The twelve days of Christmas 9: Rural Broadband

As I mentioned the other day, I live in the dead centre of Nowhere. Llangrove is the butt of many jokes about not having electricity, travelling on horseback, etc. etc. Very funny, guys, but the last laugh is on you, because we were among the first areas to get high-speed fibre-optic broadband last year.

The new shiny internet has been going swimmingly at times, but it’s never quite been as fast as promised, and it’s geographically patchy. Superfast broadband hasn’t yet been installed in the pub, so its WiFi operates at near-dialup speeds. At a recent quiz, customers had to be asked to stop looking up a disputed answer because the internet had conked out from everyone using it simultaneously. Another embarrassing moment happened last week, when the card machine stopped working because someone was using the landline in the other room.

Our house has nothing on the pub, but it’s currently difficult to catch up with Christmas TV on iPlayer, because every few minutes an infuriating message about insufficient bandwidth pops up. Uploading these cartoons has also been unusually slow and frustrating, resulting in my computer taking a lot of unearned verbal abuse. It’s almost as if the technology here really hasn’t caught up with the rest of the UK…

Scan 41

My technical knowledge is limited, but rural broadband is definitely either powered this way or by an arthritic sheep on a treadmill somewhere. 

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