The internet is not drunken-redneck-proof. For the record.

So shortly after I posted the below, my connection to the outside world abruptly went away.

I live down in a hollow in the middle of the wilderness, nowhere near line-of-sight of any cell tower. Until a couple of years ago there was nothing unusual about my cell service dropping out completely. It’s always slow. Part of the price of entry.

But this was like somebody threw a switch and turned my service right off. No variations, no edge-case almost-connections. Just “No Service.” I walked my phone up to the top of the ridge where I can always get a signal. Nothing.

Next day, same thing. This was starting to feel personal. After 24 hours or so I actually drove to a neighboring house to see if they had service. Alas, nobody home. It’s not like I could phone around.

Yesterday I went over to D&L’s for the Monday water run and learned, rather to my relief, that they had exactly the same problem. We went to town, and…

It was quite the topic of conversation. Everywhere.

And it wasn’t just the crappy little town nearest where I live. It was widespread, at least half the (large) county. Maybe more. And the rumor was…

…somebody took it into (his? Pronouns, Joel) head to shoot a remote transmission station with a shotgun. Dunno if it’s true, but I heard that in two different places. Dunno why somebody would choose to do that, assuming it’s true. That’s one mighty shotgun. Or one very poorly designed communication system.

I don’t know what it’s like in cities – I suspect it’s like this but more so. Nothing gets done if the Internet goes down. And though we’re repeatedly told differently, nothing really stops the Internet from going down at any time.

It came back yesterday evening, so slow at my end as to be unusable but that’s really not unusual for a normal evening let alone one where every smartphone-addicted teenager in the county rushes to get his or her fix. Seems fine this morning.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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6 Responses to The internet is not drunken-redneck-proof. For the record.

  1. Divad says:

    In Neal Stephenson’s 2019 book, “Fall”, the news hits all the outlets that Moab, Utah has been destroyed by a nuclear detonation. It is a disinformation campaign using CGI video of an explosion and hacking to completely cut off Moab from all outside contact, so it does seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth.

  2. boynsea says:


  3. paulb says:

    Better be looking for those pesky aliens. Et needs to phone home.

  4. The Neon Madman says:

    Ah, yes, it is interesting to contemplate how thin the veneer of civilization is. No internet means no banking, of course, but just about everything else will shut down too. Medical care, prescription refills? Communication to the outside world? Stock replenishment at stores? The list goes on…

    We live a very luxurious, comfortable and easy existence compared to about 99.9% of human experience. It’s quite possible for that to change suddenly. See Heinlein and the concept of “bad luck”.

  5. winston smith says:

    Starlink, if you can afford it. Just have to feed it electricity.

  6. Alan Wood says:

    I worked at an automatic flood warning company in the late 90’s. We once got one of the automated weather stations in from the costumer county and all of the electronics on the main circuit board had been blasted off with a shotgun! Some idiot had broken into a rather hardened metal can and used a shotgun to destroy a weather station. We figured that they must have though it was spying on them. So I would not be at all surprised if something similar happened to the internet and cell phone service.

To the stake with the heretic!