Across the land, a mighty crash is heard as BT's main data backbone falls to the ground and thrashes around like a beached sea monster. There's a second's silence, and then the wailing and gnashing of teeth rises to the skies: the users call the resellers, the resellers call the BT support lines, and the BT support lines crumple under the load. All through the day, BT battles to find out what went wrong and fix it, but nobody really knows what's going on -- the helpdesk is up in the North of Scotland and as isolated from the convulsing network as anyone else.
There are a couple of reactions to this: if you're a cable modem user, as I am, you feel a warm swelling of schadenfreude and contemplate the extra bandwidth available to those who are left. Then, of course, your emails to your pals start to bounce, sites are down and the whole thing gets beyond a joke. The other reaction, which most DSL users had, is one of extreme disgruntlement towards BT.
It's in nobody's interests to give BT a second's more grace in the removal of its last monopolistic privileges. Which means nothing, alas: BT, like Marconi, has too many friends in high places to go quietly -- even at this late stage in the game. Expect more hassle, misery and excuses for a while yet, no matter how much pain it causes.