For the listeners who tune in to my weekly radio broadcast on a Saturday, (visit web to listen), whatever time it is in your country, I must apologise for not being on air on the 27th August 2011, this program and the subsequent recording will be rescheduled.
Often when I travel, internet access is a big problem.
In todays modern communication, (today being August 2011, how time flies when I read my first entry in this blog), new ways of connecting to others are emerging all the time. Some of the best, Skype, MSN, Blackberry, SMS, all require access at some point to the internet in some form to make instant connections. These connections via the internet could be by the mobile phone providers eventually routing a call or message from a receiving station say in the USA, into the internet system, then in the destination country from the internet into their transmission station to the persons receiving the call or message.
On an iPad or tablet computer a similar system could be employed or through WiFi, when the device or computer has the ability to pick-up and transmit radio signals, enabling connections to the internet, or there is the hardwired ethernet cable, where there is a physical wired connection to the internet.
All the above require a node, an access point from the computer or telephone, and without it you are lost.
How often am I without communication as my mobile phone cannot locate a cell?
How often is it that I cannot send or receive emails as I cannot find an internet connection?
Many times. Often it is as if I am in the middle of no-where, no civilisation.
But then there are times when there is access, but because companies, individuals place restrictions on accessing via their node, perhaps by the radio frequencies or passwords I am again internet-less. I agree in principal as the infrastructure, the equipment needs to be provided and paid for.
But, as in many cases, service providers overcharge for this access.
Take making and receiver telephone calls when out of one’s own providers country, they are making a fortune out of travellers, data access via smartphones and tablet and mobile computing is excessively expensive.
Then there are the hotels that already have the access points, so the infrastructure has been paid for and they pay a set fee to the internet service providers for access, yet charge their guests extortionate prices for access, maybe 25 euro per day.
Yesterday I was returning from Spain to the UK, and my slot for the radio broadcast coincided with me being at the airport in Malaga preparing for boarding, but I would have time to do the interview.
Although I have a UK internet dongle for my computer, I could not afford nearly one hour international data connection charge to the USA. I tried to purchase a Spanish providers internet dongle at a cost of 49 euro, excessive cost, but non were available, so many travellers had my idea.
Surely there would be access via WiFi at the airport?
With half an before my slot, after booking-in and going through security, I sought internet access, and the only one available was Telefonica, the biggest Spanish broadband and telecommunication provider. I was able to access their login page or registration web page and found it very confusing as it was in Spanish, another language I do not speak, then I eventually found a tab for the English language, but pressing the tab I received the message in Spanish, page not available.
Fifteen minutes to go.
Not to be outdone, I asked a Spanish lady for help, who could not quite understand what I wanted, one hours worth of access to the internet. “this is not possible” was her replies to my requests, and her friends agreed with her.
Ten minutes to go.
I knew I was right, one hours worth of internet access is available.
I persuaded her to keep helping me gain access, and I led her through the web pages, until we found a registration page, for name and other details. A great debate took place as to where I placed my first name and my family name, plus other information.
Five minutes to go, still time.
I came to the entry of passport number, now I had to find my passport. People around me wondering what this madman was so anxious about.
Done, three minutes to go.
Credit card ready.
Assess refused, I needed a Spanish passport.
One minute to go, and there was no way I could gain access to the internet and my radio program.
Modern communication works, “IF ONLY”.
Sorry for not making the slot.