You have been using too much wifi

GWR HST in 1976 colours

I’ve noticed that GWR (who were First Great Western) have started to limit their customers’ use of wifi. Three years after free wifi was introduced on their high speed trains, they’ve realised that it’s very popular and have implemented restrictions.

I've noticed that GWR (who were First Great Western) have started to limit their customers’ use of wifi. Three years after free wifi was introduced on their high speed trains, they’ve realised that it’s very popular and have implemented restrictions.

Back in 2007 I wrote an article, This is the age of the train… talking about the refurbishment by FGW, then I said

Do you think I should point out to First Great Western that some train operators provide free wireless on their trains, or do you think that would be pushing it?”

After seven years in 2014, it looked as though they finally listened and added wifi to their carriages on their high speed services from Bristol to London. Back then when trying it out I discovered.

The speed, as you might expect travelling at 125mph is inconsistent, but having done a speed test I was hanging to get between 5-9 Mbps which is more than reasonable. I was also able to stream video using YouTube and iPlayer.

I also asked the question:

Will the travelling public use the wifi, what with 4G and 3G so much more commonplace than back in 2007?

Well it certainly looks like they have been using it, hence the restrictions that GWR have put in place.

It’s nice that they also let you know how it is being used and how much bandwidth is available.

It's nice that they also let you know how it is being used and how much bandwidth is available.

It isn’t surprising that they need to do this, as technically I can’t see them being able to increase the bandwidth easily, so it make sense to restrict usage.

Having said that 15MB is not very much, not in this day of HTML e-mail messages, attachments, Twitter, Facebook and so on…

Well at least it’s still free. Hey Cross Country are you listening?

Me, well I still using my own 4G connection, it’s faster and unlimited data is greater than 15MB.

…and so it continues…

Well the fibre journey continues…

Back in January I wrote about how on the fibre journey, cabinet 25 in Weston Village had moved to the Design stage having spent years in the “we are exploring solutions” phase, which I actually believe means “it’s at the bottom of the pile of a large number of ‘solutions’ and we will get to it once we have had enough bad press, someone else starts laying cable or we have nothing better to do….”

Well as of the beginning of April we have moved along that fibre journey. We have entered the Field Survey.

Field Survey

We’ll now take the blueprints from the design stage to your community, and check that what looks good on paper works in the real world. Our surveyor needs to check that there’s enough space alongside all the existing utilities underground for our new cables, and whether there’s enough space to accommodate our equipment. We’ll also need to determine whether we’ll need to close any roads to install fibre and, if so, apply to the local authority for road traffic management, traffic lights etc… We’ll work closely with your local authority to make sure fibre is installed safely and with the minimum of disruption to local people.

This says we should have fibre in the next nine months which does make me wonder if BT are still hoping to have everything done by the end of June?

Nothing beats having a field survey of my own, and looking around that part of Weston Village where cabinet 25 lives, there doesn’t appear to be anything happening. No BT Openreach vans, no roadworks or cabinet installations. When other cabinets were upgraded, a new FTTC cabinet was put in place, usually just a few feet away.

So the story continues…

Will there be fibre?

Weston Village

So I recently contacted BT Openreach about Cabinet 25 in Weston Village and asked for an explanation of why it hadn’t being upgraded to fibre and why the original date of March 2017 was now delayed? I specifically asked them for an explanation.

Their reply was

In response to your query regarding delay in providing fibre we would like to inform you that the cabinet is not fibre enabled yet, however, a project is ongoing to provide fibre to the cabinet.

The project is expected to be completed by the End of June, 2017, however, this date is subject to change as per the amount of work left.

Please keep an eye on our website from the End of June, 2017 for an update. It’s where we publish the very latest fibre coverage information and we update it daily. This is when we would estimate that you should be able to place your order, all being well.  

They are saying the end of June 2017…

Really…

Somehow, and for some obscure practical reason I think, it will be delayed a they say themselves

this date is subject to change as per the amount of work left.

As you can also see there was no explanation as requested.

Hopefully not too long now….

Mobile phones, will they catch on?

I do wonder if the concept of a mobile phone would ever catch on….

From 13th September 1979…

Michael Rodd makes a call with an experimental cordless mobile phone.
It’s 1979 and time for the telephone to go mobile. In this report from a longer programme, Michael Rodd examines a British prototype for a cordless telephone that allows the user to make calls from anywhere. Also included at the end of this item is a rather nice out-take as Rodd also experiences the first mobile wrong number.

I do recall watching this when it was broadcast.

Of course we don’t really use our phones as phones these days, the mini computer we have in our pockets is now used for way more than just making calls.

Time to replace the ink

Back in July I posted about my new(ish) printer, in which I wrote:

…by posting this post I hope to have some kind of record of how long the cartridges last.

Well I now need to replace one of the replacement cartridges.

The first setup cartridge to run out was the double sized black cartridge which is used for black and white output. This lasted from the end of March to the beginning of July, just over three months.

The replacement XL version lasted from July to January and is still going, so lasted over six months.

I have replaced all the cartridges over the last six months and it looks like the XL cartridges are on target to last as long as the XL black cartridge.