A View from Brad King

Cable: A Love Story

I’m moving today. Or, more exactly, I’ve already moved from a flat in Cambridge to lush East Boston. I’m very happy to walk outside and feel like I’m around people. But that’s not why we’re here. As part of my…

  • August 12, 2005

I’m moving today. Or, more exactly, I’ve already moved from a flat in Cambridge to lush East Boston. I’m very happy to walk outside and feel like I’m around people. But that’s not why we’re here. As part of my move, I changed all of my utilities and accounts online – gas, electric, and cable. So far, the gas and electric seemed to have worked fine.

However, it’s now 6:07 p.m. and the Comcast cable technician still hasn’t shown up, despite the 3-5 p.m. window I was given. I’ve called Comcast twice today – and really, the customer service reps were quite wonderful – but they had no answer. I have what they call “an open ticket,” which means, as it sounds, I have an order that hasn’t been filled, and they don’t know where the technician is.

Fortunately, my upstairs neighbor – and very good friend – has high-speed wireless, so I’m at least able to work. And I’m not even overly mad at Comcast, although I do think it’s rude to not have a service rep call to say that they’d be running late.

But that’s not the point. My real anger is directed at the ‘lines’ upon which we’ve become dependent. While my wireless connection is working fine (and yes, I know, that comes from a line), I’m at the mercy of those who connect the lines to my house for access.

Wouldn’t it be so much better if, instead of waiting for those lines to be hooked up, large areas had wireless networks interconnected to provide everyone with access to them?

(UPDATE: While typing that last sentence, Comcast called and asked if the technician was here. When I said no, they responded by telling me that they were still looking for the technician. Which begs the question, if they were still looking for them, why did they ask if he was here? Did you ever have that sinking feeling that the day was not going to end well?)

Oh, I do love my Internet. And I’m entirely dependent upon it. But man, do I hate the ‘lines.’ There is lots of talk about these wireless quilts coming, and I, for one, am entirely for that day. If for no other reason than I won’t be a slave to the wires anymore.

And, FWIW, the technician just showed up.

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