Bad broadband connection proves beneficial to cats

Bad broadband connection proves beneficial to cats

by Michael
(London, UK)

I thought I would improve my broadband connection to a speed that was advertised as “up to 20 Mb”. This is what Virgin Media said…For people who are not technically minded 20 Mb download speed is very fast. If you get 5 Mb speeds you are doing well. As I have to work fast I felt I needed the best. I got the worst.

I took out a “bundle” of TV, phone and broadband. The installation failed. Good start. Then the phone went down for four days. Then the broadband slowed to a standstill.

Then customers services become rude and positively malicious. Perhaps I was complaining too much but what was I to do? I have seen about 5 engineers and made about 15 calls to customer services and engineers in about 14 days. I have even learned the tortuous automated phone menu that you have to go through to get to where you want to be.

In short, over the approximate two weeks that I have been with Virgin Media it has been chaos and they have made my life miserable because I need all day, every day fast access to the internet to run PoC, this site. When I can’t service the site I become miserable!

Without broadband now for 4 days, I have resorted to going to an internet cafe about three miles away by bus (I sold my car about 2 years ago as a car in London is pretty useless for me – can’t park anywhere). Desperate times bring desperate measures.

On the way to the internet cafe I walked into a computer store and saw a 3G USB dongle. You just plug it in and access the internet straight from the satellite. No cables, no phone stuff, super simple…but expensive. Desperate times so I bought one.

No luck. Followed the instructions, phoned the help center, went back to the shop, more chaos and distress.

Eventually, I discovered the problem. I had to sit in the garden to get a signal!

This is where I am now and where I have been since 4 in the morning, this morning! Fortunately, and surprisingly we are currently having a proper summer spell here in Britain. It has been hot. It didn’t rain on Wimbledon.

Right now it is 6:06 a.m., the bugs are buzzing around my ears and landing on the screen. The planes are noisily flying in above into Heathrow (I am under the flight path) and my two cats are on the grass beside me –’s great for my cats as I am spending time outside with them in the cool of the early morning when they like to go out anyway.

My lady cat is about 3 feet away, content to sit and watch. Charlie is more active, talking to me, pestering me, playing with the computer cable and rummaging around the undergrowth. He loves it and he can’t understand why I am here!

Something good usually comes out of something bad if we are open to it. The question is can I get used to working outside for the rest of the summer?

As for Virgin Media, it’s hasta la vista baby – goodbye. You have made me miserable and messed up my life.

I should be back on decent broadband in about four days so in the meantime I pray the fragile British weather holds and so do the cats. They love it.

And as to 3G broadband, it is meant to produce a speed of about 3 Mb per second. Don’t ever believe anything anyone says on the subject of internet speed – it will always be slower….This is agony.


Michael Avatar

Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

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Bad broadband connection proves beneficial to cats

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Jul 07, 2010 Got it back for time being
by: Michael

I have broadband back for the time being. Virgin have fixed the connection. I will use it until BT put their connection in and then cancel Virgin. I can do it this way because Virgin use fibre optic cable while BT use copper telephone wire to supply the internet connection.

Jul 07, 2010 Response to comment
by: Michael

Hi Dorothy. Yes, one benefit is that when the weather is good it is lovely in the early morning – quiet and hopeful.. a new day.

The downside that in England the weather is rarely good:)

And I might well join that mad but great crowd up north…I’d fit in well there.

Michael Avatar

Jul 06, 2010 My goodness!
by: Dorothy

That is devotion Michael….and addiction as well. Most of us are addicted to our cats, and I certainly am addicted to the POC website. Thanks for keeping it running! Meanwhile, hopefully there is no more voice-mail-jail time for you. It is a sad situation when you actually memorize the sequence of numbers to push to hurry things up. That is way too much time on the phone.

Isn’t it lovely outdoors in the early morning? So fresh and quiet. Bigfoot and I love the early morning romp outdoors….but not until after Yellow Cat and Shadow have eaten and gone. Then it is our time. Usually around 6AM.

Good luck getting past it! Then consider Ruth’s suggestion…move to that part of the UK.


Jul 06, 2010 Move here
by: Ruth

Ah Michael you should move up here lol
Most of us parade around in our dressing gowns on a morning, out in our gardens and having cups of tea.
One neighbour even cleans her windows in her pyjamas.
We are all quite mad and mad about cats too, you’d fit in nicely lol

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Jul 06, 2010 Hi Maggie and Ruth
by: Michael

Thanks for the moral support – I need it:)

Yes, Maggie, I got cold! Only I didn’t really realise it as I was so keen and pleased to actually get on the internet.

I had a shirt on..I was thinking of going out in a dressing gown! But the other residents would have thought I was a patient….

I sat on a bench in the garden with a long cable to the computer as the battery is flat.

People here think I am mad. I am mad.

When I got in a had a shower to warm up the water felt really hot as I had chilled right down.

Still, the cats are happy. If they’re happy, I’m happy. But I want my bl**dy broadband back;)

Michael Avatar

Jul 06, 2010 Good one Michael
by: Ruth

Michael you have done me the world of good today, I couldn’t help laughing at the way you told your sorry tale. Traipsing off on the bus to use the internet,sitting outside at 4am, etc etc …..
Poor you ! I can just imagine your 2 cats loving it though,you out there in the garden with them.

Trying to get help on a internet help line is the pits lol
We are with BT (forget the B now ) and although it costs more than some other providers and our connection can be aggravatingly slow sometimes,we don’t have many troubles.We have wireless connection,Babz upstairs and me down so we can both be on-line at once.
A few months ago, our connection went off.The first time I phoned I got a foreign lady advisor but couldn’t make out a word she was saying and she couldn’t sort out our problem. She eventually said she’d get her supervisor to phone me back.He did but he was even more difficult to understand than the lady lol
Well we managed to decipher he wanted us both on the phone and on our computers too,which we did….then the fun started ‘Leddy upstairs do so and so’ ‘No not you leddy downstairs, I say leddy upstairs’ ‘Leddy downstairs do so and so’ ‘Now leddy upstairs do it’ and so it went on for what seemed like hours lol and it didn’t help that both Babz and I got the giggles ‘Leddys what is funny ?’ ‘Leddys have you got connection?’ ‘Lol no, sorry’ ‘Leddys we try again, leddy downstairs do first this time’
Poor chap,he was the epitome of patience,our technical ignorance and North country accents must have been a nightmare to him but he did get us back on the air eventually.
Good old ‘B’ T
I hope you are soon sorted Michael.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Jul 06, 2010 Bad broadband
by: Maggie Sharp

What a stressful time you’ve been having, Michael!! I hope you can get back to decent broadband soon, and with no issues!

Your Charlie sounds like Chilli when I’m trying to charge my phone, the charger becomes a toy and he HAS to play with it!

You’re certainly an early riser, aren’t you? Isn’t it cold that early in the morning? I suppose your London summers are a lot warmer than my Tasmanian summers! Even in the early hours of the morning! Hehe.

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