Sunday, February 21, 2021

Vaccine, Anyone? Oops!

If only –    Our Instant Gratification is Offline. 
by Pete Fasciano, Executive Director 02/21/2021

Soooooo, the C19 vaccine distribution in Massachusetts was expanded to include folks aged 65 and up, and another 50K doses would be available as of Thursday. The good news – and the bad news – it made another million folks eligible.

The Wednesday 11PM newscasts noted that appointments for the doses would go online Thursday at 8AM. Come 7:30AM – the state’s website collapsed. Oops!

There has been much blaming, shaming, finger pointing and general frustration expressed in the media. The pundits were quick to hang blame on the Governor. Yes, he’s the guy at the top. Yes, things could have gone better with planning phone banks and website design. However, launching an instant phone crew to answer 100,000 frantic callers or handle a million appointment requests (for those 50,000 doses). Not easy. Not at all.

Everyone is needling Charlie about shots that can’t come fast enough. However – even the seemingly infinite resources of our vast Internet are not actually – infinite. It has very physical limits. Anyone with techno-geek skills can use a home computer as a small internet server to host a website online. But, your typical ‘high speed’ Comcast connection would be swamped by only a few hundred people trying to access that awesome site. Oops!

Even with a farm of hosting servers and very wide Internet backbone bandwidth, the Massachusetts vaccination website was statistically doomed by the million new eligible applicants, all trying to squeeze through that digital doorway at once. How does Google do it? They own fifteen percent of the Internet. They are everywhere. Same with Amazon. These organizations grew over time – no instantaneous demand.

Many years ago I produced a TeeVee Bingo program. We aired only one episode. Turns out we took down the city-wide phone exchange by folks constantly redialing our call-in number so they would be ready to yell, “ Bingo!”    Oops!

This is a time for patience and persistence. Charlie is doing all he can. And if you were a lucky vaccine winner this week? Bingo!

And – as always –
Thank you for listening to wfpr●fm. 
And, thank you for watching.

Get this week's program guide for Franklin TV and Franklin Public Radio ( online

No comments:

Post a Comment