TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: NYC 1975 CO Fire -- Supposed it Happened Today?

Re: NYC 1975 CO Fire -- Supposed it Happened Today?

Mon, 24 Jul 2006 23:12:57 -0400

> To be honest it's a complicated equation. If the CLECs stock too many
> spare switches, they'll be less likely to buy new ones with new
> features and we'll be back in a situation like the 50s and 60s where
> the plans where based on 30 year life spans. After all the financial
> markets would complain they are wasting money on non-productive
> assets.

> Plus when I've read about the entire life cycle of some of these
> outages, the major time line was reconnecting the wiring for 100,000s
> of wire pairs. In NYC, wasn't the switch on the 35th floor or some
> such? So the cables had to go up a wire chase and then into equipment
> rooms on these floors. Now there's a limit to how fast techs can
> re-connect pairs and/or string new pairs. And in these buildings
> there's a physical space limit as to how many bodies you can get in to
> work on things at any one time.

> And since I'm convinced people would complain bitterly about their
> phone bill if it was only $1 a month, imagine trying to get folks to
> pay more for this redundancy.

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: How about something a lot more simple?
> _Do not ever_ leave a central office unattended, anytime, anywhere. Even
> in an office which is 'usually' deserted on weekends, etc you schedule
> at least one worker to be there nights and weekends. Give that person
> something to do -- for example data entry work -- and have them go
> around once an hour more or less checking all the nooks and crannies
> where problems could develop. In the case of Hinsdale, Ameritech could
> have had one or two people on their payroll for several years mainly
> as watchdogs and still come out ahead of what the 1988 fire cost them.
> PAT]

Let's see. That would require 4.2 40 hour weeks with no vacation time.
So assume 4.5 people to handle it. Given union pay scales I'd say that
fully funded that would cost about $100,000 per person. (Don't forget
benefits and overhead.) So we're looking at about $450,000 per year in
payroll costs. Plus facility upgrades that might be needed. Even if I'm
a bit high that's a cool $1,000,000 for each year for every 3 COs and
other facilities.

You can buy a LOT of insurance for that money. Way more than is needed
to cover the costs of a repair.

It's not the costs of staffing the facility that had the fire. Since
you do not know which facility will have such a fire, you get to staff
them all. And that costs real money.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: What you say is true if a firm was only
concerned about the almighty dollar rather than some modicum of
continuity of service to subscribers, which is where things are at
with the telcos these days. But one thing you overlooked in your
equations above was that the persons employed for this task could be
assigned other duties as well, and that pro-rated portion of their
salaries could be charged to those other tasks. For example, one
person whose work was normally data entry could be assigned to work
'the midnight shift' or weekends for example, and while there would
have to be some pay differential the entire cost could not in fairness
be charged off entirely to security. So, assuming your figures are
more or less accurate, probably half or three-quarters of it could be
assigned to the department where the person was usually working
anyway. I am saying you do not hire extra people for this job, you
re-arrange the working hours of people you have already. PAT]

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