Operators have installed specialized civil works which can cope with earthquakes, having learned many lessons from the Kobe earthquake of 1995. Flexible underground conduits between street infrastructure and buildings, sliding joints for ducts to relieve axial forces, and flexible joints in manhole and other access tunnels have become commonplace in new installations since 1995.
However, none of these initiatives have helped the vulnerability of fixed communications devices to power disruption. Even if operators can keep their fiber infrastructure operational, it is of little use if power for terminal devices is not maintained. This problem is likely to grow as the number of networked consumer devices for the fixed network grows
David Kennedy is Research Director, Ovum.
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