Venus Transit Web Stream From Alice Springs Sunk By Damaged Telstra Cable
Nick Gilbert
at 11:36 AM Jun 6 2012

There's nothing worse than a Telstra outage. Now, granted, it's not strictly Telstra's fault this time, but when a once-in-a-lifetime view of a major astronomical event is stuffed by damage done to one of your cables, that's a big deal.

The ABC has reported that planned coverage, which would have been beamed internationally, was unable to continue after a roadwork crew cut through a fibre optic cable in the Northern Territory. Not only did it disrupt the streaming from telescopes in Alice Springs, but it also cut net and mobile service across the Territory.

What's particularly tragic is that scientists from around the world, including a contingent from NASA, were planning to use the uninterrupted view from Alice Springs to collect and collate data, comparing it to past databases, as well as forming a significant part of NASA's international streamed coverage.

Given that Venus won't pay another visit until 2117, it's a hell of a day to have a roadwork accident.

"What has happened is roadworks ... out of Mataranka have disrupted and, in fact, severed and damaged the fibre (optic cable)," Telstra spokeswoman Jane Singleton told the ABC.

NT News has reported the cable repairs are expected to be finished at around 3pm - about one hour too late to catch the transit.

[ABC, NT News]

comments powered by Disqus
Filed under:
Sign up for the Pop Sci newsletter
Australian Popular Science
PopSci Live