Reg Nixon, from Cromley in Derbyshire, first got a leaflet extolling the virtues of BT Infinity on 25 January 2010, then aged a sprightly 108. He put a call through and was told an engineer would do a site visit within three weeks. 144 weeks later he’s still waiting for the service to be installed.
Mr Nixon’s daughter Valerie Crosby says the possibility of one day having high-speed connectivity is the secret to her father’s longevity: ‘It’s what keeps him going, really. He’s already outlived most of his friends, three wives, and about half a dozen BT engineers.’
‘It all looked very exciting,’ said Mr Nixon, ‘with the ability to stream movies and music whenever I wanted, at super fast speeds. I initially thought that Infinity was a reference to bandwidth, but I now realise it’s an indication of the average waiting time.’
Mrs Crosby added: ‘Dad has been witness to some of the most momentous events in history; but I think all of that would pale compared to finding a customer services representative capable of accessing his notes in less than 25 minutes.’
Mr Nixon, who has lived through two world wars and 24 British prime ministers, has also waited 12 weeks to get a telephone line, 18 months for a hip replacement and 28 hours at Crewe for a connection to Nantwich.
His local MP Malcolm Toddy said: ‘Reg is a testament to the indomitable British spirit, which is prepared to queue, hang on and generally receive shoddy customer service in the hope of one day getting somewhere.’
The world’s oldest man is 115-year old Hoshima Takamoto from Japan, who has been waiting since 1998 for someone at Apple to send out the lead for his iMac.