Data drought takes toll

Rural Queenslanders battle the data drought


Life & Style
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The Farmer's Wife and family find themselves data-less and city-bound thanks to another kind of drought impacting rural, regional and remote Australians.

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WHILE many Queenslanders are familiar with the ongoing drought affecting our beautiful state, far fewer are familiar with the ‘data drought’ taking its toll on rural, regional and remote areas across Australia.

With 12 days remaining on our monthly home internet plan, we had already used up the lion’s share as a result of three children (all with i-Devices) being at home for an extended period of time and trying to quench their ‘youtube’ thirst.

I was keen to escape our house and conserve what precious download was still remaining.

We made it to the big smoke and managed to complete most of our jobs in just a few days. While we are on holidays, this ‘job list’ also includes internet banking, any online applications we need completed as well as incidentals, like emailing this column.

Basically anything that will reduce the load on our meagre home internet. By logging in to a family member’s abundant internet download plan, we can complete most jobs in a matter of minutes. The same jobs take us far longer at home, if they can be done at all.

This last weekend we were out with friends as a piece on the ‘Data Drought’ aired on television. We watched it afterwards online at my mother’s house (a task that would have been impossible at our home during waking hours).

Times are tough in the data drought. Imagine opening the QCL shopping guide and being lured by all the amazing gear, and not being able to access the websites because The Farmer has to do the BAS online? That’s our reality.

To be fair, it’s not just net banking and emailing that chews through my precious download. I use social media to promote my Farmer’s Wife page, as well as to keep in contact with friends and family. None of that helps with my poor internet connection either. Many of my friends rely on the internet to conduct business (both off-farm and farm related), or even to educate children. Frustration is building, with many people even leaving the bush in desperation.

It’s not all doom and gloom. The new NBN satellite has been launched successfully. With any luck, rural, regional and remote Australia should be back to normal in the next few years. (I really should look at inventing a ‘sarcasm font’).

Until then, I’ll continue doing as much internet business as I can when I’m in town… and thank my lucky stars that my kids (who don’t rely on the internet for their education) would rather be outside in the pool than on an i-Device anyway.

Are you suffering through a data drought? Find BIRRR on facebook for more information.

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