Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Rodents May Be Partly to Blame for Outage

Filed under

New Zealand's largest telecommunications provider was checking Tuesday whether rats gnawing a cable were partly to blame for an outage that disrupted mobile phone and Internet services and shut down the country's Stock Exchange on Monday.

Telecom Corp. spokesman John Goulter said the company "could not rule out the possibility" that rodents got into its ducts north of the capital, Wellington, and chewed through the fiber optic cable.

An investigation of the cause was in progress. A second cable had been cut by a post-hole digger on the west coast of North Island.

Communications Minister David Cunliffe downplayed the problem, saying, "I think getting two accidents of this type at the same time is a freak occurrence."

The Center for Advanced Engineering, an engineering and technology think tank, said the failure suggested that New Zealand's infrastructure may be too vulnerable to "network failure."

Modern infrastructure systems have become "highly sophisticated networks" that could leave New Zealand vulnerable to "cascade failure," in which disruption of one network had a domino effect, said center head George Hooper.

Hooper said New Zealand needs to develop systems that can be protected from the economic and social upheaval of widespread failures.

Associated Press

More in Tux Machines

Continuum for Windows 10 Is Phone Convergence, but Not as Advanced as Ubuntu's

Continuum for Windows 10 is Microsoft's idea of convergence, and it looks like they got things going. The Windows 10 Devices event that happened yesterday saw the official launch of this feature, albeit it's a little bit more complicated than you might suspect, and it's not really all that similar to what Canonical is doing with Ubuntu. Read more

NethServer 6.7 Server-Oriented Linux Distro Is Coming Soon, Based on CentOS 6.7

The developers of the CentOS-based NethServer open-source server-oriented operating system have announced the immediate availability for download and testing of the first Release Candidate (RC) build of the upcoming NethServer 6.7 OS. Read more

Mozilla Boosts Leadership Team With Connected Devices Appointment

Today, we are pleased to announce that Ari Jaaksi will be joining the Mozilla leadership team next month as our new Senior Vice President of Connected Devices. In this role, Ari will be responsible for Firefox OS and broader exploration of opportunities to advance our mission across the ever-increasing range of connection points of the modern Internet, i.e. phones, TVs, IoT, etc. Read more

Lessons From Volkswagen

  • MEP: "Car manufacturers should make their software available for review"
    Car manufacturers should be obliged to make their motor management software available for review, Paul Tang, a Dutch member of the European Parliament for the Labour Party, requested in questions to the European Commission. Such a measure should prevent the manipulation of the emissions tests, in which Volkswagen was recently caught by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • VW’s Cheating Proves We Must Open Up the Internet of Things
    It’s been a rough year for the Internet of Things. Security researchers uncovered terrifying vulnerabilities in products ranging from cars to garage doors to skateboards. Outages at smart home services Wink and Google’s Nest rendered customers’ gadgets temporarily useless. And the Volkswagen emissions scandal, though not precisely an Internet of Things issue, has exposed yet another issue with “smart” physical goods: the possibility of manufacturers embedding software in their products designed to skirt regulations.
  • VW Software Scandal May Lead To More Open-Source Code