A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Off the air with a wire loose

Cable TV and internet are at the mercy of wires and wiring. Last week my internet went down. Google Chrome was unresponsive. Then some of the cable TV stations started to pixilate in front of our eyes. Virgin Media was called, via some outpost in India. I often deal with Indian call centres. Mostly they are staffed by willingly patient types, but the English is very much out of the 1940's. Whatever is thought in the UK I can definitely state that it is my opinion that British English and Indian English have significant differences, especially over the telephone. I often feel like Tony Hancock in the Radio Ham, when he was talking to It Is Are Not Raining Here and declaiming "Phew! This is hard work". Anyway, back to the cable. It transpires in was a loose connection probably due to shoddy workmanship by the last cable tweaker (in the opinion of the cable tweaker that came this time).

All this makes me think how vulnerable we all are in this internet age. Get the system down and you might as well be on Mars as people think you are in hiding. I bank online (couldn't do that), buy tickets online (couldn't do that). Can't check email. It's quite alarming.

If society moves more to a system of online payments, no cheques any more, then we can be at the mercy of just one provider. Choice doesn't come into it. But I'm told it's progress.


Wow. I wondered what happened to you. Now I know.

Things are considerably different where I live in Maryland. I have a choice of Comcast or Verizon FIOS where I live for cable connections. Comcast has never gone down -- not even in our really bad snowstorms last year. Perhaps competition has something to do with it.

Besides cable connections, I could choose various wireless options. Verizon, Clear, Cricket come to mind immediately.

If something happened to my cable connection, I could also head off to one of the local libraries or businesses that offer things like wireless connections or even computers connected to the Internet. This would not be as convenient as sitting at home, but at least I would still be able to do all sorts of things on the Internet.

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