British Gas has announced plans to enter the competitive market for high speed broadband. The service is currently dominated by companies using electricity, but bloody-minded industry insiders claim gas may be marginally quicker, with only a slight trade-off in convenience.
"Our customers are already aware of how much more convenient gas is for heating water, boiling an egg, or warming up a tin of soup", said Nigel Bryant, British Gas's Technology Director. "But soon, they'll be blown away by our scorching new service, which combines impressive data speeds with a need for adequate ventilation."
The new system uses the existing gas network, but information is carried by little pulses of gas. "We're supplying CORGI-approved modems to receive the 'data', and the used data can be safely flared off in the garden", explained Geoff May, Marketing Manager. "We ran a pilot scheme in Bristol that was very well received, although speeds did drop off a little when the bath was running."
Once the service is established, British Gas plans to introduce 'pipeless' networks, so people can use mobile devices. "This has been a little problematic", admitted Nigel. "Filling a whole house with 'data' can cause light-headedness and nausea, so we'd recommend fitting 3-inch thick firewalls to keep you safe. And don't ever attempt to compress your data: it might explode."
The company is exploring a tie-in with CampingGaz to offer a roaming service, and there's an 'off-peak' package for people who don't want to surf when the heating is on. As with any new technology, some people have dismissed it as 'incomprehensibly dangerous', but early adopters are busy fitting rubber carpets, grounding strips and breathing apparatus to their homes, to get the most from the service.
Consumers are generally positive about the new scheme. As one person put it: "My eyebrows are missing, all the windows blew out and my canary died. The slightest spark can trigger another flash 'upgrade', and the eggy smell makes me dry retch. But all things considered, it's a lot more convenient than TalkTalk."