Mississippi Technology

As I’ve reported over on Our Life I’m in Biloxi, MS attending Air Force Tech Control 7-level school. I’ve been here for two weeks now and find a few things quite interesting about the access or lack thereof to technology that the people of Biloxi, Mississippi have.

First off, there are few places to buy technology. For example, there isn’t a Best Buy in southern Mississippi, there is a Circuit City in Gulfport, MS, and the closest CompUSA is 95 miles away. Traditional stores such as Wal-Mart often carry basic tech needs (cable, software, etc.) and there are a few places to buy games in and around Biloxi. But, there is a lack of technology oriented stores.

I’m currently using a CableOne broadband connection for Internet. It literally took them twenty minutes just to take the information needed to give me a modem for a matter of weeks. It was a quite cumbersome process. The service is on par at best. A 1.5 Mbps down; 200 Kbps up connection is offering me an average of 679 Kbps down; 185 Kbps up. Needless to say CableOne is the only cable provider here in Biloxi.

Talking with my instructor I’ve found out that CableOne is offering a whopping total of three HDTV channels for $10.00 a month. This is quite disappointing to say the least. The instructor summed up CableOne’s service offerings by saying, “Yeah, CableOne sucks!”

Cell phone networks here appear to either be battered by Hurricane Ivan or just overall crap. Numerous people here often get no signal or severely degraded signal in numerous areas in southern Mississippi (myself included). I haven’t had cell phone service this bad since my first cell phone back in 1999.

I went wardriving on Sunday and found some very interesting things in Gulfport, MS. For example, while parked at a pier in Gulfport I was able to join three wireless networks with no effort whatsoever. One of these wireless networks belonged to the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. I didn’t really have time to investigate the security of this wireless network but just the fact I was able to get in with no problem is a lack of security in itself but this wireless network might have been for people in the airport waiting on a flight. However, there was a proxy server of sorts on this network acting as a gateway that needed a username and password to login to it via a web interface. Security here doesn’t seem to be too big of an issue.

In another attempt to identify the technological elite here in Mississippi I searched meetup.com and orkut.com for people/bloggers in the Biloxi area. I found NONE. Very, very interesting.

Mississippi has a significant lack of technology. This becomes more and more apparent every day that I’m here. I’m just curious what the people of Mississippi think of this lack of technology and/or do they care.