Did your Internet connection go down this morning? If you’re a Time Warner Cable customer, the answer is probably a resounding, “Yes!” (whether you noticed or not)
What Caused the Internet Outage?
No word yet as to the reason for the outage, but according to the TWC tweet, it was ‘large but brief’ – what does this mean? For some users, the Internet was down for mere moments. Other? Up to 20 minutes or more.
Implications of Nationwide Internet Outages
A nationwide Internet outage, such as this, has wide implications in today’s computer-based culture. Our increasing reliance on cloud storage and internet-based communications, and virtual research means that if the Internet were to drop for any significant amount of time, there could be a huge work-stoppage for many industries.
- What’s cloud storage? “The Cloud” is the fancy term for storage in remote locations over the Internet. If you store information locally, on your computer’s hard drive or on writable media in your office, the information may be vulnerable to a natural disaster, but if you store your information online, your data may be vulnerable to losses due to Internet issues and other virtual disasters.
- Communicating via the Internet has become commonplace. From Skype for video-conferencing to IP telephony and Google Docs, users all over the world are living, working, and even socializing over the web. What happens when the web breaks down? Productivity slows to a crawl as workers find work-arounds, and recreate existing information as necessary to compensate for the loss of the Internet.
Preparing for Internet Outages
There’s no way to predict an unscheduled Internet outage, but preparation is always possible. Retain copies of critical documents in hard-copy or local storage, and you’ll always be able to continue business-as-usual, even if the Internet goes down. Do you have tasks that absolutely require the Internet? Acquire an alternate connection, such as a backup dialup account. Yes, using dialup is like watching grass grow, but if your regular super-fast account is down, dialup may be your saving grace.