I try to be ‘off the grid’ … but not having Internet access may be the hardest part (for me). I do use a smartphone and access the www often. Many things these days cannot be done without access to web and it is close to impossible to find a payphone.
I’ve found I can tell how many people are awake in a location by the quality of the cell coverage. It is common for the data coverage to be good prior to about 7am. It degrades through the day. This is, in my opinion, the cell towers being overwhelmed by users as they wake and then travel about.
I can tell I’m near a bedroom community as the cell coverage improves after about 9am: folks are away at work. Coverage then begins degrading mid-afternoon as kids begin coming home from school.
Weekends the data is available a bit longer into the morning, especially on Sunday mornings, and is VERY bad through the day – worse than weekdays. This shows people are about through the day and similar to road traffic being worse on weeks vs. weekdays as everyone is going to random locations instead of just to and from work.
Unlike landline phones cellphone providers are under no obligation to guarantee service. This is the ‘free market’ v. how the ‘last mile’ and ‘service guarantee’ legislation enacted for phones and electricity service after World War II.
So what does this mean? Sometimes I can’t access the web or it is ssssslllloooowwww with data drops and frozen applications that don’t work well with poor data access.
The liveaboard life …