Thursday, December 6, 2012

Type 1 Disconnects - We're all a little bit third world

Though we often use terms like 'constant' and/or 'ubiquitous' connectivity to describe contemporary life, the reality is that we (all of us) sometimes encounter unplanned disconnects that are beyond our control.

Natural disasters, like Hurricane Sandy, remind us how fragile our connective infrastructure is, even in so-called developed nations.

There is a song in the Broadway musical, 'Avenue Q,' that goes, 'we're all a little bit racist.'  I often hear myself thinking that when it comes to connectivity, 'we're all a little bit third world.'  Why? Because, no matter where you live, or how advanced your personal and community infrastructure is, we are all still more or less vulnerable to disconnects.  I call these Type 1 Disconnects and they happen no matter where you live or how much money you have.

In developing nations, wireless technologies and mobile phones have circumvented the long wait for land line phones.  Type 1 Disconnects are driving the demand for more and better connective infrastructure around the world. These disconnects may last a few minutes, or may isolate us for days or longer, but we often find workarounds, that is to say we find alternative ways to re-connect with others.

Updated: Christmas Eve, 2012

Netflix goes down for nearly a day due to faults at Google's cloud computing facilities.

Updated November 2014
US falling behind on Internet speed and affordability.  See article in New York Times.

Europe begins to focus on better, not necessarily cheaper telecommunications.

"LONDON — Poor cellphone and Internet service is a fact of life in many parts of Europe.
Less than a quarter of Europeans can connect to high-speed cellphone networks, compared with about 90 percent of Americans. And broadband connections are often painstakingly sluggish.
But the prices here for these services are among the lowest in the world. Europeans spend an average of $38 for a monthly cellphone contract, about half of what Americans pay on average, according to the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association, an industry group.
Now, though, the region’s top policy makers are set to change that, giving investment and costlier services higher priorities than affordability and antitrust worries."
See article.

1 comment:

Matthew C Dvorak said...

I don't think there is any kind of workaround for a 21 day Grand Canyon trip.. Besides an auto reply away message. :)