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spikey eye bw



Musings, questions and brief essays. The normal.

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spikey eye bw
Well I knew NTL would mess me around somehow. I didn't expect them to cancel on me two days before they were due to come out, though! But they did.

A chatty man called Keith Starky called me to tell me all about swep-Ts which are T junctions in the wiring that you can spot around the estates by looking for medallion sized plastic rings. Apparantly my house doesn't have one nearby. So they have to install one. This will hold things up for up to 5 days while "construction" get their act together and make one of these swep-T thingies.

Once it's done NTL will be in touch to arrange an installation date. So I'm going to miss ER this week and my nice new house will be phoneless and broadbandless and generally cut off from the world of entertainment. Well, not really. There's still computer games and the basic TV channels, but it's not the same. And my guess is that when they get in touch with me it will be to arrange an appointment some weeks away. See, this is why I tried to get things arranged early...

Meanwhile I'm waiting for The Call. The one about the mortgage going through and the completion being all, well, completed. It was supposed to happen between midday and 2pm so if there's no word by 2.30 I'm calling my solicitor. I can afford for NTL to mess me around, but if this bit goes wrong I'm in trouble.

So, what's the shortest period I can sign up with BT for, do you reckon?
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There's a 12 month minimum contract perion with BTOpenWoe. Same with Nildram.

Slight misunderstanding there - I don't want an ISP, I want a phoneline so I can call freeserve (and pay as I go). Sadly, though, it seems the minimum phoneline contract is also 12 months. Bastards. I only want a month or two.

Ah, sorry I thought you meant you'd get ADSL temporarily until the llamas at NTL connect you up. Of course, you would need a BT line for that anyway, and it would hardly be the most cost effective use of your money. =)

Except they don't do ADSL in my area. If they did I'd be going for ADSL and Sky rather than NTL. Ho hum.

But DSL and Sky would work out more expensive than cable, wouldn't it? I mean, £9 a month to BT for line rental, then £25? a month to Sky and £30? a month to BTO? Cable's cheaper than £60+ a month, ain't it? I pay £9 a month to BT, £32 a month to Sky and £48 a month to Nildram. Still, it's better than the £180 a month I used to pay for my Internet habit!

Hmm. You may be right... I think it depends what packages you want on the cable TV. I get everything except the movie/sport premium stuff (ie no Sky movies anything, no Film 4 etc) plus the phone, plus the cable for about £52 p/m, I think. But I don't want loads of channels, really so I might get a better deal. Plus NTL's digital service is very patchy in the Hants area.

I've never actually known anyone to be a happy ntl customer.

I heard that NTL are filing for bankrupcy or something along those lines. I'd say more 'cept I can't find the relevent newspaper article.

"Financial difficulties", yeah. Don't think it's gone as far as bankruptcy yet. I figure they'll get bought out or something and the service will probably continue. They'll at least stop charging me, anyway, if it all goes horribly wrong, so I don't have much to lose. Plus... see my next entry.

Walking across the landing I nearly tripped across a newspaper. Cursing the damn thing for its attempt to break my neck, I picked it up to fling it somewhere I wouldn't trip over it.

And it happened to be the newspaper with the relevent article. I'll type up a bit.


NTL set for $20bn bankruptcy filing
Figures overshadow Global Crossing and Enron

The city is bracing itself for the worlds biggest bankruptcy as British cable operator NTL prepares to file for protection from its creditors.
NTL, whose maniging director is Stephen Carter, has run up about $20 billion (£14 billion) of debts, comprehensively exceeding the previous record-holder, Global Crossing, which collapsed in December with debts of $12.4 billion. The biggest bankruptcy before that was Enron, with debts of $10 billion.
However, unlike Enron, NTL is expected to survive. According to a source close to talks between the company and its creditors, it is on the verge of signing a deal with bondholders who hold $11 billion of debts.
Under the terms, the bondholders will agree to exchange their bonds for new shares in the company, giving them more than 95% of the equity.
Once they have accepted the shares, the bondholders will no longer be entitled to most of the $1.3 billion of interest payments NTL should make this year. It had a $12 billion loss in 2001 after a $8 billion impairment charge.
As part of the restructuring, NTL will file for protection under America's Chapter 11 bankruptcy code. However the order will only refer to its US holding companies and not the UK operations. This means suppliers here will continue to be paid.
Under the restructuring plan, NTL will only be in Chapter 11 briefly. It is hoped that the court will give approval, the bondholders will inject up to £400m of cash and NTL will then emerge from creditor protection and resume trading normally.

[Source: Daily Telegraph, Monday 8 April 2002]

Oh, thanks for that! You must have a pretty decent typing speed. I'm not too scared - certainly not to the extent of wanting to cancel on them or anything.

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