If you are reading this, it’s a clear day

When I started writing this blog, full of idealistic notions of the way we would live on our new property, I imagined we would face many challenges.  I didn’t imagine that even being able to log onto the internet would be one of them. Our property is 30 minutes drive out of a very large rural city. It’s not remote, by any definition of the word.  However, for the past week, a landline phone was the only communication line out of this house.  Our mobile phone coverage is intermittent, and only works when the weather is fine.  If it is raining or foggy – forget it.  Needless to say, we’ve had quite a bit of rain this week.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing.  On our final property inspection, I had asked the previous owners if they had good internet connection.  ‘Yes’ was their answer, and I knew that the Real Estate Agent was keeping in contact with them via email, so I didn’t ask any more questions.  It seemed like it would be a standard non-braodband connection.  Unfortunately this was not the case.

Without knowing the provider and the technology they used, we were finding it a bit frustrating to work our way through the options available to us.  After some experimenting with our many internet enabled devices, and asking questions, we confirmed that broadband was  not an option (we had anticipated this)  our landline phone line is not strong enough to support ADSL2,  or even ADSL1 (this was a shock)  and the 3G wireless signal was ‘not found’.  Of the many ISP’s operating in this country, only one was able to provide potential solutions for our  area – for the others it was out of signal range.  We ended up with a choice between a very expensive satelite connection or an ariel which could potentially boost the wireless connection to a mobile phone tower. We opt for the latter, which comes with a ten day return option in case it didn’t solve the problem.  An NBN tower is planned for our area, and has been approved by council, so we believe a temporary solution will see us through the next year.  If the NBN tower is built, we only need a temporary fix.

Our ‘temprary fix’ gives us two signal bars – enough to blog, email and do basic searches, but it only allows us to have one PC connected.  Technically, we could connect everyting, but this would slow the speed for each device, making the connection practially useless.  It is slow enough being connected to only one PC.

Since its inception, I’ve alwyas supported the NBN.  Faster and more powerful internet speeds benefits so many people in a range of ways. Howerver, I have only recently come to see this initiative as an essential service which should be available to everyone. In an age where we are referred to websites for company and Government information, where online banking is cheaper and more convenient for both the banks and for consumers, where social media is becoming a primary source of information, being restricted to a landline phone seems a huge disadvantage.  So I am thankful for our two signal bars and look forward to a time where our internet connection is more powerful.



4 thoughts on “If you are reading this, it’s a clear day

  1. Surviving on two bars or less here, too 😦 When we had our landline connected last November when we moved in, we were told we could have broadband but with a million things to do and unpack it was a couple of weeks before I rang up to organise it. Alas, all the ports had been taken and they don’t know when there will be more added and there’s no waiting list 😦 Our street is filling fast and I’m sure there must be lots of new potential broadband customers but how will they know without that waiting list? Beats me. All we can do is ring back regularly and hope we are not beaten again. Until then it’s USB, two bars at best. I was told that the NBN was going to be frightfully expensive but perhaps that’s just ill-informed heresay?

    1. I’m not sure what the deal is in your area, but we contacted the Governement enquiring about subsidies for satelite connection to the Internet. It was going to cost an arm and a leg to pay a commercial company to install a satelite. In some approved areas, subsidies are available. We happen to fall into one of these areas, so we have applied for one. The condition of being granted a subsidy is that it is necessary to agree to sign up to the NBN, but as nothing else can provide good coverage out here, we would probably have needed to do that anyway. So, as far as I know, our subsidy has been granted, and we are waiting for the satelite to be installed. Good luck with the broadband. I hope you can manage to get a port soon. 🙂

      1. Surely it can only get better 🙂 it’s not that long ago we would never have dreamed that we could carry around tiny mobile phones or have any sort of access to something like the internet, so I’m sure wider access must be in the not too distant future. We are lucky; two roads away they don’t get any signal and I’m told it can be bad in town (Heathcote), too. Let’s hope for lots of clear days ahead 🙂

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