Moving with the times

I’ve been reading with some trepidation about something which may be of no concern to some, but could end up playing a major role in one of the biggest decisions I’ve ever made. You see, we’re on the verge of leaving the city and moving further out into the countryside.

I’m at the stage where the hustle and bustle – not to mention the light pollution that so hinders my stargazing activity – of the city has become tiresome. Also, career-wise, I now find that I don’t need to be in the office as often since our company expanded and I took on a general manager. This leaves me much more time for indulging my love of the online casino world.

So we’re thinking about leaving the big smoke and getting a little cottage in a beautiful place called Hebden Bridge. The clear night skies will be perfect for astronomy, with barely any glare from city centre lights and buildings to disturb the view through my telescope. And the quieter pace of life should be perfectly suited to where I’m at right now. I’ve been told that I can use a VPN connection to access the files we have saved at work, which will allow me to work from home (should I feel like it) on documents stored in the office, but the concern I have – which is what I have been reading about – is with rural broadband speeds.

The latest report says that the government is looking at bringing in a 50p duty (tax) on all phone connections in the UK, in order to fund the expansion of broadband networks. They say that without this, only 70% of the country will get new high speed connections – leaving rural areas out in the cold and my dreams of using a VPN to stay in touch with my office in tatters.

With the VPN I could save files on the server at work, which is more secure than sending them over email. I can also quickly review things my colleagues have put together, again, more safely and quickly than over email. But all of this works best with a high speed broadband connection. If I move to the countryside and end up with an email connection slower than the orbital period of Hale-Bopp, I’m not sure how I’ll be able to cope. I also use the web for playing online casino games, keeping up with astronomy news and, of course, blogging.

The government has opened up a consultation on the new broadband tax, which should run for around 12 weeks. Only then will we know the fate of rural broadband users, or potential rural broadband users like myself.

This entry was posted on Friday, January 8th, 2010 at 2:02 pm and is filed under Astronomy, Games, Property, VPN. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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