Thursday, 23 June 2011
Failure to connect
If you’d thought connecting to the telephone was a simple exercise and considered a basic necessity of modern housing, you’d be most emphatically wrong.
Marmalade Cottage has never been connected to the phone, not even in the days of the Post Master General’s department.
In practical terms, the connection is a matter of digging a trench, running cable from the pit in the footpath to where you want the socket installed inside the house.
In reality it’s insanely complicated and, depending on who you ask, and on which day, quite often conflicting.
The whole telephone-connection system is set up for new houses, so working with a 94-year-old house causes throwing of hands in air, and, one suspects, muttering under breath.
The phone has to be connected to the electrical meter box. Or it doesn’t.
The cabling has to go in a trench directly to the meter box. Or it doesn’t.
The trench has to be 350mm deep. Or 300mm deep. It has to be 250mm wide. Or 150mm wide. Or the width of a spoon.
The trench can cost $341 or $428 to dig. Or you can dig it yourself. Provided it’s deep enough and wide enough. And in the right place.
The reinventors are digging their heels in and demanding a definitive explanation of what’s required and where, and a quote in writing. The provisioning company is finding this difficult to understand.
Apparently the Marmalade Cottage situation is unusual to the degree of about one-in-10,000. Everyone gets the phone connected when they build the house, don’t they?!