Traffic, roads and rants

You know it’s really rare that I ever regret throwing in all my city life for my current home. And it’s rare that I have a vent here on my little black blog… but brace yourself peoples… I’m about to throw a little wobbly.  (If you could have some chardy on chill for the both of us at the end of this post, I’d really appreciate it!)

So here’s the thing.  I really don’t miss the city much.  It’s true.  I don’t miss the physical proximity to strangers, I don’t miss the roar of the traffic, the fumes of the highways and congested intersections.  I don’t miss the mobile phone ringing constantly (the silver lining having no mobile phone coverage!).

I don’t even miss the local stores so much, or the handy location of my lovely Russian beautician, the never-runs-out water supply or even the regular garbage pickup (okay, I may be lying just a little about that last part. And maybe a touch about the bit before that.  And okay, the bit before that has also been mourned slightly.  So say my unwaxed legs.).

But I have to say, that one thing really I DO miss… and that is the knowledge that broadband internet is MY ABSOLUTE RIGHT as a voting Australian.

Let me explain.  We have been bombarded with television advertising* over the past couple of weeks about how the super-fast superhighway of broadband (The National Broadband Network which will be ‘100 times faster that that which ‘average’ Aussies now get’) is being rolled out.  Apparently this amazing initiative will give us the opportunities we all deserve. And ‘turbo charge our digital economy’.  Wow.  How exciting for the average Aussie: the 90% of people in this wonderful country who are considered important enough to be worthy of this improvement.

Let’s not worry too much about the ‘other 10%’ – the ten percent who live in the vast majority (acreage-wise) of our great nation.  The bushies. Ouch.

(*This television marketing campaign is aimed, I suspect, not at me but is getting to me anyway because television in the bush is sent out mostly from the city. They shut down out local content versions of news a couple of years ago. Ouch again.)

Sadly, I am starkly aware that I am not an ‘average’ Aussie.  Because of where I live.  Because I live in whoop-whoop – and whoop-whoop for the uninitiated, is basically anwhere away from the heavily populated coast of the wide brown land.  Here we can only get ‘satelite broadband’… an interesting term really.  My Mother lives very close to town and gets ADSL broadband – and let me tell you, the satelite version and the ADSL version are two different creatures.  Mine is okay some of the time, thanks to a little dish on my roof, as long as I stick to my download limits, as long as it’s not too cloudy, as long as its not raining.  Speeds occasionally reach those advertised by providers. But not often. Often it’s almost the same as dial-up speeds.  I kid you not.

I get whiplash when I visit Mum’s computer connection, it’s so fast.  And this is the version that’s getting sped up by 100 times.


Now I don’t begrudge anyone getting better internet connection.  More power to you city folks.  Go leap on that super-smooth, super-fast highway … you’d be mad not to.  I certainly would if I could!


Just don’t be telling me (I am talking to you, government spin doctors) that ALL of us have some kind of right to have it.  We don’t.  Cause when you choose to live away from the madding crowds, this is what our virtual road to the internet looks like…


I wonder if anyone is coming along with a grader for us anytime soon?  Apparently there is discussion about a grader planned.  But somehow (if past experience with government consultation is anything to go by – and let’s not forget I was once a bureaucrat too – I have insider experience in these processes) I doubt that the ‘grader’ will be making it out of the shed to smooth the red dirt road within the next decade.  Call me cynical.  Call me cranky.  Call me when that chardy is ready!

I console myself with the knowledge that not too many with supersonic web access get views like this in the morning…


*Deep breath*

Okay, my out-of-character rant is just about over… but before you go, I need to know:

How ’bout you?

What’s your internet connection speed like? Is it fabulous? Does it drive you wild?

And how close are you to the nearest town/city?

24 Responses to “Traffic, roads and rants”

  1. Hey, BB. Singin’ the blues . . . I know some of what you’re describing: we live out “in the sticks” though maybe NOT so far out as ya’ll do. We’re pretty much in the farming part of the country. I love it as you do, but some of the amenities would be nice. I guess it’s the yin and yang of it all. Blessings on one side; challenges on the other. Wherever we live! It’s all good, however.

    But warm up to this: Our temp today was like 98 F (heat index of 109 or in Celcius: about 43). We’d been gone on a short vacation–maybe not so short–11 days. So many of our potted plants were toast when we got back. Sob! Maybe we’ll get a bit of rain tomorrow. Here’s praying. (Just before we left, it rained LOTS and I had to mow like once a week! And much rain was prognosticated for ten of the days we were gone. Reality was little of nothing and much higher temperatures!)

    The blessings, however: got to see my Mom, and sisters, and a couple of my brothers and family members. Again: Blessings/Challenges. Life!!!

    Have a good one, and know I’ll be thinking of you!

  2. OK, so we live an hour from Melbourne, 20 minutes(ish) from Ballarat. We do have ADSL, but, and I stress the but, it isn’t ADSL2. We’re still on the first version here and we’ve only had this for-hmmm, maybe 4 years. I know what you mean though, we won’t be getting super dooper, lightning fast internet either, the same ads frustrate the boots of me, honestly why can’t they just tell the truth!

    “Ladies and Gentlemen, some of you won’t be getting any speedy internet, you’ll really be lucky if you get any reliable service at all! That’ll teach you to be a Primary Producer, that’ll teach you to feed the nation and that will also teach you to choose to retire in peaceful surrounds….so there!!”

    I enjoyed that, made me feel much better. I’ll get the glasses out (have to be red though?).

    Elizabeth McMahon´s last blog post ..Winter drops…

    • Too right Elizabeth… I’d love to get all hoity about the ‘feeding the nation’ thing too, but who’d listen? Not sure they realise this is where food comes from sometimes!!! You can drink all the red you like darl… a virtual red won’t hurt me I spose!

  3. We’re just across the river from our small town, about a mile and a half along the road but probably only one mile as the crow flies. I have DSL, but I’m not sure everyone on my road can get it. I know people about 3 miles west of us have to use satellite internet or dial up and they say the same thing about the satellite connection. We’re only about 35 minutes from Wichita, which is what passes for a big city for us. Heading west is actually heading *toward* Wichita, yet that direction does not have DSL or cable. We can’t get cable. We used to have satellite for TV but now just watch on the internet because, yeah, the DSL is pretty fast.

    Kansas is a funny place. There are still some dirt roads to be found in Wichita. The main roads out in the country are paved, but very few of the other roads are. One of the benefits (perhaps the only?) of living on the same road as a feed lot is that our neighbor who owns the lot is the head of the township and in charge of the roads. He makes sure our road is graded frequently so the trucks hauling cattle can get up and down it. Unfortunately, the guy who does the grading does a lousy job. Oh well, it’s better than the nearby roads. Still, it’s very odd for living so close to a decent sized city.
    Jenni in KS´s last blog post ..Musical Monday – Shake That Healthy Butt!

  4. I hear you all the way around the big wide world. It’s always something. And the skunk in the hen house is almost always a bureaucrat. Too bad people who make decisions at the top don’t think keeping promises is important.

    But if you were back in the city we would sorely miss those astounding BB photos of filtered morning sun. You can make a mile of bad road look good. So selfishly I say, hang in there and keep on bloggin’

    • I promise you I wasn’t a skunk!!! But I do know what you mean. And thanks Leenie – I can always count on you to make me feel good about my little outbursts!!

  5. mostly ours is great. i’d though i’d manage with satellite feed if it meant i didn’t have to be around people.
    Naomi´s last blog post ..I Came, I Saw, My Heart Broke

  6. Funny – obviously we have enough government-coloured politicians around here to not be bombarded by the advertising – but not enough IMPORTANT government-coloured politicians to get all of the upgrades they seem to be promising.

    I had to find a dongle for one of my jobs for some pre-paid internet, and there were MANY brochures on who offered – but you had to get online to find out that only 1 has any coverage, and that coverage can range from crap to slightly above…
    jeanie´s last blog post ..Do you believe in magic?

  7. I remember dial up AOL! LOL LOL
    We have had broadband Comcast for around 4 years now, I dont think I could go back!!!
    We are 6 miles outside of our little town, and about 15 miles from Vancouver, Washington USA. Our town is called Washougal, which means rushing water, in Native American.

  8. I’m with you BB. I’m only 5.5km from ADSL connection, in two directions. Here? Nothing, diddly squat, buckleys. So it was dial-up until I went satellite – which is faster, but still snail like in comparison to ADSL. Mobile the same – walk across the paddock, signal, right here, nothing. Don’t start me on the roads. Still, all in all, I’d rather do without these bits than have all the crap that comes with the convenience. Thanks for the opportunity to vent with you – off for a chardy!
    Cheryl´s last blog post ..Healthy Chocolate

  9. Only today was I own the phone to our net provider. Rcv’d one of thos emails that said you are down to your last 20% of peak quota…rarara…only last month I had doubled my data by upgrading my plan. I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE MY QUOTA GOES!! Apparently, yesterday I had used nearly 50% of my months peak quota in one day! Yeah right!! I rang and asked exactly how I had down that?? They couldn’t tell me how (breach of the privacy act…go figure)but could tell me the time in which it disappeared! Between 5&6pm yesterday, when I was feeding two hungry kids and not even at my desk! Well, i’ll be! They, the provider, could not help me establish how that could happen and seemed to assume that I was just off my rocker. So, yes, I too have had it with our country sat broadband!

  10. I’ve got broadband, but not expecting to get the super-fast version, though. Hey, when we first moved to town the house we lived in couldn’t get broadband because the grey box at the corner couldn’t cope with it (and that’s in town). It was a big day to go so fast when we moved here.

  11. My resident telecom techie, The Aussie, says that it is an unfortunate collision of distance vs currently available technology vs cost. Unfortunately for you guys, cost is the overriding issue for the telcos because super fast broadband will come at a super high cost at that distance.

    Still crap no matter how you cut it. People have to live in the country as you do as you are putting the food on our plates every day. Seems like you should have better public services available.

    I’m having a chardy for you! Cheers

  12. I live in a town that actually has DSL. I had dial-up for years, but am so glad to have good service.

    My sister is out in the middle of an actual “nowhere” location and uses Satellite. It is definitely not as good as DSL.

    I guess we all have our crosses to bear! Mine doesn’t happen to be the internet — I have others, though. Can we talk about the neighbor’s dog who poops in my yard all the time?

  13. I’m a university student, and the City I live in has made me quite accustomed to high speed internet. That said, I come from a small village. There is high speed access within the village limits, but being a country girl at heart, I want to build my home and family out in the rolling fields surrounding the village.

    That means I have the same options as you: satellite internet, or dial-up. It’s interesting that you are having this issue, because our Premier just announced that he is bringing “High Speed Access” to the rural residents of this province. Whether that includes the sparsely populated area I intend to live in, remains to be seen.
    Jayke´s last blog post ..Camping and Sunstroke.

  14. I can feel your pain since we are also on a satellite connection. Still, it beats dial-up!

    The kicker is that although we are in a rural area, cable internet comes within a half mile of our house. We’ve begged and pleaded and offered to pay the costs to run the cable to us, but they won’t do it. So…. it’s satellite TV and satellite internet for us.

    Cell reception is sketchy, too, but good enough for text messages. (most of the time)
    Kelly´s last blog post ..Favorite Five – Card Games

  15. We have DSL, but I remember dial up. It was the pits. Major pits. I used to get so frustrated. We always thought it was our old computer. Then we got another. We discovered it was not our computer at all. As soon as we got word that DSL had arrived, we jumped on that bandwagon. I love it. Even after all these years.

    Do you have satellite options?
    debby´s last blog post ..Only Human

  16. I’m 17 miles out from a town of 300 people in the middle of Wyoming… strangely enough… they laid fiber optic cable from Denver to Billings… and it goes down the highway which is one mile from my house! It’s copper wire to the cable, and I have *fast* internet! It’s lover-ly! Many of the small towns in Wyoming (like Ten Sleep) have high speed internet… hopefully to bring some internet businesses here… Cheers!
    Carol/Red Dirt in My Soul´s last blog post ..Wordless Wednesday – "The Road Less Traveled"

  17. I too live in whoop-whoop and deal with the “excellent” satelite internet connection which costs a small fortune compared to what the other internet plans cost (for what they get)…….and the speed well lets no go there but it is not what it should be………but there is no way i would move to a city or town………good post

  18. I have Comcast and I live in between two big cities, Philadelphia and Baltimore. When I lived further in the sticks, Comcast wasn’t available. My Comcast internet is high speed.
    I’m sorry to hear about yours, though. And also apologize for not being by lately. Got backed up visiting my fave blogs when I was away in Maine last week.
    And hey, that last photo is so dreamy.
    Kate´s last blog post ..Mister Adam for his madam is not

  19. Hey, BB! We got rain today!!! Whoop! Whoop! A whole, wonderful, wet inch of rain!!! I’m very happy to share this Wet Wednesday Weather Weport. ;}

  20. Internet connection is fine here, doesn’t need speeding up at all.
    The patchy mobile phone and internet coverage 5 kms past the nearest town, on the other hand, desperately needs speeding up!
    Jayne´s last blog post ..June 24 in history…’Rangas rule….apparently

  21. We live 40 minutes from the CBD and we’re We’re in the Perth metro area but apparently we live in a ‘dead zone’ so we can’t get broadband. We’ve been told we should get it in 2017. So, if it makes you feel any better it’s not just the country folk who are missing out.
    Red Dirt Mummy´s last blog post ..Finding A Comfy Spot

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