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Re: Toronto bell canada central office fire

  • From: Robert M. Enger
  • Date: Mon Jul 19 16:50:04 1999

At 02:37 PM 7/18/99 -0400, you wrote:

>This report mentions:
> However, no automatic power shutdown systems
> are currently available..
>which drags us straight into the comp.risks area.
>Telco systems qualify as ultra-high-reliability and the battery
>plant of same is the most basic of those. They spend bigbux$ on
>having that -48v there, no matter what. If you now do install a
>system that will shut same off, I will bet dollars to donuts it
>will false at least once, bringing down an office.
>Where do you draw the line?

You draw multiple lines: compartmentalize the facility.

Run independently fused/interrupted circuits from the battery stack
to each region of the building, at least on a per-floor granularity,
if not finer.

You install water seals between the floors, and install floor-drains.
Then, if a floor needs to be hosed down, the water doesn't leak
to the floors below.

Using HVAC that is not shared between the compartments is
also a good idea. Independent smoke evacuation is needed too.

Short of structure damaging explosions, you do your best to
minimize the fate sharing between the floors, or between
separate compartments on each floor.

Cost is the hardest issue to contend with in order to improve
the reliability of our centralized communications facilities.
Every company wants to reduce costs in order to offer lower prices
to attract customers. The large communications facility
buildings have become central focus points with enormous
fate-sharing (voice, Internet, cell phones, ATM-machines and more
all go out at once). However rare the occasion that government
intervention is desirable, this may be one of those rare occasions.
Perhaps we should encourage our regulators to FORCE improved
compartmentalization and survivability in our shared tenant
communications facilities.

How can you motivate a city/politician? What's in it for them?
In much the same way some communities currently crow about their
enhanced, modern infrastructures in order to attract new businesses,
cities could also crow about having building codes that ensure that
the modern infrastructures they have worked so hard to attract can
actually be relied upon to function. The politician looks like a hero;
and no company is free from the cost burden, so equity is maintained.

Bob Enger

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