The expansion of the internet has made it one of the most powerful information-sharing tools in the world. The internet has helped connect us. It has directly contributed to advances in science, medicine and technology.
Of course, there is a dark side to the internet. People also use it for fraudulent, malicious activities. However, today I want to share a story about how the internet literally helped save a life.
Bev Holzrichter lived in Charlotte, Iowa, where she ran a horse stable. She set up a web camera to livestream her horses. Around foaling season, Bev would have thousands of people on any given day watching the feed in hopes of seeing the horses giving birth. Bev racked up over a million views each year, but the majority occurred around the time the horses were in labor.
Sound the Alarm
One day, Bev’s husband was out of town for work so Bev was tending to the horses by herself. One horse named Sierra had just given birth. A few hours later Bev noticed that Sierra was acting strange.
Apparently, another horse had come into Sierra’s stable and was trying to take away her baby. Bev entered the stable and saw Sierra trying to defend her young. Sierra kicked Bev three times, knocking her to the ground. Thousands of people watched the incident unfold online in real time.
As Bev was lying on the ground unable to move, emergency dispatch began receiving calls from around the world. People from Germany, the United Kingdom, France and states all across the U.S. were calling in to get Bev help.
Roughly 45 minutes after the accident, rescue personnel found Bev. She was severely injured. Her body temperature was dangerously low and she began going into shock. The fact is if it had not been for the web camera livestreaming on the internet, it could have been days before someone found Bev. Likely she would have died.
This is just one example of how the internet can save lives. That being said, we have become so dependent on the internet that we should be prepared for it to fail.
A natural disaster could easily knock out utilities including electricity, cell towers, landlines and the internet. This is why people who want to have a big advantage in an emergency are choosing satellite Internet.
Satellite internet is simply internet beamed from a satellite in orbit. It works in a similar way as satellite TV. All you need is a clear view of the sky and an antenna or dish.
In other words, satellite internet doesn’t require on-the-ground infrastructure like traditional internet providers. So if a hurricane rips through your city and knocks out all utilities, your satellite internet will still work as long as the dish or antenna has an unobstructed view of the sky.
Clearly, there are major advantages of having satellite internet, but there are also a few minor drawbacks.
First, satellite internet is typically more expensive than traditional DSL or fiber-optic internet. Most monthly plans range from $50–300 depending on the speed and the amount of data you use on your plan.
Another concern for some people is the fact that there is latency, or a delay in transmission, with satellite internet. The thing you have to understand is that the signal is traveling a huge distance to the satellite and back again, meaning it won’t respond as quickly as traditional internet service.
Basically, you probably won’t be able to play World of Warcraft (or whatever kids are playing these days) using satellite internet. If that’s your thing, then satellite internet is probably not for you.
However, since it can be so effective in remote locations or after a disaster, here are two reliable options for satellite internet providers:
HughesNet — This company has been providing satellite internet for over 20 years and is well-known as a dependable internet service provider. They supply satellite internet to all 50 states, and monthly fees range from $50–150 depending on your plan. This provider is ideal for those who live in a rural area where it’s difficult to get reliable service.
Viasat — This company offers satellite internet you can bundle with DirecTV, which can help lower the overall cost. Depending on your data plan, Viasat costs between $100–150 a month. This company does offer some unlimited plans. However, once you reach a specific data limit your speeds may decrease, as Viasat prioritizes users based on how much data they are allotted. In other words, if you’ve used a ton of data, your internet will slow down. This wouldn’t be a good option to use for streaming services.
At the end of the day, you need to evaluate your needs to decide whether satellite internet is the best choice for your household.
One huge advantage no matter what is its ability to function even when all other utilities are down, making it a potential lifesaver in a disaster.