Race For Broadband

In the countryside where I live, we don’t have hi-speed broadband internet: no cable, no fiber. We have one single provider to choose from (not counting the satellite internet ones). And the only choice we have in our area is DSL – over the phone-line internet. But in the future, this is supposed to change. Three new options are racing, and the one that reaches our area first wins the cash prize.

The Slow

The internet to beat is our DSL. It won’t be hard. Our max download speed is about 16Mbps, which is fine enough for streaming an HD movie. But being a modern family of seven people in one house, we have a lot of wi-fi devices using the web, so 16Mbps is not enough bandwidth for them all. I had to remove our Chromecast, for example.

Our max upload speed is not even measured in Mbps, it’s in Kbps! We get about 800Kbps upload! It’s abysmal! I’m thankful that the connection is reliable, but it’s not feasible to backup large buckets of data to the cloud. It. Takes. Forever.

The Three

In the last year or so, three new developments have given us promise for future broadband. The local electrical company is rolling out Fiber to rural areas over the next few years. Our telephone company is doing the same thing. And each company is, of course, installing fiber in the areas with the highest demand – with the most people – first. That means my area is closer to the bottom of the list and we must wait a long time.

The third potential speed racer is the roll-out of cellular 5G data. This one, though, will probably take the longest of the three, and who knows how much the cell phone companies are going to charge for the privilege? It will likely cost too much. Time will tell.

Future Fiber

Being eager to have fiber with upload speeds equal to download speeds, plus all the bandwidth we need, I plan to sign up with whichever provider reaches my area first! Whoever wins the race gets my money.

The earliest I anticipate fiber reaching our neck of the woods is late 2020. Until then, we’ll focus gratitude on the fact we have the bare minimum useable home internet plus 4G LTE cell data to compensate.

And we have electricity and water. So there’s that.