On Wednesday, 14:25, a page on NewGrounds failed to load. CDN problems again? Nope. My Internet was down. DNS problems again? Telia's (our ISP) customer routers hijacked again? Nope. I was patiently waiting for the Internet to reappear when my parents tried making a phone call: the phones were down too. We have Internet via phone line VDSL.
So we told them about it. They told us they'd fix it. They told us they had fixed it later that same day. We told them that no - it wasn't fixed at all. Thursday - they told us they had fixed it again! Nope, still not fixed, phones are still down. In fact, all phones in the neighborhood are down, but so many people use mobile broadband/cellphones now that most probably don't even notice.
We do have a few neighbors that do. Neighbors with different ISPs too. I hope they're all complaining. A lot. I hope they're bombarding their ISPs with complaints and requests and hurrying them to fix the issue!
It's been three days when I'm writing this, and according to their latest report they should have it fixed by next week, Wednesday. So that'd be a full week without Internet. Of course we'll get compensation... if we request it... so we're told. Our neighbor's ISP tell them it should be resolved by Week 5, which is more than ten days from now, and they've probably been using the same wire some bulldozer's accidentally cut. There's construction work going on all over. I hope our ISP aren't overly optimistic about the time it'll take, but considering their earlier false promises and estimates I'm not too hopeful...
I've installed FlashFox on my cellphone (FireFox with Flash installed, and ads, since Adobe for some stupid reason decided to stop officially supporting Flash on Android) to at least gather my daily EXP at NG and on check my email, but that's about all I'm willing to do on that device. Surfing on a cellphone is nothing like surfing on a computer. Loading a page takes forever, and writing an email that'd take a minute or less on my stationary takes ten minutes on that tiny device. I'd plug in a keyboard if I could.
But still, I can reach the Internet, and right now I am so happy that I invested in a smartphone last year! This after stubbornly clinging to my ancient black and white Sony Ericsson T200 for years and years.
It still works fine. Was it not for my occasional lack of Internet during times like summer (2 months of intentional downtime) I never would have bought a new device in the first place. I'm surfing via a free, crappy ad-based provider who gives you 100 MB to surf for for every 30-second video ad you watch, which would be fine if only the ads you watch didn't disappear half of the times you try to view them, if the ads didn't count as part of the bandwidth use and, I'm realizing now, if the 4GB cap wasn't so incredibly easy to reach in a short amount of time. Ironically this particular provider doesn't have coverage up North anyway, apart from in big cities, so my original reason for buying this particular phone is moot. Though, to conclude, I'm happy I have it now!
Moving on, the reason Telia are taking so long to fix this issue is because they've outsourced maintenance in this area to a company called Eltel, a company with a serious staff shortage (or so they stay). The reason Telia's routers were hacked recently is because they import routers from providers who apparently use the same default passwords for all, and have incredibly simple passwords to top it off (1234, according to a somewhat reliable source). Telia were previously owned by the state, but they recently opened up for competition, and as such they now - as opposed to having provided a service without any consideration in personal gain - have as much interest in making as much money as possible as all the reasons such companies were once upon a time governed by the government rather than be commercialized and effectively bring down social standards. Intended profit is like the kryptonite of a good service.
It's not just phone companies, it's all companies, it's happening within all sectors of society here in Sweden. Vehicle Inspection. Trains. Healthcare. Elderly care. Everything's getting privatized and outsourced: nobody wants to take responsibility, nobody takes their job seriously; nobody is aspiring to do anything that might benefit someone other than themselves. Meanwhile, we're giving immigrants fresh off the boat twice as much money/month as my Mom gets in pension, without requiring they do a thing. They live in hotels. They get free calls abroad. We're taking in more fugitives than any other country in Europe (per existing population quota), even though our economy; social safety net is clearly crumbling. What is wrong with this place?! When did we start caring more about strangers than all of us who are already here? We could use some of that American patriotism right about now! Take care of existing social segregation and service issues right away, close the floodgates and drain the problems, and build up a stable society before we start bleeding out resources to the surrounding world again. The problems just keep growing, and people keep looking another way.
So, anyway, setting irrelevant political rants and talks of our hopeless future aside: now that I'm forced to resort to mobile for the most important tasks, what else do I spend my time on? How efficient have I been these past few days, free from the dire temptations to watch a video or read an article or visit a random site or write things at NG? I've been playing games. I gave Far Cry 3 a try. I gave Need For Speed: Most Wanted a try. I started playing BioShock till I got lost before the 'Dandy Dental' and would probably have kept playing if only I'd have had Internet access to check online for a quick hint. That is one great game though. The introductory scene where you're cast into a sea of flame; a tower rises out of the waves just within view... that is one mighty introduction! Then I got hooked on Oni again.
I watched the first season of Parasyte - The Maxim on my first day, along with a bunch of One Piece episodes, and if only the weather was better (ice, water, slippery surfaces every which way you glance) I'd probably have been out a bit too. Walking. Biking. Doing something other than sitting by the computer delving unnecessarily deeply into forms of entertainment I haven't had time for in a long long time, all the while impatiently waiting for my ISP to fix this issue so that I can once again partake in the online activities I so abruptly left.
It's not that I have abstinence issues, is it? If I plan ahead I can take a break from this digital realm with calm, but right now I have things to do! I was just about to post the year's first Hexalist update the day after our Internet disappeared - I have stuff to write - I was about to engage in the proposed Voting System Overhaul debate on NG, I woke up with a 'Database Connection Error' on all my database-driven sites right before Internet went down, but fortunately managed to submit a ticket and have them fix it right before this unexpected downtime.
How long am I going to be down? Downtime for my sites, downtime for me... and downtown is so far away. I'm playing games like the days are gray and rainy, when really, I should be refraining. I should get out a bit, get away from the computer, instead of sitting gaming, complaining, waiting for it all to blow over so I can go home and smolder boulders.