This past Monday started out as any other. Wake up, get dressed, go to work, bide time... But just after lunchtime, even I began to notice the complaints piling up on my various social medias... The internet was experiencing a large outage on my side of town. With a little detective work, it was pretty much all, or most of Lawton West of 38th Street.

Bring on the Karen's...

Quickly, and throughout most of the night, voices complained loudly about "Why is it taking so long?" "How hard is it to replace a cable?" "Why aren't there redundancies in place to prevent this?" Blah blah Karen rage blah... Let's look at these frequently Karen'd questions.

Q: "How hard is it to replace a cable?"
A: It's not cable. As the technology of hot, nasty internet speed has developed over the years, hardware has too. While the internet does still work on old school technology like copper coaxial cable and telephone lines, Fidelity has spoiled Lawton by introducing fiber optics. If you didn't know, fiber optic is the fastest way to transmit information and data throughout the world. It literally travels at the speed of light. Think of a cable, but instead of a piece of copper running through it, there's a bunch of really small strands of plastic-wrapped glass inside. Yes, glass.

Q: "Why is it taking so long?"
A: In a bundle of fiber optic cable, there can be thousands of individual strands of glass. Each one represents a single connection to a home or business. So when a city trash truck caught a bundle of fiber optics and ripped them from their poles, each broken strand has to meticulously be fused back together.

Here's an example of what it takes to fix a single strand of fiber optic.

Now imagine doing that a few hundred or even thousand times...

Q: "Why aren't there redundancies in place?"
A: There is... But the redundancies were also torn from that pole.

Don't get me wrong, I get it. As much as I enjoy watching someone broadcast their impotent rage to the world, even I can admit it sucked going a night without internet. Even more so because as more and more people used their cellular data, the strain on the towers made everyones connection incredibly slow... but still, it's a first world problem. We had to live like it was 1995 for a night, big whoop. It wasn't that big of a deal.

Full transparency, in the past, my internet connection had been so unreliable that I installed an Over-The-Air antenna on my house so I could have entertainment without internet... so that's why it wasn't a big deal at my house. I just turned on the TV and enjoyed 100% free, crystal clear live television. Even though the DVR option is above my technical knowledge, I'd highly suggest you invest in the same. Having redundancy is a lot better than having to ask someone else for it. I'm able to receive about sixty channels between Wichita Falls and OKC... The trick to it is, you have to get that antenna really high on a pole. Here's the hardware I opted for. Your mileage may vary.


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