War for the Web
27 10.11

Underground fires and the Internet

In early October, there was an underground fire that knocked out Time Warner Internet services in much of the East Village here in New York City. The cause of the outtage was an underground fire beneath a manhole on a city street.

As the author of the Time Warner blog post points out, these manholes are a bit of a mess. No one regulates who puts their wires where, and the pictures embedded in the article illustrate the outcome of this policy clearly.

The node pictured here serves 600 people. One fire, and 600 people in New York City are without Internet for a week. This really drives home the importance of the physical infrastructure behind the Internet. Without all these messes of cables and wires, none of us would be connected to anything.

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