Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

The Saga of the Lost Internet

On the 7th of this month, I awoke and came out to my computer to discover that it had lost its internet connection. I have a hard connection for my internet—run it through a landline phone connection and use the wifi the router provides on my laptop when my desktop is down for some reason. My previous internet provider had a long history—a good six or so years—of reliable service, and whenever I had an issue, such as my router dying a few years ago, they did their best to correct the issue. This was the case from 2014, when I moved, even. I was without an internet for a week or so when that happened, but my internet provider gave me accurate instructions on how to handle that issue and I soon had internet, and then they applied the fees for the days I did not use internet to next month’s service so I actually paid a discount that month. They were a good company.

First, I did all the troubleshooting I could think of on my own. I switched out the wires at the splitter and reconnected them to match the device they now belonged to at my desk (phone and router), made sure all the connections were good, reset my router, even tried a new router, which Mom had at her place and kindly brought to me the same day.

Then I called my internet service provider. The tech support guy I spoke with advised me on other troubleshooting I could do—connecting the router line directly to the phone outlet in the wall—and I called him back and told him that didn’t work. He promised to look into the issue on his end and get back to me. As a result, I had no internet. Friday, when I got up, I checked to see if they’d been able to fix it the day before, but they hadn’t, and I waited until evening to call back, at which time I was told they were “still looking into it.”

I contacted the phone company Friday after my call to my internet provider—while Mom was researching local internet providers—and learned that someone from my internet provider had called to cancel my internet service. I explained to the CSR that I had not asked for this to happen, and she told me that I’d have to call them to fix it. So I did. I called my internet provider and asked that they order a reconnect. Before, this would have happened quickly—I’d have gotten a response like, “Of course! We’ll contact the phone company right now and you should have internet again soon!” I didn’t get that response. I didn’t get anything even remotely similar to that. I got “We’ll see what we can do.”

Well, Mom spent most of Friday researching internet (online at her home) for local providers, because our previous provider operates out of Ohio (if I remember correctly), and she was getting fed up with how they were treating me. Our theory at this time was that someone at our phone company had decided to arbitrarily cancel the internet service (which makes no sense, as you’ll see further on), though we couldn’t figure out why they’d do this, especially once Mom realized, due to her research, that they carry internet service for local companies for a $25.00 fee, usually paid by the customer.

By Saturday, I was fed up. I wanted internet back as soon as possible, and the internet provider was giving me the runaround on the phone. Also, Mom happened to call on Saturday to speak with one of the techs about my lack of internet service, and the tech she spoke to told her that we may want to start looking for another internet provider because some things were changing at the internet provider’s company.

This of course now gave Mom the impression that someone there, and not at the phone company, canceled my service. See, when I ordered service for my new home, my service incurred that lovely $25.00 fee—which was apparently instituted sometime during the period I had internet service at my old apartment—but Toast failed to tell me about it. They raised my internet fee by about $10.00, but otherwise ate the fee charged by the phone company. Just to be clear, Mom and I both called over this raise in internet fee, but we were both told that since I had moved and they’d raised the price recently, Mom was grandfathered in at the original price, but my new address in a way made me a “new” customer. We dealt with it, and I paid the new fee, which was still about $10.00 cheaper than internet prices elsewhere. But now my internet provider was no longer getting the full fee for my internet. Combined with the fact it sounds like the new owner of the internet provider is changing things, that was incentive for them to cancel my service—just like I was told by my phone provider: someone at the internet provider’s end canceled my service.

Ratty thing to do, isn’t it? Mom thinks now that the new owner of the internet provider wants them to get rid of certain accounts, and since mine had a fee that they were swallowing attached, I was one of the first to go. On Saturday, I ordered internet from a local provider—the phone company. It was about the same amount as I’d have been paying for another provider with that fee to deal with, they had a number of bundling specials to choose from, and I’ve been a loyal customer of the phone company ever since I got my first apartment here.

My new internet equipment came in last Wednesday, and I spent the evening setting it up—which required me to rearrange my apartment. But now I’m online, and I’m happy to be back.


  1. Wow, that was lousy of the Internet provider. Some people would be loudly telling everyone who provided such lousy services, in an effort to warn them. (And also to let the company know that it didn’t pass unnoticed.)

    • If someone asks me directly, I’ll tell them who my old internet provider is, but I don’t like broadcasting stuff like that “in public.” It goes against my nature. I’m just naturally circumspect, especially in public forums. I took my complaints to them privately, found a solution for the problem, and see no reason to drag their name through mud, so to speak, publically. It’s the way I hope others will treat me–yes, complain about me in public if you wish, but please withhold my name and do whatever you can to address the issue with me directly. I see it as simple respect.

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