Paul Gregg

Jack of all Tech.

Do you live in NI and can not yet get broadband?

Written By: pgregg - Jul• 07•2006

If so, I want to hear from you.

I believe that the DETI NI has fudged the contract with BT and let them away with making up the figures for the rest of broadband by allowing Satellite technology.  I believe this is against both the spirit and the letter of the contract.

We need to band together in order to raise a loud enough voice and force our Government to listen and, with luck, ensure that true broadband to the letter of the contract is delivered to enable every home and business in Northern Ireland to get broadband if they so wish.

Please reply to this post with your story, or email me directly via pgregg @ I am particularly interested in Postcodes of people who have been denied broadband.  Also if you have an actual letter from BT – please scan it and send it to me,



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  1. johnny357 says:

    I live in Northern Ireland and still cannot get broadband through my telephone and it is now well into 2007.
    Surely everywhere in Europe has 100% broadband coverage if you include satellite broadband.

  2. bob738 says:

    I live in Northern Ireland, unable to get ADSL because we are 13Km from the broadband enabled exchange in Coleraine. Out of desporation I took BT’s offer of Satellite Broadband in August 05. BIG MISTAKE…it’s �27 per month + �70 installation…..upload is supposed to be "Up to" 128Kb but is often into single figures. Download "Up to" 512 usually about the 250Kb mark. System often goes down, sometimes several times per day. There is no technical service over Weekends, when you do get through, some smarmy tech takes great time in telling you how much this would cost on the mainland, and how business users get the greater share of the bandwidth (because they pay more!) when it’s explained the pathetic connection speeds exist throughout the evening and late at night…"Oh its the kids playing games on their Dads business system" or "Look out of the window mate…if it’s cloudy, raining or windy, forget any decent download speed" Hello…… this is N/I where if it’s not peeing down then it’s windy and cloudy!!!!

    I have not seen the Governments Contract with BT so I am unable to say for sure if Satellite Technology was specifically excluded. No matter I do not trust the liikes of BT there are too big and have the monopoly on providing any type of broadband, unless you live in an area where "Cable" is available. Will we ever get a broadband system as promised? Well according to BT and the DETI we already have!!! yet put my phone number in BT’s own checker and it will come back saying that broadband is NOT available in this area….so here we have BT in direct contravention with itself, politicians telling outright lies, or being very poorly briefed, so….situation normal…

    On 22 Feb 07 the Managing Director of BT Alistair Hamilton spoke of BTs �260m investment to create a new hi tech communications system in Northern Ireland…I bet not one penny will be invested gettiing ADSL broadband to remote areas…more like an upgrade for the lucky so and so’s who can already get a 1Mb service. What of us "Country Bumkins" we of course don’t matter, there are too few to make any impact on BT…who’s going to listen to us??

  3. steviejb says:

    I live equidistant from the Whitehead exchange and the Larne exchange, roughly around 10km from each and I can not get broadband. However at the opposite end of my road, (2 miles) broadband is available. I am on one exchange and it the other. I have tried three times to get broadband with the most recent being the most frustrating.

    The first attempt was in 2005. Pretty straight forward. Sorry too far from the exchange. Not held to contract and so on. Second attempt in 2006. This time however after receiving a letter from a Mr Frank McManus telling me advances have been made in technology and that I should try again. Again no joy. My third attempt within the past 40 days has been somewhat of a nightmare. Equipment arrived, activation took place. I left all equipment as detailed in the set-up with the broadband light constantly flashing until it give up the ghost and stopped flashing. So not at all surprised but went through the helpdesk as normal. Engineer booked. Said arrived and after a couple of mins at the main telephone point, shook his head and said no chance but would look at the possibility of a filter. Many calls later from helpdesk the second engineer booked. I waited for his call. Never came. I rang helpdesk. They assured me of the visit. Half an hour after the slot time expired I rang back. They were mystified as to why no visit and again assured me a visit the next morning. Guess what, same again. I am normally a reasonable, patient sort of person but BT Broadband had me screaming down the phone line. Trying to be concise here and know I have left bits out, all encounters noted down at home. The service is a joke and in no way can it be called 100% coverage with the same cost to all. Satellite department have contacted me explaining I would get a letter stating that I would get a letter telling me I can not get exchange broadband but will offer me the satellite service.

    This morning I got online at a 4 yes 4 kbps speed with dial-up. Although Bob738 states satellite it is not as it good as it should be, it surely has to be better than 4kbps. 

    Basically I am disgusted with BT Broadband. 100% should surely mean 100%, with no buts!

  4. jack357 says:

    I read a report from Tim Richardson in the register that mentions the UK already has 100% broadband coverage in Satellite, however this is too expenisve.  However the same author writes this on Northern Ireland broadband.  THIS IS IT, 100%, THE FULL MONTY, THE LOT.
    Is satellite broadband acceptable anywhere else in the UK or even the world to justify 100% coverage except Northern Ireland

  5. Disgusted says:

    Kilcoo area. Too far from Castlewellan Exchange, County Down.

    I have also gone through all the motions, mentioned by previous posters, with BT without success. I, at least, did not take them up on their satellite offer as the cost and performance figures were atrocious and of no interest to me whatsoever for that reason and for other reasons below.

    It is disgraceful that they can claim to have 100% coverage when clearly they do not.

    To say that satellite broadband covers those who cannot receive an ADSL service and thus shore up their bogus 100% claim is disingenuous to say the least.

    It isn’t a level playing field now is it??

    Those who can access ADSL can take their pick of many, many different providers, deals, packages etc etc and find what suits their needs best. What do we get? Overpriced, slow, take it or leave it, satellite "broadband".

    Frankly, I’m fed up with BT and their waffle. Why do they even bother to continue to send out engineers to different customers in the same areas over and over again?? Don’t BT themselves even know where the blackspots are? I’m amazed at their ineptitude, a prime example of the right hand not knowing what the left one is doing…

  6. Quietly Skeptic says:

    Hi all,

    I too have tried – to no avail – to get Broadband.

    Unfortunately, I probably know too much – ie you need to be within 6 Km of the Exchange and that some research has taken place in Milton Keynes to extend Broadband to 10 Km.

    I, however, am 11.2 Km from exchange – so Satellite OR NOTHING.

    As my email suggests – I am a C of I minister – and so really need to maintain an open phone line – which could happen if I had Broadband.

    So that’s the background.

    Conclusion – Broadband IS 100% available in Northern Ireland – Official!

    How? – 100% of the Exchanges HAVE Broadband!

    NOT 100% of the people.

    Now would be a GOOD time to start screaming – however, you would just get upset and that would not be a good thing to do.

    I am grateful for those who have commented on Satellite – as your opinions have helped me decide – NOT to apply for it.

    So there you have it!

    Will we ever get Broadband?

    Probably – but will I still be here? – Doubt it.

  7. Ray says:

    Could have written those messages on your blog myself.  The issue is with DETI they let their friends at VT off the hook with a fudge of the contract.  Satellite is not broadband it offers less performance (raw speed and latency), higher cost and only one provider – BT.  BT tested other wireless braodband options which were successful, but were removed after the trials – don’t know why.  Guess the grant aid BT got from NI Gov was used only to enable exchanges and not improve there cabling infrastructure.
    Need to get at gov to get this addressed, maybe Nolan on Radio Ulster might be interested for an item on his radio show.

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