Friday, July 15, 2005

Now I know

I'm living in the fucking backblocks.

Decide it's time I converted from dial-up to broadband. Make a preliminary enquiry, type in my street address, &, yes, though I can't get cable I can get ADSL. & a phone call tells me that with a little bit of wireless technology I can get two connections, in different parts of the house, that can be used simultaneously. Plus there's a special offer on at present, $0 installation fee, halfprice for the first six months of a 24-month contract, unlimited downloads, reasonable upload/download speed.

So I log in to sign up, & discover after typing in the street address that I can only get satellite delivery. Log off, ring up the telco, am told that my preliminary enquiry was just that & it's only when I apply that they do a thorough check on services to the area, that I'm more than four kilometres away from the telephone exchange which means that they can't guarantee line speeds & so won't let me go any other way than satellite & that will cost $700+ for installation of a dish - though if I live in an especially disadvantaged area, & I have to find out separately if I do because they can't tell me, I can get it at 20% of that cost - limited amount of downloads, twice the price, can't run two computers.

This is through Telstra, the national telco. At least, at present national, 51% owned by the government, though that's going to change at any tick of the clock now that the conservatives control the Upper House because they now have the numbers to push through a bill to sell off that remaining 51%. Which means Ma Bell, or one of the bellchildren, or British Telecom or the Russians or the Armenians or the French or the Outer Mongolians or the Tierra del Fuegans or the fucking Martians or anyone who is more interested in making a profit than providing a service will end up owning it.

& since Telstra own most of the infrastructure - lines, exchanges, cables - in the country, it's almost impossible to find anybody else to go through.

The only thing that might stop the total privatisation is if the junior coalition party, the Nationals, primarily rural-based, decide the promises being made just won't stack up. They're already muttering that services to the bush are shithouse, & if privatised are likely to get worse, not better.

As for me, I'm thinking semaphore, or carrier pigeons, or drums, or smoke.

1 comment:

richard lopez said...

go for smoke. but make a big fire so I can see it here in CA. but then, if smoke signals catch on with the populi then count on some corp. swooping in with exclusive rights to sell the blankets and matches. official matches and blankets, since it will be made illegal to use something not purchased from the man.