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What Would Happen When The Internet Goes Down

by Ken Jorgustin, Modern Survival Blog:

Try this and see what happens in your household… pull the plug on your internet router. How long will it take before there are inconveniences or upset people (especially the younger ones) …

I have been having issues with my internet service all week, and this morning it went ‘belly up’ – no internet. Having spent some time on the phone with my Internet Service Provider, they finally concluded to send someone out tomorrow (probably a hardware issue with the modem itself).

It got me to thinking about how we might fare if the internet were to go down, and it’s a scary thought…

During day to day ordinary life, you probably see others continuously checking their ‘smart device’. Without internet connectivity, they will actually have to look up from their devices and see and deal with the real world around them. They might even have to ‘talk’ with someone. The horror!

Could the public at large survive without their Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, and all the other social media platforms that exist today? How long until they go into withdrawal symptoms without their constant social ‘connectivity’?

For me, since I use the internet to run this blog, it would cease to update. I suppose I could survive that. I also occasionally use the internet for streaming Netflix or Roku, but I could survive without that as well. Email would no longer work, but I still know how to talk and use an ordinary telephone. I would lose the convenience of occasional research using a search-engine, but I could live without it…

But more importantly, what about our infrastructure of commerce? Without the internet, most all commerce would cease. Store transactions would probably come to a screeching halt since many require networking with the corporate ‘mother ship’.

So much of our infrastructure is connected with the internet that the world as we know it would be terribly affected without it and all of the automated systems that work behind the scenes to keep the gears turning. And to think that we survived without the internet up until just a few decades ago! It’s amazing when you really think about it.

Seriously, it would be disastrous (nearly close to a power-grid down) if the internet went down.

The design of the internet itself though is generally set up for redundancy, however there are choke points of traffic (.gov NSA interceptions, etc…) along with the service providers themselves that could be potential critical junctions of cutoff or failure.

Anyway, seeing how I’m sitting here without connectivity today, I thought that I would present the general issue to think about. That is, our reliance on the internet. Can you think of other ways that we rely on internet connectivity in our daily lives – even ‘unseen’ reliance?

Now I suppose that I’ll hop in the truck and take this Word document and my laptop on over to the local Dunkin Donuts parking lot for their WiFi internet connection to upload to the MSB site 😉

Hopefully I’ll be back online sometime tomorrow to check your comments. Be good…

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6 comments to What Would Happen When The Internet Goes Down

  • CalSailX

    If it was down for an extended period of time, my guess is some of us folks that ran the Mom and Pop ISP’s back in the day. Would dig though our closets, and at least have a neighborhood network running within a month or so. At some point we’d slowly start connecting those bits together…

    As long as that knowledge base is out there, a network would pop up to replace the internet as long as there was a demand for it.

  • Craig Escaped Detroit

    I vaguely remember (from the 90’s) information that said the USA, had (at that time) about 4 or 5 major “back bone trunk lines” crisscrossing the USA carrying just about all the calls and data back and forth to all the main distribution points.

    Perhaps they may have added a few major data “highways” since then, but those certainly are choke points, just the same as the 5 or 7 major oil & gas pipelines that crisscross the USA.

    If terrorists, governments, meteors, etc, blow out those few data pipelines, then it brings down the entire nations data networks and the only thing left running would be sat-links that don’t need to use any of the ground based backbones to get the data moved.

    Much of the satellite data, is gathered thru the backbones and then “up-linked” to be downlinked. So if the backbones are off line, there is precious little for uplinking to the sat systems.

    All the fiber networks in all the cities, etc, they ALL rely on the MAIN BACKBONES. There had been previous attacks that modified the internet traffic routers (and it seems that everything made by Cisco is vulnerable to some kind of back doors, etc). Those traffic routers, keep an ongoing update list, of what backbones and sub-nets are carrying traffic the most efficient, and these “routers” use that information to re-route traffic to keep the world wide net flowing smoothly, working their way around various bottlenecks as the pop up all day long.

    Knock out those routers, or reprogram their route lists and it’s possible (and has actually been done in the past) to lock up parts of the internet even without attacking the main backbones.

    It seems to me, that it’s an interconnected house of cards with backup systems of MORE HOUSE Of Cards trying to support each other. Even with “redundancies”, I imagine that it’s not as robust as we would like to believe.

    I don’t think it’s so crazy to imagine losing nation or even planetary data networking grids (the internet). Luckily, the world lived ok without massive phone or data networks as recently as the 1950’s or even the 60’s?

    Be as ready as you can be for losing our data networks, and HOPE we never lose them, but don’t put all your faith in the networks as they exist today, ok? Please?

  • d

    the internet and the electricity to run everything….will be shut down….just for starters….all else banking ,food distribution, medical facilities etc….will just be results of the power loss…nation wide…as total control over the humans in the usa comences….as predicted….by TPTB……imho

    • Craig Escaped Detroit

      @d,
      Yes, just as Venezuela is having “outages”, I can imagine them here too.

      The good news? The Amish don’t care about electrical or data grids.

      Learn how to switch into “AMISH MODE”…BUT it’s still a good idea to get some solar panels, batteries & inverter to run a well pump, lights, micorwave, fans, or charge devices, etc.

      Best inverter prices yes, from China or India (Ebay or Amazon), but you may find some low panel prices HERE. http://www.sunelec.com

  • glitter 1

    Electrical generation and communication(s) have first priority during a state of emergency.They have priority(now and then)being maintained and restored.

    • willygroper

      unless hacked, which a major carrier’s juniper network was btw, i doubt they’ll take it completely down.

      you’ve got COG & commerce.

      they can certainly reroute traffic & use choke points turning your access black.

      best to be prepared…asymmetrical warfare has been humming right along.

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