28 December 2006

Taiwan quake and telecommunications

This article is a nice case study of how natural events can affect telecommunications. Despite our best efforts to engineer robust networks, it seems that these systems remain relatively fragile in the face of natural events of this magnitude. This article in Forbes indicated that the initial impact of the quake was quite severe.

Update (2006/12/28): This article indicates that service is being restored, though it appears to be far from "normal".

Update (2006/12/29): There are a couple of additional articles that contain a bit more technical detail that came out today (12/29). See this and this. This article reports on restoration plans and hints at the business impact.

Update (2007/1/3): The restoration work is just beginning, even though the interest of the media has largely moved on. The article reports estimates of late January to early February for complete restoration. Meanwhile, you might find this thread interesting with respect to an unanticipated consequence of the break.

Update (2007/1/5) This article in BusinessWeek goes a bit further in discussing restoration efforts, the costs, and cable design strategies than the previous articles did.

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