Rural Scotland is a fantastic place to stay. Lots of lovely scenery, good food, good pubs, fantastic company. But. You miss out on stuff. Like a decent internet connection. Mine averages less than 2mb.
For instance lets imagine you want to watch Dr Who on BBC iPlayer. On your PS3. Which doesnt download the episode first. So you spend 20 minutes (for a 120 minute episode) watching the 'please wait' icon. Of course, I use O2 broadband, and their recent implementation of 'traffic shaping' means that just about everything runs slowly. Clearly, they've decided that someone who only gets a 2mb connection, will put up with a 1mb connection.
Today, I thought I'd find out when my local exchange gets upgraded to the '21 century network'. And the answer is: Q4 2011. Another TWO YEARS from now. Even so, given the distance to the exchange, its unlikely that we'll get more than 3mb (instead of 22). Sigh. Find out more here.
Isnt that fantastic? I live in a village, which although not full of super-rich folks, isnt broke either. You'd think that BT would like to cherry pick this place with a fibre-to-the-cabinet initiative, or perhaps Virgin. Virgin, for instance, cover Dundee and Squid's flat gets 15mb download. Big Tony gets over 50mb in his slurbiton batchellor pad. Warren gets over 20mb in his eagles nest in central Edinburgh.
I'm now considering errecting my own WiMax poles to the nearest large town - Montrose (7 miles, not line of sight) - in order to get something decent.
I've written to my MP - and to his credit, understands the concern - and is trying to escalate. I'm not holding out much hope.