Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Rural Internet Access

It isn't entirely stubbornness that keeps me tied to this dial-up connection. The good news is that I have a beautiful place where it's a five minute walk to my nearest neighbor. The bad news is there are so few houses on our road that Time Warner is unwilling to provide roadrunner and the nearest DSL connection is still too far away. The only option I'm aware of is a satellite connection. The last time I checked installation cost several hundred dollars and the monthly charge was over $100.

When I ran for Dryden Town Board I hoped to look into what the town might do to help provide high-speed access to rural internet users like me. I wrote about it here and here. Since being elected, I've been tied up with the renewable energy ordinance, the stormwater runoff mitigation ordinance, riparian buffer zones and interminable learning about water and sewer districts among other things. Cable companies and phone companies keep talking about rural access, but until it's mandated, like rural electrification, I doubt any private enterprise will put much effort into it.

The town of Dryden has made a laudable commitment to maintaining the rural character of the town. But I'm not sure other board members understand what all this wonderful open space means. I don't think Jason, who bought my father's house up on Hile School Road, knew that there was no internet access there. His job depends on telecommuting and he's been doing heroic work to try to establish a wireless access point.

My frustration with Blogger is multiplied by the amount of time it takes to test each failed effort to post a picture. I'm going out to the garden again. I know, and accept, how long it takes to grow things.


Endment said...

We are the last house on the route for DSL in our area and have enjoyed this service (?) for only a short time... Technology is such a mixed blessing :)
Your dial up connection has nothing to do with your problems with blogger... one minute I can post comments - the next I can't even open the blogs... Ah - such is life... I like the idea of walking in my garden :)
I send you a large bunch of home grown, fresh picked sympathy.

Dave said...

Did you post this before I emailed you? Things will change. We will change them!

Jason said...

It certainly has not been easy getting wireless access in Dryden. Some politics, some access, but lots of terrane issues. Just when things are all set someone has thrown a new monkey wrench in things. There is a lot of demand I have come across. The phone company and time warner (who has given me a quote of $46,000 at one point to bring cable .6 of a mile) really don't care and have no plans of giving rural america access. Where I live Verizon doesn't even offer isdn none the less dsl (and has told me they never will as there are only 300 phone numbers in my exchange). I can see 16 towers from my house, wisps are clearly the way to go, luckily I have found a good one that has been working even harder then me to bring coverage to the entire area! I will keep you updated.
Forget Satellite it may help with some download speed but with ping times over 1000ms and 4-10k upload speed for blogging it is a big waste of money.

KAZ said...

We offered to be a test case when Frontier insisted they couldn't provide service out here. We vowed to get all our neighbors to sign up if it worked. It worked, and now we've all got service. It's not perfect service, but it beats dial up by a mile. Sometimes they're wrong about how far they can extend. It's worth a call. . . .