Those Internet Problems in Full

It’s no surprise, living as we do on a rural area, that our broadband (technically it’s not even broadband apparently as we barely get over 1 meg) is a bit rubbish. Normally we grin and bear it, and concentrate on the many benefits of rural life from hot and cold running views to quiet bike-friendly roads. But recently, as well as being slow, it’s become increasingly unreliable, with the connection disappearing intermittently several times a day.

After a few weeks of observation, I think I have come up with a fairly exhaustive list of all the things that make our internet connection drop:

* Miserable wet weather
* Windy weather
* Sun going behind a cloud
* Phone ringing (bonus points if it’s a robo call about the ‘National Database’)
* Someone coming to the door
* Trying to upload a large file
* Trying to upload a small file
* Trying to urgently email a client to let them know that I’ll get the file to them as soon as I can
* Adding photos to my blog
* Visitors in the house who would like to check their emails
* Visitors in the house who were just going to check how long it would take to drive to the ferry
* Visitors in the house trying to use the internet to settle an argument
* Trying to do anything that involves me saying ‘I’ll just quickly finish this and then I’m done’
* Finally getting round to sending that important email I’ve been putting off for ages
* Last check of emails before going to bed, culminating in a further half hour of fruitlessly pressing the refresh button before climbing into bed at midnight
* Idly checking twitter just before going to bed, culminating in ten minutes of watching my phone give me a blank twitter screen before remembering that Twitter never says anything sensible after midnight anyway
* Thinking I might pop up an amusing blog post about how rubbish our internet connection has been
* Attempting to run a Scotland-wide election-related campaign that involves updating a dataset every night

In a sane and rational world, I would respond to any of these by simply getting on with the many things I have to do that don’t require the internet, and gosh how productive I’d suddenly be. However, and I’m sure that there’s a psychological reason for this, once I’ve started to try and do something – even if it was only to see if anyone had found my latest bon mot on Twitter amusing – then that is the thing I absolutely have to do until I’ve completed it.

Suggestions for upgrading either our internet or my brain warmly welcomed. Well, short of moving back into anywhere where we don’t have cows for neighbours – let’s not go mad.

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6 Responses to Those Internet Problems in Full

  1. haffieliesel says:

    Does your cable run along the side of the road or track? Ours does, and we found it had been severed and mended so many times that it struggled to even work for phone.its still not great but it’s better, and now it’s armoured cable too! BT can check whether there’s an issue and where about it is.

  2. ballsofwool says:

    We suffer from diabolical rural broadband too. Getting rid of a poorly performing router and booster and moving the amplifier out of the shoe cupboard helped…um…also a rule of only having one single device online at any time (inc. routers, boosters, phones, ereaders, anything). Appealing to our provider kept me busy for two weeks last summer; it’ll be a couple of years before I’ve built up courage to try that again.
    I always have the feeling it does a quick cut-out every hour on the hour.
    When it cuts out after 11pm its telling me I need my beauty sleep. And you’re spot on about Twitter – Never after midnight!

  3. Darkerside says:

    Give up and just get satellite broadband?

  4. disgruntled says:

    @haffieliesel – it dangles off telegraph poles so I probably should have added ‘bird taking off from phone wire’. Perhaps ASBO buzzard is to blame
    @ballsofwool – we have upgraded our router. I’m not sure the ‘one device at a time’ rule would be feasible in our house but I could suggest it to the other half…
    @darkerside – I’m told it’s no better but it is lots more expensive

  5. Flighty says:

    Mine’s probably not much better. Mind you I’m using a umteenth hand PC running XP. xx

  6. disgruntled says:

    Ha! Hang on to XP…

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