Thursday, October 04, 2007

Rural High Speed (as if!)

Like usual - way too little and way too late...

Grey County Broadband Initiative

Grey County was chosen as one of the successful applicants in the Rural Connections …The Ontario Municipal Rural Broadband Partnership Program.


Geoff Hogan, Director of Information Technology
The Corporation of the County of Grey
595 9 th Avenue East
Owen Sound , ON N5K 3E3
Phone: (519) 372-0219 x284
Fax: (519) 376-5640

Just a side note to my faceless survey entry:

I just finished investing some $1000 in a direct satellite uplink system for my home. So unfortunately this initiative comes as way too little and way too late.

Our original internet access was via direct dial up. I have been involved in computer based communications longer that there even was a true internet - starting with simple bulletin board style messages in the late 1980's. Our first provider here in Wareham was via Ambassador out of Shelburne.

Through this all, we have been badly effected by the lack of quality provided by Bell Canada wires. As the internet and computers themselves sped up - our hook up cable degraded. In simple terms, as a true rural resident (not in a town or on main road) the same piece of copper wire remains in place. This while the number of physical homes on our road has doubled, and I dare say the individual service demands per house have quadrupled. Run the math and it is clear the Bell Canada wire does not carry the load.

One of our two phone lines to the house tends to deteriorate whenever we have a day of rain. Often to the point of not being able to function at all - completely dead. If you have ever tried to call Bell service you know the problem. A call centre in India of all places, staffed by people who are nice, but have little technical knowledge and certainly no concept of the physical realities of Central Ontario.
Our working download speeds here were in the range of 2 kps or less. Our modem has the potential to run at 56. High speed is considered to be in the range of 100 - 200. True top end speeds as much as 5 MG (thats 2500 times faster than what we get here via the Bell wire!)
We have six different computers here, all different platforms, operating systems, modems and browser software. ALL of these get that same slow access speed. I have linked these via any number of dial up access numbers and through different service providers. Always that same 2 kps or less. Everyone who lives on the section of Centre Line A running west from the Wareham crossroads has the same problem.
Bell insists there is nothing wrong with the lines (even though the phone itself fails in wet conditions). I have demonstrated this to the technician from Bell by hooking up a lap top to the bare wires where they come out of the ground to the house - and still Bell insists there is nothing wrong with their phone lines.

I have generated almost 100 percent of my home based business income directly off my (huge) web site for the last two years. I am an artisan blacksmith, and this income includes direct sales of educational DVD, recruiting students for courses, custom commissions and international museum work. Without the internet I just would not be able to support this business.

I had researched other possible connection methods. I was told that I could access direct wireless service - but to do so would require the installation of an 80 foot tall mast for the receiver head. Since local building codes do not permit me to install anything to that height on my long narrow lot - this was impossible. (Not to mention the cost involved!)

So my only option was to fork out the money for purchase and installation (total of $800) plus other hardware upgrades (another $300) to access the Xplornet direct to satellite system. The cost for this at even the base level is $60 per month. Note that the cost of my dialup ISP was a mere $20 per month.

I have been forced to make this investment and absorb the ongoing monthly cost because of the critical importance of internet communications to my business.

Perhaps the best and most cost effective program that could be put in place would be to offer some kind of grants or rebates against the cost of the hardware and installation of such systems. As has been the case for most of my life - my own forward thinking and independent actions will prevent my access to such a program. Staying ahead of the curve has always meant paying out of my own pocket.

Bell Canada needs to also be hit - and hit hard. Their instance that pathetic quality service to rural customers is acceptable - despite the fact that they impose an additional monthly fee because of our rural location - is at best dishonest. Yet again the profit motive and urban density is at the real core of this refusal to even acknowledge the existence of a demonstrated problem with their equipment.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WAY TO GO DARRELL,You are right on.

Don H.


February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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