Connection Speeds - What Really Matters?

Is your Internet connection speed a statistic that you are familiar with?  Do you even know how to find out what it is?  It isn't something that interests me very much; in fact I'd go so far as to say I don't care at all.  But that wouldn't be entirely true because when the connection goes on the fritz as it has this past week, I suddenly become quite interested.  Well, maybe that isn't true either.  I'm still not interested, but I am frustrated.  Connection speed is important, not just in technology but in life and relationships.

All week we have had a sputtering Internet connection.  Calls to our provider have resulted in the usual helpful questions like, "Have you turned off your machine and rebooted it?"  The questions tested my ability to remain calm under pressure.  Yes, I tried that highly sophisticated technology tip at least a dozen times before I resorted to calling the help desk because I hate calling the help desk so much.  The man on the other end of my call tried diligently to be helpful but the reality was that he couldn't do a thing other than open a ticket.  And so we waited and struggled to live our wired lives with a connection that dropped frequently while the Internet provider did whatever it is they do when they open a ticket.

Usually I can write quite honestly about the pleasures of rural living except in this case, with an open ticket and shaky connection lingering like a bad disease.  I found it hard to fathom that living ten minutes from the city limits of the provincial capital meant living with unreliable Internet.  It just didn't make sense that it could be really good for months at a time then suddenly go into the toilet.  To me that indicated that the ability to provide a reliable connection existed but some other factor must come into play periodically that I have no insight into and no control over, yet my bill remains the same.

When my frustration over Internet connectivity finally hit its peak, I jumped in the car and went to visit the grand-babies.  It's amazing what a half hour of cuddling a little person can do for the blood pressure and the mad-on.  Getting to know the newest little guy and creating a strong Nana-connection is way more important than any technology connection.  The work can wait an hour two while I concentrate on the the things that matter.  The Internet will work again at some point and maybe one day the Alberta government will get serious about making sure that reliable access is available to rural Alberta.  Or maybe they will get involved and ensure that when rural Albertans pay for a connection they actually get what they are paying for all the time. As a consumer I feel really disadvantaged because I don't understand the ins and outs of it all, I just have enough between my ears to know that something doesn't feel right.

I guess it is necessary that I learn as much as I can about pinging and megabytes per second but I'd far rather pet the dog or cuddle a baby.  I now know how to check my Internet connection speeds through   Our speeds were atrocious this week.  They ranged from a high of .87 to 5.65 Mbps.  I swear I could do better with a flock of carrier pigeons.  An alternate provider is going to pay us a visit to see if they can establish a better connection from their towers.  If they can, I will be jumping up and down for joy because they offer ten times the data package at half the cost and their speeds are greater.  While we traverse this techie territory, I will have to step out frequently to cuddle the baby because the human connections are still the most important.

Welcome to the world AMH!