WORTH REPEATING: When The Internet Disappears



I’ve been without access to most of the web via my Comcast broadband service for about 5 hours now. This is an extra pain this weekend, because I need to log in to my work VPN to do some system maintenance, and I can’t get there from here.

My wife, who never likes being without the web, called in to Comcast, and after an excruciating 40 minutes listening to the 20-second hold music loop, got a tech rep who said that the AT&T backbone is down for all of Pennsylvania. It does seem like a backbone problem, since I am able to get out to a few sites including Blogger, but even my Comcast mail host is unaccessible.

There is a two day old story link on Google News about upgrades being made by AT&T and Comcast — apparently in preparation for Comcast’s new super premium 150 Mbps service — causing outages, but I can’t actually retrieve the article. All in all, I’m not thrilled if such a long outage has been caused in order to make way for a service that certainly won’t be available in my comcastcardinside.pngarea – even if I was willing and able to foot the $150 per month tab. It is especially annoying since a weekend morning may be a good time to interrupt business service, but it is prime time for residential service, and an outage this long and far reaching, without any news, has at least a strong odor of a planned interruption.

One thing’s for sure, the role of connectivity in my life has changed ehough in recent years, that I no longer find it acceptible to be knocked off the grid for hours at a time. I’m sure that Comcast will get things put back together eventually. I wonder, when they do, if they’ll find that many of their plain old 8Mbps service customers have also decided to light out for a more stable provider. If such outages become too regular of an occurance, I should think they will.

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