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ericgeater
Community Champion

Nashville bombing and AT&T

The Nashville RV bombing left one noteworthy remnant behind: a significant hit to AT&T network availability for a multi-state region. Large areas of telephone service was disrupted -- including our cellular service in northern Alabama for the previous 29 hours.

It won't be a surprise if a state or fed agency asks AT&T for a post-mortem and commensurate plan for improved network resilience thanks to this notorious and puzzling event.
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I've always said, "There's nothing an agnostic can't do if he really doesn't know whether he believes in anything or not."
10 Replies
JKWiniger
Community Champion

Re: Nashville bombing and AT&T

@ericgeater You have brought an interesting question to my mind. In a phone that can have 2 SIM card do you think it is possible to have each card from a different carrie, i.e. 1 from AT&T and the other from Verizon? I don't see the average person having a need for this but it would eliminate a carrier as a single point of failure for first responders and other who might benefit from it.

 

Just my thought of the morning.

 

John-

CraginS
Defender I

Re: Nashville bombing and AT&T


@JKWiniger wrote:

@ericgeater ...it is possible to have each card from a different carrie, i.e. 1 from AT&T and the other from Verizon? ...


John,

The answer is yes.  I did a web search for "two sim cards for two carriers?"

and the top result was

https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/carriers-go-esim/#:~:text=%22Dual%20SIM%2C%20Dual%20Standby%22,outg....

 

You are on target and the market is already offering for the very reason you suggested.

 

Craig

 

D. Cragin Shelton, DSc
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ericgeater
Community Champion

Re: Nashville bombing and AT&T

I'm not thinking of whether it's important for me to subscribe to two different carriers.  I'm thinking, "What will AT&T and Verizon and T-Mobile and Level3 and XO and [...] do to build out additional network resilience.  Time-shift the Christmas Day bombing to January 20, and imagine what kind of bedlam occurs on a weekday that ain't adjacent to a holiday or weekend -- and also bears witness to America's own democracy.

AT&T itself became the SPOF for a change, and boy did the southeast notice it.

---
I've always said, "There's nothing an agnostic can't do if he really doesn't know whether he believes in anything or not."
JKWiniger
Community Champion

Re: Nashville bombing and AT&T

@ericgeater Well taking it from that perspective it's a bit hard to say without knowing what their infrastructure actually looks like. What power levels are their towers normally at? If the run at say 70% power normally and the in case of this kind of an issue the could boost the power and expand the coverage each tower provides. This may or may not require government approval because having the towers at 70% might but as high as they are normally allowed to set the power to, but it could be possible to get approval to go higher in emergence situations.

 

They could also come up with a reciprocal agreement with Verizon now that CDMA is basically gone and almost everything runs on GSM. But this bring up the question of are there times where both AT&T and Verizon have their equipment on the same tower? And I am only using these two carriers as examples because a lot of the smaller carriers actually by wholesale air time from on of the larger providers.

 

Anyone with any insight into if either of these thought would be possible?

 

John-

AppDefects
Community Champion

Re: Nashville bombing and AT&T

Where do you even begin designing resilience into a network topology that goes back to the 1940s? Unconfirmed speculation is that the person of interest might have been paranoid about emerging 5G tech... The scary thing is that these "low key" (read no physical security) switching centers are in everyone's community, large, medium, small, and each one has known coordinates.

 

 

ericgeater
Community Champion

Re: Nashville bombing and AT&T

No matter what, AT&T learned last week that bollards won't stop an RV full of explosives in city centers.  They better consider some reroutes.

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I've always said, "There's nothing an agnostic can't do if he really doesn't know whether he believes in anything or not."
tmekelburg1
Contributor III

Re: Nashville bombing and AT&T


@CraginS 

 

The answer is yes.  I did a web search for "two sim cards for two carriers?"

and the top result was

https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/carriers-go-esim/#:~:text=%22Dual%20SIM%2C%20Dual%20Standby%22,outg....

 

You are on target and the market is already offering for the very reason you suggested.

 


On our Microsoft LTE devices for remote staff, eSIM has been enabled in Windows 10 for a while now. Our Wireless Carrier still sends us physical SIM cards to place in these devices. I'm not entirely sure why the Carriers haven't been taking advantage of this technology faster. Maybe they have and I'm missing something when communicating with our rep? 

 

Having two Carriers seems like another thing for them to nickel and dime us on to be honest. But I do see the advantages when a VBIED comes into the picture.

 

@ericgeater wrote:
It won't be a surprise if a state or fed agency asks AT&T for a post-mortem and commensurate plan for improved network resilience thanks to this notorious and puzzling event.

 

Another shining example of why we have State and Federal regulations. Yes, it would it be hard to mesh the three networks together,  i.e., Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, and form an Interconnection agreement in times of an emergency. Will they decide to do it on their own without Government intervention? Probably not.

 

rslade
Influencer I

Re: Nashville bombing and AT&T

> AppDefects (Community Champion) posted a new reply in Governance, Risk,

> Where do you even begin designing resilience into a network topology that goes
> back to the 1940s?

Actually, back in the day, if you wanted to study resilience, you went to the telcos.
Overall 98% uptime (as opposed to the power grid that had about 95%).

Today, not so much ...

Then there was the Hillsdale fire. One company had contracted two separate
telephone providers, and specified, in the contract, that they couldn't run the
service on the same physical cable. So, they had service with two different telcos,
on two separate cables ... and both cables ran through the Hillsdale vault ...

Avoiding single point of failure is a non-trivial task ...

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CraginS
Defender I

Re: Nashville bombing and AT&T


@rslade wrote:
...
> Where do you even begin designing resilience into a network topology that goes
> back to the 1940s?
Actually, back in the day, if you wanted to study resilience, you went to the telcos.
Overall 98% uptime (as opposed to the power grid that had about 95%).
...

In the early Oughts there were two competing technologies for provisioning apartment houses and office buildings: IP over telco PBX using Signal System Seven (SS7); and Voice over IP (VoIP). The goal standard for SS7, going back to the pre-breakup AT&T days, was Five Nines (99.999%) uptime. The goal standard for IP V4 was, at best, Three Nines (99.9%) uptime. A new government installation was being designed into a leased office building in the Washington DC suburbs for a technology agency specializing in communications. They specified VoIP for the building. Hmmm, ride the voice traffic over the lower reliability digital network, instead of riding the network traffic over the higher reliability voice network? Yup.

I never saw the analysis on which the decision was based; I only lived with the consequences with a desk in that building for several years. It pretty much worked.

 

However, there was one minor issue. Facsimile machines (FAX) could not operate over the VoIP lines. So, every office that used fax (many did) had to be provisioned with a line on a telephone PBX switch, after all. 

Only a very few office managers bought fax machines with a voice handset incorporated (my boss did). Then, when the IP network was down (yes, ti did happen), only those fax-machines with handsets had telephone connection to the outside world.

 

Yeah, planning communications architectures to support resiliency requires  lot of detailed knowledge and foresight.

 

Craig

 

 

D. Cragin Shelton, DSc
Dr.Cragin@iCloud.com
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