Wednesday, August 31, 2005

My ISP is taunting me

I have just moved into a flat in the East End of London. Postitives of this are that I am much closer to work and my commute is much easier, and also I have my own place, and I was tired of sharing and I needed a change. The number one negative of this is that I have a bona fide traitor as my MP.

However, having just moved I have a slight connectivity problem. Although there is a phone line going to my flat, BT for some reason believes that it is necessary to send an engineer out to my flat before they can connect my phone. And I cannot have my ADSL connected until the phone is connected. However, I informed the ISP in question ( about the move, and they stated that they would connect the ADSL line as soon as BT allowed them to.

Yesterday, I turned on my router, and plugged it into the phone socket in preparation for the happy event a week or so down the line. To my astonishment, the LED on the router showing the ADSL connection started flashing (to indicate that it could see a connection and was attempting to log in) and then went to shining and not flashing (to indicate it had logged in). Turning on a PC, I discovered that I was connected to the internet. Checking with one of those websites that tells you about your ADSL, I found I was connected to my ISP ( at 512kbps. Techically my connection is supposed to be 2Mbps, but still compared to nothing this was wonderful beyond words. I started celebrating, talking to people in Australia, all that kind of thing.

Alas, though, this morning it was gone. No more ADSL. They must have been testing the line or something. I am probably going to have to wait another week. I am now back in a cafe with Ethernet cables to plug into your laptop. Better than nothing, and I have no idea why they don't have wireless, but still not like having an internet connection at home.

But for a brief moment everything was wonderful.
I do appear to have actual readers

Gosh. Of course, what the BBC don't know is that I posted the piece they quote from from my laptop while sitting on a park bench in the middle of a pedestrianised street in Odense in Denmark, after a fairly lengthy search for a hotspot.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


I have a piece on the structure of African (and European) mobile phone markets over at Samizdata.

Update: A reader comment led me to add a (quite nerdy) lengthy footnote at the bottom of that post.

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