Thursday, April 09, 2009

Fiber Cuts Slash Silicon Valley's Internet Arteries

Stephen Lawson writes on PC World:

Cuts in fiber-optic lines early Thursday at two locations near Silicon Valley shut down two IBM facilities and affected an organization in charge of Internet domain names.

The cuts, in San Carlos and San Jose, California, also disrupted wired and wireless telecommunications services for thousands of users in the region. AT&T, which owns the main affected fibers, expected service to be restored by Thursday evening. Police suspect vandals did the damage, which would have involved removing manhole covers and using cutting tools to sever thick cables that each contain many strands of fiber. AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Nextel users were affected.

The main cut took place in the southern part of San Jose, just a few miles from the IBM Silicon Valley Lab, a research center for cloud computing and other technologies. That lab was effectively shut down by the outage, as was an IBM manufacturing facility on Hellyer Avenue, near the site of the cut. Apart from small maintenance crews, employees were told to work from home, IBM spokeswoman Jenny Hunter said. Though IBM demonstrates some of its cloud systems at the Silicon Valley Lab, it doesn't host public cloud services there.

In addition, at least one server was affected at the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which translates between domain names and Internet addresses. The outage cut off one of IANA's public test systems for DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security Extensions), an emerging protocol designed for more secure domain-name lookup, according to an official notice on a DNSSEC mailing list.

More here.


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