[Gllug] Internet connection through mobile phone

Christopher Hunter cehunter at gb-x.org
Sun Dec 13 19:29:43 UTC 2009

On Sun, 2009-12-13 at 17:51 +0000, Andy Smith wrote:
> Hi Christopher,
> On Sat, Dec 12, 2009 at 10:09:59PM +0000, Christopher Hunter wrote:
> > No!!!  3G is largely unavailable (in 80% of the country, it's a figment
> > of the "service" provider's imagination).  Where it does actually exist,
> > it's flaky as hell - it's not reliable enough for even the most casual
> > use.
> I can only say that my experience is very different.
> I have a "3" broadband dongle for Internet access whilst out and
> about, and in most locations it works absolutely fine.  So far these
> locations have included out and about in London, at home in TW14, in
> a couple of hotels in Dublin, Plymouth, and Looe (Cornwall).

Even the most highly optimistic "coverage" maps provided by the network
operators suggest that you were probably not using a "3G" service in
most instances. 

"Mobile Broadband" is an oxymoron in this country - and indeed
"broadband" is not the appropriate term for the kind of appalling
"service" that much of the country endures.  

It frustrates me that little or nothing is being done to improve the
state of affairs, and that the great British public don't complain
because all they've ever seen before is dial-up and their "broadband"
services are slightly quicker than that.  

It's the same malaise that prevents Linux reaching the great unwashed -
most people just assume that persistent crashes, viruses and the expense
of a replacement computer every three years to keep pace with MS'
bloated crapware, are the norm.  They believe that computers are
"technical", "difficult" and "break down a lot".  They also assume "if
it's free, it can't be any good"!

I was in Vienna last week, and enquired about interweb connection costs
and speeds.  There seems to be a bit of a price war going on there, and
most of the ~20 Mb/s "slow" services are <€5 per month (with quite
generous usage capping) and the ~50 Mb/s offerings are around €18.50 per
month and are entirely uncapped.  In most instances you have to take
phone services or mobile phone services from the same provider, but all
the prices are substantially lower than here...


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