Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Welcome Guest!

Join us now to get access to all our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, and so, so much more. It's also quick and totally free, so what are you waiting for?

BLACK LIVES MATTER! ×
BLACK LIVES MATTER!

Why I'm giving up broadband


Recommended Posts

Last Updated: Monday, 7 February, 2005, 11:43 GMT

Why I'm giving up broadband

Dot.life

Where technology meets life, every Monday

With an estimated five million people now connected to broadband at home, one early internet enthusiast is giving it up for good. David McCandless explains why he's given it the boot.

Today, 20% of UK households - around five million people - have broadband in their homes. By the end of next year that figure will be nearer eight million. Tony Blair says every home that wants broadband should have it by 2008.

I can barely believe I've done it myself. As a committed early adopter and geek, I never thought I would ever move to a backwater in the face of technological advancement.

I had broadband before it was famous, way back in the 20th Century. In those days, most people drummed fingers on desks and made tea while they awaited their webpages and postage stamp-sized videos to trickle through their paltry 56K modems.

I, however, had a 'phat pipe' installed at home. Every evening: me, 17 browser windows open, working the keyboard like a concert pianist, dazzling my friends with all the film trailers, terrible flash animations and MP3s I could download simultaneously.

'Bandwidth guilt'

Gradually, though, the novelty of a fast connection has worn off. Disillusion has set in. I've slowly come to a terrible realisation: there isn't really that much I can do with broadband.

I have no far-off relatives to wave at down a video conferencing connection. Threats of divorce stopped me playing online games a few years ago. Sure, I enjoy streaming clips of the news but I can also just turn my head slightly and watch it on my TV. There used to be some joy for me feeling secure downloading hefty Microsoft security patches, but now I've given up on Windows and got a Mac instead.

Having nothing much to do with your broadband gives rise to a curious sensation that could be termed: "bandwidth guilt". When I'm not using it, I feel like I should be. I keep trying to find ways to utilise its sheer power - and justify the £30 a month fee. I feel bad if I don't.

Like some kind of petrol thief, at friends' houses I can be found hooking up my laptop for a quick broadband fix'Information habit'

And the only thing I've discovered that really gives my ADSL a workout is, sadly, illegal. I'd rather not go into it here. Let's just say it's the not-so-well-kept secret of what everyone is using broadband for. Depending on who you talk to, between 50% and 65% of all internet traffic is currently peer-to-peer (p2p) piracy. Everyone's doing it. Do you know what technology makes it possible? Yep. Broadband.

Spending an inordinate amount of time at my computer, using my broadband, I'm developing what I can only term an information habit.

Sit down to work. Ten minutes in, the new mail icon tempts me from the bottom of the screen. I'll just check. Nothing like a few juicy new e-mails. Click a few links. Scan a few websites. Oh 20 minutes has just passed. Better get back to work. Now where was I? Start work again. Feel like a reward. I'll just check news.bbc.co.uk. See if anything's happened in the three minutes since I last looked. Follow a few 'related links'...

Half an hour has passed. I feel like I've done something, but actually I haven't. All that's happened is that I've been distracted by constantly rising info urges. I spend most of my day like this, divided between what I need to do and what the internet wants me to do - which is look at it. Constantly.

The 56K Life

So, just like a drug addict, I can't control it. If web access is there, I'll have it. Especially now, since I had wireless internet installed I can browse on the toilet, in the garden, even in the shower. There's no escape. So the only recourse for me is an extreme one: to have it chopped off.

Reaction from my friends and colleagues has been extreme. Ranging from shock and surprise (Whaaaat? Why? How? Guh?) to outright suspicion ("Have you been downloading something you shouldn't?"). One friend even raged at me: "How could you? Don't you know broadband means progress?"

I don't regret my decision. I have to say I feel lighter, freer. I'm certainly getting more things done, especially now I schedule a time every couple of hours to log on and check my e-mail and websites.

The internet on 56K isn't as bad as I thought. Pretty much every website is designed for 56K users anyway. But I still make the mistake of impatiently opening two, three, four other browser windows while waiting for the first one to download.

Will it last?

I can't say I'm missing flash or streaming video. And there's no doubt it's killed any p2p temptations I may have nurtured. And that's a good thing, right, vast corporate entertainment industry?

I do confess, however, that I now carry a network cable around with me. Like some kind of petrol thief, at friends' houses I can be found hooking up my laptop for a quick broadband fix.

I used to spend all day slaving away at my computer, watching the day ride past my window - only to come home and do the same in the evenings. But now I've distilled the useful and vital from the compulsive (and illegal), I am left with just two online activities: e-mail and web browsing.

Isn't that what the internet is really for?

Link to post
Share on other sites

He may be correct but when my dsl went offline earlier today my life flashed before my eyes. It was dull and boring but I survived. Within 60 seconds I was on the phone dialing 911 tech help. I am now on a backup modem I have and I should get a new one delivered in 3 to 5 days. No dial up for old dad. I am hooked on d/ling a 100meg album in about 11 min.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Spending an inordinate amount of time at my computer, using my broadband, I'm developing what I can only term an information habit.

and....? :lol:

(interesting article, kiwibank).

Link to post
Share on other sites
He may be correct but when my dsl went offline earlier today my life flashed before my eyes.  It was dull and boring but I survived.  Within 60 seconds I was on the phone dialing 911 tech help.  I am now on a backup modem I have and I should get a new one delivered in 3 to 5 days.  No dial up for old dad.  I am hooked on d/ling a 100meg album in about 11 min.

me too my friend...i had years of 56 k and now i`m on very fast DSL with no data cap.....i just love it...........there`s no going back..... :P :D :lol:

post-41-1107935018.jpg

Edited by kiwibank
Link to post
Share on other sites
I can't help but see a lot of myself in that article. Giving it up completely would be very tough, but I also imagine rewarding.

I agree 100% MI but I ain't a gonna do it. :lol:

I need to eat better, exercise more and take my meds to control my urge to cap people but I ain't a gonna do that either!!! :blink:

Link to post
Share on other sites

That guy makes a good point and I am glad I am on dialup except when I want to download a new GY tune or video. ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites
I can't help but see a lot of myself in that article. Giving it up completely would be very tough, but I also imagine rewarding.

yeah sounds like me also, when my computer wnt kapooie for that 3 week period, first id eperience withdrawls then i stated thinking if i should stay off the computer for good.....then my computer returned and i havnt turned back......lets just say in those very long 3 weeks i realized that there was life outside my pc... i really wish i oculd give it up lol but i wont

Link to post
Share on other sites
IM still on dial up, lolz at you fatty broadband users.

:lol: i am NOT fat.

Link to post
Share on other sites
IM still on dial up, lolz at you fatty broadband users.

if you`ve got a weight problem try this....... :bigsmile:

Low Fat Broadband

Capped and slow, but less expensive

With early adopters already wired for speed, the hunt is on for ways to migrate dial-up users to high-speed connections. In the States, providers are hoping to do that with cheaper, slower introductory tiers; something British Telecom has started offering across the pond (though with a 1 gig cap). The provider has announced (BBC) a £19.99 (around $37) 512kbps DSL tier. The only catch is that the tier features a gig per month cap, something many of our users would burn through before finishing their breakfast cereal.

"This is plenty for half of all broadband users," says one British Telecom representative in the BBC article. "It is pretty generous and makes quite a significant difference to our economies." In addition to the cap, the report claims the DSL tier "does not support home networking". How exactly BT would hope to enforce that restriction isn't made clear.

UK provider Tiscali recently unveiled a similar tier overseas. Users now able to get a 150Kbps connection for £15.99 ($26.50) a month, though whether or not that can even be considered "broadband" is highly debatable. UK cable providers have likewise joined the low-fat broadband race, cable company Telewest offering their own £17.99 a month discounted product in the hopes of countering BT's move.

The telcos in the States have been toying with similar plans; BellSouth being one of the first to offer a "Lite" 256kbps (128kbps up) tier for roughly $40 a month last year (less if you bundled). Since then, SBC has shaken things up with their price reductions, and many competing providers are offering 1.5Mbps or more for that price - making the "low-fat" push here in the States less relevant for the time being. It would seem the ideal "dial-up killer" tier would offer 512kbps or slower for less than $20.

The slow adopters and "Aunt Bethels" (cost conscious dial-up users who primarily surf and use e-mail) are now the targets of the industry. They've found themselves stuck between the marketing pitches for dial-up accelerated products (some of which until recently were charging as much as $28 a month for the honor) and low-fat broadband. Several cable providers here in the States are expected to offer their own, sub 1Mbps discount tiers before the end of the year.

Link to post
Share on other sites
if you`ve got a weight problem try this....... :bigsmile:

Low Fat Broadband

Capped and slow, but less expensive

With early adopters already wired for speed, the hunt is on for ways to migrate dial-up users to high-speed connections. In the States, providers are hoping to do that with cheaper, slower introductory tiers; something British Telecom has started offering across the pond (though with a 1 gig cap). The provider has announced (BBC) a £19.99 (around $37) 512kbps DSL tier. The only catch is that the tier features a gig per month cap, something many of our users would burn through before finishing their breakfast cereal.

"This is plenty for half of all broadband users," says one British Telecom representative in the BBC article. "It is pretty generous and makes quite a significant difference to our economies." In addition to the cap, the report claims the DSL tier "does not support home networking". How exactly BT would hope to enforce that restriction isn't made clear.

UK provider Tiscali recently unveiled a similar tier overseas. Users now able to get a 150Kbps connection for £15.99 ($26.50) a month, though whether or not that can even be considered "broadband" is highly debatable. UK cable providers have likewise joined the low-fat broadband race, cable company Telewest offering their own £17.99 a month discounted product in the hopes of countering BT's move.

The telcos in the States have been toying with similar plans; BellSouth being one of the first to offer a "Lite" 256kbps (128kbps up) tier for roughly $40 a month last year (less if you bundled). Since then, SBC has shaken things up with their price reductions, and many competing providers are offering 1.5Mbps or more for that price - making the "low-fat" push here in the States less relevant for the time being. It would seem the ideal "dial-up killer" tier would offer 512kbps or slower for less than $20.

The slow adopters and "Aunt Bethels" (cost conscious dial-up users who primarily surf and use e-mail) are now the targets of the industry. They've found themselves stuck between the marketing pitches for dial-up accelerated products (some of which until recently were charging as much as $28 a month for the honor) and low-fat broadband. Several cable providers here in the States are expected to offer their own, sub 1Mbps discount tiers before the end of the year.

Uh huh

fatty.

Link to post
Share on other sites

that article is complete crap

DSL is WAY better than dialup. Now, if you're stupid (sick) enough to give up your real life for internet life then it's not the broadband's fault. It's your dumb brain that causes it.

Example: You want to buy a car and the salesman tells you that with the same amount of money, you can get a ferrari (with complete sound system) and a zastava (pinto for americans). You can go from point A to point B with both vehicles but what would you choose?

Perhaps this person doesn't have a real life so he blames it on broadband.

Link to post
Share on other sites

:lol: @ jipper

Method you are right!

Not broadband's fault I don't have a life.

Not the cars fault people drive crazy.

Not the guns fault people murder each other.

Not short skirts and low tops fault I got a boner.

Well skip that last one cause I ain't sure about it...

Not Method's stinger's fault Method has hair growing in his palm.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Our picks

    • Wait, Burning Man is going online-only? What does that even look like?
      You could have been forgiven for missing the announcement that actual physical Burning Man has been canceled for this year, if not next. Firstly, the nonprofit Burning Man organization, known affectionately to insiders as the Borg, posted it after 5 p.m. PT Friday. That, even in the COVID-19 era, is the traditional time to push out news when you don't want much media attention. 
      But secondly, you may have missed its cancellation because the Borg is being careful not to use the C-word. The announcement was neutrally titled "The Burning Man Multiverse in 2020." Even as it offers refunds to early ticket buyers, considers layoffs and other belt-tightening measures, and can't even commit to a physical event in 2021, the Borg is making lemonade by focusing on an online-only version of Black Rock City this coming August.    Read more...
      More about Burning Man, Tech, Web Culture, and Live EventsView the full article
      • 0 replies
    • Post in What Are You Listening To?
      Post in What Are You Listening To?
    • Post in What Are You Listening To?
      Post in What Are You Listening To?
    • Post in What Are You Listening To?
      Post in What Are You Listening To?
    • Post in What Are You Listening To?
      Post in What Are You Listening To?
×
×
  • Create New...