North of 60: The Internet
When I went to the â€œGreat White North,â€ I was told that I could get â€œhi-speedâ€ wireless Internet access. I did receive the wireless â€œthingyâ€ to plug into my laptop. Some days I would get the Internet at 40Kb/sec, which is not bad and can live with, some days I would get 280b/sec. There are lot more days of the 280b/sec than the 40Kb/sec.
Notice the small â€œbâ€. There is the small â€œbâ€ and there is the big â€œBâ€. The small â€œbâ€ stands for â€œbitâ€, that's when people talk digital ON/OFF, 1 and 0, that the â€œbit.â€ The big â€œBâ€ stands for â€œbyteâ€ and usually a byte is made of 8 bits. In telecomm/networking, it's always â€œbitsâ€ so that the number can look bigger, more impressive and there are also some technical reasons. Some days, the â€œrealâ€ Internet traffic would be less than 1%, yes one percent and that's not a typo.
It's the North and in a small isolated community, there is only one Internet Service Provider. So I decided to investigate and found so many technical problems, from viruses and computer attacks to many technical errors in their networking that I contacted to help them fix the problems and therefore fix my problem. You see, if I have problems with the Internet and I know what I'm doing, many more people will be having the same problems.
The North is a harsh and difficult place without roads, regular access â€¦ I understand, but in the North of 60, it's also an excuse for stupidity and it costs a lot of money. The price for Internet traffic depends on the â€œTierâ€ level. Usually the Tier 1 companies like Quest, Verizon, Comcast, Telusâ€¦ have reciprocal agreements for each other's traffic and do not pay for their traffic since they own huge chunks of fiber optic networks. Then there are the Tier 2 companies, usually smaller telephone companies or smaller cable providers and usually they get a reduced wholesale price. Finally, we have the Tier 3 companies, usually resellers, that pay the full wholesale price.
Because the place is so isolated, all Internet access has to go via satellite. Satellite data traffic is not cheap, even wholesale. It ranges from $0.03 per gig to $5 per gig depending on the Tier level.
So I went to the company and told them about my problems. I told them why I was having these problems and I even hinted on how to fix the problems. Then I got:
How do you know that?
and then finally:
Welcome to the North
Whenever somebody complains about â€¦ , the standard answer is:
Welcome to the North
When I see the empty food shelves at the grocery store, I understand that the â€œfoodâ€ plane could not land because of the fog so the shelves are empty, but paying from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars per year on wasted Internet satellite traffic is just plain dumb.
Welcome to the Northâ€¦