The Nex crashed.
It later turned out that some fundamentalist Earth Firsters had blown the rectenna in Veracruz, claiming that even taking energy from space was a sin. This collapsed every power grid tied into it. From Acapulco to San Francisco, the entire west coast of the United States went black.
For three days Jean Paul and his family became increasingly twitchy and paranoid as they suffered from Simstim withdrawal. The entire world did, really.