History of the Internet – Part 3

Working from a Rural Home in the early 2000s

Cindy McQueen

For those celebrating an anniversary this month (wedding, birthday, business, relationship, fitness or health goal), Happy Anniversary! I am celebrating 14 years in business this spring, which translates to 14 years of educating myself. Education doesn’t stop after high school, college or university, it continues throughout life. I learned that dial-up was pretty cool, but realized it was way too slow. I learned that cellular internet was a faster option, but again, it was still too slow. Then I learned about satellite internet. This sounded like the answer to my internet woes; it had to be fast, we had satellite TV and that was fast, wasn’t it? 

I purchased the broadband satellite dish and had it installed. It was expensive, especially since I was still paying for dial-up and mobile cellular. I was looking forward to hitting enter on the keyboard and having an instant response. Sitting in front of my computer in the old summer kitchen, I was ready. I entered my first request, hit enter, and……. waited. I tried it again, and… waited! What the heck? I was still waiting! Not quite as long as with the mobile stick, but I was still waiting! I called the broadband provider and asked them why? Turns out the satellite was fast, but they hadn’t explained about the latency, which is the time for the request to be sent out to the satellite floating in outer space, and then sent back to my receiver (not to be compared with Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite which is faster and within the earth’s atmosphere). Of course there would be a wait time, it totally made sense, but that hadn’t been explained to me before I signed up! 

I was now paying $10 for dial-up, $42 for mobile cellular and $80 for broadband satellite internet per month, and I was still waiting. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I started considering other options; renting office space in town where I could use cable internet, giving up my business, looking for other internet solutions…. I called Bell to see if the rumours about them changing their phone lines to fibre optic cables were true and how long I would have to wait. They figured several years (10 years ago and it hasn’t happened). Fibre Optic wasn’t an option, I really didn’t want to rent space in an office when working from home was so convenient, so I decided to accept my not-quite-fast internet, hunkered down and got back to work.

As published in Hello Country Magazine – May 2022 edition.