to think how fragile the communications infrastructure really is? Disaster movies tend to paint a rather rosy picture of our digital world, but in reality it doesn’t take too much to bring the whole thing down.
Super storm Sandy has knocked out one in four cell towers across a region covering ten states in the eastern US. What’s more, many cell towers are without mains power and they are only kept alive by emergency generators, until they run out of diesel.
The Federal Communications Commission says the landline phone network is holding up a better, but even it was affected and as many as one fourth of users can’t get a dial tone.
Flooding in Manhattan is proving particularly troublesome, as the area is home to one of the world’s densest communications nodes. Verizon reports that some of its facilities in Manhattan are flooded and out of action. Renesys is reporting major outages in New Jersey and New York City. Times Warner Cable said its network is in good shape, but many customers are without power and AT&T is also reporting issues.
And Hollywood would have us believe action heroes can make a call or two right after a nuke strike on an asteroid impact. Yeah right.