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Topic # 66258 16-Aug-2010 10:49
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Reading the paper today, saw an article about the flooding up north, and a thought struck me - what happens to cabinets (cellsites, fttn, etc) when there is flooding? Now surely they wouldnt be submersible, so presumably all the gear below the water line is screwed? Given mankinds great habit of building towns/cities in flood plains, there must be a few at risk. Particularly the cellsites along the road to Sumner in Christchurch come to mind.

Now these cellsites are largely infill, so calling doesnt depend on them, but what sort of arrangement do telcos have for spare equipment?

More importantly, with chorus rolling out FTTN, dsl services would be wiped out in flooding, and with the next gen voice rollout, voice services will be dependent on the cabinets (wether voice is provided by CPE or a Voip to POTS unit in the cabinets themselves). Again, what sort of arrangement does chorus have for spare parts? I cant imagine dslams would be cheap, so cant see them having heaps of them lying around.

Have you guys thought about this? Anyone concerned about an extended loss of service following localised natural disaters?

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  Reply # 368134 16-Aug-2010 11:05
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Interesting you should say that actually, because some of the phone lines at work are out after the street flooded yesterday. Chorus was on-site within 20 minutes but I don't know any further details. Of course, residential services would never be that fast!

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  Reply # 368155 16-Aug-2010 12:15
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I guess if your on fibre, as long as the active electronics aren't submerged it shouldn't be too much of a problem. You raise a good point though. I don't think it would be too difficult to source/install replacement active electronics in cabinets etc. I'd be more worried about an Exchange flooding - Imagine if an entire NEAX had to be replaced, it would be near impossible.





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  Reply # 368158 16-Aug-2010 12:22
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I think the best comparision is to look at the impact that weather has had on TelstraClear's HFC network since this is an identical FTTN network that has now been in place for ~13 years in Wellington and Christchurch.

I'm only aware of minor issues that have occured during significant weather. The biggest issue is one of power loss and having to power cabinets from generators.



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  Reply # 368159 16-Aug-2010 12:25
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Zeon, your're right about fibre, it is also largely oblivous to water along its trunks as well.

I suppose Im wondering were they keep theyre stock. I know that for instance, a major wellington fault event would leave SH1 north of wellington blocked for months. If a cable gets cut, chorus can grab some splices from the van and fix it. If they need dslam from auckland, that pushes the timeframe out considerably.



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  Reply # 368162 16-Aug-2010 12:33
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While Telstra's a good example in terms of their fttn network, I dont think they have faced any major disasters while operating their system - the water flowing down the main street kind of flood - like what whakatane has had.

Given the number of landslips wellington has during storms, a cabinet will surely be bowled down one day

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  Reply # 368163 16-Aug-2010 12:37
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I remember reading someone crashed into a cabinet not too long ago. I think it took about a day to fix?





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  Reply # 368953 17-Aug-2010 22:30
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Telecom CHORUS have recently set up a project to look into fitting IP ALARM equipment into roadside cabinets to monitor power supplies and box tampers.

I heard from an ex-CHORUS employee that they have no structured maintenance program in place for these UPS units and just fix on failure. Now I would very much like to be wrong about this, so if anyone knows better please let me know.

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  Reply # 368961 17-Aug-2010 22:36
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Zeon: I remember reading someone crashed into a cabinet not too long ago. I think it took about a day to fix?


Was that the one in Albany on the Shore in Auckland?

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  Reply # 369257 18-Aug-2010 13:16
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Behodar: Interesting you should say that actually, because some of the phone lines at work are out after the street flooded yesterday. Chorus was on-site within 20 minutes but I don't know any further details. Of course, residential services would never be that fast!

Just an update... it's been two days and they're still working on it. They've dug up the ground next to the nearest cabinet and have apparently run new cable to our building. It looks like a bigger problem than we suspected!

I walked past at lunch time and although I couldn't see anything (the cabinet etc has a tent over it to keep the rain out), I could still hear someone tinkering in there. With the amount of time it's taking to fix this small issue, imagine if a whole exchange had been knocked out!

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  Reply # 369294 18-Aug-2010 13:54
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I loose internets every time it rains hard, call faults, but they're never out to check it untill it fines up and the problem sorts itself....

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  Reply # 370372 20-Aug-2010 16:03
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Zeon: I remember reading someone crashed into a cabinet not too long ago. I think it took about a day to fix?

That one was out for a while, but cant remember how long — might have been 3 or 4 days. A Conklin cabinet that flooded in Northland had a contractor out pretty quickly, but the fault sat there for a few days with a "health and safety issue" while the mud/flooding dried out so the contractor could go back and fix it.

Fibre breaks generally seem to be fixed same day because active stuff seldom goes into outdoor cabinets, but if water got into a splice box there would be attenuation to fix as well.




Qualified in business, certified in fibre, stuck in copper, have to keep going  ^_^

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  Reply # 370407 20-Aug-2010 17:56
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mattk: I loose internets every time it rains hard, call faults, but they're never out to check it untill it fines up and the problem sorts itself....


Had that at my old house.. I tried to ask the techie to come back when it next pissed down but he said he couldnt do that lol.




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