I Take Broadband For Granted

One of the things that changed my life wasn’t the Internet itself, but the coming of affordable broadband that enabled me to easily access the wealth of information (and misinformation) available. For close to 10 years, I’ve had some form of high-speed connection (e.g. not dial-up), and I’ve rarely gone long periods of time without it. The things that you always have are the ones you take for granted. Broadband internet is definitely one for me.

So it was a bit of a shock when I moved into my temporary place in Toronto to discover that the advertised ‘high-speed internet’ was in fact a 128kb/s connection. There were many things I needed to do that were simply unreasonable on that sort of connection. For example, the online lectures for my distance education course were unusable. Using cloud-based storage was futile. Remote desktop through VPN was far more frustrating than it was worth. When I signed up for that web-based economics course, I never considered that I wouldn’t have a fast internet connection, where ever I happened to be.

It’s been three weeks with that connection and I’ve dreaded using the Internet every single day, but come next Wednesday, it’ll be upgraded to a 2mb/s line. While not terribly quick, it’ll be worlds apart from what I’m used to, and more than likely, quite adequate for my needs. Does that mean I have an appreciation for broadband now? I’m not really sure, but I do know that in the future, I’ll have to explicity check about the speed of a ‘high speed’ connection!

6 thoughts on “I Take Broadband For Granted”

  1. I still remember my 56k access (which was in fac a 28,8k)…and now I have 7 Mb…what a difference in just 10 years.
    And now they want to bring the optic fiber in our homes…can’t wait for that.
    Another thing for us, web developers, is that we tend to forget about other people, who don’t have such speed, when we develop our web applications.

  2. That’s true for me too. When I have no access to the internet with broadband, I was stuck too. I realized that more than 50% of my daily activities are involved with internet (not computer anymore). The way I deal with this issue usually is by going to internet cafe or coffee shop that provides wireless internet access.

  3. You guys are all very lucky I’m in Australia just out side the Gold Gold and still can’t get ADSL2 I am still working with a 1500kb connection and it really sucks….

  4. Had a similar experience traveling to Argentina. The internet in my hotel room was pretty fast, but it would kill any ip connection that stayed open for more than 90 seconds or so.

    I was trying to use skype to call home, and it would cut off every minute and a half.

    Couldn’t tell if this was on purpose, to discourage the excessive bandwidth, or just crappy equipment / lines.

    Yep, I’m spoiled.

  5. Think about it from a positive point of view, at least you’ve got some sort of access: my phone line’s been down for 3 days now. Thankfully I haven’t fully embraced “cloud computing” so I can get some of my work done.

  6. I was taking advantage of our mbps down internet not six months ago, and now am on starband witch is satellite internet. I hate having to try to calculate how much bandwidth I’m going to use so that the others in our household don’t suffer to terrible slow internet. Oh and that spanish class where the professor requires both me and my girlfriend to be connected though we tried to explain to her that our internet is not that good, it doesn’t help the internet at all either. We average about 101kbps down, on a good day, and were paying $79 a month, yeah bad, but the only thing in south east alaska. Hell i tried to upload a 32k conf file and it didn’t let me because the weather had a gust of wind and so the internet connection reset, but i love high speed internet:D

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