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The On Ramp

The Blue Mountain Internet Customer Newsletter

 Issue # 57 July 2008 
  • Greetings from the Edi...
  • BMI Rolls Skype
  • Freedom From Wires
  • Picturefind
  • FAQ
  • Food for the 4th
  • The Bill of Rights
  • Wordfind
  • Washington DC
  • Movie Review
  • Kitchen Freedom
  • Freedom From Paper
  • KIDS!
  • Crossword
  • Working From Home
  • Kudos

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    by Matt Stephens
    July 2008
    strong>Hello everyone in BMI land. How are you all doing? We are doing well here despite the fact that as of this writing we have only had a handful of days that have resembled summer. Our spring started late and seems to have traveled backwards into February. Cold and raining has been our forecast for far too long. I'm excited that it's supposed to get nice in the next few days. Anyway, back to the subject at hand.

    This month I have heard from a great many of you, all having the same question, or statement in some cases. You keep getting disconnected and want to know what causes it. The answer to that question, or reply to that statement, is a bit more in depth in most cases but this time it was plain and simple. Blame it on Mother Nature.

    That's right. I said it. Mother Nature has been fooling with your internet connections. Let me explain. Phone lines, whether above ground or under ground, have to stand up to a great deal of abuse. We all know that when things get hot they expand, and when they get cool, the contract. I can expand on this if you like, but I'll assume you know what kinetic energy is for this issue. When the phone lines expand in the hot, dry months the insulation on the wires themselves will develop little cracks. Then the weather will change and it will get cold and wet. When that happens the water will seep into the cracks in the lines and cause static. In drastic cases you will actually be able to hear the static or clicking and popping on your phone lines.

    Most times you'll just notice that your connection speed has dropped. This is called Line Noise. In the Pacific Northwest during the months of May and June we have had extreme hot (over 100 in some places) and then extreme cold (under 40 at night is many places) and a whole lot of rain. All the heat, cooling and rain have made the phone lines horrible in places. The most recent outbreak was in the Walla Walla / Milton-Freewater area in mid June. We had a couple of wind storms followed and mixed with rain. Horrible conditions for the phone lines.

    Hark! There is better news. The weather is drying up. It's getting warmer out. The phone lines are going to return to a more normal status and your connections are going to get better. It's not really a promise, but it's a hopeful forecast. I can't control the weather any better than I can control the cowlick on my head (I don't remember being licked by a cow, but man he did a number on me). But I can only assume that as the year goes from June to July we're going to dry out and the connections that you are frustrated with now will go back to being reliable and user friendly. As with anything, there will be exceptions to this, and feel free to call our Customer Support Services at 1-800-485-5006 when you are having difficulty. Our support staff is happy to help you out.

    For more on Line Noise, check out this site: How Stuff Works

    If you have any suggestions for future articles, or would like more information on a previous publication, please feel free to email me at

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    The On Ramp is a monthly publication of Blue Mountain Internet.

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