Friday, June 8, 2007

VoIP Saves the Day

If you put your mind to it, you find a telecom angle in just about anything.

Around 5pm today, we had some very severe weather here in Toronto. I'm sure you've experienced this from time to time - you can see the weather radically changing before your eyes - gusty wind, sky gets dark real fast, and you can just feel a heavy rain is coming any second. Well, that's exactly what happened, and we ended up putting off our plans to go out. During the course of the storm, our landline phone service went out for a little while. That rarely ever happens, but the weather created enough havoc to do just that.

The loss of phone service wasn't really a big deal at that time of day, but needless to say, our broadband service stayed up, as did my VoIP lines. It was a nice reminder that each form of telephony - landline, wireless and broadband - has its strengths. For all the times I do have problems with VoIP - either for landline or PC-based - this was one of those times I was glad to have it. So, put one up in the points column for VoIP.

This really isn't a remarkable story, and I didn't have a blog post in mind when this happened. What changed my mind is what I saw when I went out a bit later after the storm had passed. One of the great things about Toronto is the abundance of trees and green space, but on days like this, Mother Nature's dark side takes its toll.

Driving around, I couldn't believe how much damage had been caused. Street after street, I came across branches down on the roads, and in a few places, downed Hydro lines - which is pretty scary. The worst one came on the street I turned onto that I was planning to park at. This one was like something out of a disaster movie. Never seen this before.

An entire tree - tall, full bloom, mature - was uprooted and toppled over. It crashed right on top of a van parked in a driveway, and thankfully, nobody was inside. The tree took down all kinds of Hydro and phone wires, and blocked off the entire street. Our street didn't have any damage like this, but when I saw all those wires down, it wasn't too hard to figure out why our phone service went out.

Of course, I couldn't resist taking some photos. It wasn't like a morbid crime scene - nobody got hurt - and this is where my Nokia N93 came in very handy. More than anything, I felt like a street reporter coving a local story, so here you go with my LiveEye (how about LiveIPTV?)coverage...




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