Saturday, 15 September 2007

Boscastle waits for its phone box

When Boscastle's flood occurred back in August 2004 the BT phone box in the harbour area got swept away. It was hoped that by now BT would have replaced said phone box but this has yet to happen. If you are familiar with the topography of Boscastle and its neighbourhood it will come as little surprise to be told that it is a dead zone for mobile phone reception. A North Cornwall District Councillor has stated that the village's information centre has had many requests to use their phone: things have got to the stage now that a petition has been started and local MP Dan Rogerson has got involved.

I'm trying to play Devil's Advocate here - I do have a little sympathy with BT I suppose in as much as phone boxes just aren't the piggy banks they used to be with so many folk now carrying mobiles. Many phone boxes must be making a loss. But the feeling so far as Boscastle is concerned is that the phone box really does need replacing in case an emergency happens and I think that argument is irrefutable.

Thinking about the geography of Cornwall with its many hills and valleys together with the fact that it has an exceptional number of small villages and hamlets then I would imagine that there are plenty of pockets in the countryside where there just isn't a signal. I remember that when the mobile phone thing got going in this country we had the absurd situation of masts being erected that catered for one company only. This led to complaints because the masts proliferated to a far greater extent than was necessary.

Back to Boscastle specifically. I think that there is a phone box at the top of the village but bearing in mind that the village is quite sizable and that huge numbers of tourists visit the harbour area (they mostly miss the delights of the higher parts of the village) then I think that BT needs to do some digital extraction and get this box replaced pronto.

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