We have been having some internet issues this week. Our connection has been slow… and that is REALLY slow since we are on ISDN and our top speed is only 128kbs on a good day, so getting even slower than that is rather painful and makes doing the basics online a little difficult at times.
We are not sure what has been going on in the last few days but we do know that the wonderful Telstra (the only service provider currently available for us) will discontinue our current package at the end of this year. This little ‘blip’ on the ISDN road has really reminded me that in less than 6 months we will have to find alternative net access or have none.
We live in a semi rural area about 50kms from the Melbourne CBD but as far as internet services are concerned we are classed as ‘rural and remote’. That is a bit of a joke really as many ‘suburbs’ of Melbourne are further from the CBD than we are and yet we are somehow ‘remote’? The semantics of it however, mean little, the reality is that we don’t have access to ADSL of any kind, even geriatric old dial-up services are gltichy where we are and keep dropping out even over a normal phone conversation.
We started out with Satellite access but the cost of that is astronomical and the download limit tiny. We easily went over our 2gig a month limit (for downloads and uploads combined) and found ourselves hit with a 15 cents a mb charge for any extra usage, considering we were already paying over $100 a month for the package, add the extra charges and we just couldn’t continue to pay for it, and eat as well.
As it stands currently, if our ISDN was taken out today our options would be going back to satellite access, or taking up a wireless plan with Telstra (the only ISP who has the wireless services in our area). Wireless seems like a good idea until you visit the website and find out how much they want to charge us – $49.95 for 1 gig a month (and the same 15cents a mb for extra usage). If we want more downloads we could opt for 3gig and pay $109.95 per month. It kind of makes their advertising slogans of ‘download all the music files you want at super fast speeds’ a bit of a joke… how many music files can you download before you use up your 1gig allowance?
I was hoping I could blog about this without turning it into a bitter rant about Telstra but it seems I haven’t quite managed that.. sorry. The crux of the issue is, unless Optus get their wireless services through to us in the next 5 months (then we can take up a Virgin wireless package which is a much more reasonable deal) we will have to seriously look at our internet usage. We will have to seriously reduce our internet usage. I will have to stop creating digi scrap designs, and seriously cut back on all the other things we do online as we just won’t be able to afford it. This has made me stop and take a good hard look at what I do online, why I do it, and how my life would be different if I stopped doing it.
I am the first to admit I am terribly addicted to the net. I have been using it for a long, long time now and I am very dependant on it for so many things. I don’t even want to consider having no access at all, but thinking about having less access, while freaking me out a little, doesn’t scare me as much as I thought it would.
I would be sad to give up my design work, it’s my hobby, my ‘thing’ that stops my brain turning into mush, and at the moment it is my source of income and that fact, making my own money (however little) is quite important to me. It would be hard to give all that up, but I am surprised to find myself thinking that it wouldn’t be the end of the world. In actual fact I can think of several things that would help fill that gap without too much effort at all.
While I think I could give up the digi design gig, right now, at this moment, I would be devastated to give up blogging, both writing mine and reading others. The thought of giving up connecting with people online via blogs and especially through forums and email/msn is a very scary thought for me indeed. Me, the person who doesn’t like the phone remember… I rely on the net for communication a LOT.
I am sitting her spewing all this out into the blog sphere in an attempt to get it out of my head and stop worrying about something that I have no control over, something I can’t change. There is nothing we can do about this except sit and wait and see what happens… but if anyone wants to send prayers or happy thoughts of good karma or whatever it is you do/believe/send that Optus will pull it’s finger out and get their wireless services happening out our way sooner rather than later, that would be lovely!
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
Mmm Telstra – can’t think of anything nice to say about them. My sister just lost her ISDN and then was told she could get wireless and they came out to install and said it won’t work for them so is applying for satellite which will take at least another month. Yes the prices are exorbitant!
yes yes.im working on it..
maybe ill post you a “sample” :)
Yes Good ol’ Telstra-I broke contract to get away with them and back to Optus!
Anyway..I think this is appalling. As you say, you’re not THAT remote! I bet they have reliable net access in places like Pakenham, Cranbourne, Mornington etc which are about the same distance? I think you *seem* further out because there isn’t godawful suburbia stretched all the way out..I am quite envious of your “isolation-for me it’d be bliss! yet the internet access quite clearly would NOT be. I am actually quite annoyed on your behalf, as I feel it would be tragic if you had to give up your digi scrapping and blogging. I actually do not subscribe to the belief that there are more worthy thing that being on the internet-surely that depends on the activity? You and many other SAHMs are using it as a means of income, which while it may not be huge is still hugely important to one’s self esteem and identity. it is NOT just a hobby! You are very good at these things, it would be tragic to have to let them go. And yes the connection with others is truly important.I could really go on quite a rant about society’s need to ensure the mental well being of mothers by affording more opportunities of home based work-and I think ALL new mothers should be entitled to some sort of subsidised internet connection and computer if they cant afford it-the rates of PND would plummet as a result-I am firmly convinced of this!
Anyway, sorry for getting on my soapbox there! It’s an issue I’m quite passionate about :) I really do hope Optus does pull its finger out. Reading those charges for the ludicrous download amounts you get is truly pathetic and appalling!
We are rural too
and I couldn’t survive without the connections of the internet.
I’m sure I could find things to fill in my net time but it’s the people I would miss, most certainly.
I would go stir crazy.
A friend of mine lives near Monbulk and was told Optus couldn’t continue any services out that way as Telstra jacked up the line rental and priced the competition out of the market.
Bigpoo is a load of codswallop :(
Sister Suffragette says
Sending love and good vibes that it will all work itself out :).
Tania B (kingtania) says
Hi Kate, thanks for dropping by my blog! sorry to hear of your TELSTRA related troubles, they have just been in my bad books again this week, trying to charge for things we don’t have on our phone bill. love the way you have to combine all your services on the one bill now just to confuse you more so they can rip you off a little more!!!!
Hope it gets sorted for you soon. Go the gum boots!!!!
Oh this really sucks big time and the fact you are classed as remote GIVE ME A BREAK! Maybe you can start an on-line petition and try and get some support before you lose it altogether….
I would personally miss you and your blogs, so I’ll sign, protest, sit-in, send letters, emails, if that’s what you need…
I hope this is sorted before your 5 months are up, you may be OK with the idea, BUT I’M NOT LOL… sending all the right vibes your way!
PS I think I’m all riled up about this because I went over my 10GB limit this month, so I am now o 64kbps and it is awful, getting a taste of the crappy service you have make me annoyed at all the empty government and provider promises….OK I’ll stop now, as I just read that back and now sound like a raving lunatic!
Sending you great vibes!
I for one would miss you terribly if you had to give up the net access. :( Hoping it all gets sorted for you. I think I now know what the ‘signs’ are. ;)