back to article Beeb invites net comments from unconnected

The BBC is currently probing the shocking news that 17 million Britons, or 30 per cent of the population, are currently without an internet connection - and that 43 per cent of those wouldn't poke the interwebs with a sharp stick even if they were given a free PC and broadband. Fair enough, but what raises this particular …


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  1. Jolyon Ralph
    Thumb Down

    Dumbest register story ever

    For the two of you who haven't already figured it out - many people browse the web at work but don't have internet at home. Or at the library, or a friend's house, etc. etc.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    do you think you've missed the obvious a bit?

    OK, to a certain extent I can see where you're coming from, but given that the question states " not have internet access at HOME", did it not occur to you that someone might be browsing the BBC site at work, or a public library, or a friends house?

  3. Ian Hunter


    The Beeb presumed that people would be at work reading it. Hence the part that says 'Are you one of the 30% of adults who do not have internet access at home'.

    A pretty far out hypothesis, but I'm gonna run with it.

  4. Jon Wilson
    Thumb Down

    I guess you're deliberately being an asshat

    ...for effect, since the whole point is that the feedback form says "if you don't have broadband internet _at home_"

    That means the people from whom they want to hear would be reading the page somewhere other than home (work, library, mobile, whatever)

    Nothing to see, move along...

  5. Dave

    The Library

    Of course, they're all reading it at work, the local library or a cybercafe.

    I wonder how many people who have work access to the net don't have it at home from choice?

  6. James Taylor
    Paris Hilton


    Well, they have edited the site now to remove the "Will you stay away from the web" part, but still, it all seems a bit silly.

  7. michael

    other shoick news

    bbc ashume most pepol are skyving bsards who do personal web surfing at work

  8. Adam Foxton

    "BBC high-speed telepathic news feed"

    That's where you've gone wrong- it's not the BBC feed at all.

    It's the same telepathic link that Gordon and the rest of the gov't use to communicate with this utterly "silent majority" who never write to them, call them, email them or in any corporeal sense contact them- or even exist. Sometimes this link has to be given a kick-start using small pieces of magical blotting paper.

    The BBC just hire the link out from time to time.

    Alternatively they could be using RFC2549 (IP over Avian Carrier (with Quality of Service)).

  9. system

    Telepathic news feed

    "Scientific explanations as to how the "BBC high-speed telepathic news feed" works are welcomed."

    Close, but I think the word you're looking for is televisual. Before broadband, we used to have something like a CRT monitor (that's what we used before flatscreens) that could deliver full screen video news at regularly scheduled intervals. It could also deliver full length movies and other entertainment for free without the viewer being at risk of being sued.

    There's a whole load of information available at the wiki museum,

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm all in favour of this

    the more people who are prevented from dumping their thoughts onto Spiek Ure Braenz, the better. Of course, the only reason I don't comment on the BBC's pages is that I can't be arsed to go through the signup process...

  11. Thomas
    IT Angle

    Not bad....

    ....but I've seen better.

    Almost every single broadband company I've been under has suggested visiting their technical support website when my connection drops out.

    We really need a fail icon of some sort.

  12. Tom Kelsall



  13. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    The feedback form asks the respondent whether they "do not have internet access at home."

    Thats a perfectly reasonable question to ask the many many people who access the web only from internet cafes or from work.

  14. Tom Wood

    At home...

    Much as I hate to rain on the parade of a good dig at the BBC, it does say "at home".

    Many people, I imagine, have internet access at work, school, university or wherever, but not at home...

  15. DZ-Jay


    Did any of you commenters read the Bootnote?

    "Before you lot start banging on about "what about internet at work or in a library", here's the Beeb's clarification on the group who want nothing to do with the interwebs: "This so-called self-excluded group tended to be older or retired, with 61% confessing to never having used a computer."

    It continues: "For 30% of those currently offline the main reasons given for that choice was financial or lack of skills."

    So, nothing to do with just not having a net connection at home."


  16. Anonymous Coward


    Oh, I see the "missing the point" brigade is out in force today.

    The BBC were referring to people who don't want anything to do with computers or the internet, then asking them to submit their thoughts on their website. Don't you see the irony?

    I'm popping over there right now to submit a comment along the lines of "I've never used a computer in my life, and I never will..... etc. etc." and lets see if they use it.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    RF Interferance

    Well for me it's bloody obvious. It's BBC Click running another experiment.

    The Beeb are always covering stories about the dangers of microwave radiation from WiFi, Mobile Phones and anything else they can tie a scare to. What's happening here is they are testing how many people are now able to decode these signals directly in their brains and interact with them.

    If they get a high number of replies, they'll be able to run a story in the 'Health' section about how the human brain is being mutated by communications signals and adapting to cope with processing data received directly into the brain. This should keep them in stories through the Silly Season.

    That's my thoughts anyway. I've both read and commented on this story without actually touching a computer myself. Now I'm off back to Twittering my life 'live' as it happens, without needing a bulky mobile phone.


  18. A B

    @Not bad....

    Lol. Yes I love that.

    I'll be off to the internet cafe, use the mobile to call some foreigner who will call the local technician to come by sometime between 2009 and 2015.

    It's called progress.

  19. Graeme Coates

    Will all those of you who are absent....

    ...please raise your hands.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It helps if they put the boot note up BEFORE the comments are submitted

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Re: @DZ-Jay

    "It helps if they put the boot note up BEFORE the comments are submitted"

    What? The Internet is dynamic?? Well I never...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Happens frequently in our household

    >Scientific explanations as to how the "BBC high-speed telepathic news feed" works are welcomed.

    My wife almost has this sussed, she asks me. Her belief is that all I have to do is sit in front of the computer, think of what she wants (which more often than not is badly defined*) and instantly the answer appears. It never works when she does it though so there's still a bit of work do.

    *She also inflicts this on unsuspecting shop assistants, like one time in a Waterstones she asked if they'd got any English books and expected them to know exactly what sort of English book she was looking for.

  23. Andrew Engel
    Thumb Down

    Reg dumber than BBC

    The bootnote is disappointingly idiotic in itself. Of course there are adults who use the web (and at work, but don't have internet access at home.

    The 'so-called self-excluded group' of mostly older and retired people is 42%. There's another 58% who aren't in that group.

    Then you've got the 30% who are currently offline who gave the main reason for it as financial OR lack of skills. Some of them may well use the web at work, but just don't want to spend the cash to have it at home. Would the question, "Would a free PC and broadband access persuade you to go online?" apply to them? Duh.

    And then you've got the rest who aren't in either of those groups.

    "So, nothing to do with just not having a net connection at home." <-- utter bollocks, not even remotely supported by the figures quoted. You're just trying to cover your epic fail in ignoring the existence of people who use the web at work but not at home.

  24. Dave 142


    they're just having a laugh, like the irritating person on a coach trip who'll always say 'whoever's not here put your hands up'

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Re: @DZ-Jay

    Interestingly misunderstood, my good fool.

  26. Defiant

    Now a shock when they want an Internet Licence

    The BBC is pushing for an internet licence to replace the BBC TV Licence so the research isn't a surprise really is it

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They're the ones they want to engage with

    You can only do so much to help with lack of finance, but lack of skills (which implies they aren't capable of using a computer, at work or otherwise) or lack of interest are the people they'll be really interested in. Maybe more so for skills, but some outreach to old farts is inevitable.

    The BBC Breakfast did this earlier anyway, with the story about the mobile phone directory. The woman said you could opt out through the company's web page, or through a text message if you don't have the internet... details on the BBC breakfast site. Fat lot of good that does those without the internet, wouldn't have taken them two seconds to repeat what they said earlier as in "or by sending the letter E in a text to 118 800". Cilly sunt.

  28. Peter Hood

    The power of thought

    Ideas, or opposition to them, die out with their holders. At some point the number of people who do not want to be connected will be minimal. Children will be indoctrinated from school onward and will be incredulous when asked if they could do without. As it is I cannot imagine life without a connection. At very least it's an academic and private research tool.

    As for me, I'm using my telepathic powers to use someone's poorly encrypted wireless link. Fortunately the church police are not doing exorcisms today.

  29. Sartorius

    Don't tell the marketeers ....

    17 million Brits not receiving sexspam.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    A full PC is not the answer

    Being older & retired, and, like several of my friends, I do not use a PC. We are probably typical of the older 30%. I do not want an expensive complicated machine that goes wrong, depreciates, requires uptodate firewall/antivirus/fixes/knowledge. It would have to go in an unheated room upstairs anyway. To say I could travel to a cafe, or register & book a library session is not understanding real life.

    I do use a simple reliable dialup Bush STB on my lounge TV, just pick up a different r/c and press a couple of buttons, no boot delay and completely safe from viruses/hacking/malware.

    If modern easy access was built into TVs, then many more people would use it. Ideally, digital TV & broadband would come down my phoneline then through the mains to the TV. No awkward boxes & wires to clutter and confuse. A Bluetooth connection to my cell phone would be a priority.

  31. Bruno de Florence


    ..."CONFESSING to never having used a computer".

    So not having ever used a computer is a crime/sin then?

    Catch 22: if u use a computer and the Internet then you're a pedo, fraudster, terrorist, etc... If you don't you're a criminal or a sinner.

    Go figure, init!

  32. Psmiffy

    We had something similar

    at work, when our mail box went down. Call helldesk, they say "just send us a mail with your details and we will fix it for you".

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