We went a day and a half without any connectivity and let me tell you, it sucked big-time. Some of the things we were unable to do without this:
- Jen was not able to do her college coursework (it's all on-line these days.)
- It was very difficult to manage household finances. (I needed to use a smartphone to check balances and could not pay any bills.)
- People calling us were all shunted to voice-mail, which I had to check via the mobile phone
- No TV whatsoever. Our DVR (leased from Verizon) won't boot up without network connectivity, so no recorded programs. Netflix obviously doesn't work without the internet either. We could play DVDs, but nothing else.
- Although I was on vacation that day, I planned on periodically checking my work e-mail. I had to do this using my phone. Let me say that sending a significant-size e-mail reply using a phone is a real pain in the neck
- No computer games. I have a few games loaded onto my hard drive, but they're all pretty old. Every game I play today is hosted on a web page somewhere.
Fortunately, it was an easy repair. The power supply for the ONT (the optical network terminal on the side of the house that terminates the fiber connection) had died. The tech replaced it in about 30 minutes and all was well, but I was unpleasantly surprised to discover how much our lives depend on high-speed internet these days.
Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot that can be done about it. Jen's college work and my financial activity simply can't be done without internet access. And her school work requires a high-speed connection because it involves multimedia and VoIP conference calls. And needless to say, telecommuting is out of the question without high-speed access (VPNs are painful and our corporate VoIP phone system is impossible on a slow connection.)
I suppose we could ditch the VZ-supplied DVR and go with a TiVo, which would boot up without internet access and allow us to play stored content, and we could use it (with an antenna) to get over-the-air broadcasts of local channels. I may have to think about this some more. And I think I need to get some good games loaded onto my Mac's hard drive!
On the other hand, it gave me plenty of time to catch up on my reading.