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Internet – Basic Utility or Luxury?

·515 words·3 mins
Ethernet Cable and Binary Digits

I am posting this courtesy of my good neighbor, who willfully provided a password to his wireless network to save us from going completely crazy and self-destructing as a family.
You see, we are over a week now without Internet!!!!
It feels that almost every aspect of our family life is crippled, and thus far Comcast seem to have done little to resolve our issue. After their tech didn’t show up for an appointment (which we already waited almost a week for), they said that all they can do is schedule us for Next Saturday….. All our pleas on the phone and even via twitter, didn’t help the situation thus far. Worse yet, it is pretty clear that outage is outside our home, and most likely affecting other houses.
But onto the main topic — Is Internet a Luxury or basic utility of our times? From school assignments even for our youngest new K student, everyone expects use of Internet on daily basis. Without going too much into longest list, it feels like every other moment we are reminded that something cannot be accomplished because there is NO INTERNET!
I ask myself — Is Internet really a Luxury and our family is just spoiled here and too centered around it? Or are we the new norm, where most activities, whether for school/study/work/shopping or after-hours gaming and video viewing, require fast Internet connection?
If Internet indeed such an integral part of life and such a basic utility, should any self-respecting provider allow themselves outages for weeks at a time? Would you agree to live without Water for a week? Or Electricity? Of course I would understand if there were a major storm and some serious damage that took time to repair, but this feels like simple incompetence where overloaded lines caused entire neighborhoods to loose signal, and no-one cares…
There, rant done! Weigh in on how you see things and whether I should seek immediate “Internet Rehab” for entire family or instead consider switching to new provider (which may be available all over town!).


Comments #

Comment by Boris on 2009-08-27 06:57:38 -0500>

Comment by Boris on 2009-08-27 06:57:38 -0500 #

Unbelievable, outrageous !
I am sure such a thing would never happen in Israel,
and yet we refer to “American Service” as an example for
good service.
With such an attitude of your provider, I would switch to other,
unless price difference is an issue.

Comment by Adi R on 2009-08-29 13:11:54 -0500>

Comment by Adi R on 2009-08-29 13:11:54 -0500 #

Well, we are finally back online today. Comcast tech came, after they tried to cancel again this week, but we didn’t let them. He says our underground cable got damaged somehow, maybe by water, and he put new one in.
Trouble is that there aren’t too many options around here. It’s either DSL or Cable, or WiMax. WiMax is new, and neighbors say it’s unstable and gets slow often, while DSL is slow always (at least here, only 1.5 Mbps and usually slower).
We are back online now, so we are happy!