Our technological vortex

Published 8:39 pm Tuesday, September 10, 2013

August 7, 2013

Living in Jeff Davis County is like sliding down a rabbit hole into a technological vortex. A Bermuda Triangle of lost calls and buffering contact with the outside world.

What with cell phone service sketchy at best, internet capability incomplete for many areas, and now we can’t watch NBC and Fox 40 if you happen to be a Dish Network customer!!?!

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Oh my, these are dark days indeed.

Prior to my move back to the homeland in 2008, I placed a phone call to the local Windstream office on main street Prentiss and asked, “When is internet service coming to my neck of the woods?”

The answer was May 2008. So in January 2008, I purchased a plane ticket for May 1, 2008 for the big move.

Suffice to say, the WWW and I did not arrive on the same day.

Fast forward two long, frustrating and expensive (paid for satellite) years later, the DSL cable was finally stretched to my doorstep. The service is good, but not great, but I  do not complain; there are those who have no service atall. (P.S. I love Windstream. They saved our life this past week.)

I saw an article recently in The Natchez Democrat touting Public Service Commissioner Leonard Bentz wants all rural Mississippians who do not have internet service to call his office. The paper even listed his phone number (1-800-356-6429).

Obviously, I wanted to print this article for rural JDC residents. I go online to the commissioner’s website and sure enough there’s a really pretty section on “Broadband for  Mississippi” but unfortunately it has not been updated.

The PSC cares, they really do, and wants all of us to be connected, but I do wonder is it possible that there are places in Mississippi  that are too rural?

If so, then that begs the question, “Is that not the beauty of the internet? The ability to be on a beach in Tahiti and still be able to log on and do a spot of work at the office?” Tahiti, maybe, but not Gates Road in Bassfield, for example.

It would seem that all there is to internet is laying some copper wire and hitting the “on” switch. But alas it’s not so simple. Maintaining that wire apparently consumes lots of resources.

Last Tuesday around 4:30 p.m. a cable was hit somewhere between Hattiesburg and Sumrall knocking service out for many businesses and homes in Prentiss and surrounding areas. A reminder, that was, of just how fragile our connection to the outside world can be.

With DISH, I miss NBC and Fox 40, and I really miss WDAM  – We have not be able to watch it in years, being forced to watch WLBT.

Newscasters become an integral part of your life.  We call their names like friends: Barbie, Bert Case, and Rob Jay. Jim Gibbons and Randy Swann are my childhood. So why, in 2013,  with as much as I pay for television, why can I not watch Hattiesburg news?

The answer is money!

Anyway, we shall live through this dark technological age. In the meantime, don’t look Ethel, as I run outside in my underwear because my cell phone won’t pick up in my house.