Contact with the world!

October 13, 2009   

Lots of people have been asking me about my contact with the outside world when I am on base. So here goes…

Internet – The entire base has a bandwidth of a 1/5 of your broadband you have available to you when you are sitting at home or work reading this post. That bandwidth is for all communication for 120 people with the outside world. A large percent of that is needed to keep the base running and for scientific data transfer. So that leaves a very very small amount for everyone’s personal interactions. So I can’t access websites – no surfing the web, no Skype or posting on facebook etc. I have set up a system where by I can email my blog updates and they will appear on my website so this is the best place to get my news.

Email – I can send and recieve email through my BAS email (my personal email will be forwarded after the spam is removed to my BAS account) maximum file size of 1MB an email. The subject line of the message should only show the words “Personal” i.e. Subject: Personal. When an e-mail is sent to myself, an automatic receipt will be generated by the BAS messaging system advising that your message is queued for transmission and this receipt should be received by you the next time you check your mail. Whilst the various satellite connections provide the potential for a 24/7 service, it should be noted that weather conditions can and do affect its operation. This may mean that the service is interrupted or unavailable at times.

Why the small bandwidth! – well rightly so BAS doesn’t feel it is a good use of the British tax payers resources to provide us on base with enough satellite time for us to surf the internet and the money should go towards the science research. The American bases have full bandwidth and we could as well but it would cost another 1 million pounds a year. On that point BAS spends 45m pounds per year to support all the staff, two ships, airplanes and bases and is the most prolific country in terms of writing science papers from data collected in Antarctica. The US spends the whole BAS budget per year just to maintain the roads at one of their stations – McMurdo!

Letters/Parcels – I can send and receives letters and parcels if you want more information about that go to BAS site. I am based at Rothera and will be there from November through March.

Phone – You can’t phone me! Basically that is what it comes down to. I can however, phone out from base using satellite phone.


4 Responses to “Contact with the world!”

  1. Have just read with interest the situation with broadband on base.Iridium has a product called openport which is pole to pole broadband up to 128kbs .You can surf the web etc on it .Data would be quite pricey but if enough people got together could be a good option for a private web surfer

  2. Am helping compile 50th anniversary publication for Ocean Youth trust Ireand. Any info re. your time on Lord Rank would be appreciated

    Sean Patterson

  3. Great Blog! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experiences. Hugo

  4. Dear Ashley
    We have really enjoyed reading about your life in SG and thank you for keeping us up to date. Good luck with your new venture and all that it offers.They will certainly miss you!
    We are off to OZ on Wed so happy Xmas and happy ny.
    Love all the Whytesx