Many people run into the trouble of not being able to access Basemaps and data from ArcGIS Online. If you’ve encountered blank screens trying to access these 2 sources, then read on.
… it’s probably a firewall-proxy issue …
The first sanity check is to run the ArcGIS Connection Test:
File > Sign In > Trouble connecting? > Perform Tests
If you’re getting a ‘Failed’ status on the ‘Proxy Server Test’, then the data sources you’re attempting to download imagery from are probably restricted by your organisation’s firewall.
If you’re still using v10 then you’ll need to upgrade to at least Service Pack 3 which resolved some proxy issues. But note that v10 reached SP5.
If you’re on your own computer or have more access privileges than most these days, then you could try to just turn the proxy off from your internet browser if this doesn’t result in just shutting off from the rest of the world …
Otherwise, and most likely, you’ll probably need to approach your friendly IT section and ask them to create exceptions for the sources you’re trying to access.
If it looks like it’ll take a while for your IT section to lend a helping hand (they might have restrictions of their own to deal with), then while you’re waiting, you can still access the Basemaps from this site which doesn’t produce the restrictions:
Another firewall issue could be encountered during the license authorization process:
What port is necessary to have opened to authorize ArcGIS License Manager?
Port 443 must be open through any customer firewalls so that ArcGIS License Manager can be authorized.
provides a How To on authorizing ArcGIS License Manager 10 offline (by way of email or file upload)
provides a How To on configuring ArcGIS Desktop 10 through a firewall and is further detailed and explained in the following articles:
Good luck firewallking 😉