Poor Communications Services

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We seem to be having on going issues regarding our Broadband and our Telephone lines, are there any other businesses struggling with these issues, particularly within West Lothian?

My own company experiences are mainly regarding Broadband failures normally  at least a couple times a day, however most times it will restart within 5 minutes, but their has been times the broadband has been down all day. We also have issues regarding poor telephone call quality, often very crackly lines. We do seem to have a very poor service, although we work within West Lothian (not a rural area), yet I feel very isolated when communications fail through no fault of my own. British Telecom have been trying to fix the issue for many months, however I think the main issue, is because West Lothian still has very old Telephone Lines, which are unable to cope with the increased broadband demands. I also feel their is a lack of competition within the local area of companies that own the telephone cables, unlike cities, where BT may also be competing with Cable companies, however we don’t have that luxury in West Lothian.

My own company is within a few hundred metres of a super fast broadband service, yet we are unable to connect, and have been told it may be several years before we will be connected. However, to be a competitive business with the outside world it’s important as a business to have first class communications, perhaps we businesses should be putting more pressure onto the communication providers, because there is no point having a business within West Lothian, when it lacks basic business requirements, even although West Lothian is a very central location to work from.

I’m very interested to hear other company views, and how they got around the situation. Myself,  I have to use Skype a lot to make clear calls, of course you can only use Skype when you have internet.

I have written to my local MSP, who is also campaigning for better broadband coverage, on behalf of local businesses. I’m also part of a cross-party parliament tourism forum, and one of the highlighted issues from tourism businesses is the lack of broadband, which puts Scottish businesses far behind our competitors, when our own customers expect to  deal with us, using the latest technology. I was also surprised how widespread throughout the country the problem of communication is, not just within West Lothian.

I’m also very disappointed by mobile phone coverage within the area, which was of a very high quality, and over recent months, my own telephone signal average 1 or 2 bars, just enough to send a text. What is going on with communications within our area?

Please comment, I’m very interested to hear your experiences.

David

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