A self-repairing Internet

The water-cooler talk this morning revolved around the Internet. “Anyone here have Comcast?” asked my boss. “Did anyone else lose service last night?” A couple of my colleagues shared their tales of woe.

My boss recounted how his nephew-in-law, who had been over for dinner, was able to fix the problem. “He reconfigured our DNS settings and we were right back on,” my boss said.

The significance escaped me until I heard MPR’s story on the way home.

Apparently, a huge Comcast outage on Sunday night knocked thousands of people in four states off the Web. Many of those people called Comcast’s 1-800 number. But a few enterprising folks used Twitter, Facebook and their “smart phones” to research—and solve—the problem.

According to MPR’s Jim Gordon, this was one of the first large-scale cases he’d seen of a “self-repairing network.” That phrase struck me.

I’m often awed by the ways we’re integrating technology into our lives. But when we bring our collective intelligence to bear on that technology—when we in a sense become a part of our technology—I can’t help but wonder whether we’re on the edge of a new digital frontier.

A self-repairing Internet. Amazing.

One comment

  1. I didn’t notice any loss. It was probably past my bedtime. I just know that before they replace our–was it a router? It would cut out ALL. THE. TIME. That was so annoying for someone who wanted to be online to work or study.

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