Saturday, May 16, 2009

The boon of high speed internet access

The one thing that I have not been able to get acclimatized to on the farm, is the slow speed of dial-up internet...28.8 kbps. Being in Toronto this weekend with high speed internet everywhere makes me appreciate how much I took fast web browsing for granted. And it highlights how handicapped I feel by the lack of high speed wireless coverage in my area. I was used to doing a lot of product and information research via the internet before coming to the farm, and now, I find it so much more time consuming, that I keep my internet research topics to absolute necessities, and sometimes not even those, which explains why I'm only now picking a rototiller model.

In fact, on the farm, not only is there currently no access to high speed internet, even for a phone line connection, I have to pay an extra $3 per month (rural connectivity fee) just for the 'privilege' of being connected at all, and an extra $5 for long distance access. I do understand that telecommunications companies are not going to build infrastructure in areas without the client base to support those capital investments. But somehow that doesn't help me feel like rural areas aren't being kept at a disadvantage.

There are provincial grants in place for rural regions to increase their high speed coverage areas, but so far, my area hasn't been connected yet. The telecoms implementing the grant also need the funds to be released to them by the province to set up new towers, and not surprisingly, that's not happening quickly. Until then, I just have to teach myself to unclench my jaw any time that I'm waiting for something to load. To give you an idea of how long things take...in my last long blog update that included all those pictures...each individual picture took at least 10 minutes to load. I unpacked a few boxes of books between the upload of each of those pictures!

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