collapsing around our ears, people. I’m begging you – get up and do something to stop it.