Maybe the Yukon doesn’t need the internet.
After all, in the last week, or so, we’ve had our sole communication line to the outside world severed three times.
For awhile, the entire territory went completely off grid.
And what happened?
Well, nothing, really – except for that little matter of lost revenue and work time, store closures and the inability to make phone calls, transfer data and do your banking and dozens of other little frustrations.
It’s nothing, right?
Of course, it makes us wonder about the competency of Alberta’s road crews.
Who are these jokers? It takes a certain skill, or cavalier disregard, to sever a communication cable not once, but twice, as Richardson Bros. Ltd. did last week.
And then that same cable is severed again. Possibly by a different firm.
So what gives?
Does Alberta harbour a deep grudge against the Yukon?
There has to be some explanation. After all, road crews have been trained to phone before they dig for decades.
But perhaps they’ve done us a service.
Generally, people only really learn the value of something once it’s gone.
Through forest fires, power outages and careless backhoe operators the territory has lost our southern connection several times over the last couple of years. And now we’ve lost our connection several more times in a single week.
And it’s been a pain in the ass.
In the future, such outages are only going to become worse – costlier and more frustrating.
Currently, we only have one strand of cable snaking into the south. And the territory is only going to become more dependent on it.
More and more services are pushing themselves onto the ‘net.
We are starting to explore distance medicine, education and our local data is being backed up on southern servers.
Until now, the territorial government has been focused on fixing roads. It has not made the information highway a priority.
That has to change. The territory must find a way to establish a secure backup line.
It’s not going to be cheap, but ultimately may prove more important than the latest pet pork-barrel project – be it a hospital or chip-sealing a little-used mining road.
The alternative is to live in the dark.
Which isn’t so bad, right?