I did have another bright idea, but a far more boring one, and for a change quite a practical one.
When you are delivering leaflets for a political party, or canvassing, you get to see a lot of places and you get to see them on foot rather than just driving past, so you notice a lot of things. Quite often you have one of the local councillors with you and can just point these things out to them and let them take care of it – unsafe walls or overgrown paths say.
The thing that really winds me up is telecoms cabinets with the doors open or missing, and there are an awful lot of them. I report these to (usually) Virgin Media and that winds me up too.
They want all sort of details about me and whether I am a customer or not, and make it very hard to report a fault – which I am trying to do as a favour to them, because I know from my own time working in telecoms that it is far easier and quicker to secure a cabinet than to try fixing a fault later on, in a different place, that is cause by that open cabinet, not to mention the interuptions to service.
In some cases I would visit a location where I had reported an open cabinet a month before and see it still open, which I could never understand. I can’t understand why Virgin wouldn’t want to fix it quickly but also can’t understand why the people living next to it are not on their case every day until it is fixed, after all they are the ones who could lose their telephone, TV or broadband if animals chewed on cables or bored kids started pulling them out.
So the bright idea is: why not put a light detector in every cabinet. If it detects light it means the door is open and it sends a message back to the control centre telling them. The company could get the cabinet secured before rats, cats, dogs and foxes could get a chance to piss in it or for rainwater to get into everything. That sort of preventative maintenance would end up giving them fewer service-affecting faults to worry about and could be used in advertising to improve their image as professionals – heaven knows all the comms companies could do with that.
OK. Some sort of electrical contact on the doors would also do the job but I like the idea of a light sensor.
One other thing. When they do secure the cabinets, they could try doing it properly and not just wrap gaffer tape round the whole thing. If the door is damaged, fit a replacement door.