The weather’s not getting any better here in downtown Wark though it HAS stopped snowing (touch wood)… As you can see I’ve been relieving the boredom (Housitosis) by taking the larger icicles off my walls and planting them. Well, it’s no better or worse than making snow-men! The picture really doesn’t do these things justice as some of them are 3ft high!!
I’ve just been sitting here for the last hour talking to a reporter from Computer Weekly about broadband and rural connectivity – she wanted to know how technology could help businesses with rising fuel costs etc.. and I took the opportunity to point out that a big cost for many folk today is transport – travel consumes an increasing part of our finances – especially those of us to go back and forth to meetings all over the place… and the likes of teleconferencing has made a big difference.. but it’s all down to communications reliability.
I spent part of this week stuck here in Wark, conferencing in to meetings in Blackpool and at it’s best, your modern PC with something like SKYPE is a great way to cut down on travel costs – but for serious use, you really need reliable broadband – and sadly the places that need this the most in winter - i.e. rural areas, happen to be amongst the have-nots when it comes to high speed broadband. Here in Wark I can get something like 5Mbyte downloads – but only a half meg uploads and there doesn’t seem to be any way around that. As conferencing only really makes use of the latter, I’m always worried that any dip in connectivity will mess up the conference- and of course, it does. This weekend my broadband went off completely for a couple of days and since it came back up, it’s been working but I’m getting warning messages constantly about poor connectivity.
I’m assuming that large chunks of ice wrapped around the various phone connections from here to the exchange won’t be helping matters! Roll on the warmer weather…