1 EAGLETON NOTES: Broadband Dreams

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Saturday, 17 January 2015

Broadband Dreams

Before I came away it was a hectic few days with the BT Openreach engineer trying to sort out my broadband connection. The engineer was a great guy called Robbie from Liverpool who had a companion called Mick on the first day - for health and safety reasons given the gales on Monday - so there was plenty of good scouse banter whilst they beavered away. It’s well over forty years since I’ve been in company like that. They were up on temporary secondment with their vans because of the overwhelming telecommunications problems on the Island due to the lightning in December and the subsequent storms. By lunchtime of Tuesday I had a stable signal around the 1 Mbps.  If it stays stable when I get back I might now be able to watch YouTube and even iPlayer. It was fortunate that when he arrived my broadband connection was dropping every 5 minutes and the engineer could witness it for himself. I’m just hoping that when I get home it’s still as good.

So it was with interest that I noticed an article Tuesday's The Times entitled ‘Broadband speeds are getting lower as UK falls behind’. Apparently the average UK broadband speed is 10.7 Mbps which means that we’re 19th in the world and have fallen behind South Korea (average 25.3 Mbps). However we are, apparently, better off than France, Spain and Italy. What, of course, that doesn’t tell us is how widely available broadband is. In New Zealand unless you are located very close to a school many rural communities do not have broadband. Located as I was a stone’s throw from Napier I only had broadband because a local geek and entrepreneur decided to put micro-wave broadband in the area. NZ Telecom just said it wasn’t profitable. I cannot imagine that it’s profitable in the Western Isles but, as with cellphone coverage, the Government has invested millions in infrastructure.

For me and my neighbours however 10.7 Mbps is something we can only dream about. Just having a steady signal is our goal. When I arrived at Anna's it struck me just how fast webpages loaded.: 13Mbps. Sigh. 

28 comments:

  1. I'm not sure I could survive with a 1Mbps connection. I've just run a check and I'm currently getting 38.8Mb/s download and 11.37Mb/s upload.

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    1. I can't claim not to be envious Mark: especially as we are probably paying the same for the service.

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  2. They are crafty blighters. They always seem to quote Mbps which is about an eighth of a MBps.

    In Foyers about a mile from the mast I get 7.6Mbps download and 1.3Mbps upload That's using the Hutchinson dongle.

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    1. I never managed anything like that with my dongle in New Zealand and, as I've said before, the Hutchinson service isn't available at the house.

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  3. Your post made me curious - I have no idea what my internet speed is, so I've looked it up in my system information. It does not give a number for Mbps, it only says "current rate 17.376 kBit/s". All I know for sure is that anythiing I want to look at - be it something on youtube or elsewhere - is fast enough for my liking; I can't complain. Sometimes it takes long-ish (not really long, that's just me being impatient) when I am uploading pictures to my posts.
    I do hope Robbie and Mick were able to sort your broadband troubles out for good, and you'll still find everything working well when you return.

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    1. Thanks Meike I hope they've been successful too but it'll be a while before I'm back in Eagleton to find out.

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  4. Wow is all I can say, I have so much to be thankful for here on my island with my broadband service.
    After reading your broadband speed, I immediately went to my speed test website and performed the test.
    Download 19.01Mbps
    Upload 4.79 Mbps
    What makes me wonder is this: the guys that come in to the island to install the technology and infrastructure are all British and I believe the company is based in Scotland, why can't they do for you what they do for us?

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    1. Virginia a lot is to do with the infrastructure and, to an extent, the distance from the exchange. My service measures 5Mbps at the exchange but the loss over the 2 to 2½ miles from the exchange to my house is significant.

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  5. I hope you checked your cutlery drawer after Robbie and Mick left. You know what Liverpudlians are like.

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    1. You've never forgiven us Lancastrians for wnning the Wars of the Roses have you!

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    2. Are Liverpudlians Lancastrians? I thought they were mostly Irish....and the War of the Roses isn't over yet.

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    3. YP Liverpudlians look after their own. As for your last comment: dream on.

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  6. Well, you're in touch with us all, Graham, which has to be good.....if slow.

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    1. Frances slow and steady would do me: matches my traits as a human being.

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  7. I admire & appreciate your efforts of keeping up in spite of slow and intermittent internet connection. Used to fast cable broadband these days, I'm almost forgetting what it was like x number of years ago.

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    1. Monica sometimes it can be exceptionally frustrating but I'm lost when I can't communicate.

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  8. Well, good that you've got that sorted out. Our service is up and down.

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    1. Yes Red. It would seem that I'm by no means alone.

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  9. I've lost track of the different methods I've tried in my search for a connection that doesn't drive me nuts with impatience. I've now got wireless and am happy with 4.06 Mbps download and 2.39 Mbps upload. To me that is fast!! Hope your connection is stable when you return.

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  10. I use a 4g dongle and it is very slow :(( Hopefully will get broadband wifi in the next months. Belated Happy New year GB!!

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  11. It took me a minute, GB, your photo of the sign and the connection between the Gaelic and English names, but then it hit: Iolaire, eagle with the glint of sun in its eye, of course – Eagleton: Baile. . . – village of the great sea eagle. (I do not claim to be a quick study!) What a romantic naming of place at the headland of the great sea eagle. I didn’t find a history of Eagleton or its Gaelic naming but I came across a geocaching site and discovered that there are a number of geocaches around the 14 villages on the Eye Penninsula (Point). And that site has produced another question of naming (I love wordplay): with your heart in two places, are you perhaps a Rudhach Kiwi these days, or a Kiwi Rudhach? The best I can do in English is a Kiwi Pointer – which strikes me as funny, but disappointingly, has nowhere near the same caché. Glad you’re up and running again. Thanks for the post, McGregrr

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    1. What an interesting comment McGregor. I suppose when I'm here and deep in my heart I'm a Rudhach Kiwi. I'd be very complimented though if people in NZ thought of me as a Kiwi Rudhach.

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  12. Is this another case of 'the byter bit' ?

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  13. You'll enjoy being here when you stay - according to my old vista laptop my connection speed is 54 Mbps.

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    1. That, CJ, is the fastest I've known anyone get so far. Bliss.

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