We live in exciting times. As ultrawideband radio pushes wireless speeds up towards the gigabit, and terabit fibre systems have been around since 1996, the great and the good have updated the universal service requirement for the minimal data speed a telephone line should support. After many years loitering at a fax-friendly 2.4 kilobits per second, it is now a stonking 28.8Kbps -- or about half the speed that most modems can manage. While something of a comfort to those who have been denied network access altogether due to BT saying "Your line is fine for fax machines. Now go away," it's not really the revolutionary move towards the wired society for which we might have hoped. Perhaps we can now look forward to the National Health service announcing that Florence Nightingale can now use electric light, the Department of Transport declaring that the man with the red flag can now wear roller skates, and Microsoft saying that it's going to start writing code that doesn't drop its knickers the second a hacker looks sternly in its direction.