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Re: MCI WorldCom fiber cut - Syracuse, NY

  • From: Andrew Odlyzko
  • Date: Wed Oct 06 07:04:50 1999

Could the explanation be simpler?  Effects of gas pipeline and
water main breaks tend to be localized because they supply
commodity goods, and there is local storage (and, especially in 
case of water, local supplies) of those.  Hence such breaks
affect fewer people.  The gas supply to my kitchen does not 
depend on maintenance of uniform pressure in all the gas pipelines 
from the well off the shore of Louisiana all the way to New Jersey; 
my supplier has enough gas stored around here to keep pumping for
quite a while even if a pipeline in Kentucky is cut.  On the other
hand, when a fiber gets cut in Ohio, and I am trying to get some
bits from California, it does not help me to know that somebody
in Pennsylvania has terabits on her server that she is willing
to ship to me.


At 07:27 PM 10/5/99 -0400, Mike Heller wrote:

>I find it interesting that we don't hear about more accidental gas
>explosions and water main breaks from backhoes.  Are the blueprints and
>posted warnings more detailed or is there more fiber than utility pipe in
>the ground?
>Michael Heller
>Sr. Systems Engineer
>Earthweb, Inc.
>[email protected]

followed by other contributions from Derek Balling, Charles Sprickman,
and Nathan Stratton.

Andrew Odlyzko                                      [email protected]
AT&T Labs - Research                                voice:  973-360-8410                    fax:    973-360-8178