RHINELANDER - Yesterday, you might have had to go without email, Facebook, and even worse -- wjfw.com!
That's because a Frontier Communications fiber optic line was cut.
It happened in Merrill, where a Wisconsin Public Service crew was working.
The outage affected around 8,000 people. For most of us, it was just an annoyance.
But what about vital services, like police, fire and ambulance?
The Oneida County Sheriff's Office normally relies on Frontier.
IT Services Director Lynn Grube says the outage caused a few problems.
Police couldn't communicate with the sheriff's office software. Instead, they had to do manual data entry.
Deputies had to use their radios to talk to dispatch, and dispatch had to run license checks through Lincoln County.
"Inconvenient for sure. But these guys are professionals, they have these procedures in place," Grube said. "So that kind of ensures safety, knowing there's a fall back in place in case there's a malfunction like this."
The outage caused problems for other county departments, too. But Grube says law enforcement had the most trouble.
"Always, because of safety, we want to make sure they have the tools they need to do their job," Grube said. "So they're always our primary concern whenever there's a computer malfunction. So were they impacted the most? I would say yes, because they use a lot of computers in their day-to-day work."
Grube says this is the third internet outage she's experienced in her 23 years with the county.
Service to the sheriff's department went down around 11:30 a.m., and was back up by 6:30 p.m.
RHINELANDER - Building a robot may seem like a pretty lofty summer camp goal, but teens in the Northwoods love the technological challenge.
It's all part of a summer camp that's heavy on science and social interaction.
13-year-old Sean Timm says the eight day robotics camp at Nicolet College mixed the best of both worlds.
"I like technology a lot more than I do outside stuff," Timm said. "It's kind of nice to have technology like drones to bring me outside. It's really fun."
Camp Instructor, Mike Wojtusik has many years of experience as a technology education teacher and robotics advisor. He wants kids to see the importance in learning these skills.
"The kids are getting experience from a mechanical engineering side, electrical engineering side, design, prototyping," said Wojtusik. "We try and cover as much as we can about the whole entire system."
Learning about robotics isn't the only thing these students do. Some of them are also exercising skills they'll need in the future.
"I think it's a great experience for them to understand what really goes on in the real world as far as a career," Wojtusik said.
Certain careers that often require teamwork.
"Challenging part is working with a team because you don't always agree on the same thing," said 12-year-old Louis Malais. "When you build a robot you do the most teamwork than I think in any other job."
As their final project, students design and build their own version of a remote control robot.
They are required to work in teams to sketch a vision, make prototypes and design a working model with aluminum.
"It's not just you know operating a piece of machinery, it's learning how that machinery is put together," Wojtusik said.
Students are piecing together machines and building future careers at the same time.
"If I were to get an opportunity to do something like this in the future, I would definitely take it," Timm said.
Throughout the course of the camp, students were exposed to prototyping, brainstorming, modeling, safety and sketching.
The last day of the robotics camp is scheduled to be Thursday, July 28.
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