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Web person at the Imperial War Museum, just completed PhD about digital sustainability in museums (the original motivation for this blog was as my research diary). Posting occasionally, and usually museum tech stuff but prone to stray. I welcome comments if you want to take anything further. These are my opinions and should not be attributed to my employer or anyone else (unless they thought of them too). Twitter: @jottevanger

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Broadband: have you tried it?

Well tonight of all nights is one where I simply have to blog at the first chance I get. I've been telling everyone that today I finally join the late 20th century, because up until now I was quite likely the last web developer in Britain never to have had broadband at home. Today, ahead of the planned date, it was switched on. Even before then my ISP (PlusNet) had doubled my allowance to 15GB/month, which should do for now...
Took me five minutes from unwrapping the router to being online (a little less to set up wireless), so it's no surprise that Fiona has been asking why it needed to take so long. Good question. There was an economic issue at one point, and then at about the time it stopped being one (prices falling, dial-up costs rising as we did more online and the modem got flakier and everything dropped to about 3kbps) it all became just TOO much for me to get my head around: so many choices, contract lengths, how much of what do I need? to bundle or not? And so on. So a good 18 months after getting the green light I finally get around to it and the whole thing is a breeze. Of course, it's too early to review PlusNet as yet, but aside from a slightly confusing sign-up process they've really impressed so far. I love the way they tell you everything on their website, so much more transparent than anything else I've seen.
As for broadband itself, well, to be honest I use it all day anyway so of course it doesn't blow me away, but what I hope it will do is have a profound impact on how I work and study. If I can work effectively from home at last and avoid a 2 hour commute every now and then; and if I can do my research away from the office, that will be all I could wish for. Speed is actually much less important than having no restrictions on what I can do and how long for, but fo course I get both. There's a ton of stuff I want to experiment with, too, which there isn't time for at work. Yippee!
So for most of you that might be reading this (but probably aren't) this is not new at all, and for me it's not really a shiny new toy (well, a bit). But it is a big change, and I'm dead excited. How millennial!

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