by C. Richard Cotton
Saltillo, MS – It is likely you are reading this on a computer or smartphone via a feed to the Internet. It is also likely you’re receiving that feed from one of numerous Internet Service Providers, or ISPs, available. I have dealt with several ISPs through more than 30 years of computer use.
The Internet and the service providers have been constantly changing beasts during those decades. And the only thing certain about it is that it will continue changing constantly into the future. For the most part, my experience in the realm has been basically satisfying, sometimes even great. But not always.
Just this week, my DSL – “Digital Subscriber Line” that we all, at one time, aspired to have enter our homes and businesses to replace the withering “dial-up” service that was the ISP of old – went out twice, Tuesday and Thursday. I called AT&T Tuesday morning to find out what happened. I was told, by phone, after nearly an hour of the service technician checking various factors that my service was “out.” There was some problem between my computers (and my smartphone) that apparently had something to do with AT&T’s DSL, and not with my equipment.
Okay, so be it, because as I spoke with the very courteous service tech, the DSL returned to service. But that brings up Thursday, when I opened my computer around 3:30 a.m. (I’m an early riser). No Internet. And no Internet until about 12 hours later when I checked it again. Finally.
I didn’t call AT&T Thursday, because the tech told me when there is an outage in the future, to give it 24-48 hours to be restored.
TWENTY-FOUR to FORTY-EIGHT hours to be restored? Unacceptable!
I’ve made my living as a freelance writer and photojournalist for 35 years. The Internet service, for which I pay AT&T $61 monthly, is a necessity for keeping my computers and smartphone connected with publications and, well, the world.
Maybe it was a temporary glitch, not to be repeated anytime soon.
But it did make me think, “What if it isn’t?” What if AT&T continues to decline? What if the other providers continue to decline, as I’ve heard from subscribers of other providers?
There is this: Internet service is no longer a privilege. It is now a necessity. Many of us depend on Internet service – high-speed, for that matter – to do our business, make our livings and, yes, provide us with social outlets.
Currently, there are broadband (high-speed Internet) initiatives going on around us. In my area, Tombigbee Electric Power Association has recently joined the movement to provide high-speed (faster than DSL) Internet service to its customers, as have other TVA electric providers. C-Spire has been laying fiber-optic cable – the absolute fastest medium today – throughout much of Saltillo. These options will be available in coming months.
Unfortunately – and I know this from personal experience in the past – AT&T only reacts to what its competitors offer.
Explore your options.
Who isn’t working to expand rural options? https://www.nemiss.news/presley-condemns-att-ceos-mockery/AT&T, C Spire, Northeast MS news, rural broadband service, Tombigbee Electric Power