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Broadband Provides Critical Functionality During East Coast Earthquake

(August 23, 2011) - Today it seemed like I had been inserted into a science fiction movie as my house in Northern Virginia started sashaying back and forth in a manner that I did not think was possible.

Turns out it was an earthquake, measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale. The National Weather Service reported that the quake was felt in a geographic area spanning from Washington to Chicago and from Atlanta to Toronto.

You ask yourself, is this really happening? Where is everyone and are they all right? Who else is experiencing this? Does anyone else know about this?

For answers, you reach for the phone, which is the first thing to become useless.

Everyone wants to call someone, so the lines immediately become overloaded.

There is no way to describe the initial sense of anxiety when you think your communications have inadvertently been cut off to the outside world.

For me, broadband was a lifeline, allowing me to e-mail my loved ones letting them know that I was doing fine. Also, online tools, like Twitter, gave information to not only my family, friends, and coworkers, but the world in general, mere seconds after it happened.

I find it particularly reassuring, knowing that my Internet connection remained stable and accessible. In a situation like this, broadband can function as a critical information lifeline.