Rimmer’s Quest for Broadband Continues!

For many years, over 16 in fact, I’ve been waiting for broadband at my property. Not superfast you understand, just bog standard plain ol’ broadband. When we first moved here, the only ‘broadband’ option was Home Highway from BT (aka ISDN). After a couple of years, BT removed the service saying ‘everyone can now access broadband’. As you may recall from my previous ramblings, we’re 11km from the exchange and that broadband signal just can’t get that far down the copper before it fizzles into nowt.

I’ve been very vocal since Superfast Berkshire received £8M from the Government back in 2013 to bring broadband to this county. Unfortunately, they awarded the contract to BT who did not want to service the sparsely populated rural communities. So, Superfast Berkshire then awarded the rural contract to Gigaclear. As a specialist in providing broadband to rural areas, we were highly optimistic. Having signed up on their website about 18 months ago, it was encouraging to see them laying the fibre about ½ mile away from our lane on the main road earlier this year. 

Email correspondence with their delivery team revealed that the service should be live later in 2019 so we all waited with bated breath…….. Only to receive a letter earlier this month informing us that Network Rail were obstructing completion of the circuit as they would not allow Gigaclear to traverse a bridge they owned!

Due to this delay, BBC South got in touch with me again and further interviews with BBC South and BBC Radio Berkshire ensued on 10th and 12th September respectively. The reporter was at my house for over an hour on the 10th and then the interview was broadcast the next day on 11th September. You can view the (poor) recording here of the TV interview. Apologies for the poor quality but I recorded it off the TV with my iPhone as I was away horse riding in the New Forest when it was broadcast! Am sure there was an easier (and better) way to record it, but as it didn’t stay on iPlayer for too long I wanted to save it for posterity!

Despite having moved on from my satellite broadband to a mobile data network, I’m still paying a premium – around £60/month – as are my neighbours. FFS!! Fast speed Internet access is a utility in the 21st century and we are being deprived of it because Network Rail has its knickers in a twist about allowing a third party onto their land.  There are service ducts on their bridges for other utilities, so why obstruct Gigaclear?  The Government pledged to provide superfast broadband (which interestingly they state as being 24 MBPS – huh? that’s not fast IMHO!) to everyone in the UK. Yet one Government department (Network Rail) is obstructing another department (Gigaclear operating on behalf of Superfast Berkshire) from delivering this pledge.

I do appreciate the Government has a certain larger topic on its plate right now – no, I won’t bring myself to utter the “B” word – but really this is just another situation that highlights the current Government is not acting in the best interests of the population – at least not the small population of my rural community.

C’mon you jobsworths over at Network Rail – get ya finger out and complete the circuit so that we in my community can join the majority of you in the digital 21st century!!!

Imposter Syndrome

I recently attended the London VMUG and Joep Piscaer presented a great closing keynote on Imposter Syndrome entitled “Come Listen to Me, I’m a Fraud.” 

The synopsis of his presentation stated “With fifteen years in IT and a successful career as a world-class infrastructure engineer, as a speaker at many industry conferences, a blogger, analyst and technical marketing freelancer for Silicon Valley Startups and a CTO of a 1200+ infra and software engineering company, I can definitely say I suffer from imposter syndrome.”

While I could relate to some of the content he presented on, I personally didn’t think I’d been in a position in my career where I felt I didn’t belong, was out of my depth or was an “imposter.” How ironic then that a few weeks after the London VMUG and Joep’s presentation, I sit here writing this post with a complete fear of being exposed as an imposter!

Let me elaborate. There is a big movement around Women in Tech (you may have noticed) and I’m a very strong supporter of this movement. I’ve mentored a few women in terms of raising their own profile and advised on career advancement for example. I’m a regular reader of CRN here in the UK and they recently asked for nominations for Women in Channel awards. There were over 500 nominations received and they announced the list of nominees in May. I was delighted to see my name on this list in the Entrepreneur of the Year category. The next step was for one to complete an online questionnaire to move to the next stage of being shortlisted. The questions were very diverse; from what motivates you to has being a woman impacted any part of you being an entrepreneur. I duly completed the online questionnaire and, frankly, didn’t think any more about it. As mentioned previously, I regularly read CRN so when I saw they’d published the shortlist, I didn’t even read it immediately – because of course there’s no way I’d have made the cut. But when I did finally read the article, I was delighted, shocked and amazed to see my name listed, along with 6 other nominees!

Now, reading the article, I started to totally relate to Joep’s presentation. I clearly shouldn’t be on the list, little ol’ me from hiviz-marketing – established so I could fulfil both my passions of technology and riding my horses – was listed amongst these other women in tech  – WTAF!  I shared the news on Twitter and FaceBook and was so delighted to see everyone’s congrats. So, maybe, I am worthy after all? Perhaps the feeling of imposter syndrome will ease? If I listen to Joep, the answer to that is no!

I enter many of my clients into industry awards and always tell them to make finalist stage is a win in itself, to win the actual award is just the icing on the cake. I’m taking my own advice then – I’m a winner already!! The awards dinner, where the winners will be announced, is being held in London on 17 October. That date is my wedding anniversary. So, I’m going to take hubby along and we can at least have dinner on hiviz-marketing – assuming the accountant agrees!!

Third London VMUG of 2019

Having missed the last meeting in May, am looking forward to next week’s meeting at Tech UK and meeting up with the London VMUG crew! The agenda looks great and I’m especially interested in Matt’s and Joep’s sessions, will also be good to catch up with him. I think the last time we saw each other was a few VMworld’s ago!

Also, the sponsors’ sessions look good, it’s nice to see some long time supporters returning as well as some newcomers.

AGENDA

There’s still time to register! Hope to see you there.

Application Layering

As a community board member of WhatMatrix, I am delighted that category consultant Rory Monaghan has updated his Application layering comparison. To promote this update, I’ve written a blog post that the WhatMatrix team has kindly linked to my blog at the end. So, this very short post is to promote the update and to reciprocate the link back to the WhatMatrix site.

Let me tell you, the category consultants that produce these independent comparisons, in their own time and it’s a LOT of work, are the epitome of community folk. They do what they do to give back to the community. Yes, there’s an element of self-promotion, but truly you should not underestimate the work involved here. Plus, the value that these comparisons provide to organisations making decisions about technology and not having to do this time extensive work themselves is unquestionable.

Please take at a look at WhatMatrix and either use their comparisons for your own benefit or, if you like what you see, promote the site to your peers as I believe we are offering something truly unique and, more importantly, of value. Oh, and I did I say it’s FREE!

Disclaimer: Liquidware, who is included in the Application Layering Comparison, is a client of my company hiviz-marketing.com

vExpert Podcast with Define Tomorrow

I was delighted to be invited to join the Define Tomorrow podcast with some other recently anointed vExperts. Was great chatting to them on this podcast hosted by Megan (@BizTechMeg). We were joined by:

Barry Coombes (@VirtualisedReal)

Ben Evans (@benevans101)

Mike Orth (HCIdiver)

Paul Wynne (VDIallStar)

Simon Eady (@simoneady) and

Gareth Edwards (GarethEdwards86)

Talking with everyone reminded me just how fab and diverse the vExpert community is. A number of us on the podcast have been vExperts for 9 years or more and some newbies. We discussed what being a vExpert means to us, how to get involved – of course I suggested speaking at your local VMUG – and what tips we could impart for new applicants.

Newly minted vExpert Mike Orth gave a great tip for future vExpert applications – keep a track of what you’ve done in the past year and try to measure the value of your actions so that when the time comes to produce your application you’ve got it all documented without trying to remember what you’ve achieved.

Barry ended the call by asking what will be talking about on this podcast in ten years time? Some suggested cloud, some thought IoT, others security, AI or Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality. Am sure it will be all the above, but in ten years time there’ll be tech that we’ve not even thought of today in my opinion. However, personally I predict me NOT being a vExpert as I’ll hopefully be retired then!

That’s a brief summary and I hope you enjoy listening to this community podcast!