The Need for Speed

Yesterday was an interesting day.

I was working as usual when a couple of guys arrived at our house bearing new internet. High speed internet.

For a couple of months we have been trying to register to a new, fiber optic internet service that’s been available in our neighborhood. Our efforts were met with a brickwall, it seemed, because the company behind it was highly known to be slow and inefficient to the core. I really did not expect much, as my existing internet (provided by the same company) was pretty usable and dependable despite being relatively slow at 2 Mbps.

And then unannounced they came, and after a quick hour of pulling cables to our house and setting up the hardwares, we now have a faster 10 Mbps internet at home. This also includes some features that come with the package like cable TV (awesome, although we don’t watch TVs a lot) and landline phone (for real).

I understand that 10 Mbps is slow for some. But here in Indonesia, it’s a dream. It’s the type of internet that I’ve been yearning about for 15 years. In the meanwhile I (and many people in this country) had been using various different technologies to connect to the internet: dial up, 3G, EVDO, HSDPA, broadband, and finally this one.

Our internet used to be so slow that we never stream videos: instead we download them and watch them offline minutes or hours later.

Our internet used to be so slow that whenever we had to download something big, we queued that in a download manager before we went to sleep, and in the morning we hurriedly check our computers hoping that it all worked out successfully with no interruption.

Our internet used to be so slow that I bought GTA IV on Steam back in 2012, and I could only download and install it now, three years later.

Our internet used to be so slow that my daughter could watch videos on the iPad, or I can work; but not both at the same time.

Yesterday I downloaded a 1.6 GB file less than fifteen minutes. This is mindbogglingly fast for me. “It’s done?” I hear myself asking, “but I still want to do something else!”

Of course, this being Indonesia, you always have to expect and prepare for inexplicable issues to arise. This means I’m keeping the old broadband internet active as a backup, and so now we have two available internet connections at home. It’s now for my daughter to watch Youtube with, and we will open it up for guests and families too.

This new internet service can go up to 100 Mbps, but for that you have to pay about 250 USD a month. Not an affordable price, but as time goes by I’m sure it will go down further. I’ve waited fifteen years for this. I know I can wait a little bit more.