I’ve just experienced the perils of being left behind by Moore’s law, and lack of commercial incentive. I’ve been on holiday in the Scottish Highlands. Let’s say upfront that the cellular network provision was significantly better than the essentially non-existant service here (30 miles from London), but none the less it was appalling.
In the early days of cellphone networks, 1-2-1 as was (T-mobile now) was subsidised by Highland Enterprise to actually get some coverage up the West Coast of Scotland, and they did a good job of getting PCN (higher frequency GSM) rolled out to these areas which really need wireless phones. For some reason I had assumed that this deployed infrastructure would have been updated with 3g service as it became available.
I can attest that it is possible, though slow, to use 350M of tethered download on 2g over a week, but it’s advisable to go for a walk when Adobe spring an upgrade to LightRoom on you leading to a 100 minute download.
I also discovered that my subscriptions to some on-line training sites absolutely require high-speed broadband, as the video feeds are designed not to buffer (an anti-piracy measure I presume).
Of course the area also has no DAB Radio, and has only this month switched to Digital TV, with significantly fewer channels than in the south, yet a massive step up from the four analogue channels that were all there was last month.
All in all a disconcerting experience. The communications links, be they road, rail, or data are essential components to ensuring the commercial health of an area, and will not happen at the behest of those already functioning in an area. They will either live with what is available or relocate. It is a job for the community as a whole (ie government / Enterprise boards) to make sure that the basics are in place to attract and retain commerce.
Sometimes one can’t go out because something is due to be delivered.
With International shipments one does not get the luxury of the 1 hour timeslots offered by the responsible on-line grocers, and sometimes the truck’s depot can be 40 miles away in dense population areas, and more than 100 miles in more open areas.
But as the truck progresses on it’s route and the various drop-offs sign for their packages,it is in continuous contact with fleet management reporting when each delivery is made. I know that emergency services vehicles check in even more frequently giving their GPS co-ordinates to allow the dispatchers to select the best-placed responders.
As someone waiting for a parcel I would just like to track the truck’s progress by delivered postcode translated onto an online map to at least know when it is in the area. Not, I think, a difficult re-use of data that is already to hand.