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Thursday, 23 July 2009

That bloody 2Meg argument again

There are always going to be people who are quite happy with their bicycle and have nothing better to do with their days than cycle tranquilly everywhere. Others think we should all drive around the country at 40mph or whatever the latest national speed limit is to be. That's fine if you only ever have to drive a couple of miles to get to all your local amenities etc and have plenty of time in your day to do everything you need to.....

However, if you are trying to, for instance, run a business or a family where your time is precious and finite, that slow speed to achieve anything is hugely restrictive. And so it is with 2Mbps.

Every forum, every press article about the USO etc has some jerk saying that 2Mbps is plenty. Look folks, it is dead simple, it bloody isn't.

Let's put it into a really easy to understand visual tool that FTTH Council and Utopia have provided to get through to people why FTTH is needed.

It's here Fibrespeed - click on it, check out the numbers, and think about what those speeds mean. How many hours and minutes will your life have in it? We don't know exactly but life is finite. Our time here is finite. We do not live forever, however invulnerable we may feel.

I run a digital business and have done for 14 years. I am an early adopter I guess, mainly because I am hyperactive on the net - that is my job. I export my skills to countries around the world, hence bringing money into this country ie I partake in the global economy. And my competitors can do things I can't even dream of doing.

An example: If I want to download 100 photos from a prospect, over a 1Mbps connection let's say, it takes me almost 9mins. That's 9 mins where my connection isn't going to want to be doing anything else particularly strenuous. So, I sit here and try to fill the time doing something else that doesn't need to eat into my connectivity, which seriously affects my productivity. But it's also 9 mins where one of my competitors could well have seen the photos, picked up the phone, pitched, and won the business. And that's just one instance of my daily problems running an e-business without true broadband.

As a mum with two teens, I get their frustration only too clearly about why they can't even contemplate downloading a film that their mate in Denmark has told them is fab. She can download it in minutes. They are digital teenagers, brought up in the world of 'NOW' that is the Net, but their 'NOW' to talk about this film is at least 5 hours away. The moment has passed, the conversation moved on, they have missed out.

Am I getting anywhere explaining this?

Imagine if you can do things with your mobile that many of us adults wouldn't dare even attempt for fear of knackering several hundred quids worth of hardware. You create stop animation films with music scores you have written, played and edited in yourself, for instance. Wanna share it with your mates? Well, it's a damned good thing it's the summer holidays then and you have plenty of time on your hands. Because whilst you sit and wait for it to upload, your friends elsewhere, including in urban Britain, have uploaded at least 3 other films. And you can't download them whilst you're waiting because the next door neighbour has decided to watch the Xmas special of Dr Who and the contention rates means your connection has ground to a halt.

Get it yet?

This is not about being content to watch iplayer, or read emails. This is about pushing the envelope, even just a little. And many of us want to do far more than that. This is about being hyperactive on the Net and NEEDING to do 10 things at once. It doesn't take much application of technology to set up processes running simultaneously to bring 2Mbps to its knees. And we have no idea what is round the corner, although some of us have had glimpses of new applications and are now very close to the realisation that in order to live our lives how we wish to, there is gonna be little option in the next decade but to take our earning capacity, skills, family, and pay taxes in another country.

This 2Mbps bar is way too low. I don't care that there are 7 million people who couldn't give a figroll if they ever get on the Net or not. They aren't earning online and paying taxes from their earning. I don't care if matey 3 doors down is perfectly happy logging on once a week and reading his emails and thinks 2Mbps is generous. "What on earth would you do with it?" LOL. Come and sit in my house and watch my kids trying to do things you have never imagined with 1s and 0s, and you might understand.

Try running my business where I can't even make a Skype voice call to my clients in Canada. Then work out how much of my profit is going to BT and The Phone Co-op, not the Treasury or my local economy, because I have no option but to make an international landline call. Video conferencing. ROFL. I could be retired by the time the rural areas of this country can do that to any degree of usability if we attempt to infill with mobile instead of fibre. I will definitely be living abroad though if this continual noise about 2Mbps being sufficient continues.

What we are doing is allowing a BIG LIE to become truth. And we are allowing the spreading of that lie to be done by people who are entirely ignorant of what they are saying, the impact this lie will have on our nation and citizens and businesses and children and communities and rural areas and LIFE.

---Thursday rant over----


Cyberdoyle said...

Well its Friday now, so hope you have cooled down. I totally agree with everything you said. One day the suits will retire to a house in the country and then they may realise they can't access healthcare and other sites. They will wonder why their grand children don't want to visit them. They will miss seeing them because they can't skype them. What a shame they don't listen now and JFD something...

clarinette said...

I fully agree with the complaint concerning the low speed. Having two pre-teens who need a daily connection to the internet for homework research + both parents need to access when working from home -the 2 mb is far from enough.
Moreover we are doomed by ISPs who promise up to 8mb while hardly 2mb can be reached!! Only one part of the service agreement is true: the amount on the bill for all who suffer the digital divide. Access to the internet is not anymore a luxury but a real need.