Internet Woes

I live in a dialup world. No don’t laugh. I’d upgrade if I could. Believe me.

My world revolves around the internet. I research on it. I email on it. I blog here.

You have no idea how many times I see the words ‘Not Found’ or Timed Out’ appear on my screen. And that’s after umpteen games of solitaire as I wait for a search I need to complete some aspect of my writing.

I grind my teeth and start again, switching to a nice settling game of mahjong solitaire. Or even minesweeper. I’m getting pretty good at those games. Had lots of practice.

But I’m tired of this semi-connection. Getting tired more every day. See, last week my connection got hamstrung. I have no idea if it was something I did, my provider did, or some fluctuation of the sunspots. Maybe all of the above?

Anyway, it felt like I suddenly had a net nanny between me and the world. I’d get access to some sites, though it took a long time to load, or I’d get nothing. No rhyme or reason for the process. Just ‘Not Found’, Timed Out’, or back to Google Search. I even had Google Search come up ‘Not Found’. Can you imagine.

I phoned around, again. Nobody wants to put a tower up here. Not enough of a population to bother. I did email the only provider who is close enough to maybe have a signal. I get this friendly email back telling me they don’t service this area. We’re close, maybe one hill too far. But not anywhere they care about servicing.

Back to square one. I struggle to find towers. Something that will lift us high enough to find a signal. Any signal.

Did you know towers aren’t easily findable? Even short ones have to be checked by the county you live in. There’s bylaws.

Fine, I can live with that. But I need someone from a provider to come out and tell me how high I need to go to hook into their signal. Then I need a permit, and I have to follow all the rules about flashing lights in case a low flying plane gets near my airspace – and they do for crop dusting – a tower to whatever specs I’ve been given. And then maybe, just maybe someone will sell me signal.

My landline provider, who sells me dialup at a ridiculous price – almost as much as unlimited 4G highspeed with another provider just two hills over – tells me I can sign up for their 4G cell service for my internet needs. Have you seen those prices?  Not only that, I can’t get cell service in my house. I’m in what’s called a ‘null zone’. Not that their office people will admit any such places exist. But their line guys, you know, the ones out on the road fixing service? Well they know all about no cell zones. Head office just won’t admit there are people living in those areas.

So, please wish me luck. I’m going to beg and plead with this two-hills-over service provider to send someone out and check to see just how high I need to build my tower. I expect to be bogged down in county red tape for a few months if I can get the specs.

But maybe by spring I’ll have ‘real’ internet. Hopefully.

Maybe I should write a letter to Santa, telling him I’m a good girl and only want high speed?


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