Perhaps the only irritation to living in New Zealand and at The Cottage is the lack of availability of terrestrial Broadband. So if that's the greatest irritation what on earth am I complaining about? Well I suppose that that's a very valid point. However when one lives in the current environment of instant communication, blogs, internet, computer programmes continually updating, people sending large picture files and so on it's actually quite important to those who are involved in that environment. It's a question of time as well. Ironically now that I am in New Zealand my time is more regimented and taken up than ever it is in Scotland. So if I am to blog and get emails before I go out in the morning dial-up is dire. It has also been one of the first questions by people considering renting The Cottage during the winter.
Vodafone promised last year that by March 'everyone in New Zealand' would be able to have mobile Broadband for $40 a month. Leastways that's what the posters said. What they meant was 'everyone who can get a Vodafone 3G signal can get Vodafone Mobile'. but that's not quite as catchy. At The Cottage I can only just get a Vodafone phone signal never mind 3G so, 7 km from the centre of Napier I (and all the people round here) cannot get Vodafone Broadband. And that, I have discovered, goes for about 20% of the population - perhaps more.
By a quirk of luck I discovered that Telecom mobile phones (mine, Wendy and Martins are Vodafone) work at The Cottage and we can get Telecom 3G. So I now have Broadband - at a rather steep $60 per month for 1Gb. But I do have Broadband. And what a difference it has made. It's still not very fast Broadband but it is like lightning compared with dial-up. And I can take it with me with my laptop. And my phone line is not tied up for hours on end. Great.
What is really amazing, though, is the fact that all the hardware that I need to achieve this is a tiny dongle stuck into a USB port: