To a 21 year-old full-time uni student, the internet is everything. I use the internet for homework, for assessments, for work, and for my social life. Everything I do is based around the internet in some way. If I want to catch up on my favourite TV show, I turn to the internet. If I want to go clothes shopping, I turn to the internet. If I want to check the weather, (sadly) I turn to the internet. And to be honest, I really could not imagine what life would be like without 24/7 unlimited NBN.
But not everyone is in the same boat as me.
After speaking to Mary* a few weeks ago about her experience with television, I decided to go back and ask her a few questions about the internet in her current household.
Long story short, Mary thinks the internet in her house totally sucks.
The household doesn’t have a phone line, so the family has to rely on prepaid wireless broadband that allows 5 devices to connect to it at one time. But this rarely happens… “It hardly ever connects to the internet for starters. It’s pointless even paying for the damn thing!”, exclaimed Mary.
With the signal constantly dropping out, Mary’s family generally rely on their phone internet rather than connecting to wifi. On the rare occasion that the wifi actually works, the internet is slow and takes far too long to load pages . As a result Mary uses hotspot from her iPhone so she can use her laptop for work and personal use. *Cough* endless internet shopping *cough*.
Even though Mary’s family lives right in town, the area is still unable to get NBN, despite the surrounding areas being able to get a connection. In New South Wales, there are currently 930,740 homes who are able to connect (or have already connected) to the NBN (nbn, 2016a). As part of the three-year construction plan, most homes around Australia are expected to be able to connect to the NBN network by September 2018 (nbn, 2016b). Mary is crossing her fingers that it comes to her home earlier, however the website is unable to give her an expected date. Until then, unreliable prepaid mobile broadband it is!
Despite having the internet, Mary’s TV watching habits haven’t changed at all. The television is still used far more than the internet is. Mary owns a smart TV where the television can be connected to the internet, however since the wifi connection at the family’s home is so poor, the smart TV has never been set up. Mary explained that she would most likely use the internet more if she had a stable connection, however for the meantime it doesn’t bother her because the 3G network on her phone is all she needs.
“We are pretty simple people really, we don’t need fancy internet or smart TV’s at the moment. We are happy the way we are”, explained Mary.
So there you go, maybe the internet really isn’t everything.
Until next time,
*Not a real name.
nbn 2016a, What is the nbn network?, nbn co ltd., viewed 18 August 2016, <http://www.nbnco.com.au/learn-about-the-nbn.html>.
nbn 2016b, Three-year construction plan, nbn co ltd., viewed 18 August 2016, <http://www.nbnco.com.au/learn-about-the-nbn/three-year-construction-plan.html>.