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High Speed

HighSpeed

Seven years. Seven long years. Seven long and slow years.

Well, you get the idea.

We have experienced extremely poor Internet access for years. It improved somewhat last year when Xplornet introduced their 4G service. With the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) project complete, we now have consistent high speed Internet.

EORN put in place a 5,500 kilometre fibre optic backbone network in Eastern Ontario. The network is valued at over $70 million. Xplornet was able to leverage that backbone to connect our home through a 4G LTE Fixed Wireless technology.

I was a bit skeptical at first as our older 10Mbps service generally delivered only 2-4Mbps. I thought that the 25Mbps would maybe get us 5-10Mbps. But no, the new service is consistently cranking 20-24Mbps.

Fast Internet.

Such joy.

Happiness and TV

A new study by sociologists at the University of Maryland concludes that unhappy people watch more TV, while people who describe themselves as ‘very happy’ spend more time reading and socializing.

Researchers analyzed data spanning nearly 30 years and found that unhappy people watch an estimated 20 percent more television than very happy people, after taking into account their education, income, age, and marital status as well as other demographic predictors of both viewing and happiness.

On an unrelated note, a recent IBM study found that people are spending less time in front of the TV and more time on the Internet.

Sociologists have yet to determine whether Internet users are happy or unhappy.

How Bad Is It?

Pretty bad. Average speed to the web is under 800kbps. At least I can take comfort in that I am amongst the slowest 16 percent of Internet users in Ontario. It can only go up from here.

The DSL modem arrives on Monday. Until then I get to experience the good old days of dial-up.

Wi-Fi

From the home to the hotel and almost everywhere in between there is Wi-Fi. I take for granted that I can use my Blackberry anywhere I travel. And I also take for granted a wireless Internet connection when I stay at hotels. I am not a big cellphone user. I hardly ever use my cellphone for voice. For me, it is all about the data.

One of the last holdouts for wireless and Wi-Fi has been air travel. Must turn off those pesky cellphones and Blackberries. They interfere with the aircraft and pose a potential hazard to a safe flight. At least until now.

OnAir has just introduced a set of services that will allow passengers to use their iPhones, Blackberries and most other mobile devices to send and receive emails, exchange text messages and make and receive voice calls. Their service will also provide Internet access.

Okay. I am sold on the data side. But inflight voice calls over a cellphone?

I know how much I enjoy listening to people talk on their cellphones in public places. For whatever reason, most people become loud and obnoxious when using a cellphone in a public place. Presumably to ensure that the person on the other end of the call can hear them.

I wonder how loud they will have to speak to be heard when they are flying 35,000 feet in the air?

Travel by air just changed. Note to self: bring ear plugs.

Tubes

The Internet is a bunch of tubes.


And John McCain is about to find out:

In a daring bid to wrench attention from his Democratic rival in the 2008 presidential race, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) today embarked on an historic first-ever visit to the Internet.

First Things First

How the essentials of life have changed over the years. The first thing I arranged for with the upcoming move was Internet access.

Electricity is next. Can’t power the router without it.