Multi-colored wires, often in a rat-king of a snarl on a bit of pegboard in a musty basement, and not much wider than capillaries, carry much of our DSL, telephone, fax, and broadcast ISDN calls. Amazingly, it generally works. All this pulsing information squirts hither and yon, into central offices, channeled via computer switches and radio button selections. Heart palpitations begin when the phone line fails.
Over the years we've ordered installations of dozens of ISDN lines, which use regular phone wire to make digital calls to our satellite uplink across the country. Our radio show funnels into a box, called a codec, and through the wires in a locked pair of phone calls to another codec, then is de-funneled and aimed spaceward to the satellite, where it bounces back to the local radio station and then onto the airwaves.
Simple, until we discover the circuits are not configured correctly, the phone company installer shows up five hours late, the door to the venue's IT room is locked by a key in possession of the recently deceased landlord's executor who is skiing at Whistler, the incorrect phone number is provided, the long-distance connection is incomplete, or in the recent venue, when the ATT line shorts out periodically and drops our connection and you hear silence. Though John Cageian in its beauty, it's not what we pay for. Try reaching a responsible and responsive phone rep in the evenings or weekend! Not a lot easier than during the week.
When it works, it's seamless; when it doesn't, it's a Danteian cercolo di Hades.
But ATT billing system is astonishingly efficient and ready to credit two cents for a failed circuit they don't troubleshoot. Sigh.
UPDATE April 21 --- An ATT technician finally found a fault in a receiver at the ATT Central Office. He asked that the device be replaced. So we will see if the April 23 show is unimpaired!
UPDATE April 23 - Three ATT drops=outs in show. Later, a listener in Southern California. who works for ATT, writes to offer her help in navigating the labyrinth that is ATT
UPDATE April 25 ATT tech shows up at ODC and replaces some wiring and connections. runs 110 minutes test that seems to work.