Thursday, June 07, 2007

Mobile phone masts - and mobile phone service - and politicians

The whole set came together today when one of the candidates for the legislature in France came round to the Mairie to press the flesh and listen. Some of those who want our new mobile phone mast moved to more than 500m from the nearest house were there to raise that issue. All that on the day that one of the new kids on the block in the mobile phone market, well round here anyway, started getting arsy with us for being wholly unimpressed with their complete lack of service. This reminded me of a post by Seth here.

So we've got a strategy for the mobile phone company's lack of service, either the contract never existed, since they never, ever, even for a second provided anything resembling a mobile phone service, a technical service or a customer service. In which case we will pay them nothing. Or, the contract does exist, or will exist when they supply some kind of service, and when they provide it, we'll pay for it.

The strategy for the mast is more tricky. As I've said, it's turned into a bit of an us and them stand-off in the 'commune', although we do still have two vociferous locals opposing the thing. The rest of the population, or at least the council and their fans, are not interested in any kind of discussion about it.

What's our stratgey? Well, the aim of the Association is to get the thing at least 500m from houses. So that's clear enough. As for what we do to achieve that I don't know. Finding out more is one thing. Tagging along with any other similar efforts in the country is another. And in the meantime, do we wait until anyone discovers they have leukemia? Or do we move? And what if another mast turns up there; the area still has its coverage gaps.

One thing we won't be doing is counting on the support of the local deputy who visited this afternoon. He shrugged his shoulders about that, about the elderly population's increasing isolation as services in rural areas fall away, about the 1,000 farmers (25% of the district's farmers) who are on the brink of bankruptcy this year. He shrugged his shoulders at just about everything. He's been the incumbent for the past 30 years. I must assume his constituency is urban dwellers in work and paying taxes. He's not interested in anyone else.

Do I sound cynical? I suppose I do.

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