Surreal disconnect

wintersnowI awoke early this morning to a wintry scene outside, with the first snow of the winter covering the landscape.

A meagre coverage to be sure – about an inch, no more – but snow nevertheless. I snapped a few pics for posterity, like this scene in my back garden, before it began to melt. Nearly all gone by midday as the temperature crept up to about 3 degrees Celsius.

“All gone” would be a good way to describe my day today – something else I awoke to this morning was no internet connectivity.

As I write these words at just before 2pm, there is still no net. That’s about six hours from when I reported the fault to my broadband service provider, NTL. Whatever anyone says about NTL support (and many people say pretty bad things), my experience in the very few times I’ve had to call them has generally been pretty good.

Today was no different. Two calls to the premium-rate 0845 support number were picked up promptly by helpful people – the first this morning here in the UK, the other this afternon at a call center in India – who were able to quickly and efficiently confirm the outage affecting a wide geographic area was still there and that they were doing their best to fix it as quickly as possible.

Connectivity did return at around midday but only for about three minutes. Anyway, estimated time for the fault to be fixed according to NTL support – late this afternoon or early evening.

So no email, no RSS, no web, no Skype, no Second Life, no nothing online.

The good news is that I’ve been able to focus on some pressing matters without the usual distractions. Catch up with some behind-schedule writing, for instance, although researching some things wasn’t possible – imagine trying the library these days!

Yet no distractions feels most peculiar. I’m not used to this. I’ve spent some quality time conversing with my wife and paying attention to the cat more than I usually do during the day. I’ve even caught myself pinging NTL’s server every now and again (meaning, quite frequently) to see if the net is back up or not.

I’d better enjoy all this while I can because as soon as connectivity returns, I’ll have stacked-up email to deal with.

In all, a highly surreal experience when you’re accustomed to living your life online every day.

4.32pm – I pinged again and the net is back! I’d better post this in case it goes again…

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. neville

    That’s pretty close to one of the great British Standing Jokes, Shel, aka the public transport system,

    Such as one leaf falling in the autumn and the railways grind to a halt.

    I must admit I did wonder the coincidence of first snow of the winter where I am and first net outage I’ve experienced here.

    Purely coincidental :)

    Hermes, thanks for that tip. I don’t have a cable phone just regular BT, but still it’s good to know.

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