Modern Dystopia

Global Updates – Not Quite.

Why is it so hard do do such a simle thing?

I’m about to head of to France, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to take advantage of all the modern gadgets and tools at my disposal. My plan seemed simple, use my mobile to quickly update my blog with images and movies of my travels.I spent a bit of time the other night setting it up, my Flickr account accepts uploads via email and now automatically posts those updates on my Blog, which in turn updates my Twitter status.

The next step was to get a cost estimate on the data usage. Well in theory, I should be able to check my data usage with Telstra, and with a cost per Mb calculate just how much a video or image upload would cost me. 2 hours on hold and being transferred around the Telstra help centers, and I’m giving up. For some reason, telstra have no records of any data usage on my phone since the 20th of last month. Of course, they’re happy to tell me I’ll get billed for it, when they find it. but those test emails have been to no avail. They can’t tell me how big they were.

In the end it’s academic. I found out how much the data rates for International roaming are. 1.5c/Kb. yes, that’s right, over $15/Mb !! A single image upload could cost me $40+ from my 5MP phone. Even sending compressed ones would be ridiculous. Let alone uploading short movie clips.

With this relevation, I went looking around for other oprions. Surely there must be some plans with the dta centric traveller in mind. But no. Other carriers like Three, Optus and Virgin are even more expensive at 2c/Kb. No-ones data plans cover international roaming, so your paying for every byte! Three actually have what ‘looks’ lie a good deal, until you realise that it covers only a few counties, none of which are France!

In the USA, AT&T have a couple of plans that would almost suit. Even then you’re looking at at least US$100 / month for about 20Mb of international data.

So, no instant blog updates from me. I’ll have to wait until I’m in airports with free wireless on my laptop, or actually at my mum’s place and using her internet.

The age of global communications, wireless internet and all these other fantastic things is upon us, but it’s not ready for the masses yet. It’s still a tool for the well funded business traveller.

oh, and if anyone can offer suggestions, find a way for me to accomplish what I seek to do, I’d love to hear from you.

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