Some more about Fiber Optics

Apparently the fibers in a fiber-optic cable are so fine, they cannot be reattached, the whole segment of cable must be changed from hub to hub, and that explains the frantic time-consuming digging that went on around the Sabana Blanco roundabout on Friday. Luckily, they had the cable in stock, and could replace it, in its entirety.

From what I understand the underground fiber optic cable ends, or starts, in a kind of unprotected manhole, to allow easy access. That manhole opens when lid lifted, that’s how the criminals could reach it.

Take for example Tonga. Yes, the Kingdom of Tonga, a Polynesian country and also an archipelago consisting of 169 islands,  of which 36 are inhabited. Their communication totally died, after a volcanic eruption, which damaged their underwater fiber optic cable.

One minute it was working, then it went dark.

The explosion of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano severed the SINGLE fiber optic cable and plunged 106.000 islanders into darkness, with all systems going offline, including the airport, the port and all connections to the outside world.

As the ash cleared, after five days, satellite communication improved a bit and Tonga’s telecom operator, Digicel, was able to restore international call services to certain areas, at certain times, because of the high usage and limited capacity.

A special repair ship will have to eventually arrive to make the final restoration.

Imagine Aruba five days without a lifeline to banking, aviation, technology.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a plan B?

I think I remember DIGICEL wanted to run another fiber optic cable, it would be smart of have a fallback plan.

But Setar fought tooth and nail against it.

Which reminds me of Texas.

One year ago, after a massive, historically cold winter storm, the Texas independent power grid collapsed, under frigid conditions and increased demand for heat. As I said, the Texas grid was independent, not connected to any neighboring state, and thus they couldn’t just throw a cable over the fence to get electricity. Texas believed it is infallible, it didn’t need a plan B, it was resilient and self-sufficient, and thus when the February 2021 storm hit, it left everyone in the dark, shivering from cold, for long days.

I bet you, they are now connected to their neighbors’ grid — Oklahoma or New Mexico, as a safety precaution.

That’s how people learn. They learn from experience. And sometimes they don’t.

And now is the time to tell you about my pet peeve: When Setar technicians come to service customers they leave the engines of their vans running, for hours, the van air-conditions itself, spits CO2 into the atmosphere, while empty, waiting for technicians to return. What a sweet life these technicians have, their bills paid by the general public.




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January 31, 2022
Rona Coster