Thursday, November 6, 2008


Over the last few days, I've felt like banging my head against the wall on more than one occasion. The hotel where my conference is being held, and where I've spent the last couple of nights, claims to offer wireless Internet access to all of it's guests. The picture above captures the essence of the quality of their wireless access - a snapshot of a 3.3 MB download that still requires 18 minutes to complete...

I guess I've just become used to connecting to the internet at much faster speeds than this, because I feel so restricted by ridiculously slow connection speeds. Although my connection almost never times out, it is painfully slow even for menial tasks like loading flash-free webpages.

Last night, I almost went off on a little rant about this issue, when it took me 40 minutes to attach a 2 MB file to an e-mail that had to be sent. I was prepared to question whether the hotel even had the right to call this access. But I'm glad I caught myself, because I was reminded of the fact that for many people around the globe, access doesn't come any better than this. I sometimes take it for granted that the fast reliable access that I have day in and day out is an experience shared by all, which certainly isn't the case.

As frustrating as this can be, it pays to remember that slow access is far superior to no access...

1 comment:

Alec Couros said...

This is something I am experiencing more and more as I travel and take for granted how good some of us have it. Of course, divides exists even within the cities we live in, and we need to be cognizant of that. This become particularly important when assume connectedness when we construct our pedagogical approaches or teaching strategies.

On a slightly different note, what I am finding most ironic is that good 'net connections are often not available at the TECH conferences that I attend. Or, I am amazed by the questions like "will you need an Internet connection when you present about ...". I do believe we need to reach a level of connectedness in our institutions of learning where a decent Internet connection is as ubiquitous as the running water in that school. As for the first half of this argument, we have a long way to go to ensure equitable access is achieved in our communities here, as well as other parts of the world.