For those of you, who missed my column last week, I wrote about my internet, or lack thereof. For the past 30 years I have been struggling with slow speed, limited data and high prices. I live in a valley, in the southwest corner of the township, with no cable on the road, no line of site to anything, other than trees and only one option; pointing a dish to the sky.
In fairness, when I switched from dialup to Satellite, about 15 years ago, my speed rocketed from five or six Bits Per Second to a whopping ten. I remember being ecstatic at the time. Five years ago, a new satellite went up, and I was one of the lucky ones to jump on. My speed had shot to 20, however, as more people joined the ‘beam’, it slowed down to 16 or 17.
It was enough for most internet services, but it was difficult to upload or download larger items, which unfortunately, is part of my business. If I wanted to watch Netflix or Prime, I had to turn off my Nest cams. It was doable and the little spinning circle (buffering), became part of a movie. The simple solution was to plan two hours for a ninety-minute movie.
Then it happened. After two years of waiting, Starlink (Elon Musk’s company) came through and my new dish arrived last week. It came in a box, no larger than a recycling bin. The dish is rectangular and less than half a metre long by 15 cm wide (24x12 inches).
Through the app on my phone, I could tell where the best place to put the dish was, so my DIY skills were once again put to the test. A small bracket was easily bolted to my garage roof, and the dish simply popped into place. I ran the attached cable into the basement and plugged in the router thingy. Like magic, the dish began to rotate to find the best location.
I was stunned when I turned my computer on, and tears were flowing from my eyes. I had a speed of over 100 MBS. Wow, I thought. I was just like real people in town. It has been flawless for a week now, and I am loving it. I forgot I had to reconnect a few items to my new internet and that took time. Google Homes and Amazon Alexa were easy. Nest cams took some time, but the streaming services were simple. Printing this article was slow, as I had to reconnect my printer, but these are small prices to pay for a newfound luxury.
Did I mention it has a built in snow melting function? Gotta love technology.
Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, award winning photographer, published author, columnist and keynote speaker. Watch his show, ‘Jonathan van Bilsen’s photosNtravel’, on RogersTV, the Standard Website or YouTube.