Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Internet 'Speed' on the Farm

'Speed' is probably not the right word to describe our internet.

I decided to compare our satellite internet with the rest of the world. This is what I found:

'Average' Internet Download Speed:
South Korea            14.2 Mbps
Japan                      11.7 Mbps
Hong Kong              10.9 Mbps
Australia                   4.7 Mbps (although average peaks were 30 Mbps)
Global Average          3.1 Mbps (117 countries)
Our Farm                 1.8 Mbps   (speed test - not sure of our average)

Indonesia                1.5 Mbps
India                        1.4 Mbps

So to put this speed into perspective for anyone who doesn't understand. I recently tried to watch an episode of a 'soapie' I had missed. Without adverts the show is 20 minutes long and I attempted to watch it in 'blibs and blobs' in between frozen moments of several minutes. After an hour I gave up and logged off without seeing the end. Now, of course, my 'soapie' obsession is not important, but what about University studies, viewing farm machinery demonstrations and trials and don't even go there with Skype!

My husband and I have always had a bit of a bad taste joke 'we live in a 3rd world country'! Well, the above figures seem to suggest we actually do, or many farmers do!

Now, I don't mean any disrespect to developing countries, but I live in Australia, the country that was built on the 'sheep's back'. Surely in this modern world of 'entitled' people, our farmers would at least be entitled to the 'global average' of internet speed?

Thankfully, the Liberal Government are back with their mobile phone black spot program. I am putting my faith in Malcolm Turnbull to improve the communication access of farmers and rural/remote communities.

In this world of 'immediate communication', many farmers are left behind and I have no doubt it is affecting our 'bottom line'. 

Sad thing is, I don't think we'll ever catch up!

Some random photos below
It took about 5 minutes to upload these 2 photos and the mornings are usually the quickest time to use the internet.

Old Shearers Quarters on the Farm

View on my way into Tumby Bay on a hot day in January this year


  1. I hear your frustration and do hope that you get better service soon rather than later. Love your photos.
    Anne xx

  2. Hi Karen, I can completely relate. I started an online business from the farm a number of years ago and even with satellite found it really difficult to execute reliably. We too have very poor mobile reception, 1 bar at best (standing on one leg on the back lawn touching the clothesline) and 2 or 3 perhaps with a car kit. I ended up investing in a Yargi (think that is how it is spelt) aerial which we mounted to the UHF aerial on top of the house. I now run this into a mobile booster system (mine is from nextivity but there are other telstra approved ones). This amplifies the signal and distributes it about 20 - 30m around the house (like a hotspot). I use a 3G wifi modem which picks up this signal and gives me great speeds (although limited to only 15G grrr ). The aerial and the booster set us back around $800 but have both agreed we would do it again as it has been very useful for our business. Our land line is dodgy at best (when it is working) and now we have almost full bars of reception on our smartphones and internet wifi. If you are able to get phone reception from your place in a car kit, then this may be worth a try. I know others in our district have had success with similar set ups.
    BTW love the blog. Stumbled upon it as I was doing some research for a presentation for Esperance Farm Office Management (EFOM a sub group of SEPWA) on social media. I am going to share it with the group as I think it is a great example of getting the 'real' voice of agriculture out there and sharing experiences. All the best for the coming season. Michelle Barrett.

  3. I've been told about the Yargi and hubby said he will get around to buying one and giving it a go. We have some neighbours who have improved their mobile coverage with aerials and boosters etc. We were in Esperance last September, holidaying around southern WA. My dad's originally from Perth and my grandparents grew up in Pemberton. We visited a cousin of mine on their farm at Katanning, Carol and her husband Doug Barrett - any relation? Also went up to Cue to visit relations on a station near there. Glad you like the blog, I checked out the SEPWA, looks excellent and organised. I actually work from home as a Farm Safety Consultant (any other admin work), but on Eyre Peninsula some farmers are very slow to cover themselves under WHS regs. Keep in touch