Internet Outages After a Storm Frustrate Residents in Eastern Ontario

In the aftermath of last weekend's storm, many residents in Eastern Ontario lost internet access. They believe such events highlight the shortcomings of the digital age. Read on to know more about how internet outages after a storm frustrated residents in Eastern Ontario.

Amber McCoy, one of the residents of Richmond, Rural South Ottawa, said, "Everything has been downloaded to the internet. 'Go to the internet. Go to the internet. Go to the internet.' And when it's not there, where do you go anymore?"

After the storm was over, McCoy didn't have any running water at home. When she went online for essential information but couldn't find any. She even found it hard to connect to the 3-1-1 phone line. Expressing her frustration, she said, "There still needs to be some backup, bare-bones basic methods of communication to deal with this kind of scenario."

Mayor's Solution

Amid the internet issues, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson pointed residents to free Wi-Fi at public libraries, community centers, and city hall. He said, "I've heard from a number of people who obviously are concerned and upset that their internet service is off. But they would have to really contact their supplier. As I mentioned, we've got options available for people to come. I know it's not perfect."

The deadline to restore power is Friday, and the province will cover the cleanup costs. Most calls of service issues were reported from postal codes starting with K1A, K4C, K1H, and K0A. Even the internet access issues were more prevalent in K1A, K0A, and K4C.

Work From Home Became Troublesome

Many residents were disappointed by the internet issues as their work from home schedule was interrupted. One of the Orléans residents, Nancy Lebrun, stated "I work partially at home, and I need my internet, and my husband works at home every day, and he's been without internet. So, it's been quite disruptive."

Though Nancy Lebrun's power has been restored, she still doesn't have internet access. She stated that the lack of communication has been frustrating.

A Bells Corners resident David Gilbert also stated that the lack of internet access affects his livelihood. He has to connect with clients virtually but can't do it without the internet. He is also disappointed by the "deafening silence" regarding when he may have the internet again. His frustration was evident too when he said, "Is it a day more? Is it a week more? And for those who rely on the internet for all kinds of reasons, that's a challenge."

Need for Simplicity

McCoy said her internet woes were primarily compounded by the number of people using data on their devices. It clogged up cell towers and made accessing and downloading web pages difficult. Though her power and internet were back, she mentioned the need for simpler web pages without graphics. She believes they might have made it easier to access critical information.

She said, "As awesome and amazing as it is, during something like this, it definitely has some shortcomings. And we can't lose sight of the importance of other routes of communication."




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