Tuesday 25 November 2014

Me vs The Internet Connection

I realize I’ve moved to a small town, and with that comes some major life changes.  Some changes are fantastic. People are great, there is no soul crushing hour-long commute to a thankless job, and there is a pleasing lack of precipitation. Friends tell me I will miss the rain eventually, but that hasn’t happened yet, and I don’t see that changing, well, ever. If it does I will invest in a sprinkler and a lawn chair, and let nature take its course. 

All those wonderful perks must be tempered by some shortcomings, of course, or this would be a dull story. 

One of the most notable downsides is the internet connection. It’s nice having a connection at all, however we would probably get similar results using carrier pigeons with USB sticks. I guess that’s still a step up from smoke signals? Honestly though, my phone is 3G, and my at-home connection is somewhere around 3G and a half. The dead chipmunk in my kiddie pool moves faster. 

Before our move to Small Place, BC, I came from a technological wonderland where if it took more than a second or two to load a page, that page was closed. End of story, find another site. There are literally millions that will load faster. If that still didn’t work, you changed internet providers. On a monthly basis we would get calls from these guys who were throwing all kinds of free shit at us to promote a jump to their new and improved faster something-something service.   

Now that we’ve moved and left that glorious speed behind us, the problem is two-fold. First, I live in an extremely small town. Secondly, I don’t actually live in that town; I live 6 or so kilometers outside of it. Most mainstream internet providers won’t even service the town, and those that do offer a sub-basement version. Read: Not fast.  Actually, read: So mind-bogglingly slow that videos on YouTube take longer to load than their actual play time.  Get a book, you have time to catch up on your reading.  And to learn a new trade.  Become a plumber.

Outside of town you haven’t got a hope. Those companies that do provide service don’t have the words “high” or “speed” in their vocabulary at all. Netflix still runs, but buffer time is painful, and if you can avoid those irritating auto-play Facebook videos, all the better. More often than not, the whole thing works better if only one system is running at a time…no World of Whatever group gaming marathons for us. Not that this is really something I was looking for, but still, options would be nice.   

Not Siberia
And don’t even get me started about getting these guys out for a service call. You’d think I live in Siberia. I don’t, although the snow belies that sometimes.

Society is all about getting things fast, finding things quickly, and optimizing everything.  In the workplace this can be bloody annoying. If one more person says to me “Lets streamline this process to optimize our productivity this quarter!” I think I will punch them in the throat. That said, lets make my internet connection as fast as fucking possible. I’m impatient, and I accept that. I’m also aware that this is contradictory. I also accept that.  Slow loading recipes on Pintrest suck. Don’t judge me.

This all said, to be fair to these smaller local providers, their customer service has been better than the larger company which I now have to put up with. And for the most part, the speed it pretty much the same: glacially slow.  And sadly, on the days when nothing will do but a marathon geek-fest of Sherlock and Firefly, it would be nice to have a bandwidth that supported me in that antisocial predilection.  I don’t think that’s a lot to ask, and yet apparently it is.

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