It also means that data can be processed and used, from measuring real-time production to allowing more effective maintenance and repairs to equipment and facilities. Documents and data that would have had to be sent overnight can be read immediately in the field on a phone.
Innovations in communication technology have brought many benefits to residents in North Dakota. With the expanding use of fiber optic cable throughout the state, more people have more access to the internet and other communications. In the case of the oil boom, this means that vast quantities of data can be collected from drill heads and other locations within the exploration and production process.
But greater reliance on this infrastructure also carries risks. When a cable is damaged or compromised, whole systems can go dark and critical information can become unavailable. In addition, when these outages occur, other problems may result and that means that cutting a fiber optic cable could lead to lawsuits and other business disputes regarding liability and compensation.
The severing of the fiber optic cable near Casselton, North Dakota this week left many in the area without phone, internet and critically, 911 service. The 911 service was restored after a few hours by used of the state radio, but delays for emergency services can have catastrophic consequences.
A news report found that no one immediately assumed responsibility, with the owner of the cable placing the blame on an unnamed contractor.
This outage should remind all businesses that they need to have contingency plans to deal with these types of situations, as well has contractual or insurance protection from the consequences damages that could result.
And contractors who work with and around these systems should discuss with their lawyers the type of contractual liability and legal exposure they could face in a worst-case scenario.
Source: valleynewslive.com, “Few Answers In Fiber Optic Cable Cut Investigation,” Bradford Arick, September 23, 2015