Apr 27, 2021

Beaver knocks out internet for 900 Telus customers

datacentre
DisasterRecovery
Communications
WirelessNetworks
Harry Menear
2 min
In a “uniquely Canadian turn of events”, a beaver chewed through critical fibre cables supplying internet to 900 people in British Columbia, Canada
In a “uniquely Canadian turn of events”, a beaver chewed through critical fibre cables supplying internet to 900 people in British Columbia, Canada...

When data centre and communications service providers talk about risk management and disaster recovery, they usually bring up wildfires, floods, even tornados. Over the weekend, 900 residents of Tumbler Ridge, a town with a population of 1,982 in rural British Columbia, Canada, had their internet knocked out by a smaller… furrier sort of natural disaster. 

Canadian CSP Telus, fresh off the back of being recognised as Canada’s industry-leading 5G network provider by Opensignal, announced on Monday that almost a thousand people in British Columbia had experienced internet outages as the result of a local beaver’s dam-building activities. 

Telus spokesperson Liz Sauvé described the outage as a “very bizarre and uniquely Canadian turn of events," in a press event held on Monday, explaining that a local beaver had been found to have chewed through a fibre cable passing through its habitat, using the materials to shore up its dam. 

A Telus repair crew reportedly “"located a nearby dam, and it appears the beavers dug underground alongside the creek to reach our cable, which is buried about three feet underground and protected by a 4.5-inch thick conduit,” said Sauvé, who added that, “The beavers first chewed through the conduit before chewing through the cable in multiple locations."

The crew then had to dig up an area of “partially frozen” ground in order to conduct repairs, and service was resumed around 36 hours after the outage occurred. 

Sauvé added that cell service, which is provided through some overlap with Telus’ wireless services, “will be spotty or disrupted for many of our customers in the area.” 

For residents of British Columbia, this event isn’t wholly unexpected, or even that uncommon. During September last year, residents in Surrey, British Columbia - a municipality just outside Vancouver - were repeatedly “terrorised” by a local beaver felling trees throughout their townhouse complex

In Quebec, a bounty on beavers was recently offered by a local mayor after the dam-building rodents threatened to flood the town. 

In Maine, USA, a tree felled by a beaver caused a power outage for more than 10,000 residents of Aroostook County back in December of 2020. 

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May 10, 2021

DEWA, Huawei to build Dubai’s largest green data centre

MEA
construction
Sustainability
SolarPower
Harry Menear
2 min
The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority is partnering with Huawei to build a hyperscale data centre powered by 100% renewable energy in the city.
The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority is partnering with Huawei to build a hyperscale data centre powered by 100% renewable energy in the city...

Moro Hub, a subsidiary of the digital arm of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), signed an agreement with Chinese tech giant Huawei over the weekend to build a new hyperscale data centre in the city. Taking advantage of an abundance of solar power available in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the new facility will be 100% powered by renewable electricity generated by photovoltaic infrastructure located within the Emirates. 

With the potential to reach a capacity of 100 MW upon full buildout, the facility is set to become the largest solar-powered, Uptime Institute Tier III-certified green data centre in the Middle East and Africa. 

The project is part of the Dubai 10x initiative launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and will support the Emirate’s goal of developing into “a city of the future, putting it 10 years ahead of other global cities,” according to Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of the DEWA.  

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The signing event, attended by HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, and Mr Charles Yang, President of Huawei Middle East, and signed by Marwan Bin Haidar, Vice Chairman and Group CEO Digital DEWA and Mr Jerry Liu, CEO of Huawei UAE - Courtesy of DEWA

Al Tayer added that the project, “meets our ambition to deliver sustainable digital transformation and anticipate and shape the future,” and “supports the UAE Centennial 2071 to make the UAE the world's leading nation and the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030.” 

The facility will, according to Al Tayer, also support Dubai’s efforts to reduce its carbon emissions by 16% before the end of the year, as well as its goal of meeting 75% of the city’s power demands with clean energy by 2050, and “significantly aids DEWA’s progress towards sustainable development.” 

Moro Hub already operates one green data centre in the Emirate, which came online in October of 2020. The facility was the first Tier-III green data centre to come online in the Middle East. 

Charles Yang, President of Huawei Middle East, was also present at the signing ceremony held on Saturday. He commented that the new association between Huawei and the DEWA, “allows us to strengthen our partnership with Moro Hub and take part in fortifying the UAE's sustainable development goals.” 

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