Digital Realities of Homesteading Life

When we started shopping a property last fall, one of my silly concerns was internet access. While it’s not technically a need, our plans entailed homeschooling for the kids and remote employment & continued education for me. Oh, how we’ve been spoiled with cable internet… And y’all, I just need to vent a little bit.

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I had to toy around with pic formats to size this file down, just so it would upload this morning.

As it turns out, cable or even DSL internet at a country property is really not a common thing, even though our property is only 6 miles or so from town. The best we could do? Satellite internet. The previous owners of our current home assured us that they used their satellite internet to watch videos, stream music, and their child attended online public school, all without any issues.  I think they might have fudged a bit (not the only thing they fudged on, but I digress).

I knew it was going to be slower & crappier than our previous super-awesome fast internet, but once we moved to our new home, it quickly became a daily frustration. Streaming video or music is completely out of the question as it pauses constantly to buffer. The speeds vary greatly; sometimes I am able to watch a short ‘tube video with only a couple of pauses, other times nothing would load. Video calls with family are not an option either. Uploading & downloading pics and video can take forever.

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My least favorite image at the moment.  Image Credit

Also, our internet goes out ALL.THE.TIME.  It’s raining?  No internet for you.  It might rain later today?  Internet will be spotty.  It’s cloudy?  Heh nice try getting stuff done online!

The other lovely thing about living out in the country, is that cell phone reception out at our property is terrible. We use an economy carrier that piggybacks on all the larger networks, so theoretically we should be able to use whatever cell tower is closest. Since we’re situated in a valley, however, 1-2 bars is the best you’re going to get most days and call quality can be icky.  So wireless internet is not a good option for us either.  There is one major carrier that supposedly offers reliable service in our area, but that would involve switching carriers, a much higher monthly bill, and upgrading our cell phones… meh.  We currently pay a total of $45 per month for BOTH our cell phones, and that includes voice, text, data.  Not giving that up!

We do have a landline. Yes, I know it’s 2017.  With our spotty cell phone service and occasional power outages, a regular phone line that is physically connected and usable in a power outage with a basic telephone was important, especially since we’ve got kids at home.  Even with a landline, our call quality is not great some days, but it works.

So there you have it folks. Such is the digital reality of homestead life. Done ranting now!

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