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Julie's update and working from home

19th September 2012

Well its been over a month now since the accident and things have progressed well. Its a very slow process mending bones though, and I am learning to be patient and positive. Today I've been back to the hospital and fracture clinic, where x-rays show my leg is mending well and so signs are good so far. Medical technology has become a fascination to me and I've been providing regular updates - hoping to achieve entertainment, information and lots of photos on Twitter and Facebook.

So in the past few weeks I've been able to develop my homeworking skills better than ever. Rob has been over and fitted an IP phone and helped with the improvement of server connections and other improvements to connections and file-sharing. And of course Kate has visited each week so that we can review work-plans and the aspects where I can be of most value to the business from my bed.

Tonight I have video-linked into the Cosmic Board meeting. The link worked really well and I was able to participate fully in the discussions. Perhaps I didn't speak as much as I would have in person, but no doubt that's a relief to fellow Board members.

And on Friday I am video-linking into a conference in London that I had planned to present to. Fingers crossed that the link works well, and of course that I can get my hair to look half-decent early morning!

And all of these developments have made me reflect on the vital importance which good broadband holds when in this situation. Not just for me, but for many people who are incapacitated, disabled or caring for others in their home.

In May of this year my family and I moved house to Axminster. One of the considerations in the move was the speed of broadband available, and we recognised that the local exchange here (like most of the other market towns) had been upgraded. We've achieved speeds consistently above 10Mb in the past few months, and of course that has supported my homeworking effectively. But compare that to the rural villages just a few miles from here - commonly experiencing speeds often at no more than 500kb. And even then not consistent or un-interupted service once contention rates kick in.  Now that would have severely limited my working.

We need to keep working hard to make sure rural areas are served well with increased broadband speeds; if not the the digital divide will grow, housing prices will reflect, economic return for business based in rural areas will suffer, and people who are forced to rely on working and communicating from home will experience severe disadvantage.