The Nashville Bombing – The Lesson learned on the Importance of Network Redundancy and Diverse Last Mile.

On a calm Christmas morning, December 25th 2020, the fine folks of Nashville, TN experienced another disaster to the already devastating 2020. Earlier in the Year the city experienced a Tornado that tore through town, then of course Covid. If any town can Stand Strong though, it’s for sure Nashville. Being in the Technology space, specifically Telecom and Cloud, this bombing affected a number of our clients. All of AT&T’s local switching network for both Residential and Business went down, even wireless. How could that be?? How could a Mega Giant like AT&T house all of their area wide switching in one building? In a building smack dab in Downtown Nashville??

We had a number of business customers on AT&T Internet and voice services that were affected and down however all have been restored as of writing this article on 12/30. We take that off their plate. I commend AT&T Techs and Engineers for an excellent job of getting things turned back up quickly given the circumstances. Most of our clients did not have any major issues, A) because we had a diverse, secondary circuit in place in case of an outage like this. B) because it was the Christmas holiday and they were not working.

I had many people reach out to me on Facebook and LinkedIn through my updates I provided on AT&T’s recovery to restore. Many of the folks I spoke with could not comprehend how an AT&T let something like this happen and why did they not have a Diverse backup plan in place. Many equate it to “an example I was provided” their cloud services like an AWS or a Netflix.. They think.. well, these companies have diversity in their network with redundant paths.. However, these companies are not last mile landline providers of Fiber and Copper services.

Our traditional Local Exchange Carriers “LEC’s” , example – AT&T, are built on an archaic architecture to where everything goes back to a single Central Office in the Hub city. A single switching center…This dates back to the mid 1900’s when Copper networks were being built out. Not only that but most of these facilities are built in Urban areas with high traffic and ease of access. They are not like the current Data Center environment where its built outside of the city, on private land and with security access.. Something has to change, maybe this is the eye opening moment.

While it’s our job at NexGen to educate the client on the important of diverse last mile access and to always offer it, there are millions of people and businesses without this knowledge and access. It’s time that the LEC’s revisit their Network Architecture and work to diversify their switching to additional CO’s in the markets. You are already seeing this with the local Cable Companies in their designs of the local Fiber networks. The LEC’s owe this to their clients and communities.

The importance of reaching the Cloud has never been greater than now in 2021. If our Internet companies expect us to be long term clients and satisfied then we need to demand a better architected network so land line Internet, voice, tv and wireless services are not taken out for days if a disaster occurs…. or we need more and new competition.. My thoughts… Happy New Years!! – 2021

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