Digital access is fast becoming essential

Thursday, 23rd June

Virgin media van

The latest advert on Virgin repair vehicles ‘Broadband that blows the bloody doors off’ is presumably a sick joke

• AS more and more services can only be accessed on line – the latest proposal is the purchase of rail tickets – we exclude more and more people from the necessities of daily living.

This is not just online shopping but council services, especially repairs, benefits, and health.

While there are no precise figures for exclusion during the pandemic and the need for pupils to work online, the percentage was guessed at 25 per cent in the Gospel Oak area.

It is not as simple as that, as inclusion not only requires a degree of skill, a device, and monthly payments. But for those using Virgin there is the added, apparently widespread, incidence of outages across the borough.

Try phoning and you either get a recorded message or, after a long wait, a statement about there being “complex problems”. Try changing and there is likely to be a financial penalty plus a set-up fee to do so.

Indeed, a colleague is embroiled with bailiffs because Virgin claim she owes money having left them. Being forced to change providers is not the solution.

Virgin need to provide the service we pay dearly for. The latest advert on Virgin repair vehicles “Broadband that blows the bloody doors off” (see picture above) is presumably a sick joke.

Digital access is fast becoming as essential a service as gas, water, and electricity. Does the council have a plan or policy?

MICK FARRANT, NW5

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