Feeds

Telstra kills ZOMBIE BOXES all over Australia

Redundant kit revealed by Warrnambool auto-da-fé

Business security measures using SSL

The fire that took out a major regional exchange last year has inspired Telstra to start building bigger mobile exchanges for future emergencies – and it's also revealed that there's a bunch of redundant hardware still consuming carbon around the country.

The 2012 fire in the Warrnambool exchange showed up various holes in the incumbent carrier's disaster recovery plans.

The carrier had to offer cash rebates to mollify the 60,000 residents, hundreds of businesses, 85 schools, 20 hospitals, 27 police stations, 92 fire stations and 14 State Emergency Service locations that lost both fixed and mobile services (since the exchange also served 80 mobile base stations).

Reconnecting customers took 20 days, sparking an inquiry that set the carrier checking out roof space in big exchanges, and to create specific disaster recovery plans for all Ethernet aggregation points in Australia.

Now, David Plitz, who conducted the original review, has posted an update on what the carrier has learned since the fire – and one of the big surprises is that there's lots of redundant equipment that remains merely because nobody realised it was no longer needed.

He writes: “one of the biggest surprises actually came after we had restored the Warrnambool Exchange to full working order. In the months following the restoration we noticed a significant drop in the consumption of power at the site which was something that we had not been expecting.”

The fire had destroyed obsolete kit in the Warrnambool exchange, which (of course) wasn't replacd in the rebuild. That's led to a carrier-wide program of seeking out zombie kit around Australia, Plitz says, in which tech teams are working to remotely identify and shut down equipment that's not in use.

For now, the zombie boxes will be left where they are, in case they're needed for spare parts.

And the big mobile exchange? Plitz says the “big cat's MEoW” now in construction will have support for 2,000 PSTN lines, 768 ADSL2 services, and three sectors of 850 MHz 3G / 1800 MHz LTE coverage. That, and an extra State Mobilenet Radio Cell on Wheels, are expected to be delivered by the end of this month. ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.