Alice-Azania Jarvis: How much is fixing my dongle going to cost?

In The Red

So everything I said last week? About finding a new broadband provider being a baffling, arduous and incomplete chore? The very opposite of spending money for fun – but necessary all the same? Yep, well. No change there.

I have, as yet, made precisely zero progress towards replacing my useless, sluggish, so-called broadband (It's really not. It's slower than dial-up; remember that, back in the 1990s? And sometimes it just doesn't work at all. All this, I was assured on calling up the Orange customer service line, is to be expected. They did a speed test. Seemingly So Slow It Makes You Want To Gouge Out Your Own Eyes is, in fact, standard. Who knew?)

There is light at the end of the tunnel, however. Though your emails proffering advice on the subject weren't exactly forthcoming (ahem), I did receive some help. Chris Maynard, whose entire job is helping people with such dilemmas, dropped me a line. He runs Think! Inc, Wandsworth's favourite utilities guru, doncha know, and is an expert on all things technological. Actually, this is exactly the sort of person who I should be talking to. Someone who knows what they're talking about. Rather like the compare the market meerkat, but human.

So Chris reckons the problem is all down to my dongle. There's nothing wrong with it, per se, but it's not doing my web-browsing any favours. "A dongle is to broadband what a fish is to a bicycle," he argues.

I'm still not quite sure what I'm going to do about this bicycle/fish/dongle scenario – Chris has suggested something to do with an egg, which will "turn me into a wifi hotspot all of my own". It sounds unfathomably complicated to the utility-phobe in me, but I might give it a shot. It's only a couple of quid more than what I'm paying, and might mean that I don't need to be in the office every time I fancy googling something. At least that way I might actually purchase an outfit in time for my friend's wedding.

Speaking of which: the panic! It's only two weeks away, and I've got nothing sorted. Present aside, there's so much still to do. This is, after all, my First Proper Wedding Ever. The temptation to buy a dress for it is almost too great to resist. Is this what Pippa M felt before her sister's big day? Did she resort to online shopping for her party outfit? I doubt it. And if she did, I bet her internet blooming well worked.

a.jarvis@independent.co.uk

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