Internet Access for Idiots

I live in the country, on a dead-end dirt road far from the hustle and bustle of city life. I prefer it that way but it certainly makes my options for broadband Internet access next to nil. And if you’re going to be serious about working from home, you definitely need a faster connection than dial-up… sooner or later.

When I began working at home I was on dial-up. I don’t recall there being any other choice back then. I’d flip flop from one dial-up service provider to the next as the Internet shifted from AOL to alternative, less expensive dial ups and even to freebies (for a while). I got a second phone line so that I could stay online to work and still have access to a phone and made do that way for several years. It was really the only choice back then. As broadband became more popular I’d go and check availability for my location only to find out that it still wasn’t an option for me.

So I quit waiting for DSL or cable to come to me, jumped feet first into a satellite connection and never looked back. For the most part, it works quite well. I’m on my second service provider and, knock on wood, I generally don’t have any major problems staying connected and working quickly and efficiently. I made the switch because the second Internet service provider had a much better package than the first. I’ve had better service from both than I ever experienced with dial-ups.

I was curious about the growth of broadband recently and ran across this USA Today article, Survey: Rural broadband users closing gap. It sounded promising and I was enjoying the numbers and stats of the article (based on a survey of just over 5,000 adults conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project) when I was nearly offended with

The main reason for lower rural broadband adoption appears to be availability, the study said. But Pew also noted that country dwellers are on average older, less educated and poorer than urbanites and suburbanites, factors that are associated with lower levels of Internet use.

Nice to know I’m part of the older, less educated and poorer crowd. If that’s not enough to get my day off to a bad start, I also learned that I’m “slightly more likely than others to participate in online education and to download games and less likely to bank online or buy travel tickets.”

Geesh. Guess I’ll go look for a game to play while I wait for that GED to come in the mail.