Have you ever had the kind of day in which you needed a steady internet connection, only to have a very unreliable connection mess up all your plans to get massive amounts of work done? We have become so dependent on worldwide connectivity that even a minute of lost connection can send us into a panic. I will admit that I get very upset (well, don’t you?) when I am prepared to send out an important email but am unable to because the internet connection has decided to crap out right at that moment. I may even throw a mini tizzy if I can’t get an image to load on Instagram after multiple attempts. It seems kind of silly that a poor internet connection can turn one’s mood sour and even trigger arguments, but it occurs with alarming frequency.
The fact is, we are extremely spoiled. We have grown to expect, even DEMAND, that the world’s resources be available in a split second, right at our fingertips. We are so impatient that we can’t accept the fact that at times, we might not be able to access or transfer data around the world. Yes, the internet isn’t perfect. But it’s important to remember that the massive network of networks which comprises the internet not only zig zags all over the earth, but also extends into space.
Inconsistent internet connections can actually be devastating for businesses these days, because the internet is used for communication (emails and Skype, for example), and many companies are also reliant on online purchasing portals. If those online stores become unavailable for minutes or hours, the financial impact could be substantial.
What makes all of this even worse is that the United States is notorious for having some of the slowest internet speeds, yet we pay a king’s ransom for internet service compared to other countries. For example, Hong Kong residents can get a 500Mbps symmetric fiber connection for a mere $25 per month. I don’t know about you, but I pay a heck of a lot more than that for a connection which is agonizingly slow at times, and which can weave in and out of connectivity throughout an entire day. I have actually left the house on a couple of occasions when our internet went out, but why should I have to lug my laptop around and hunt for an internet connection elsewhere (thank you Starbuck’s)? By nightfall, if the internet is still acting up, all I can do is cozy up with my cats and watch T.V. (unless that goes out too, in which case I am screwed).
If you want to read more on the subject of internet connectivity in the United States, click on the following link for a very entertaining article: