Flame CCR started full-time broadcasting in December 2009 so, according to “old wives tales” of “the seven year itch”, we should not be surprised to encounter a spate of equipment failures and problems in 2016/2017.

A major “itch” has been link to our transmitter site and our ISP. After six years of good service from Virgin Media, they decided to update their network in 2016 discontinuing support of the internet modem we had come to rely on. Our need of a fixed IP address meant that we had to take a new, obviously untried, Virgin Media modem. We thought that step would be easy but after 6 months of great patience we gave up and started to try to extricate ourselves from a contract with Virgin Media. The Ombudsman agreed with us that the Virgin Media product was not fit for our use and instructed Virgin Media to stop trying to extract money from us. After 6 months Virgin Media did stop but we still feel they owe us a refund. However the good news is that we have now found an alternative internet supplier, and somewhere in the Virgin Media world we are marked as a “dissatisfied customer”.

After a few month of calm, the “itch” started again. In September 2017 BT decided to unplug the broadband connection at our antenna site. After two days of chasing they admitted their error and reconnected the line. However they blamed the broadband demise upon our router and sent us a new one in the post. It did not arrive but in the meantime our broadband mysteriously re-appeared. Flame cannot accept this behaviour from a professional supplier so we have found an alternative internet supplier at half the price.

Flame CCR is now fully in the “UWClub” with three very satisfactory fibre broadband connections at a very modest cost.

Another current worry is our main broadcasting desk. It is the heart of our broadcasting operation, but like most of our equipment was “bought for little money, second-hand ages ago” and actually was the height of fashion in a small commercial radio studio in the late 1980s / early 1990s. That desk remains a worry for the rest of 2017. The “seven year itch” continues.

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