I’m sure everyone faces internet problems, but maybe not quite like those experienced in a rurally located town in northeast India, 95 kilometres from the capital? Okay, I’m very fortunate to have a broadband connection at all and it has progressed from about 5 kb per second to a whole lot faster over these past years (when it’s functioning!).
I really can’t run the school without it, my local teachers and the students need the help of online practice reading programs and ways of doing school very differently from the ‘learn by heart’ rote method imposed on most of India.
So that slowly revolving circle in the middle of the screen sometimes makes me want to shriek with frustration!
And right now, it’s happening in the middle of writing a slice and trying to comment on as many other slicers’ writing as possible…(read that as…as many other slicers as the internet will allow me tonight!!) Being in India, I’m on a different timeline from the SOL challenge so if there’s a thunderstorm and they switch off the internet tonight (in case of a lightning strike), then I have the hope that they may have remembered to turn it back on ‘early-ish’ in the morning. Nobody gets to the local telecom office before 11 am and if the internet is not working, that’s an excuse to arrive even later.
I have the head of the department as my most ‘popular’ (not by choice) number. He’s usually away or unreachable, unless I plod up to the office where I may capture him doing what appears to be very minimal work, in maybe 2 out of 5 visits. His assistants have pretty much zero English, so it’s impossible to ask them anything, even where their boss might be.
Even when he’s there, the stock reply to “So when will the internet be back on?” is… “Can’t say, ma’am.”
Once again I smile sweetly and explode with annoyance inwardly!
Fortunately there is a really helpful young man who does his best to steer me and the school through most of the ridiculous situations we sometimes face. I know when he says, “Can’t say,” he means it and it’s not just an excuse. One of the difficulties is that most people do not use broadband, but only access the internet through their mobile phone internet deals (super cheap over here), so the situation is not likely to improve more than it has over the years till now.
I don’t actually have a photo of my favourite internet assistant up the pole but you get the picture although the poles here are smaller of course. This was taken in a big city some years ago…
Yesterday, he told me of a new solution called FTTH (don’t you just love acronyms) that I am going to try. Now I just need to wait for the particular modem it requires to be in stock….there’s always some reason for a delay, but I’ll keep you posted!