Internet Speed Update
This will sound slightly ridiculous, but I can’t tell you how nice it is to have reasonable internet speeds after close to two decades of having to make do with substandard bandwidth relative to the rest of the county. When I moved to Bradford in 2001, the only local internet provider had speeds of 9600 baud, and since then every internet connection I’ve had was a compromise — slow and/or metered and/or susceptible to clouds or rain. Prior to this upgrade I could either have fast internet or unmetered internet but I couldn’t have both, and I spent a non-trivial amount of time doing the daily internal calculus of how I was going to access the internet with which gadgets and for how long, and whether it would affect what the other people in the house were doing.
Now for two weeks I haven’t had to do that, and it has been delicious. Again, an internet speed of 40mbps down/3Mbps up isn’t great, either in itself or relative to speeds available in non-rural areas. But it is enough — enough that I don’t have to do any of the connection calculus that I’ve been doing on a daily basis for literally years. I can just use my connection, like I can use my plumbing or my electricity. You turn on the tap, and there it is. A long-standing resource issue has been effectively solved, and I can use the brain cycles previously occupied dealing it for something else.
And yes, it’s been a genuine resource issue; more than most people, my life and livelihood are tied into my ability to get on the internet and use it. Or, more accurately, more than most people until recently, as the plague times we’re living in have made it clear to everyone that internet access is no longer a luxury or nice to have when you can get it; it’s an actual necessity for work and for school and for communication, for better or worse. The rural internet gap is no joke. I could get around it, sort of, because I have the money to do so; not everyone who’s been in the same sort of rural internet desert as I’ve been in has the same (imperfect) options I’ve had.
Intellectually I’m annoyed at how pleased I am at my increase of internet speed; emotionally I don’t care what I’m feeling about it intellectually. What a pleasure it is to simply to have enough bandwidth, for now, anyway.