You may well despair, but you might depair a little more if you were faced with maintaining the UK's complex and ageing Telecoms network.
Later developing countries have one big advantage when it comes to telecoms - they have no legacy networks. This means they can buy straight into the latest technology and leapfrog the rest of us (work that is often funded by foreign aid). Very often it's BT engineers who instal this equipment in far-flung spots, and I well remember an occasion when I was being driven through the countryside in a Central African country. I was going to talk to a group of people in the tourist industry about web sites and marketing, and as we went through a village I suddenly spotted a phone kiosk standing quite alone in the dust. I asked the driver to stop, and walked over to take a look. The kiosk was a state-of-the art satellite phonebox, and I could have dialled direct to New York with my credit card. The driver thought the whole thing was hilarious - he said that he doubted if there was anyone within twenty miles who had a credit card, let alone the need to make an international phone call, but there it was - the technology would be there when it was needed.
We're different - we all have phones and credit cards, and we make illions of international calls. What we don't have is that 'clean slate' situation on the telecoms front, and BT's life is far more involved because of it.