High speed internet is great for a farmer – when it works. The key is in choosing the right package for your location – and believe you me, out in the country that’s a lot trickier a proposition than in the city. The city is one big wireless hotspot, with impeccable coverage from all the major internet providers. Out here in the sticks, there are only two mobile phone companies that even deliver a signal and neither of those are any good unless you’re standing on top of a hill. I’ve seen tourists get taxis 10 miles just to make a phone call.
So wireless high speed internet is out for farmers and probably always will be – unless the mobile phone companies decide to invest in more masts out here; and, of course, providing we let them! We don’t like stuff round here that spoils the landscape, so I think we can safely discount wireless internet as a city activity.
Sp the remaining options are cable internet and satellite internet. Both have their advantages and disadvantages – no matter what the satellite companies tell you. In this particular part of the country, satellite high speed internet works quite well until you get down into the valleys. At that point, it vanishes because the signal is trapped behind a massive hill. So overall, the best option is probably cable internet.
Having said that, cable internet is bound by the existence of cables – and some farmers are so far out in the middle of nowhere they don’t even have a phone line. No phone line, no cable.
For those guys, there really isn’t anything you can do – unless they happen to be one of the lucky ones whose farm is not blocked from the view of a satellite signal by a hill. For the rest of us, cable works well wherever you already have a phone line: and where you don’t, trying to get high speed internet through satellite connections is the only option.
Wherever we do get internet – via whatever means – the ease with which the service can be made to include TV and phone provision as well, appeals. People tend to move out into the country for a simpler life, after all – and what could be simpler than receiving all your communications through one provider, with one bill a month to pay and an easy point of contact if anything goes wrong?
Believe it or not, TV is a pretty important part of country life – particularly when you live right out in the middle of nowhere. In winter it gets dark at 4pm and stays dark until 7 in the morning. Half the time it’s so windy you can’t go outside. So what do we do? Watch TV. A high speed internet connection means we can watch more TV, when we want to watch it – and control the way that we receive our programming too.
The country isn’t averse to modern communication – far from it. Where high speed internet genuinely can get through, it’s a massive boon. Where it can’t – well, then it’s business as usual, just a little slower. One day, it’ll catch up properly!