How To Ruin 3G Service By Cutting A Cable

An accidentally-slashed fibre optic cable in Melbourne cut off 1,000 phone lines and 7,000 Internet services for more than a day last week. But that’s not all: it also rendered 20 Next G base stations useless, reminding us that wireless services do not in fact exist in a cable-free vacuum.

Telstra blogged about the incident to remind everyone to utilise the Dial Before You Dig site before going mad with a backhoe, since it’s much easier to not cut through a cable than to fix it afterwards. Worthy advice, that. But it’s also a reminder that mobile phones still rely on cabled connections, even if we don’t actually see them, a point that often gets lost in heated debates over the National Broadband Network (NBN) and the worthiness of fibre. We use them both, and we need them both.

One telephone call or 8000 inconvenienced customers? [Telstra Exchange]


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