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December 28, 2020

ATT’s Disaster-Prep Test-Case In Tennessee – A Cash-Only Society Without Data Or Internet
[Buck Throckmorton]

The bombing in Nashville is a timely reminded that disaster preparation should be focused on much more than toilet paper, Lysol spray, and non-perishable food.

As a result of the Nashville bombing, much of Tennessee and Kentucky lost some or all AT&T services on Christmas day, with restoration of services still ongoing several days later. If you live anywhere between Louisville and Chattanooga - and AT&T provides both your cell phone data service and your home internet - there is a very good chance you were cut off from all communication.

For my wife and me, we only lost our cell phone service. Fortunately, our AT&T internet service was not interrupted. We were lucky. But it was still unsettling to be driving and unable to call my wife from my cell phone.

As best I can tell, AT&T has not communicated a single word to its affected customers. They could have texted or emailed me with updates, but they never did. So, I visited some online forums to try to figure out what was going on. A website that tracks outages had a lively forum going on, and one sad post exposed how destructive it can be to require internet access to operate most everything in your house.

“My whole house runs on Alexa, so no heat, lights or internet is what I am dealing with.”

ATT outage - 2.JPG

You should not need the internet to heat your house or turn on your lights. It’s dangerous to leave yourself that vulnerable.

You should also not expect that you will always be able to use credit cards or internet-pay applications.

AT&T outage puts Chattanooga's biggest retailers on cash only payments

Many people I know under the age of 40 take a peculiar pride in not carrying any money with them. They actively scoff at the idea of carrying paper currency. It is inconceivable to them that they might not ever be able to pay for a transaction by holding up their phone, or in a worst-case scenario, by offering up a credit card.

In the past 20 years alone we’ve had 9-11 and the Wuhan Virus cause previously unthinkable interruptions in travel and commerce. Our nation’s enemies (both internal and external) are almost certainly plotting ways to destroy communications so as to foster both terror and economic crisis. If you need the internet to turn on your lights, heat your home, or access your money, then you should not be surprised if someday you find yourself cold, broke, and in the dark.
(buck.throckmorton at gmail.com)

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posted by Open Blogger at 03:15 PM

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