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!