Broadband Speeds

New Zealand is a small country tucked away at the bottom of the world. Around 4 million people live here making it a wee bit more populous than Costa Rica and a bit less populous than the Central African Republic. Economically, out GDP per capita places us between Brunei and Israel. Population densitywise we fit in between the Sudan and Paraguay.

Having emigrated from the UK back in 2000 when DSL-style broadband was still a gleam (albeit one that was on the horizon) of British Telecom I expect to have access to first world services.

I still remember the first time one of the guys in the Theory & Computational Sciences section showed me this new found thing called the web. Back then it was the preserve of the high-end science community. The sort of people that slammed charged nuclei into each other and tried to understand what came out the other end. This was back in 1993.

It was one of those “wow”, followed by a <gulp>, moments where you have a sudden realisation how this thing could spread everywhere yet still be accessible from the desk in your office, or your home. That’s a big wow. Back then I worked for Daresbury Laboratory and the lab was also one of he Network Operation Centres for JANET. When I started at the lab, access to the Internet was limited to those folks working on high energy physics. It was not available to those of us working on the SRS. JANET finally gave up on X.25 based technologies to link the UK’s academic institutions and moved over to IP-based ones instead. That gave everyone access to the Internet. That was a fun time, discovering new services on the web.

I remember one day, not long after my web epiphany spending an entire Saturday at work with my partner as we both browsed our way around the web using Mosaic. We spent six hours just moving form one site to another. It was great fun and very exciting.

Anyway, this post was supposed to be about broadband speeds but that will have to wait for the next one by the looks of it.


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