Saturday, 9 May 2009

Life in the Slow Lane

An interesting time in the beautiful city of Ely, where Lucy and I are helping lead an Engaged Encounter Weekend.

The spring is sprung, the gardens are lovely, and it’s great to be alive, especially around one of the most glorious Cathedrals in the world. Who am I, to be alive in such a place on a spring day such as this?

Yet, as my old training incumbent used to say, every silver lining has a cloud. The cloud here is the unavailability of a fast data network my dongle can access through T-Mobile. All I can get is a strong but utterly, pathetically slow GPRS network. So out goes any notion of a film review on Michael Caine’s latest, because I couldn't conceive of moving video files around at this connection speed. I suddenly am brought hard up against the reality of life at last century’s connection speeds. Uploading a modest snail takes almost 10 minutes!! O Life how short, Eternity How long!

And I just wonder whether, among other reactions to the current depression, the government might care to consider upgrading the infrastructure of this country à la Singapore. Fast free data for all. This would stimulate business, commerce, life, industry, social development. It would be comparatively cheap, certainly compared to some of the things money has been lavished on just recently. And some people would find such a plan at least as effective an investment for the future as paying out plushy six figure annual pensions for Fred the Shred and his layabout incompetent chums.

Any merit?


Steve Hayes said...

I wish they'd do it here.

I went to a conference last week, and though they had a WiFi setup at the centre, I couldn't connect to it, so had to wait till I got home to blog about it.

I don't know about Fred the Shred, but we could have saved a bundle on Jake the Fake's ordin... sorry, inauguration.

Pam Smith said...

Erm - I think blogging about the speed of your dongle might be a sign of Internet addiction. GET HELP! LOL ;)

Yes a speeded up infrastructure would be great, then they might stop those irritating BT adverts with Nick out of My Family who (if I'm following the story properly) seems to have just got his girlfriend pregnant because his broadband connection failed.

Richard said...

Availability of a fast data connection is still pretty patchy, even in quite populous places.

We get almost no signal of any sort on O2 in our corner of Arborfield, and at St James it is dependant on which side of the building we are - one side is GPRS, the other 3G. Whilst in both of those places we've got wi-fi routers and broadband, people in parts of North Finchampstead can't even get that as they are so far from the Eversley telephone exchange that the ADSL signal is non-existent.

Unknown said...

Love the slow-growing snail in your picture!

But that's a really good picture of life in the go-getting electronic world of Milton Keynes. Theoretically I'm only 250m from the nearest 3G mast, but in practice can only get GPRS half the time. It's not all about proximity or signal strength! But then this go-ahead city has pathetic cable which isn't ever going to be suitable for Internet, and nobody is being forced to take action. So we're either on mobile, or on broadband which for me, like many thousands of others and some significant businesses, is too far from the nearest exchange for anything brave to happen there. Come on HMG, what about some competition here!!

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