Lessons of 9/11 helped US cope with power cut

Last Thursday's power cuts across the east coast of North America were the first test of the billions of dollars spent on...

Last Thursday's power cuts across the east coast of North America were the first test of the billions of dollars spent on business continuity plans since the 11 September terror attacks.

Simon Mingay, research director at Gartner, said, "The power cuts in the US have proved the value of business continuity planning."

He said, post-11 September, the private and public sectors have shifted from syndicated business continuity services, which would not have coped as well with the power cut, to spending money on creating in-house IT capacity to support the business in the event of a catastrophe.

This huge investment seems to have paid off. A spokeswoman for Citigroup, which has its headquarters in New York, said the bank was able to continue to conduct business, in spite of the power cuts. "We invoked business continuity plans to minimise the impact of the power outages in the North East of the US.

"We will continue to monitor the situation and advise clients accordingly," she said.

Although servers and PCs in the affected cities were down, Vanessa Evans, sales and marketing manager at Linx, the London Internet Exchange, said, "Internet traffic levels were not affected."

Since the original concept of the internet was to provide a resilient communications infrastructure that does not rely on a central hub, Evans said the internet traffic found another path.

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