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Broadband, My Ass

by The Cranky Media Guy

The Millennium is here. The Internet can finally be enjoyed the way it was intended to be, at super-duper high speed, thanks to technological advances. Yessirree Bob, there's no more waiting for your Naughty French Maid pictures thanks to broadband connectivity.

There's only one little problem with this scenario: you can't get this amazing technology. Don't even try. Nobody has it. Nobody.

Don't believe me? Okay, Smarty Pants, go ahead, try to get hooked up. Pick any (theoretical) version of "broadband" you like; there will be a reason you can't have it. Trust me, I've been trying for weeks now.

What's your poison, Cowboy? DSL, Digital Subscriber Line? This should be the easiest one to obtain as it supposedly runs over the phone line you already have. Call the phone company, though, and you'll find out that you can only get it if you live within a certain distance from a "substation". The certain distance is eight feet. Trying to find a substation is like when you were a Tenderfoot Scout and you were sent on a snipe hunt. You'll be standing around, metaphorically speaking, with a burlap sack and a stick, looking stupid. Five people in America have DSL and they're all phone company techs who actually live in a substation.

OK, forget that then. How about ISDN? Going by my personal experiences trying to obtain this mythical beast, the letters stand for "I Search Day and Night". Assuming you somehow manage to find whoever hooks ISDN up, you'll soon discover that its main advantages over DSL is that it's slower and costs more. This is actually something of a breakthrough as it's usually difficult to get people to pay more for less. Scientists who have studied this say that within ten years it will be possible to write a check for all your disposable income and receive absolutely nothing in return.

I've heard that there's some alleged high-speed connection thingie involving satellites. Yeah, right. Like I'm going to go out and buy a satellite. Do I have "sucker" printed on my forehead or something?

Bottom line? Broadband is the jackalope of technology; it's a cute idea, but it just don't exist in the wild. Do what I've done: resign yourself to having enough time to make a ham sandwich (including slaughtering and slicing up the pig) while loads. If God wanted us to have high-speed Internet, He would have made us all live in a substation.



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