Growing Pains


So I moved into a new house a few months ago, in July, and it’s only just being slowly filled up with new people until we reached capacity today. So now we have every room filled, and a few tense moments have arisen only to be quashed in the name of getting along. Anyway, I’m about to have a bit of a moan about the house itself, and the stuff that just doesn’t work. Specifically, I’m going to have a go at the people who are giving us internet, and the people who stop me using it.

Firstly, we’re with Virgin Media, just to get that away. That means cable, which means I didn’t have to pay the frankly abhorrent £125 instillation charge and subsequent line rental to BT, the devil’s company. Monopoly is such an ugly word, despite being a family dividing and friendship destroying game. Anyway, so we’re with Virgin, a company known to be tough on any form of piracy, and also known to throttle connections, close ports and generally be a pain in the arse. As I discovered today.

So far we’ve gone without hiccup with just me in the house. I’ve downloaded the odd bit here and there, thoroughly enjoying the 20mb connection and the frankly ridiculous speeds that everything happened at. It’s all hugely convenient and there is no faff. I could watch stuff when I wanted and not wait for everything to buffer, stuff like that. A few times the net has gone down, but been up again shortly, and apart from blowing the odd fuse, I can’t remember anything particularly annoying.

Today I was downloading several gigabytes of files and suddenly I noticed the internet was slowing down, to the extent where I was waiting up to 3 minutes for a page to load. Thinking that this can’t be right, I headed over to our router, reset it, and noticed everything was fast again. Five minutes past before the internet slowed right down. So obviously this is Virgin seeing I’m taking up a lot of bandwidth, flicking the ‘stop that bastard in his tracks’ button and slowing my internet to a crawl. This sort of blantant profiteering is abhorrent, and utterly not what I paid for. When I’m advertised 20mb broadband, I expect 20 mb broadband at all times, no matter what is going on. I don’t expect to lose any sort of speed the instant I start straining the connection.

Ok, so that’s the mini-rant about my ISP out of the way, I’m going to have a rant at Prolet, the letting agency that we went with. Each one of our rooms is fitted with an ethernet port, which is bloody fantastic, to be quite honest. However, to my mild surprise, when I shifted my Xbox from this room to the living room, it wouldn’t make a connection. I tested each wire, and they all worked. So I tested the sockets in the router. Again, they all worked. So that means that the network socket is broken. After subsequent testing, I found out that my socket was the only one in the house that worked. Frankly, that’s a bit ridiculous. If you’re putting something like that in at least test it before you finish. So yeah, that’s another thing.

Amid the broken toilet seats, broken drawer faces and various other malfunctioning items in this house I’m sure that I’m not alone, but I’m a bit fed up with the state of the house and the arrangements we’ve made. Why can’t stuff just work?


About Phill Cameron

I've graduated, had a look at the world, and spat. Now I'm devoting my time to moving from 3/4 of a games journalist to 9/10ths. I figure I can get away with 9/10ths.
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