Texas internet connectivity declining due to blackouts

Rod Beck rod.beck at unitedcablecompany.com
Wed Feb 17 09:17:09 UTC 2021

I have lived in France and now Hungary. I have never seen power lines above ground, but I have heard there are some in rural France.

I disagree with your conclusion - essential infrastructure should be buried if possible. The US makes too many excuses for second rate performance. Level3 buried its infrastructure. This is a case where sacrificing short term profits for better long term performance is well worth it.

Both California and Florida will end up burying their power lines. In California the wildfires make exposed cables just too dangerous and it is cheaper long term in Florida to bury than to repair pole infrastructure every year.

Drama like Texas is not just an exception that will face away into memory. We Americans can expect to see the country pounded this century with storms and rising waters. NYC alone will need to spend over $150 billion to preserve its existing living zones from storm surges.

I do acknowledge the cost may be too high for less densely populated ares, but at least some of the telecom and energy infrastructure linking large cities to each other and to energy generation and water supplies should better protected.

This is just the beginning as any climate scientist will tell you.


From: Peter Beckman <beckman at angryox.com>
Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2021 6:27 AM
To: Rod Beck <rod.beck at unitedcablecompany.com>
Cc: Sean Donelan <sean at donelan.com>; Mikael Abrahamsson <swmike at swm.pp.se>; nanog at nanog.org <nanog at nanog.org>
Subject: Re: Texas internet connectivity declining due to blackouts

On Tue, 16 Feb 2021, Rod Beck wrote:

> Are the power lines buried like in Europe where I live?
> I really think using poles is crazy and global warming guarantees enough
> atmospheric turbulence to make it untenable. Florida is moving to bury
> power lines.

     Only 41% of European lines are underground [1]. Population density is
     higher in the UK, 280 per sq km, versus the US, 34 per sq km [2].

     Netherlands: 423 per sq km
     Belgium: 376 per sq km
     Germany: 233 per sq km
     Switzerland: 208 per sq km
     Italy: 200 per sq km

     When population density is low, the cost to install buried lines does
     not make financial sense, even considering the outages.

     In major cities, lines are buried in the US.

     Granted, there are several US States that individually are similar to

     New Jersey: 467 per sq km
     Massachussetts: 331 per sq km
     New York: 161 per sq km (despite having NYC, largest city in the US)
     California: 95 per sq km (despite having LA, 2nd largest city in the US)
     Texas: 39 per sq km

     Buried lines makes sense where it makes sense. Comparing Europe to the
     US is way too broad, and I don't know where you live.

[1] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-05/why-europe-pays-less-than-u-s-to-put-power-lines-underground
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_dependencies_by_population_density

> ________________________________
> From: NANOG <nanog-bounces+rod.beck=unitedcablecompany.com at nanog.org> on behalf of Mikael Abrahamsson via NANOG <nanog at nanog.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 2021 9:06 AM
> To: Sean Donelan <sean at donelan.com>
> Cc: nanog at nanog.org <nanog at nanog.org>
> Subject: RE: Texas internet connectivity declining due to blackouts
> On Mon, 15 Feb 2021, Sean Donelan wrote:
>> Strange the massive shortages and failures are only in one state.
>> The extreme cold weather extends northwards across many states, which aren't
>> reporting rolling blackouts.
> https://www.texastribune.org/2011/02/08/texplainer-why-does-texas-have-its-own-power-grid/
> Going at it alone can be beneficial sometimes, sometimes it's not.
> --
> Mikael Abrahamsson    email: swmike at swm.pp.se

Peter Beckman                                                  Internet Guy
beckman at angryox.com                                 http://www.angryox.com/
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