The Little Green Monster

The Little Green Monster

The green beast doesn’t strike me very often. I am a fairly mellow guy and while I often see things that others have that I would like I rarely feel envious. There is currently one area where I’ve made an exception — bandwidth.

Bandwidth envy is not pretty, but I hide it well. I say nice things to those who have Gb/second connections for their e-mail and web browsing on 10 year old machines — but on the inside I’m screaming “Why not me?!?”

Living in rural Muskoka has many benefits — privacy, peace, room to grow and play.  We are only 10 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Huntsville yet our nearest neighbour is over 200m away. Everything is great.  Everything, that is, except our internet connection.

With the phone line connection that we have, a good connection speed is anything over 30 Kb/second. I have seen 40, but I can count the times that has happened on one hand in 9 years. Generally, my wife’s machine will rarely see better than 26.4. When that is coupled with the fact that we need to disconnect regularly to use the phone, fax or other computers, the access to the internet is abysmal.

Both my wife and I have our offices in the house. We share the same phone line for both computers, the telephone (business and personal lines) and the fax machine.  We used to have a second line for the computers but that vanished in some cost cutting measures a few years back. We’ve talked about bringing it back but the extra expense would better server upgrading to broadband when we can.

I am a programmer, web designer and aspiring blogger. I am trying to use social media tools and learning more about internet marketing to grow my business, so I am really struggling with the lack of speed and connection time that this situation brings.

I have waited for 9 years for a provider to get access out this way. Within 2km in all 4 directions broadband access is available via wireless or cable. In fact, my 2nd closest neighbour can access a WiFi tower to the south of us that is blocked by the ridge behind my house.

It seems, based on the coverage maps, that I should be able to get WiFi connection if I build a tower up on the ridge to clear the trees. There was no signal above the house itself (20 feet from the peak) so we’re going to have to wait until spring so that we can set up a tower. If this doesn’t work then I’ll have to resort to satellite which I don’t like for many reasons.

So, I sit here in my office, the green monster looking over my shoulder and snickering as timeout after timeout flashes on my screen. ARGH! [Take a deep breath Bill 8=]


[Update — there may be hope:  see Bandwidth Envy — the Saga Continues]

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1 Comment on Bandwidth Envy

  1. Bandwidth Envy — the Saga Continues says:

    […] some of you may recall, I’ve been hoping to get broadband internet connection in our rural area for some time now.  […]

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