Aardvark DailyNew Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 18th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.
Content copyright © 1995 - 2013 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk
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I hate living in suburbia.
If it's not the neighbours partying until all hours of the morning, rattling the bedroom windows with their bass, it's the almost total lack of privacy you get from living just 10m from those on either side of your house.
The countryside is where I'd rather be [insert theme to 'Green Acres'] where you don't have to acquire a taste for your neighbour's music preferences, you're not an unwilling eavesdropper on every argument and the sound of revving engines and screeching tyres are replaced by the birds in the trees and serenity.
So why am I stuck, living in suburbia while utopia might be just a few miles down the road?
Well there are two reasons.
The first, and most obvious, is a lack of coin. Land prices in New Zealand are silly-high and that means I'm left renting a ramshackle, uninsulated, drafty, "grotty" house for $160 a week.
The second reason is that where I am, there is ready-access to ADSL2 and the promise of UFB in just a few months time.
The last time I lived in the countryside and enjoyed the rural splendor that such solitude and peace provides, I had to make do with two dial-up internet connections and that was over a decade ago, when webpages were smaller and video was a non-event.
Unfortunately for me, there are still many, many areas of NZ's countryside that simply have no form of fixed-line high-speed internet connection and that would make relocating to my ideal living area somewhat problematic and rather expensive.
There are satellite options but, for someone who regularly chews through 100GB or so in a month, the cost of such a hook-up would be outrageously high.
So what do those folk who live in these "slow zones", where the only chance of a Net connection is dial-up or a high-priced RF-based connection, do if they want to truly join the cyber-age?
How are they going to take advantage of the new "on-demand" services or the growing shift towards obtaining legal music and video content via download?
I'd really like to hear from any readers who might be living in one of these "slow zones". Tell us about how the lack of fixed-line broadband affects your use of the Net and the costs associated with staying connected.
If, as I really hope, the old sheila and I will be moving out of this suburban hell-hole in the not too-distant future, I'd really like to know whether my options will be really constrained by the lack of broadband connectivity -- or if their is life after ADSL.
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