NOT-SO-STREAMING SATURDAY: A weekend without internet

Jake Buckler will be back next week with his normal dose of love and affection for streaming, don’t worry. This week I’m back with a … slightly different perspective.

So, just before the start of the weekend last week, a road crew “accidentally” removed about 150 feet of buried fiber from the street in front of my house. They claim they thought it was safe to dig and well, they were wrong. This took out internet service for my whole neighborhood, plus landline phone and cable TV for people who bundled that with the internet provider.

To be completely frank, I wasn’t extremely worried because I lived roughly the first 60% of my life without any internet service at all, and I lived roughly 85% of my life without any form of streaming video. So I, unlike hapless millennials, was not terrified that my entire existence was erased because a chunk of fiber no longer connected me to the world’s largest party line. Here’s what I learned:

I was very glad I had DIRECTV.
Truth is, with a full playlist and several hundred live channels, I wasn’t suffering. There was plenty of entertainment right in front of me. I understand the benefits of bundling and I know that I could save a few dollars if I had gone with the ISP’s TV service like my neighbors did. Of course they had nothing to watch all weekend.

My neighbors are no longer confused about my obsession with antennas.
I have an over-the-air antenna on my roof and I still got dozens of channels of live TV just over that. If my neighbors had kept their TV antennas, they would have used them all weekend. They didn’t.

AT&T’s unlimited data plan is really great for times like these. If you’re an AT&T cellular customer, you really have to get into their latest unlimited plans. After several years of trying to get rid of unlimited cellular data, AT&T has turned around and now has two plans that give you unlimited data on your phone. I’ll admit it was a little slow, but I was getting emails and paying bills, even streaming a little Netflix over the weekend while my neighbors were reading books. It won’t affect my cell phone bill and I didn’t lose out on Facebook status updates or all the cool April Fool’s stuff that happened this weekend. I even connected my computer to my phone and while it wasn’t incredibly fast, I still was able to get online.

So it wasn’t really a “streaming-free” Saturday, at least not for me. My neighbors weren’t so happy but luckily after some hard work by contractors on the ground who gave up their Saturdays to try to get us up and running, everything’s back and better than ever.

If you’ve tied everything in your life to a sliver of glass about as thick as a human hair, you might think about that and how it’s easy to provide your family with the same level of entertainment they expect, even when the internet is down. Just get DIRECTV, get an antenna, and get an unlimited data plan. Win, win, win.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.