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Terror in the US: Putting business back online

Cliff Saran
After the initial horror of the attacks on New York and Washington, US companies will have to battle to get their businesses up and running.

Providing the infrastructure necessary will pose enormous challenges for the IT and telecommunications industry.

The large financial institutions had back-up facilities and remote data storage systems. However, many thousands of New York workers will need new offices, new PCs, monitors, networks and phone lines.

Networking executives leaving the heavily curtailed Networld+Interop show in Atlanta this week, had mixed views on how easy it would be to re-establish a basic infrastructure.

Eric Murray for Agilent Technologies said that even after the rescue effort has ended there would be enormous difficulties in replacing the damaged network infrastructure.

"There are physical difficulties in getting the infrastructure in place. It really puts a show like Networld+ Interop in perspective," he said.

Warren Hicks from fibre manufacturer Corning Cable Systems, was similarly overwhelmed by the tragedy and the difficulties of reconstruction. "I'm not sure what businesses can do right now," he said.

Hick was confident, however, that once the rescue work has ended and reconstruction begins the task of replacing damaged fibre optic cables in the vicinity of the World Trade Centre should be relatively easy.

He told CW360 that cables had been laid inside large steel or plastic conduits, which meant that replacing broken fibre should not be too difficult.

Telecoms operators looking to deliver high bandwidth to new sites could also lay armoured cable directly in the ground to speed the process, he said.

As the show ended, the dominant mood was that for all the cutting edge technology on display, little of it could be applied in helping the rescue effort.

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