When Canada's biggest mobile provider goes down, even if only for a few hours, it's a very big deal. I'm hoping that the Rogers outage this past Wednesday
was only a minor inconvenience to anyone reading this. As I understand it the data network wasn't affected, which is a good thing.
Outages certainly suck, and today I'd like to send you into your holiday weekend with a little story about the largest such event that I've experienced, the great Northeast blackout of 2003
-- where it was the mobile network that prevailed even when the electrical grid went down.
Late in the afternoon of Thursday, August 14th, 2003 I was futzing around on my laptop when the WiFi stopped working. I thought it was an issue with my laptop, and it was only after I rebooted a couple of times that I saw it was running on battery power, despite being plugged in. My smartphone of the day was Handspring's Treo 270
, which happened to be sitting on the table beside me. When I finally thought to check a WAP news site -- remember WAP
? -- I realized what was happening.
Despite a massive power outage across Ontario and the Northeastern United States my mobile service from Fido was unaffected. If I remember correctly landline phones were also still working. This was good because most people still had landlines but bad because they also had cordless phones, which were now quite useless.