Tag Archives: utilities

The night the Internet went down

My Internet is down. Now I know what it feels like to be Paul Miller. What an animal.

While I hope not to find out what it is like to go an entire year without the Internet, I am lamenting my lack of Internet right now. My wife and I were planning on streaming a movie to our Apple TV. Without Internet, our collection of movies and TVs shows that we purchased and are storing in the cloud are inaccessible. Worthless.

This is one of the issues with relying on the cloud for storage. I have good (by U.S. standards) DOCSIS 3.0 cable Internet at up 50 mbps. Speed I have plenty of.

But what good is all that speed if it’s not reliable?

I recently switched to RCN, so I don’t know how reliable it will be. This is the first outage I’ve encountered, but in my years if using Comcast, I can’t recall an outage this big (it’s not just me or my building that’s being affected but rather the entire area). The weather has been completely fine for weeks.

Yes, utilities go down, but Internet still seems to go down a lot more than electricity, water and gas. Why is this?

Interestingly, I can’t recall my cell phones Internet connection ever going down. I can remember the network being saturated and virtually unusable, but it was still a live connection. Is there something about our Internet grid that makes our local Internet ISPs unreliable?

Recently the Internet at my work went down for most of the day. Some cable had accidentally been cut. I can’t say that I ever recall the same happening with electricity. When electricity goes down there is usually an easy-to-spot reason, and a cable being sliced in half is usually not it. Most of the time when Internet goes down, it just doesn’t seem to make any sense.

The Internet is becoming a critical utility in many people’s lives, but it’s reliability is not treated like a utility. We are given reliability that is worse than Cable TV, which is hardly a serious utility.

My wife needs to do research this weekend for law school finals. She’ll have to go to a coffee shop to get work done, which is probably a bonus in some ways. Hopefully, the coffee shops in the area are using a different ISP.

On a less serious note, without the Internet this post is not being backed up to Dropbox (I should probably hook up a USB drive right about now). Godspeed if my machine crashes before the Internet comes back and all of you people miss this fantastic post). Alas, I guess I’ll have to spend the night not enjoying the Internet, and watch a movie that I have on hand.

It looks like I shouldn’t be in too big of a rush to put all of my movies, TV shows and songs in the cloud.