Back to the Future

So appropriate that 2015 sees us finally back online at home (see Back to the Future 2)! Yes, we now have an internet connection.  It was a multi-step process – first I had to convince AT&T that our address actually existed!  Every time I contacted them – both by internet and by phone the representative would check the database and then assure me that our address did not exist and therefore they could not provide service.  I would explain that our home was relatively new and that we did have other utility service (electric) but they always, and most frustratingly, responded with a virtual shrug and told me to check back another time.

Only when my relatives had an internet outage that required the home visit by a technician and I physically grabbed him and walked him over to our house was I able begin to convince AT&T that we really did exist! It still took time (over a month) for that information to filter into the AT&T database but at long last I had an order in for my extravagant Christmas gift to the family – high speed internet (we have the low introductory price for 6 months and I’m hoping we’ll be positioned to continue at the higher rate then)!

The same technician returned the day after Christmas to hook us up but was stymied by the fact that we had no telephone wire running to the house (yes, of course I mentioned that fact – several times – during the ordering process).  Although he checked our phone jack and attached a magic box to the outside of the house, our internet would have to wait until the following Monday when a utility company could come out and run wires from the poles out in the hay field to the house. Privately I was convinced it would be a fruitless exercise and the utility truck would fall victim to our muddy morass as the UPS truck did but they did come out and they ran wires from pole to pole to pole until they reached the pole next to our house.

magic box

The magic internet box – blends nicely don’t you think?

I was gone from home (taking my youngest to a dentist in Indianapolis for a root canal and as awful as that sounds you don’t know how nice it is to be able to take care of these sort of issues just like normal folks) so I wasn’t around to witness this feat but I was looking forward to reaping the benefits.  Needless to say, nothing is ever as easy as it should be, when I got home that afternoon and tried to get online to register our account nothing happened.  The AT&T representative on the support line looked up our information and politely informed me that we would not be activated until 8 PM.  Sigh.  We were told to leave the modem plugged in and just wait for that magic moment when the blinking red light would switch to green.  It’s not an exaggeration to say that many eyes were on that light for the next four hours and that devices (iPod, smart phone, laptop) were kept close by and at hand in anticipation.

8 PM came and the light remained red.  “Our clock might be a little ahead,” I cautioned the children (not wanting to admit that setting it 5 minutes ahead was the only way I could be certain they would leave the house in time to meet the bus on school days.  But when 8:20 rolled around with no ‘green is for go!’ light I redialed the help line.  The tech walked me through all the trouble shooting steps (which I had already tried) without success.  I was put on hold while additional people from the order department were consulted.  At last the much more apologetic tech returned to the line.  “Yes, the utility company did run the wires to the poles but apparently the AT&T tech was then supposed to return and do the actual hook up but didn’t.”  He would be out the following day.

I wish I could say he came out and waved his magic wand and we were immediately connected but it was a little more complicated than that.  He came out and connected, wished us happy new year and left and I connected my laptop to register our account.  At last we were online.  The kids couldn’t wait to access our Netflix account but when we got online our high speed internet was 0.5 mbps.  Not fast enough to stream anything.  Back to the AT&T help line!  To make a long story short (yes, I know – too late!) we finally got most of the bugs out of the system and we are now a connected part of society once again.  The novelty was such that as a family we’ve probably logged more internet hours in the past 4 days than in the entire previous year (not a lifestyle that I hope to maintain as the kids have been glued to a screen for days now)! At least we don’t have commercial tv so as soon as they catch up on those favorite shows on Netflix and the weather improves I’m sure I can pry them loose!

Looking forward to more productivity and connectivity in the New Year!  Many more blog posts to come 🙂

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3 Responses to Back to the Future

  1. bogart says:

    Yay! Congratulations. Its many pitfalls notwithstanding, it’s astounding how useful the internet is, I hope you’ll reap many benefits from this connection — and do look forward to reading more blog posts 🙂 !

  2. So pleased for you, a definite step up after all you’ve been through.

  3. Nancy Ives says:

    Yay! I look forward to hearing from you more frequently and seeing how your little homestead gets into shape. Hope you are feeling better!

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