Internet: Just how much do we all rely on our broadband

Posted on by Mike Evans

It isn’t until the broadband service fails that we realise just how much we rely on having a permanent connection to the internet. This morning, since I had to wait in for builders, I decided to spend the morning writing and putting together a couple of articles for Macfilos. Then I discovered we had a complete outage. This is the second time in two months that Virgin Media has let us down in my local area (and, from what I read, further afield too). I know from past experience it’s pointless calling them because — even in the unlikely event of being able to speak to a human — they never accept responsibility and blame something at my end. I decided to check the various outage sites, in this case Down Detector, and got a report on North Africa. I really didn’t know that Virgin operate in Burkina Faso, but I hope they are doing a better job than they are in London. 



This would be amusing if it weren’t so annoying. It brings me back to our reliance on an internet connection. Even the ever-faithful Alexa is nonplussed and won’t even switch on the lights in my office. Fortunately, Vodafone is still working and I’m writing this on my iPad. Everyone is now so dependent on the internet that we should worry about the effects of malicious attacks, perhaps from an unfriendly country. A long disconnection from services would bring any modern country to its knees in days. Previous generations were much more equipped to deal with emergencies. I wonder what would have happened during the dark days of the Second World War if we had needed Amazon, Apple and Virgin Media to keep us alive?