Sunday, 28 July 2013

I'd LOVE a Smartphone! - But, perhaps we'd need mobile phone service first? Do ya think??!!!

The continuing saga of lack of mobile service is an ever present thorn in my side!

At our house on the farm, (most of the time) we can receive text messages if we leave our phones sitting on the window sill of the back room of the house! 

I think maybe the clothesline in the background is acting as an aerial and that's why in this part of the house we have a level of signal. 

I can often hold a call on the mobile if I leave the phone in this window sill and talk to the caller on loudspeaker - hardly professional! 

The old faithful Nokia 6120 is our phone of choice. It's not even a country rated phone but does a much better job than Telstra's 'country rated' bricks!

Both our phones are old and in a derelict state and we need to upgrade - but to what? How on earth do you work out which mobile phone aerial to buy, some are illegal, some are not. Telstra offer one for $700, but if it's only as good as their country rated phones, they can keep it! Whatever you buy, will it even work? Who do you believe when trying to optimise the access your farming business has to digital technology?

Everyone calls the mobile these days, it's just become second nature for 'others', they always bypass the landline supplied and go straight to the mobile number. If we have the mobiles on 'vibrate', when someone calls, they fall out of the window sill onto the floor and immediately lose service (hence the blutack in the photo holding the phone in place!).

I don't like to whinge about what may seem a miniscule issue, but rural people are being left behind in the technology stakes. They are already behind before we even start. Over the 10 years I have lived here on the farm, I have been astounded at the lack of computer skills within my district. In a wealthy country like Australia, it's an absolute tragedy!

We recently swapped from our standard Satellite Internet to the NBN Satellite. While it's quite a bit cheaper and we have more download available to us, overall it's not any quicker than what we had previously! We still get 'rebuffering' when trying to watch Ag Machinery videos on uTube and listening to music on ITunes. Are we being led up the garden path here? Will it be quicker one day? How long will we have to wait?

For a 9 month period last year and early this year, we had trouble with our local landline exchange. We had 17 days over the 9 months where we had no landline, it was up/down/up/down. Some of my neighbours don't get any level of mobile signal so we had to resort to email contact via satellite internet to confer that all our phones were down again! So there I was, speaking to Telstra on loudspeaker in the window sill trying again and again to report the fault, repeating myself each time. 
When I tried to report my neighbours landline numbers that were also out, the Telstra person said "well they'll have to ring and report it themselves'! 
Well lady, they fu**in would if they could!!! 

After screaming like a banshee several times over that 9 month period, Telstra finally enabled their crew's to fix the fault. None of this stress was necessary, but the lack of understanding from Telstra phone operators only exacerbated the situation.

What do I want to see from our governments:
  • Bring back the Liberal's Black Spot Program for mobile service
  • Enlist the skills and expertise of a company able to communicate with farmers (and other rural folk), to advise and supply aerials and other advice on the best way for that particular family to have optimal access to technology
  • Install a rebate for expensive Landline plans for those without access to any mobile service
  • Actually start digital education, on mass, in rural/remote areas, not the closest town 2 hours away, localised lessons in layman's language
  • Don't waste money on yet 'another study', the need is there in truckloads, accept it, stop procrastinating and do something about it
 Put that in yer pipe and smoke it Kev!


  1. Hi, I have been reading the latest Weekly Times, a Victorian Farmers weekly paper and found an article on country blogging. Your blog was mentioned and I have just come by, I live on a Mallee dryland farm in Northern Victoria and have been blogging for about a year hoping the family will look and see what is happening here. Family have gone to far places, London, Brisbane, Melbourne and don't get home very often so thought this was a way of keeping in contact. I am not very good at IT and when I see the beautiful photo's and the way blogs are arranged, love it. Congratulations on your blog.

    1. Thanks for reading Valda and good on you for blogging, I love it, Nana. Great way to keep family and friends in the loop. It's taken me a while to get the hang of the page set up and I'm still not happy but don't have extra time to spend learning, so just 'wing it' really. We've just started reaping windrowed Canola today so I'll find out how good it is tonight when hubby finally makes it home. I like reading a blog called ausagventures - check it out. Happy blogging xxx