Even Less Internet and Other Stuff

My wife and I are still relying on a cellular connection to provide telephone and internet service. It took almost 2 weeks for the various companies to mark the locations of their underground equipment. All but one, the electric utility, had nothing in the area.

The telephone company crew was out last week and installed the wires from the nearby junction box to our house. Another telephone company person will connect the wires…soon, I hope.

This work may have been put behind schedule a little bit by some jerk-idiot-ass who shot up a fiber optic cable and plunged about 1/5 of the state’s area (100,000 people) into a communications blackout for about 50 hours. All the area’s communications providers used this cable, so during the outage there was no cell telephone, almost no landline telephone, little 911 (emergency assistance), no internet, no credit/debit card terminals, and only a few working ATM machines that quickly “ran out” of cash. If the telephones worked, it would have been like the early 1980s except no one knew how to deal with personal checks. So, it was “cash only” if one had cash.

I keep cash in the house, and the vehicle gas tanks get filled when the gauge drops to 3/4 full, so I managed OK.

The LDS (Mormon) Church has a strong influence in this area and they encourage a “be prepared so you can help yourself, your family and your neighbor” mentality that the entire community has adopted…so the community managed okay as well.

Also of great use was ham radio. I checked on a neighbor and then contacted an out of area ham operator to telephone the neighbor’s relatives to tell them that all was well. The police and fire 2-way radio systems were, for the most part, working normally, but they wouldn’t have time for the “Is Bob at 123 Easy Street doing okay?” requests, so the ham operators nicely filled that community need. It wasn’t emergency stuff, but it was useful and very appreciated.

The cable was repaired and things are back to normal and everyone is hoping the jerk-idiot-ass is caught.