Wednesday, July 10, 2002

The Importance of the Internet

My wife and I were without our Internet connection (through AT&T Broadband) for the past two days. We had our service restored just this morning.

It was an unsettling two evenings without the Internet. I kept having to remind myself: "I don't have a connection. I don't have a connection." Jenn had access through her work laptop, and even though I have a junky old laptop with a phone line modem, I thought I should "tough it out."

For two days, I called into AT&T Broadband customer service phone line. I gave an inward chuckle with the happy-voice announcing that I can get more help going to their web site. My longest hold time: 25 minutes. This tells me that we weren't the only ones calling in. In my first call, I reached Tom, who opened a second-tier trouble ticket (1823095). He explained that AT&T Broadband went to a new server, and that customers using the old LANcity cable modems didn't get properly converted. I'll buy that.

I called again later that first evening at 11PM. Again, 25 minutes on hold. I reached Dan. I asked him if my ticket had been updated. He sent me to "tier 2". I spoke with Grant. He said my ticket hadn't been updated yet. One whole night without the Internet. I ended up watching TV (HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm).

Our Internet connection still hadn't been restored the next day. So after work, and after putting Mia to bed, I called AT&T. Only 5 minutes on hold. I reached Jason. Again, no update to my ticket. More TV (ESPN2's Tuesday Night Fights). I called again before I went to bed (around 11PM). I reached Bonnie. "No update to the ticket, but these things usually take 24-48 hours to resolve." This was last night.

My wife sent me an e-mail before lunch today, saying we're back online. I'm relieved as I write this. The Internet to me is just below electricity and water. I'm perturbed when it goes away unexpectedly. This is the first time our service has cut out like it did, and we've had it since June 1998. I'm hoping this is our only outage for next four years.

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