Monday, December 30, 2013

Why Wales Has Failed

Well, I've finally managed to get up a form to make a blog post - it may take a couple of days to actually post. Let me explain. The problem is that I'm in Wales. A country left behind by the information superhighway thanks to moronic politicians.

I'm sure that there are places like Cardiff where you can get great bandwidth, but in most of the country this is not so. Where I live, the broadband has declined so badly in the past couple of years that I am now looking to sell my house, leave the country and take another job away. It has also had a catastrophic effect on house prices. My wife works for Google and wanted to spend three days a week at our home here, but she can't even IM, let alone confcall with her colleagues.

The idea that you could build a business in this fifth world country is laughable.

Let me explain a bit further. The valley where I live has around five thousand inhabitants - nearly half of which live in or near the village where I have my home. This is not an insignificant population.

When I arrived here eight years ago I could get a reliable 4Mbps connection day or night. Now, I get under 500Kbps at best. On average I get 60Kbps - about what I got in London in 1995 - nearly twenty years ago.

I also think that suppliers like my provider Sky should be blamed for selling highly contended lines over and over again without having any compulsion to invest in any provision. They are crooks selling something that they know they cannot provide. This is ultimately an OFCOM failing.

The reason is simple. BT has not upgraded the local exchange. They have now been paid to do so, and have given a date of mid 2015 to achieve this on the back of massive subsidies by the moronic Welsh Assembly Government - an institution which has never seen a businessman or entrepreneur darken its highly polished, multi million pound portals. The money this organisation is contemplating spending on a tunnel in Newport could propel the country back into the twentieth century (the twenty first century seems beyond their scope). Instead they want a tunnel.

If a supermarket sold you a pie and you got home to realise that you had a tiny sliver of that pie all hell would break loose. but in telecoms this doesn't happen. You pay for the pie and get crumbs and politicians and regulators believe that this is acceptable twenty years after this all started.

In the meantime, we have 30Kbps on avergae, and no opportunity to group together and invest since we know that we will eventually be undercut by the BT monopoly. The self-employed are leaving the valley in droves.

So, no businessman in their right minds should move to Wales to live, or ever consider moving their business to Wales. The country has created a two year hiatus to enable anyone with any sense and money to move out of the country to progressive areas of the British Isles such as the Hebrides and Cornwall, where broadband is not an issue thanks to the progressive view of the local government.

The irony is that proper broadband provision in Wales could be sorted for a few tens of millions of pounds. Much less than a tunnel in Newport or empty trains and buses all over the country. Or the salary of useless 'shop shavings' politicians.

Education is failing in Wales, health provision is failing Wales and the business strategy is laughable.

Hwyl hogia, you're living in the dark ages in your ivory towers in Cardiff and turning your country into one of the poorest regions in Europe.