There is a fierce racket outside this morning.

I took a wander out onto the road to see what was going on and found they had blocked off half the road and were digging dirty great holes and trenches against my hedge.  As I suspected, Glendoher is finally entering the Twentieth or even the Twenty First Century.  They are installing a fibre broadband cabinet.  Wonders will never cease.

As it happens I was rooting through some old stuff the other day and came across some neatly typed sheets of paper dating back to August '98.  There were four pages of instructions on how to connect a modem to my computer, how to set up Windows 98 for the Interweb and how to dial up the number.  They also gave instructions on setting up my very first email account.  Wow!

Those were the days.  Loud screeches from the little box as it took an age to connect and then speeds that would cause a snail to get impatient.  And then Herself would start bitching because I was tying up the phone line.  In those days, you connected purely to receive and send mail as any sort of browsing was tedious and expensive as the phone line was racking up the bill all the time.

The company I was with has long ceased to exist, but strangely that email still works.  I get a mail about once or twice a year and by coincidence one arrived this morning.  It was spam of course, but it proves there is life in the old dog yet.

A few years passed as I suffered the agonies of dial-up but then I heard mention of a company that did wireless connections.  I phoned them and they categorically stated that I was miles too far from the mast and that my best course of action was to forget it.  I persisted though, telling them that on a very clear day and with very powerful binoculars I could see their mast from my gaff.

In the end, just to shut me up they sent a bloke out to prove there was no signal. 

But there was.

Over the next few days, masts shot up all over the place and everybody was happy.

About a year later my signal went dead.  I phoned them and they said they had realigned the mast, and tough shit and they'd come out at some stage and remove all the equipment.  A couple of days later all the masts in the area started disappearing.  They came to my gaff and I told 'em to fuck off, that they weren't having my equipment even if it didn't work.

I got an irate message from their head office saying I was to give them their stuff whether I wanted to or not.  I told 'em that all they had to do was move my mast to the other end of the house where it could see a new aerial they had erected.  They told me that aerial couldn't be seen from my place.  I sent them a photograph of their aerial taken from my roof.  They sent a bloke out to move my mast and it has worked perfectly ever since, apart from the trees growing in the way.

So it looks like I may be entering a new phase soon.  I have been doing some sums.  If I scrap the phone line, the wireless broadband and the old satellite dish I can make a considerable saving each month and get 100Mb broadband, which is slightly better than 3.

I'm not putting all my eggs in one basket though.  Just to be safe, I'll root out that old modem.

I wonder how you connect a modem to a wireless router in the back room?

It doesn't say, in that list of instructions.


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The Need for Speed — 4 Comments

  1. Good luck with the new system though I feel the 21st century isn't all its cracked up to be.  We still have to have two phone lines even though that bloke Sarko said circa 2008 everyone will have broadband here by 2009.  If you challenge that the folks in the shadows say the Pres said it, so now it eez true.  Its not.  We have Elastic-band and pay an arm and leg for it. TV is free for us (wink wink) but we never watch it  

    • If I lost my Interweb than how could the world possibly survive without my rambings?  Nature is doing its damndest with those trees getting in the way of my signal, so the fibre could be the cavalry riding to the rescue.  Couldn't give a shit about the television but can't do without it as it keeps Herself off the gin of an evening.

  2. You’re not the only one on some sort of “wireless concoction.”

    My home runs on some 3G network contraption. Our suburb (about 15 minutes from the CBD of Perth, Australia) is in something of a 3G “twilight zone,” sometimes the signal ain’t quite up to snuff, therefore no connection is possible. At the best of times, my speeds are about 2-3mbps down, 0.2 or so up. “First world country…” Oftentimes, the speeds are not even half that.

    One day there might be Fibre-to-the-node or home. I wouldn’t hold my breath. The local council is too busy bitching about some planned highway’s “destroying natural and rare habitats” to communicate with the NBN Co. about our connection status.

  3. I live in a new build on a development of 120 houses in the town centre. Staggeringly, BT didn’t see fit to install fibre when they wired the estate.


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