From: Ken Norton <ken@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2012 11:53:50 -0500
In the telecom industry, a few things happened worth note:

25% of the cell towers in the affected areas have been taken offline.
Most of those are a result of power failures, fiber-optic cuts and
other infrastructure failures though non-traditional carriers (cable
tv companies). There are a number of destroyed towers and antennas,
but most are OK. In comparison, very few land-line telephone systems
have experienced any wide-spread failures other than the usual stuff
of trees falling on aerial lines.

In NYC, 75 Broad Street went off-line. That's one of the major carrier
hotels in NYC. That was the flooded basement, fuel-pump to generator
situation. Fortunately, 60 Hudson was not affected, nor the other two
major carrier hotels. But losing 75 Broad Street would have given the
NYSE fits had they been open. Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of a
problem at that facility. When the power went down, it caused a lot of
equipment to go brown when the batteries dropped. It'll be a few days
before everything in that facility is back to normal. This particular
power failure probably caused millions of dollars in equipment damage.
Typically, carrier-grade stuff handles this well, but evidently, when
it went down it didn't do so in a friendly way. A lot of this gear has
run non-stop 24/7 for a decade or longer. When it gets shut down,
there is no guarantee that it will ever start again. The generator was
located on the 18th floor, but somehow, somebody forgot to have a
means of preventing the fuel line from draining down and having a
means of getting the fuel back up there. Oops.

There were several significant fiber cuts, but with rare exception,
the protect paths were not affected.

Moral of the story? Keep your land-line phone through the incumbent
telephone company. We charge more, but our service stays working.
(That's where an ancient phone that doesn't need wall-power comes in).


Ken Norton
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