With all of the hurricanes and wildfires going on here in the USA, we haven’t been plagued by any of those tragedies, but we have had our own little hiccup, it was just a taste of being out of communication, a reminder of what can happen when things go wrong. In the middle of last week, our internet suddenly quit working, no advanced notice, I was actually online when it happened, it just stopped, something that happens on a semi-regular basis but usually only lasting a very short period. A few days later it was still out, I found out that a large fiber optic line was cut a few towns away, it was affecting most of our towns, I heard that stores were not accepting credit or debit cards, possibly not even checks, only cash. I assumed that the problem would be fixed rather quickly because of the number of stores not able to fully do business.
As the weekend rolled into Monday, a holiday, I was still waiting for my internet to come back on, I was learning that my neighbors internet was back up and running, but mine was still out. I had tried to troubleshoot my system, one thing I discovered was my antenna/receiver was full of water from some sideways rain we had earlier. I drained it and could see that it was getting power, the green light that indicated power as well as a separate light indicating that the LAN was working. The other lights that indicate the strength of the signal, were not on.
Once Tuesday arrived, I was finally able to get a-hold of my internet company, sure enough, our internet to the neighborhood had been restored, it was just mine that wasn’t working. I knew I wouldn’t be home all day on Tuesday, an unusual set of circumstances would result in the SkyCastle being empty for the majority of the day (something I’ll tell you about in a future post, link to be added once it is live), since our place is not near the road or even really visible from the road, it is not easy to find so the internet tech folk would not be able to visit on Tuesday. I figured they would be able to arrive on Wednesday, but the day passed with no tech visit. Another phone call later, it would be later in the afternoon on Thursday before it would be fixed.
Needless to say, I have been really missing our internet, I was able to check my email at my neighbor’s house, but it’s satellite internet and painfully slow, my cell phone does not work where I live (no one can use cell phones out here), I could do a little when I was out on the road, but honestly when I’m out, it’s because I’m working and don’t really have time to play with the internet, and using the internet on a smart phone is not easy or convenient.
Our internet was finally restored, turned out the water that had gotten inside the receiver had indeed caused the unit to reset itself and it was no longer connected to or receiving a signal from our neighborhood antenna/repeater. This was just a little taste of what it may be like in the case of an emergency, whether it is caused by nature, bad weather, sun spots, CMEs, or man-made, cutting a fiber optic line, hitting a utility pole and the such, when the power or communications are interrupted, you quickly realize just how isolated you are, at least that is true for us living out here in such a rural area.
Fortunately, I did have some backup, I could check my email at my neighbor’s house, though that was about all I could do because of that system being so slow. I did have other neighbors who offered the use of their internet. I could do some things on my smart phone while I was out on the road, I had considered taking my larger tablet and using my phone as a hot-spot, an option if things get really bad.
What is your backup if your internet goes out at your home? I suspect many of you who live in town can use their smartphones for internet access, I have mixed emotions about our ability, or lack of ability to use a cell phone out here… we have had the opportunity in the past to have better cell phone coverage out here in the neighborhood, but most people out here really do not want it, mainly because of the ugly cell phone towers that would need to be installed. I know that eventually it will happen, and quite frankly I’ll probably get over the look of the ugly cell towers for the convenience of being able to use my cell phone on my property and at my house. It will also open up the ability to use the internet through my cell service.
I use my internet as my main source of communication, education and entertainment. I use the Google voice for my home phone, I rely heavily on YouTube and other sites for entertainment as well as education, and for my main source of entertainment, I use Amazon’s Prime videos, right now I’m binge watching Star Trek The Next Generation and I just signed up for a free week of Britbox and I’m watching as many Britcoms as I possibly can this week, will probably keep it for a few months.
That is how my last few weeks have gone, how about you? Anything interesting going on?