An Obstacle To Always On Connectivity

Warnerc2I’ve been wondering about this for awhile. Attending this weekend’s Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester it came flying back on to my radar screen. Being connected while on the go is a luxury that is at the mercy of the companies that control the pipes. There’s certainly no surprise in that statement. At this weekend’s festivities, like every year, about 300,000 folks descend on our area for a weekend-long festival that includes parades, carnivals, concerts, and all kinds of events. What typically happens though is that there are so many folks using their cell phones that you can’t get a connection. Friday night, the wife was at work and going to be joining up with us later and of course we couldn’t connect digitally to locate each other in person. OK, no big deal. Or is it?

Flash back a few weeks to the tragedy at Virginia Tech and the numerous reports of folks who couldn’t get through because the networks were too busy. I’m sure the folks laying the pipes shoot for some sort of middle ground with cost and investment being a huge factor in making those decisions. That said, it seems sort of odd and perhaps counter intuitivie, that we can’t rely on the network at times when we need them most. Certainly you can say that the situation at Virginia Tech is out of the ordinary, but how many festivals, concerts, events, etc… see attendees frustrated by lack of band width, when trying to connect. Regardless of the seriousness or the frivolity of the moment, it strikes me that we don’t quite have the infrastructure we think we do when it comes to being always connected.