Sunday, 21 August 2011

On the hunt for high speed

After Priscilla arrived at the lot the following three things, in order of importance, were our top priorties.
1) To get an internet service we can work and, therefore, pay for this adventure while being there for the whole summer, not just weekends. 2) To build the enjoy the lake and the sunshine. 3) To get enjoy Priscilla in all her glory.

The internet is a great thing. It has freed us up to be able to work from anywhere, at any time, as long as we have a high speed connection. That feature got overlooked in the exciting whirlwind of offers, counter offers, lawyer meetings, bank meetings, permit procurement and just general family exuberance.

Look at this photo. These are the phones that we use to tether our laptops to the internet. Do you see any bars on either phone? Ya, me neither! All I see is "No Service". Now that's not to say that we can't get any signal on the lot. If I stand on one particular rock on one leg and hold the phone way up high over my head I can get two bars...sometimes. I don't know what makes the difference from minute to minute but then sometimes I have to do this karate kid pose at the end of the dock. Sometimes the signal is best at the trailer but never is it consistent. And nor is two-bar reception good enough to tether with, even if it were a consistent signal.

One Telus phone + One Rogers Phone = No Service.

The fact neither of our cell phones worked on the lot didn't worry us too much at first. There was always Bell, even though the thought of letting them back into our lives after having completely kicked them to the curb many years before was making us queasy. And then there was always the local fixed wireless company that my brother was using but since we didn't have a house to bracket a tower to, they were out of the question. "Sorry, can't help you."

The search for high speed is beginning to make us feel like we have purchased the only lot on the planet where every form of Internet service stops just less than a kilometer close yet so far. The local phone company's DSL service went to within 900 meters of our lot. Even good old Bell does not service the area with DSL. Are you kidding me? And the cell signal from all the big 3 providers...non-existent for the most part and occasionally only good enough for the dreaded can you hear me now nonsense...can you hear me now? All around us is the elusive high speed but nothing on our little piece of paradise. How can this be? This was supposed to be at the top of our list. I know what you're thinking...but satellite internet also needs the tower to be bracketed to the house and the speeds are just not good enough.

Our last hope is to go back to the fixed wireless company, tell them we are serious about the free standing tower and cringe as they quote us. The salesperson said, "There's no house? We usually deal with situations where there's a house first and then we can attach a tower to it". Ya, well, we like doing things the other way around. Makes us unique. We like the odd glances. Gives the employees of companies we deal with something to amuse their families with at the dinner table.

So now we wait for the "bucket truck" to arrive for a site survey. This begins our new favourite hobby of hurry up and wait. While we wait, we can only hope and pray that the signal will be strong enough and the tower doesn't need to be a million feet high to continue with this, our last option, otherwise we will have to endure driving around the countryside hunting for the enviable 5-bar signal, park on the side of the road, and get kinks in our necks as we work in the car. Or we can drive the 20 minutes to mom's house and use the excellent signal we can get there. This makes my mom happy. Her signal at our lot would make me happy.

Can you hear me now?

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