Archive for February, 2009

Why I HATE the snow…

So Britain is in the midst of it’s coldest winter for 2 decades. Great. Call me a spoil sport, but I can’t stand the snow. Most things about it I hate. It’s cold, causes wide scale disruption, messes up transport routes, but most importantly, it’s cold! But significantly, is this a sign of the effect global warming is having on our climate?

I’m not an expert in this field, but I think that it’s clear to see the impact that we’re having on our environment. But that’s an argument for another day. Hopefully the recession will be a good excuse for the government to increase the incentives available for ‘greener’ schemes. For example, their incentive to a conglomerate including Rolls Royce of £47million to design the world’s first completely green engine is paltry compared to the grants offered elsewhere throughout the globe.

However, the main issue I have had with the snow is the utter disruption it has caused to our transport system. On Monday in the city, everything stopped. Literally. All the tubes were down bar the Victoria line. There were no buses on the roads until the late afternoon, and I don’t even recall the trains leaving the station! It’s just lucky that I walk to work as there would have been no other method available to get in. We only had 5 people make it in that day, and I know we weren’t alone, as businesses and schools closed for the day. And we only had 6 inches of the stuff! Imagine what would have happened if we experienced the same amount of snowfall as Switzerland. Or Denmark. Or any country that has snowfall for more than 3 days a year.

But the one thing that I LOVE about the snow is that it brings the best out of people’s creative sides. On my walks to work, I have come across 6ft Igloos built out of snow, intricately carved snowmen, delicate figurines. Even now I’ve been made aware of a snow cock hunt that took place! Thanks to #LStacey for the heads-up. But although it is sad seeing all these statues melt away, I am not sad to see the back of the snow.



The mess that is Tiscali

It’s been an interesting last few months for all connected with Tiscali. Back in January last year, there was a glow of positivity surrounding the Tiscali group, as they went ahead with their phased roll out of Annex M ADSL2+, helping them to get a foothold ahead of their competitors. Coupled with their new wholesale programme, things were looking up for the group. Their PR team was doing a good job of diverting attention away from the internal issues that were surrounding the amalgamation of so many conflicting systems, obtained through the acquisition of smaller ISP’s. And their marketing team loved to portray their beleaguered employers as a victim in the row with BT back in the summer of 2008. So where did it all go wrong for Tiscali?

Well, first of all, some connected with the group refuse to even admit that the group is in trouble. Despite being left with a battered reputation after being passed around between Carphone Warehouse and Sky for the best part of a year, they have been relentless in their pursuit of new customers. Witness the mess with 186K/Eezee DSL/Mailbox which left their clients without Internet access for as long as two weeks. Unless they changed to a Tiscali-owned supplier (ie Nildram or Pipex). Still there has been no official word from Tiscali as to the reasons behind the mess with 186K. However, this has been merely one of the number of issues effecting the group.

It is well known that there are a number of big hawks circling Tiscali’s carcass. Last year, Vodafone had a £1.3bn bid for the global group rejected. This set the wheels in motion for both Sky and Carphone Warehouse to test the waters of the UK arm, with bids in the region of £450mil coming thick and fast…and ultimately being rejected. However, only recently the Group has now relinquished it’s International Network (TiNet) to a private equity firm. Whilst in a statement made during the acquisition Mario Rosso, CEO of the group stated that he hoped to conclude the sale of Tiscali UK by the end of march.

So where does this leave Tiscali? Well if you have a service through them, expect a different name on your bill for starters. I doubt much else will change, as TiNet will still supply Tiscali (Both Italy and UK) with IP services, and Sky or Carphone will now probably have a unique agreement with an international carrier to extend it’s product portfolio. However, it will have a major bearing on the ISP sector within the UK, as no longer will there be just Virgin and BT offering triple play, but by acquiring Tiscali, Sky will also have that ability to provide triple play services. And what if they are a supplier to you? Well tread carefully. Very carefully, as they could be here today, but gone tomorrow.

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February 2009
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