Fiber cut - response in seconds?

Robert Bonomi bonomi at
Tue Jun 2 00:37:19 UTC 2009

> From at  Mon Jun  1 18:30:48 2009
> Date: Mon, 01 Jun 2009 15:40:31 -0700
> From: Charles Wyble <charles at>
> To: "nanog at" <nanog at>
> Subject: Fiber cut - response in seconds?
> Not sure if I fully believe the article. Responding to a fiber cut in 
> seconds?

I *don't* believe it, _as_written_.  If one takes 'in seconds' to mean
single-digit quantities, they had to be:
     in the vehicle,
     with the engine running
     transmission in gear,
     starting from within a few hundred feet,
     with no interfering traffic
     AND no opposing traffic light.

Now, change the 'facts' of the scenario "slightly", and it becomes a bunch
more believable.

Allow 'double-digit' numbers of seconds, from the time the crew _noticed_
the cut, and it gets a bit less fantastic.

Postulate some form of 'damage' to the cable -- maybe a kink, that stretched,
but did not sever the cable, or more likely, a pressure rupture in an enclosing
safety guard, -- such as a 'near miss' by a back-hoe might cause a few scoops
before the cable was completely severed, plus allow for a little time between
actual cable severance, and the cut cable becomes _visible_;  now you're 
looking at 5-10 minutes from 'first warning' of a problem at the NOC (with
TDR type gear giving approximate location) and the 'rapid response' team 
on site.   They'd have to be on an alert status comparable to the old SAC
first alert bomber crews, and probably based within 3-5 miles, but things are
now within the realm of beleivability.   Not saying I _do_ believe it, but
we're into the range of "might, maybe, possibly, happen that way", without
having to postulate a TARDUS.  <grin>

I would have expected such a crew to be eqipped with, and need to _use_, 
'lights and sirens', and *big* air horns, in dealing with traffic on the
roadway -- *AND* I would have expected that 'minor detal' to have been noted
by the work crew.

As for the last part -- about the billing issue -- assuming that the 
construction contractor had called JULIE (The undergournd utilities marking 
service) and gotten the sign-off from all the carriers, they _were_ 'home 
free'.  The carrier who 'failed to mark' their cable gets to pay the cost
of replacement.


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