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Re: Backbone Infrastructure and Secrecy

  • From: Leo Bicknell
  • Date: Wed Jul 09 10:45:16 2003

In a message written on Tue, Jul 08, 2003 at 11:29:23AM -0400, Adam Kujawski wrote:
> Who, besides Sean, has maps like this? The state PUC? If so, is that 
> information available to the public? Do you have to go thorugh a background 
> check and/or sign an NDA? Or is it only the providers themselves that have the 
> maps for this stuff?

Most providers give you maps on their web sites, or, even if you
show remote interest as a potential "customer" you can get some
sort of glossy not under NDA.  While not very detailed, these can
lead you to the right locations to request blueprints from state
agencies (departments of transportaion for cables along roads,
PUC's, local permiting agencies), or give you likely addresses to
call into 1-800-MISS-UTILITY or similar numbers.

Indeed, in most areas a call to the utility locator is not necessary.
I'm sure we've all seen driving down the road all the major providers
clearly marked on the sidewalks from all sorts of normal utility/road
maintenance.  Long haul may not be clearly marked for 10's of miles
on end, but in a sense it's easier to locate as it almost always
follows some other well know infrastructure, like rail lines,
roadways, gas pipelines, etc.

So, the notion any of this is secret, or hard to find is bunk.
Finding some specific bit (I want to know where the cable is at the
corner of streets a & b) may be hard, but finding say, AT&T's cable
at at least 5 places in a city probably takes 30 minutes of walking
around looking at the ground.  Even with the people who plan for
dual failures 5-10 simultaneous cuts would probably take them down
every time, and no one would pay attention to a group of grubby
workers with a backhoe on a corner sitting around doing nothing.

       Leo Bicknell - [email protected] - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at
Read TMBG List - [email protected],

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