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About MickyBlue

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  1. The reality is that broadband is provided by commercial companies. It is also the case that the cost involved in delivering fibre to the more remote parts of the Island is far higher than could ever be recovered by reasonable retail charges. There are therefore four options: 1) The provider refuses to cover these areas 2) The provider passes-on these high costs to customers in the remote areas by increased charges 3) The costs for everyone are higher - so those in town centres essentially subsidise the remote customers 4) The government provides a subsidy and contributes to the costs of the provision in remote areas Options (1) or (2) are not ideal – especially for those living in these areas. Remote communities are excluded or penalized. Option (3) results in a high cost of broadband for everyone – not great for the consumer, and not a good reflection on the Island when benchmarked against elsewhere. I therefore think that Option (4) is the ‘least worst’ solution. We can’t complain about poor broadband on one hand – but then be in denial regarding the commercial reality on the other. Micky
  2. My dad was unfortunately one of the residents who passed away at Abbotswood. It's very easy, after the fact, to focus on apportioning blame, to advise (from afar) on what ‘should have been’ – and assume that many of the people and organizations involved are incompetent. From our family’s perspective, in the early stages of the crisis, the staff (and management) at the time tried really hard to protect the residents – stopping all visits, sleeping on-site in two shifts to minimize passage in and out of the building and so on. In hindsight, this wasn’t enough to prevent the tragedy – but the world was only just coming to terms with the sheer scale of the issue and understanding what steps and measures would be required. It is much easier to look back and criticise than to look forward and predict how things would unfold. The staff and management are clearly devastated with what has happened – and I believe that much of the criticism is undeserved. The care sector worldwide is struggling to manage the issue – and if Abbotswood ends up being the limit of the care home tragedy on the Island, it will have been a narrow escape for the others. I hope that this is the case. Also, the nature of the residents conditions and behaviour – and I include my dad in this - doesn’t make it easy. Many simply don’t understand what is going on, are difficult or impossible to persuade to follow advise or instructions – and are unpredictable and sometimes unruly. Given how difficult and disturbing this in the best of times, I don’t underestimate how much more difficult it must be in a crisis. In the case of our family at least, we don’t blame the management, staff or the government for dad’s passing. Their response wasn’t perfect – but it’s a global tragedy and fate pays a part too. Micky
  3. https://www.manxtelecom.com/about/the-company/expertise-and-service/covid-19-bcp#26-03-20-manx-telecom-here-for-you-updates-to-mobile-broadband-and-fixed-tariffs-read-more-▼ Manx Telecom continues to work to ensure we remain open for business so that people across the Island continue to receive our network, connectivity and support services. Given the urgency and importance of the current situation regarding Coronavirus, we are pleased to announce that we are introducing a number of temporary measures to help reduce costs at a time when people need it most, and to help ensure people can stay in touch. We are easing restrictions on mobile and broadband contracts, reducing selected mobile call charges, and making local and national calls free for existing users of our Low User Choice tariff. The new measures are designed to help safeguard, protect, support and connect many different groups of customers across our community. Some will come into effect by Sunday April 5, 2020. Fixed line Our social inclusion tariff “Low User Choice” is a simple, low-cost voice only service that is easy to understand and is designed to help our most vulnerable customers and many elderly people on low incomes or Government benefits. To ensure these customers can stay in contact with friends, family and support organisations, we are making all local and national calls free to these customers. Mobile Pay As You Go To help ensure our Pay As You Go customers get the most value possible during this financially challenging period we are making these changes: Pay As You Go vouchers and top up validity will be extended from 90 to 180 days. 50% call charge reduction in local mobile minutes to other Manx Telecom mobiles. 50% call charge reduction in local mobile minutes to Sure mobiles. Broadband We are releasing capped broadband services for no additional charge. This is to help ensure our Essential and Fast broadband customers - including the most vulnerable and many elderly - can keep in contact with their family and friends using email, Skype, Facetime and similar online tools. Financial hardship Manx Telecom has no intention of disconnecting any customers who are suffering financial hardship as a result of the economic impact of Coronavirus. Our approach is to talk with our customers and support them as much as we can to keep them connected so they can stay in touch with their family and loved ones. We would urge anyone who is facing financial difficulties to reach out to us if they are concerned about their repayments. Customers can call us on 624624 and corporate customers can contact their Account Managers.
  4. https://www.capital-iom.com/covid-19-incident
  5. It's going to be interesting to see what happens if we all have to start working from home in a few weeks - whether there is sufficient capacity for the increased traffic. Quite a lot of business continuity plans seem to rely on remote desktop over VPNs - which works fine for the 'annual DR test' but may not work so well when everyone tries it at the same time!
  6. In using any off-Island provider here on the Island, you have to remember that you are roaming - so the serving network (e.g. MT, Sure) will be charging your 'home' operator (e.g. Voda) for each MB, minute, SMS that you use. The charges are set-out in the roaming agreement between the operators - and although the wholesale charges are clearly lower than retail, Voda will be incurring usage-based charges in this scenario. They can absorb these charges in their overall model, but to maximise their overall bottom line they will look to cull subscribers who incur material wholesale costs through disproportional roaming on these packages/bundles. The roaming agreements are normally bilateral (in- and out-roaming) - so the wholesale charges are negotiated to maintain the balance needed to remain competitive - but the balance can be quite precarious and mobile is a cut-throat, primarily margin-led business. The 'fair usage' policy is the mechanism for them to respond to what they see as 'abuse' of the roam-like-home provision, so whatever the CS team say there is a risk. Historically, the UK operators have addressed this on a case-by-case basis (i.e. by picking on the worst offenders through a reasonably manual process), but they are introducing more automated processes to track usage against the fair-usage metrics (e.g. as kevster included above) and take action automatically. So, by all means take advantage of the loophole while it lasts - but scrutiny, revenue assurance etc. is increasing in response to tightening margins and competitive pressures. If Voda (or any other operator) is losing out as a result of the wholesale costs relating to this out-roaming (from their perspective), then the party will come to an end one day! Keeping an IOM number, as mentioned by mad_max above, is probably wise. Micky
  7. This guy does loads of salvage and reclamation, so might be able to help or point you in the right direction. http://www.pinewood-furniture-studio.com/ Lower Bishopscourt farm Kirk Michael IM6 2EY Tel 01624 878616 Email magpiesalvage@hotmail.com I needed some hardwood moulding a few years ago and he was very helpful. Micky
  8. I was surprised to read this (in bold) in the Government's recent 'no deal Brexit' advice. I've never had an IDP and driven in the EU loads of times - whoops! Micky https://www.gov.im/media/1364451/190006-no-deal-brexit-guide-interactive-update-2.pdf
  9. I don't think there's a problem finding skilled people who want to come here - but wanting to stay here is a different matter! Recruiting, relocating, and training new people can be costly and hard work and employers are often reluctant to employ people from far-flung corners of the world - who have no real idea of what it is like here - only for them to leave after six months when they find out it's actually not a sun-kissed paradise but a cold, windswept rock. We've interviewed people who have stepped off their flight from Gatwick with no real idea where they are - not a good start despite them saying that it 'looks nice' on the basis of a 15 minute taxi ride from the airport. I think it's vital that would-be residents really understand what they'd be getting into - and that sites like https://www.locate.im/ are pretty good at that. However, does it really need another £400K? Presumably we want to attract the type of people who have the nous to discover the Island using their own research initiative - and we shouldn't need to bribe them if they're that interested. Micky
  10. FFS Surely they could just give him the bloody paint and a handshake for his trouble!
  11. Thanks Wrighty - well-said. As I always do, I made a mental 'New Year Resolution' to start getting into shape this year (I'm almost 50 and definitely sedentary). This plan usually lasts a week-or-so - but given your encouragement maybe I'll last a bit longer and maybe even manage to keep it up. It's a shame that as well as waist-lines bursting at the seams, so do our modern-day schedules - trying to find time to fit in exercise is maybe more difficult than the exercise itself. Micky
  12. I'm in Moscow. Maybe our comrades in the east can't be trusted not to meddle in the heady world of Manx politics.
  13. I'm off the Island at the moment - checking-in to see what excitement I'm missing. For some reason, it appears that the Manx Radio site is blocked (see attached). Any idea why? Do we really have much that needs to be hidden from the outside world? It looks to be blocked Manx Radio itself. Micky
  14. I got kicked out of Barclays - so signed-up with IG after specifically checking whether they were happy with IOM customers (which they are. So far!) Micky
  15. Hence this... http://www.applebyglobal.com/news/news-2017/media-coverage-of-the-offshore-sector.aspx
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