Life at the end of the road

November 21, 2008

Broadband at last!

Filed under: daily doings, life off grid — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:56 pm

A big change in the weather today with a shift of wind to the north west and a big drop in temperature, snow was forecast but I wasn’t convinced. Wifey went off on the first ferry and I stayed at home to wait for the man from the company that was installing a satellite broadband system for us free of charge! Now many readers of my ramblings may not realise that I’ve been doing it on a crappy dial up connection of 31.2kbps at best for almost a year now! and broadband has just been a dream, like winning the lottery ( well it would be a dream if I actually did it ). Much as I do love ‘Life at the end of the road’ it does have it’s disadvantages like no mobile reception ( how can I survive ) and being so far from the telephone exchange that actually talking on the phone is a problem let alone sending masses of data. So when about a year ago I filled in an on line questionaire about my lack of broadband to the Scottish government I was less than hopefull. Imagine my surprise when about 4 or 5 months ago I get a letter from Avanti saying they’ll come and fit me a complete system FOC for just a monthly rental of around £30!!!!!! with an up link and down link speed of 1024kbps!!!!, bear in mind I’m now paying almost that for 31.2kbps because we need the extra phone line. Anybody else could manage with one phone line and ‘Netwaiting’ but of course the Raasay exchange does not support ‘Netwaiting’ so we have to pay an extra £12 a month for the extra line, now you try expaining that to someone in India! Anyway just as promised a man came, OK it was months and not weeks later but he came and he came on time, in fact he came early and not only did he come but he fitted a ‘dogs danglies’ satellite system, neatly, tidyly and cleanly in just a few hours. Ok my house now looks like Jodrell bank with it’s huge dish but I’m well chuffed!

Big dish

Big dish

Ok I know it’s not very rustic but neither is the mast behind the house!

Wind, solar, VHF and GSM

Wind, solar, VHF and GSM

With my new system fitted I just can’t wait to stick two fingers up to BT, you would not believe the aggro I’ve had with them over the years, most of it being with people on the Indian sub continent. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had many wonderful conversations with people in Delhi, in fact I love speaking to people at the other side of the world and asking them about the weather and what time it is in Banglehore or Calcutta but when my phone don’t work in Arnish I want to speak to someone in Scotland and not somebody on the other side of the planet. So imagine my joy when I phoned up Avanti to ask them about a router and spoke to a real person with a name who could speak English! And that’s about it really I’ve been plonking away on this all day discovering the joy of ‘you tube’ and ‘google earth’


  1. Greetings from Silicon Valley and congratulations on your new connectivity. I take my high speed connection for granted (I am a guitar player of 30 + years and am addicted to youtube!) and am inspired once again by your patience as I look forward to reading your blog almost every day. I didn’t realize what you had to go through. Your pictures are terrific and writing style usually gives me a well appreciated laugh. And to see your home and the surrounding hills, wow, I’m ready to leave suburbia! Keep the posts and pictures coming. I tell several people every week to check out your blog and see what life is like at the end of the road. Cheers! Morgan Will

    Comment by mwill — November 22, 2008 @ 2:29 am

  2. Morning out there ( or is it evening now? ) in sunny California. I’m still in a state of shock Morgan and despite staying up until midnight which is way past my usual bed time I was up at 5 plonking away. I even visited ‘youtube’, the last time I tried that it took 20 mins to download a 2min clip, now it loads instantly 🙂

    Thanks for the plugs, Paul

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 22, 2008 @ 5:59 am

  3. How wonderful that you can now see all the pictures and videos on your favorite websites and at a great speed! Isn’t YouTube a blast?? I find the various videos about gardening, conservation, and organics absolutely fascinating. Search for YouTue videos about Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms and prepare to meet a long-lost friend. He’s wonderful and his ideas (and applications) on farming are incredible.

    So glad to hear from you and — as always — I love your blog and I adore your house. I wish we had houses like yours in our area. Goodness — so much charm and personality!


    Comment by — November 22, 2008 @ 5:38 pm

  4. Welcome to the world of fast Internet. Any chance of setting up a web cam on the croft somewhere so I can see the weather 🙂

    Comment by newhey — November 22, 2008 @ 11:07 pm

  5. … two days of broadband and you are already sampling the darkside of the net.


    Comment by newhey — November 22, 2008 @ 11:09 pm

  6. Great news Paul, but beware the life sucking qualities of the internet. A great stealer of precious time!!

    Comment by lloyd — November 23, 2008 @ 11:51 am

  7. Wait until the next storm…

    We had a similar experience when we finally got broadband, too. In our case, we went from ISDN2 (56k or 128 using two lines) to broadband at 2Mb. The biggest difference it made was to the phone bill, cutting it by 90% overnight.

    Comment by Stonehead — November 23, 2008 @ 5:05 pm

  8. Evening all 🙂

    Hi newhey, if I knew what a webcam was I’d do it, perhaps in Gingers field for more action!
    Hi Lloyd, I know what you mean, fortunately I can’t sit still for very long during the hours of daylight and rarely watch the TV, apparently I’m on again tonight 🙂
    Hi Stoney, just what I thought so I’ve marked the alignment with a center punch, having been caught out before by the TV dish during storms and whilst this dish is much bigger it’s on a 3″ galvanized steel pole and solidly bolted to the house but I still have my doubts.

    Cheers, Paul

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 23, 2008 @ 6:53 pm

  9. have you seen on the rocks’ cover of gaga?

    Comment by jeannette — June 6, 2010 @ 2:46 am

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