Today, upon awakening, my Comcast broadband Internet service failed. Pardon me, I experienced a “service interruption.”
No need to speak with an agent. The company’s automated, caring voice told me that someone was “working on it”, that I needn’t do anything but wait. My Web-dependent lifestyle quickly disappeared like the island on the TV series “Lost.”
Like other broadband consumers, multiple devices in my home died quickly this morning. Connectivity to my computers–two Macs, one PC–gone. voIP telephone service obliterated. Roku video player gasping for a signal. Skype phone searching, searching for a Wi-Fi signal. Wireless HP printer feeling lonely. My Apple Airport Base Station wondering why Comcast wasn’t feeding it streams of data. My devices dislike broadband Internet service interruptions. They’re terribly distressed.
My only connected device? An HTC Hero Android phone drawing its 3G stuff from an anonymous Sprint cell tower located somewhere in space and time.
Broadband Internet Service Disruptions in Your Life
Like you and other broadband consumers, we’ve painted ourselves into a global Internet corner, our personal and business lives dominated by wired and wireless connections. Without them, communication with others dissolves, commerce is strangled. The world as we know it ceases to exist. Forget our carbon footprint. Without tethering our lives to the Internet, we have no footprint, no presence. We’re broadband deprived, wandering through deserts of wired and wireless spectrum we can’t touch. No mobile games to play.
In one sense, maybe it’s a good thing to occasionally lose broadband service. The experience reminds us of our mortality and mobile dwellers in Africa, India and other developing nations and continents. Most of the world’s 4.8 billion mobile phone users lack wireless Internet access anyway. Yet, the hunger for connecting to the mobile Web grows daily like a giant Octopus, its tentacles reaching outward, engulfing the world, hungry for data, data, data.
Yes, maybe it’s a good thing that broadband sometimes disappears, our personal computers and mobiles staring blankly at us. Maybe we should thank RIM when BlackBerry email is interrupted. Perhaps iPhone users should praise AT&T and thank the company when calls drop, data disappears and 3G networks collapse.
As mobile carriers fight for wireless spectrum and customers, growing legions of people suck bandwidth from the “best” or “fastest” or “largest” wireless network, marketers working hard creating highway billboard messages, convincing us reliable wireless broadband is growing.
Forget Comcast’s new wireless ventures. When broadband Internet service interruptions hit, we dangle, like puppets, reaching out for connectivity. Deprive us long enough and we’ll grasp at two tin cans and a string. We can take it.
Paul Macarelli, the spokesman guy at Verizon Wireless, needs a new script: “Are You There?”