Alexandria Online

Monday, April 14, 2014

Bandwidth's Best Friend: Electricity

The guy on the right is me standing next to my best friend, a big Detroit Diesel emergency generator. Today we had serious electrical problems on campus, but our data and voice network never went down. All of our teledata equipment is plugged into emergency circuits that are fed by our on campus generators.

All day the generators have been roaring away, as demonstrated by the open flap on top of my friend's exhaust pipe. Anybody with a fully charged laptop, desk phone or iphone has had uninterrupted internet and voice access. Anyone with a desktop was out of luck.

I saw laptop carts with fully charged batteries rolling out to their destinations, kids in common areas working away on their own laptops, and our 5th and 6th grade one-to-one students didn't miss a beat.

That's what I like to see: all 'net all the time, even when the power goes out. Backup power sources are a keystone in the foundations of the internet. Without generators and batteries, it would be a different internet - an interrupted internet. The world doesn't want an interrupted internet. We want it on all the time.

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