when your land line (that's all there was) died you called for service from a neighbors phone?...or drove to a pay phone if the whole street was dead?
A lot of people can save money when they bundle phone, cable and Internet service. That's a good thing. Unfortunately that means all service comes through a single conduit. When the Internet goes out and the TV goes out ... will the phone still work?
My Telco/ISP/IP Video provider has a piece of dying hardware in my neighborhood. Maybe the unseasonable warm temperatures got to it. I don't know. At any rate a chunk of my neighborhood went down. The cable won't work. The Internet speeds are much worse than dialup if a page will load at all (most won't) and the phone calls sound about like the old live radio messages from the Gemini or Apollo spacecraft. Barely intelligible.
Personally I still have WWW access via my cellular modem but most folks don't have that luxury. My cell phone sort of works if I stand close enough to a window (I'm actually surprised the cell modem works as well as it does since the phone signal is pretty flaky).
So how do most folks get tech support when it's bundled and the whole bundle goes south?