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Gizmo
26-Mar-03, 00:29
BT have no intention whatsoever of upgrading either the Wick or Thurso exchanges, even with the Thurso exchange currently sitting with 260 registrations they havent yet set a trigger level and are still saying it is unlikely that there will be enough interest to justify upgrading the exchange, lets face it, Wick and Thurso have no chance of telephone line broadband for at least another 3 to 5 years so maybe it's about time we started registering with alternative broadband suppliers rather than solely registering with BT.

Hydro Electric have a Broadband scheme aswell, and you can register your interest via the link below, just enter your postcode and then you will be taken to a page with an option to register your interest, so sod BT, lets try something else.

http://www.hydro.co.uk/broadband/index.asp

Colin Manson
26-Mar-03, 02:16
Yes, Yes, Yes,

I read about this when It first appeared on the BBC website and I knew it was our best option


It works like this.......

all the benefits of a real broadband service
free connection
use your PC in any room
round the clock access to the web
best value broadband package available

10 Good Reasons

it's always there - no need to spend ages dialling to connect and you can be online in seconds!
surf the web up to 40 times faster than a dial up connection!
keep in constant touch with friends through instant messaging and send and receive emails in a flash!
transfer even mega files between your office and home - no more carrying laptops and disks!
shopping online just got even better - hunting for bargains in even the biggest online stores is a breeze with broadband!
you'll never need to visit a record store again - buy and download albums in seconds!
use your webcam to share the joy of your baby's first steps with friends and family across the world!
instant access to a world wide wealth of knowledge and information!
be among the first to see the latest Hollywood trailers with quality so good you could almost be at the Premiere!
with Broadband from Scottish Hydro-Electric the need for new phone lines and lots of messy cables is long gone!

Speed Comparison

-----------------------------56k modem *** 512k ADSL/cable *** Hydro-BroadBand

Typical web page-------- 14.5 seconds *** 2 seconds ***< 2 seconds

MP3 music track ---------- 12 minutes *** 1.3 minutes *** 20 seconds

30sec video download --- 3.5 minutes *** 25 seconds *** 7 seconds


If they are looking for interest I'm sure we can supply it :D You should also notice that it's nearly 4 times faster than 512k cable/ADSL, I know a 1MB ADSL line costs about 130 per month, I'm not sure how much an equivalent 2MB ADSL line is but you can bet it's going to be really expensive.

Hydro-Electric's prices are cheaper than a 512k ADSL and remember it's 4 times faster than it as well :eek: , it's simple there is no better connection for us in the North! Not just within 5km telephone line distance of Wick and Thurso. It could be everywhere, the article I read said that there were very few places they couldn't supply it. So wherever you are in Caithness, if you want super fast broadband then register your interest with the Hydro ;)

Cheers
Colin Manson
Administrator

mysophales
26-Mar-03, 22:42
I have registered with Hydro Electric, but also like BT, they are not to keen to reply to any e-mails sent to them.
i registered with them over 2 weeks ago, sent a seperate e-mail with a few relevant questions, but alas, am still awaiting a reply.
I do sincerely hope they do decide to cover all of the North of Scotland, it would be one up on BT.

Regards~~~Sandy.

Colin Manson
26-Mar-03, 23:46
Lo,

Niall spoke to them today but since this is still the first quarter of the trials then they aren't sure what is going to happen. So no numbers have even been thought about.

They did say that the response to the trials was massive, so if the people that are lucky enough to live in the Trial areas are happy with the service then I'm sure it'll quickly spread. They also mentioned about doing phone calls over the power lines, this is a separate issue and is not included in the Internet trials but in the future we could be getting really cheap phone calls as well as fantastic Internet access.

Being able to unplug your PC and plug it in anywhere in the house is also a great bonus, no more worrying about telephone lines or ISDN boxes :D

Maybe the next thing we need is a serious signup campaign and also some political backing, I noticed the HIE logo being displayed on the Hydro's website. Now all we need is a nice investment and we could be up and running :eek:

Cheers
Colin

mysophales
27-Mar-03, 01:10
Hi Colin.

I have been chatting on and off with Bill about a local registration campaign, i printed of flyers with the bt registration address.
looks like now i'll have to start printing of some for Hydro Electric.
i just leave them in places like the cafe, and phone boxes.

Regards~~~Sandy.

Colin Manson
27-Mar-03, 05:07
Sandy,

It's good to see that someone else feels the need to push this forward. I've used a 2MB ADSL connection before and it's like being in a different world. No longer is time an issue and it is really surprising how much more you can enjoy "surfing" if you don't have to wait for everything.

Hopefully Bill will be able to post something on the Index page and keep reminding people every so often. I was pretty disappointed when I found out that BT was never going to give us a limit. It looks like the Hydro are going about this trial from the other side, BT when for the biggest potential user exchanges but the Hydro are doing small places that are never likely to see ADSL upgraded exchanges.

For the past couple of years I've spoken to some friends from all around Europe and the UK and they can't believe the cost of my ISDN connection or the fact that up here we have no other option. Bring on the days when I don't ever have to worry about disconnecting my internet connection because I'm worried about breaking their 12 or 16 hour "anytime" limit and downloads take minutes rather than hours.

Cheers
Colin

Bill Fernie
27-Mar-03, 20:18
Yes I will be reminding on the Index page as well as in the Broadband Section to get more folk to sign up at this new place. We will try to help any supplier that gets in here to bring in Broadband. I have given up on BT as aprovider for my internet connection a long time ago.
Why?
Poor customer Relations
Veiled threats to throw me off.
emails telling me I was a heavy user and general hassle.
Changing Telephone connection numbers for my benefit - ha ha.
Not the Cheapest and if there was any other way to get my ISDN I would be outa here.
Seriously looking at all the other cheap telephone providers for calls - not made up my mind yet but might try the 1363 number - does anyone have any definite knowledge of how much you save - I am suspicious of the blurb.
I have also emailed Hydro to offer all the free publicity they want on the web site if they seriously consider coming in to Caithness.
We can only wait and see.

mysophales
28-Mar-03, 20:41
Well done Bill,

i'm sure Hydro Electric will jump at the chance
of some free advertising.

I have made a start printing of some flyers
with the Hydro Electric details on it.
will start leaving them around as soon as possible.
have also e-mailed the registration address
to everyone locally on my contacts list.


Regards~~~Sandy.

backrow
28-Mar-03, 20:45
Yep, Got to agree! :o)
BT look to be draging their heels, [mad] so lets ALL register with the Hydro!!
What difference will it make to BT?
None - because we have ALL signed up for them as well!1
Well lets put it this way ----we all SHOULD have signed up!! No point moaning if you can't even be bothered to register!! [mad] [mad] [mad]

Role on Hydro!!!! :D

P
31-Mar-03, 14:25
Don't forget though, it's only in trial at the moment...in Europe, it has been banned due to interfence on other frequencies. We may have a problem up here because of the military use of the airspace and the possible interference.

I still think that HIE should invest in the future, not investing in a short-term solution, like they did with ISDN. 2Mb might be great now but I assure you within a couple of years it will be as slow as ISDN is today, the equivelant that is. Simply because the rest of teh world is pushing forward but the UK especially highland region is not.

They could have purchased a wireless license at the coming auctions, installed fast and reliable wireless access across the entire region (including all those communities of 2 or 3 people). No trigger levels, no demand based, just plain and simple good old fashioned innovation. They could have done the whole lot for less than 2m - such a shame they won't open their eyes. We could all have 10Mb access when bandwidth prices drop, if we wanted it - but now with the way they are pushing forward we simply won't have the option.

Perhaps once the next elections are over our MSP may be able to help, I know of at least one business looking at this balnket coverage of the area, I know as I am a part of it, however if HIE keep pushing in the opposite direction, we just won't be able to bring it to the highlands - some unity would be a good thing!

I am biased so don't take this any other way than it is intended - simply to try to present all the facts not just one side of the story!

P.

P
31-Mar-03, 14:59
oh in case you're interested...I mailed hydro last year about their trials...this is the standard response I gt back - 3rd september 2002
..............

Many thanks for your interest in Broadband and Powerline. Unfortunately this service is not yet available in your area. We are currently evaluating our first pilot installations and will be deciding on extending the service based on the outcome of these pilots and the demand in other areas. We have noted your interest and will contact you if your area is to be connected for service.
...............

Anonymous
31-Mar-03, 15:37
If we are going to be prevented from having broadband delivered via our leccy cables because of military use of our airspace then perhaps the military should pay for us to get broadband another way.

P
01-Apr-03, 14:32
If we are going to be prevented from having broadband delivered via our leccy cables because of military use of our airspace then perhaps the military should pay for us to get broadband another way.

hehe...great idea! Not quite sure they would go for it though!

Has caithness.org tried mailing it's users to get an idea of who would be interested in Broadband?

Anonymous
02-Apr-03, 09:53
Saying that tho, the gov might want to make sure they get their pound of flesh (17.5%) from all the hydro-broadband users so that might outweigh any military rumblings.

As far as mailing everyone, somehow I think we might find our selves on a spam blacklist if we did, however, it is a topic which is debated quite a lot here so all we can hope for is that if we make enough noise about it, everyone will register.

http://www.hydro.co.uk/broadband/index.asp

acameron
03-Apr-03, 19:08
So...... on the news tonight BT has decided that the tests in the small rural towns has been a great success and wish to spread broadband throughout Scotland. Could it be that Hydro has a better product to sell at a cheaper price?
I am no longer in intrested in BT Broadband (which would be a minimum of a years contract) - I am happy to wait for the Hydrobroadband which is faster an cheaper.

Comn Hydro - we are waiting for you

mysophales
10-Apr-03, 11:41
I think just about everyone has given up on BT for their future broadband service,
as the Wick exchange now stands at 192, and the Thurso exchange is at 321
more than some of the exchanges shown on BT's list of exchanges with trigger levels already set.

come on Hydro Electric

Bill Fernie
16-Apr-03, 17:12
Did you notice the story in the Scotsman newspaper today regarding the fact that BT are very unhappy with Scottish enterprise and their approach to Broadband. the story is at http://www.news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=440592003 If they all start falling out will it take even longer to get Broadband in the north of Scotland?

Partan
30-Apr-03, 23:40
I have given up on BT as aprovider for my internet connection a long time ago.
.......
I have also emailed Hydro to offer all the free publicity they want on the web site if they seriously consider coming in to Caithness.


Bill

On Working Lunch today on BBC2 it was reported that Monmouth (a town of 10,000 people) is to be connected to BT Broadband in June this year. (See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/working_lunch/2989825.stm ). It occurred to me that your exasperated conclusion on BT may be somewhat misguided. Surely if the good people of Monmouth can produce an economic justification for the service then the worthy citizens of Wick/Thurso cannot allow themselves to be second fiddles? It would paranoic to suggest (as Gizmo did) that BT would discriminate against the towns except on commercial grounds - and I'm sure you don't suffer from any delusional illnesses!

On a simple comparison of the Broadband products offered by BT and by Hydro-Electric the following facts are clear:

Will it be made available? BT - Yes (subject to economic analysis): Hydro - won't say.

How much will it cost? BT charges well publicised: Hydro - won't say.

Technology proven? BT - Yes, large number of users across UK: Hydro: Not known small trial customer base thus far.

To abandon BT as a possible/probable supplier at this stage is not sensible - put your emotions away and make decisions based on practical, commercial judgments.

Finally, those Wick/Thurso people who are desperate for Broadband would do well to spend some time finding out how the people of Monmouth achieved their objective. (See http://www.alfgoodrich.co.uk/broadbandmonmouth/www/index.htm ).

For me, Broadband is of no interest, 56k is all I need!

Partan

Geo
02-May-03, 09:42
I have given up on BT as aprovider for my internet connection a long time ago.
.......
I have also emailed Hydro to offer all the free publicity they want on the web site if they seriously consider coming in to Caithness.


Bill

On Working Lunch today on BBC2 it was reported that Monmouth (a town of 10,000 people) is to be connected to BT Broadband in June this year. (See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/working_lunch/2989825.stm ). It occurred to me that your exasperated conclusion on BT may be somewhat misguided. Surely if the good people of Monmouth can produce an economic justification for the service then the worthy citizens of Wick/Thurso cannot allow themselves to be second fiddles? It would paranoic to suggest (as Gizmo did) that BT would discriminate against the towns except on commercial grounds - and I'm sure you don't suffer from any delusional illnesses!


I noticed on the report that Monmouth Council were very much a part of the process. Does BT Broadband, (or any broadband) have Council backing in Caithness?

Partan
02-May-03, 19:19
I noticed on the report that Monmouth Council were very much a part of the process. Does BT Broadband, (or any broadband) have Council backing in Caithness?

Wey Bill on e Cooncil, BT disna stan a chance :D :D

Bonzo
05-May-03, 13:15
Here's a funny thing related to this thread: anyone noticed the new building back of Castletown (on the Dunnet road, set back a bit, looks like a bungalow)? It's the land station for a new fibre-optic link cable thingy by FARICE for the Faeroes & Iceland, which will give high speed broadband telecomms access etc. etc. for those remote island communities.

Now, that was orginally planned for building a few months ago at the back of Harland Road (on the Wick road) but local residents protested (thin end of the wedge, area zoned for housing, not commercial activities etc) and successfully got it shifted down to the back of the old mill.

Note I said months: I was amazed at the speed with which the whole thing was walloped through from planning application to the prompt completion of the building, even with a relocation.

I suppose the whole point is that where its for Faeroes/Iceland, and someone's batting in its favour, planning, cables, building, switching equipment, the whole lot can be done very quickly. Pity it can't happen for us.

Also, maybe the Scottish Parliament should have been planned, built and installed by this FARICE crew.

(No offence intended to Faeroes, Iceland or any of the guys involved in the project: I only think it's amazing what can be done if.....)

Big Bonz

Anonymous
06-May-03, 09:19
Partan, I think you missed my Dad's point about ditching BT as an ISP. Its not just to do with the broadband issue that has caused this. Its simply the disgraceful way we have been treated by BT. They obviously feel they have the whole country sewn up and can treat people any way they like. Personally, I have never been treated as badly by anyone, never mind a business, and will take any opportunity given to give all my telecoms business to anyone other than BT. I dont really hear many good stories about BT and their ISP businesses. They are a private company that acts like a government department and I think they themselves have sealed their fate, I can only see BT going under completely or being re-nationalised. Oftel seem only able to write papers about it as opposed to actually doing anyting about it.

Bill Fernie
08-May-03, 02:12
Yes I am aware that some places of perhaps similar size may be getting Broadband from BT but there many factors that have to be considered and unfortunately it seems that we may not meet all the criteria to get the service until very late in the day. A range of other services such as TV stations that are not available here as companies apparently do not see the north of Scotland as likely to generate revenue from having it put in. If the companies were required to put in the service over a number of regions of the country by law then this might - just might mean we would all eventually get it. However the fact that there are several companies all competing means that no one of them can be compelled to put in the services.
Here at Caithness.org our experiences with BT have not been good and it has caused us problems - behind us now as we no longer use the Internet services provided by that company. I never say never and would gladly get behind what ever company was moving to bring the services into the north of Scotland. It is almost impossible to guess at what might be passing us by in terms of businesses that may not come to the area due to lack of Broadband. But the contacts we do have suggest to us that they have located in certain other rural parts solely on the basis that Broadband was available or was coming into the selected area within a reasonable time. Even a commitment with a timetable that could be seen would be helpful. Is it one year, three years, never? We have tried to do our best to publicise the Broadband sign up site along with many others and the numbers have continued to grow.
Even though some of those signing up may refuse the service when it is finally offered and the company needs to get firm orders there are probably others who will take the service once it is available. It is frustrating not to have any definitive timescale to work to.
Even this web site takes a considerable amount of time to load and it could be much faster and mean we could probably add much more to our day in terms of productivity. How many times over is this repeated in existing businesses?
We foresee other services on web sites if and when Broadband is on offer here. Having the ideas it is one ting but lacking the practical ability to put them into operation makes it frustrating to think that what we have talked about will happen in other areas before here. There are ways round this and one of them is the simple solution of doing some of it away from Caithness. There is no reason as the whole thing is developing why we could not out-source some of what we do to areas where Broadband is available. This is no idle threat and others seeing the possibilities for taking on the running of parts of our business and they aint in the UK. Cards on the table - -they are in India. Hey folks its the internet and if we cannot do it here everything has the potential to be done anywhere if the wires reach - The Broadband Wires. And before you ask I have no idea if they have Broadband - that is not the point here. The point is that unless we get ahead then the competition is going be on top of us far faster than at any time in history.
We have to have the fastest and best communications available. For rural areas the Internet was to be at he great leveler allowing access to information and much more. But the potential for jobs may melt away if we do not have it at speeds. Just as in the past the places that got their industrial process speeded up were the winners and this revolution is little different. Whilst we may just be getting used to having the services they are perhaps already be the equivalent of the horse before cars were invented or the weavers before the new looms were automated doing the work hundreds of times faster. The call centre has come and some say already on its way out but in between many folk have jobs and have learnt some skills and the demand for PC's has been boosted. With Broadband if we are unlucky it will have come and gone without us getting the advantages however fleeting. Broadband itself may be superceded by yet another revolution unsuspected as yet but it will be of little comfort to rural areas in 10 years time to hear that something better has come in if they never had the benefits of a faster system in the first place. Indeed we may go into reverse and folk may give up on it and go and do something else - or have no choice but to be unemployed or move to another place. This is not extreme. It is already happening as the programme on yesterday showed where companies who had moved to rural areas were thinking of moving back to London to get the faster access.
If you are one of those rubbing there head saying how can all this be so important there were some examples given such as a jigsaw manufacturer - one of the biggest in the world who makes jigsaws to order from pictures sent online. As the manger pointed out when someone send in a picture made up of a highly detailed aerial picture to be made into a jigsaw the file seems to take all day to download before he can make the jigsaw. All his other orders are then backed up waiting to download. He is losing business all the time. There are any number of examples.
Well from the above you can guess that bill will be girning, moaning and cajoling anyone that will listen to get Broadband into the north, the islands and the whole of rural Scotland - its survival we are talking about - not just some service we can live without.
Next.............................................. ............

Geo
28-May-03, 09:45
Is this thread ballooning out of control?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/2932806.stm

Gizmo
03-Jul-03, 12:39
I recieved this e-mail from The Hydro, things are looking brighter :)

BROADBAND ENQUIRY

Thank you for your recent interest in our Broadband product.

We are pleased to confirm your home or business is in an area we are able to connect to our Power Line Carrier Network.

You are probably aware from recent press coverage that we are presently in the process of connecting Winchester and Stonehaven to our network, as part of our ongoing product piloting. We plan to connect our first customers in this area in late June/early July 2003.

Subject to continuing positive feedback from customers taking part in our pilots, you will be able to find out about our wider roll out plan of our Power Line Carrier network in the future. As yet, we do not have any timescales for your area.

We have registered your interest in our product and plan to contact you when we know we are coming to your area. For more information relating to our product specification, pricing, service options available and forthcoming towns being connected, please refer to our website - www.hydro.co.uk/broadband

Using our website is the easiest way to keep up to date with developments relating to our broadband product and provides links to information relating other products and services that we offer.


Scottish Hydro Electric-Broadband

Bill Fernie
03-Jul-03, 14:49
Well Done Gizmo. I have also signed up at the Hydro site and also contacted them to offer Caithness.org support to get sign-ups if there is any chance they will come to Caithness.
more sign-ups now might help swing it so lets all join Gizmo if you have not already

Bill Fernie
07-Jul-03, 11:40
My latest enquiry to Hydro Broadband has received this reply -
BROADBAND ENQUIRY

Thank you for your recent interest in our Broadband product.

We are pleased to confirm your home or business is in an area we are able to
connect to our Power Line Carrier Network.

You are probably aware from recent press coverage that we are presently in the
process of connecting Winchester and Stonehaven to our network, as part of our
ongoing product piloting. We plan to connect our first customers in this area
inlate June/early July 2003.

Subject to continuing positive feedback from customers taking part in our
pilots, you will be able to find out about our wider roll out plan of our Power
Line Carrier network in the future. As yet, we do not have any timescales for
your area.

We have registered your interest in our product and plan to contact you when we
know we are coming to your area. For more information relating to our product
specification, pricing, service options available and forthcoming towns being
connected, please refer to our website.

Using our website is the easiest way to keep up to date with developments
relating to our broadband product and provides links to information relating
other products and services that we offer.

If more of us follow Gizmo to hydro we might set another ball rolling. Worth a try - at the end of the day the first one in with a decent service gets my business. anyone else with a positive reply or further information lets herar it here.

Gizmo
07-Jul-03, 16:10
Hydro Boadband is certainly the only chance we have of geting a broadband connection in the forseable future anyway, even with the Thurso exchange currently at 377 registrations BT have still not set a trigger level for it, and Wick currently only has 217 registrations, so it's more than likely that we will still be ignored for the next few years at least, only when the cost of upgrading the exchanges drastically reduces will BT pay us any attention.

But the only way that we will convince The Hydro that we want their Broadband connection is if we let them know that we want it on a large scale, there has been a massive braodband campaign in the local papers lately, yet Wick still only has 217 registrations, Caithnesian apathy is a terrible disease that we must rid the community of as soon as possible if we dont want to be left behind in the Broadband age, surely there must be a jab available :)

Giz

jjc
07-Jul-03, 21:50
Whilst passing through Inverness Airport this morning I noticed that Highlands & Islands Enterprise has placed an advert in the waiting lounge to boost awareness of the 'Broadband for Business' pages on their website (and who says advertising doesn't work).

The address is http://www.hie.co.uk/broadband

They even have pretty graphics:
http://www.hie.co.uk/broadband/images/Broadbandreg.jpg

I'm sure that this has probably come up before on a different thread about Broadband, but just in case it hasn't...

Anyway, on a lighter note, I've just spent the weekend in Thurso and tried to check my email/bank account/this message board several times using a dial-up connection... God, it's good to be back with my Broadband :p

Tina Irving
11-Jul-03, 20:53
Duly registered with Hydro Electric

P
24-Jul-03, 11:52
For Telephone Number 01847******on Exchange THURSO

Sorry - broadband ADSL is not yet available in your area, but we are currently assessing demand.

We need 500 people to register their interest in buying broadband ADSL at this exchange. If 500 people register then we will begin the process to upgrade the exchange.


____

According to that - Thurso will be getting ADSL soon...and CASE say that they *may* do wick at the same time...hmmm

Mr P Cannop
25-Jul-03, 06:31
so far the numbers stand at 452 keep signing up

maurice
14-Aug-03, 20:59
[evil]
Hi Folks,
I have had hydro broadband in Stonehaven for a few weeks now, Lets just say its not as fast as you have been reading!
The download speed ranges from 80k to 700k (on a very good day) with an average of around 450Kbps. As I am not paying at the moment(free trial) i can't realy complane, but its certanly not 1Mbps as they quote!
Keep the pressure on BT in your area, as bt released broadband in Stonhaven the same week as hydro did so there is hope.

Anonymous
15-Aug-03, 11:39
maurice, I think you'll find that the downloads you've been getting are limited by the site you are downloading from.

I was recently down in bradford, taking advantage of a m8s 2mb line, and downloads on that varied from 6 or 7k per sec to well over a meg a second.

To test the speed, best site to try is the microsoft games website, try downloading one of their big game demos (170 meg or so), as microsoft have the biggest online capacity bar none, you should get it pretty fast.

Also, to see the speed difference in action, try pinging caithness.org from the command line and see how fast your connection really is.

win9x/me:
click start then run and type "command" in the box and hit ok, you'll get a command line window in which you should type "ping www.caithness.org"

win xp:
click start then run and type "cmd" in the box and hit ok, similar command line window opens, type "ping www.caithness.org"

after the site is pinged 4 times you will see a summary sheet similar to this:


Pinging www.caithness.org &#91;212.100.226.101&#93; with 32 bytes of data&#58;

Reply from 212.100.226.101&#58; bytes=32 time=50ms TTL=54
Reply from 212.100.226.101&#58; bytes=32 time=92ms TTL=54
Reply from 212.100.226.101&#58; bytes=32 time=51ms TTL=54
Reply from 212.100.226.101&#58; bytes=32 time=50ms TTL=54

Ping statistics for 212.100.226.101&#58;
Packets&#58; Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 &#40;0% loss&#41;,
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds&#58;
Minimum = 50ms, Maximum = 92ms, Average = 60ms

the final average is the time it takes to send a request to caithness.org and for the site to respond. The example above was on my 64k isdn connex. DSL connections should be about half what I get and modemers will get about 3-4 times the time delay.

This may not sound like a great deal of time, 60milliseconds is not a really long time, but when you realise what is being delayed by that time it starts to make a bit more sense...

You will hear website owners quoting hits all the time (we dont, you'll see why), 1 hit is actually 1 file request, eg this page (the post reply page) has about 30-35 files attached to the page, count up every image and every element that is not directly part of the page code. So that mean there were about 30-35 hits added to our counter when I visited this page. It also means that there were 30-35 file requests when i loaded this page. Your browser requests files in the order that they are presented to it within the html, so along with the actual download capacity of your connection you also have all these requests adding delays to the page loading, although these delays do not quite add up in a linear fashion, they do build up when your download capacity does not have the width to accept all the files at once.

Surfing through websites (on a nice fast host like us) is a completely different experience on broadband, our photo galleries are a good example. While down in bradford, I had the strange experience of actually looking at caithness.org for news and photos of what was going on while I was away (usually I'm only looking for tech issues and never read any of it :) ) and I have to say that browsing through the galleries was a joy, virtually instant loading of all the pages and photos, much more enjoyable.

I really feel sorry for those who are still using 56k modems, the whole internet must seem to be getting slower and slower as web sites upgrade their content to suit the phatter connections. We ourselves have held back on doing anything so outrageous as we know no one in Caithness, bar those of you looking in from the likes of Dounreay, has a broadband connection. We have people in the county ready to give us audio and video footage, and although this would be nice for our broadband visitors, the sizes of the downloads would completely remove any enjoyment from that type of content from our narrowband users. In anticipation of broadband finally coming to our area, we recently increased our website's capacity by over 300% so that we would be able to start handling files and downloads of the sizes required by audio/video.

So from our point of view, anyone offering land based dsl, or even possibly this wi-fi balloon idea, better be wearing a steel gauntlet when they make their offer as we're waiting with sharpened teeth to take their whole arm. :evil

Just a quick addendum for those thinking about satellite broadband, the ping times are around 700-800 ms, more than 10 times slower than my isdn. This was shown by Colin when we attended the launch of the broadband for scotland campaign in inverness last year. How we laughed ?;o), the results were shown on their big projector screen for all to see. Even their satellite-broadband-test-subject had nothing good to say about it, how we laughed again ?;o)

badger
25-Sep-03, 18:27
Here's a little story of my recent contact (or lack of it!) with hie-broadband. Having been told by someone locally that Thurso and Wick getting Broadband wasn't going to help people on smaller local exchanges I emailed the address on the hie website - shown as b4b@hieonline.org on 26 Aug. No reply so sent again on 4 Sep. Still no reply so tried phoning number shown. Got someone who didn't know anything about Broadband but gave me number of someone else who might. Second person was more helpful but said it wasn't him and gave me number of third person. Finally contacted him and he apologised for lack of reply and said email address was out of date - I pointed out the webpage claimed to be recent update. He gave me new email address which I heard as info@hie-wide.net (his accent may not have helped here) - surprise - this bounced back as undelivereable. Left two messages on his voicemail (he seemed to be permanently out) asking for correct address - no reply. Checked again today and guess what, site has been corrected and address is actually info@hi-wide.net. The new Caithnessbroadband site looks much more helpful but I'm still hoping to get some info from hie. After that lot I'm not too optimistic but maybe if nothing else I can claim some influence getting their site corrected.