Miles of copper is ruined not only in the cable vault at Broad Street, but also at 20 or so manholes around the area. Even worse, paper insulation in the copper wiring sucks water through the cabling from capillary action, destroying cabling even in dry areas. Levendos says it’s “far too tedious, time consuming, and not effective of a process to try and put this infrastructure back together,” so Verizon’s taking the opportunity to rewire with fiber optics instead. Service has been restored to FiOS customers for over a week — unlike copper, fiber optics aren’t damaged by the water. As part of this process, crews have already pulled fiber up the major corridors — including Water, Broad, and Pearl Streets — to ultimately connect the fiber network to buildings.
Despite the progress, huge challenges remain. While fiber optic cabling weathered the storm, the electronics that send light through them are vulnerable to water. Verizon has to analyze the extent of damage done to equipment in buildings they serve and see how much work remains to hook up areas without FiOS. Once fiber is brought to a building’s doorstep, workers still must bring service to each and every unit. Verizon wouldn’t give me a number, but thousands served by copper-based phone and DSL remain without service to this day in Lower Manhattan. For them, the wait will surely continue as the process of bringing fiber up floor by floor progresses….
While #Sandy and recovery from Sandy may have taken central focus this month for small businesses in NYC, I wanted to remind Maker businesses of the current challenge being offered by Mayor Bloomberg and the NYCEDC for small and medium-sized businesses to make a case for getting free fiber build-out for high-speed broadband in the ConnectNYC Fiber Challenge:
Small and medium-sized commercial and industrial businesses across the five boroughs are invited to compete for free fiber wiring.
Contestants demonstrating the highest potential impact of fiber connectivity – on their own business, nearby businesses, and underserved areas – will become finalists. Finalists will have a chance to win a free build-out of fiber internet connectivity to their place of business, an overall value of up to $7M for all winning businesses.
To enter, all contestants must obtain a signed landlord agreement providing ISPs with access to the building if they win. If selected a winner, contestants will be required to sign a one-year service contract with a participating ISP at negotiated market rates before they are eligible to receive a free fiber build-out.
This is a particularly useful challenge for displaced and now permanently resettled businesses to take this opportunity to get an internet infrastructure leg-up for themselves and their neighbors by taking the extra effort to get an application in on time. And take a moment to look over the resources here, including the Industrial Business Zones map for areas that are offered a special track in the challenge.
The impromptu charging station was set up by a company called BioLite, which enables users to “cook dinner and charge electronics anywhere, with just a handful of kindling.” We’re told that the stoves can charge a cell phone in the time that it takes to charge up your phone using a laptop. The stoves can also be used to power LED lights.
Glad to hear you guys are back up and running. If you come across any specific individuals that have need for small-scale solar and/or battery power, we are happy to help with deep discounts and or direct donations. Our warehouse in NJ got power back Friday and we are trying to be helpful where we can.
Jeff Crystal http://www.voltaicsystems.com/
They have deep discounts they can do direct donation as it makes sense. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org for details if you’re still in need of power.
Back to business – 1/3rd of the shipping completed #sandy. We get an extra hour today (Daylight saving ended) so that will be helpful. There isn’t any heat yet but we’re all dressing warm. We placed a big order for food from a local restaurant that was really happy, for a Saturday night – it’s still taking time to come back to life.
We’ll post more updates as we reboot and rebuild.
For the first time in about a week we don’t need to carry our “go bag” from place to place, stock piles of batteries, bottled water, snack-bar, solar panels, mintyboosts and flashlights everywhere. Well, we still carry some of those Monday the city will mostly be back, our thoughts are with the people and businesses that are still struggling to get back after this event.
Thank you everyone for the kind words, support and orders – it all helps!
As the city of New York struggles to get back online in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many companies and start-ups are trying to regain their footing and restart operations.
The problem is, much of Lower Manhattan, where many are located, is still without power and Internet. But entrepreneurs, engineers and developers aren’t letting that stop them. They are camping out in one another’s apartments and offices in an attempt to still get a day’s work done. Of course, any place with a humming Wi-Fi connection, whether a coffee shop or an Apple Store, seems to be drawing displaced workers eager to get back into the swing of things. But camaraderie spurred by the storm seemed to knit the New York start-up scene together a bit tighter.
As we re-boot and get back to business after being without power, net, heat, etc for the last week. We’ll do a series of posts about what we’re doing to not only help our employees displaced by Sandy but what we’re doing in the local area and NYC to help people and businesses. One employee is going to stay at another place for a bit, their apartment might not be habitable for awhile, we’re going to cover the rent for them while they get back on their feet with a new place – all employees, hourly and part time are getting paid for the week we were out as well. We had one new person who was going to start on Monday of last week but could not, we’re going to give them a week’s pay so they don’t need to worry about any bills piling up.
On a more tasty note – One of the hardest hit types of business around here in NYC were the restaurants, we’re trying to see which ones could use a boost as we work some late hours and get delivery or stop in. We’ll try and see who needs some business in our area and post about them here too.
Widespread cellphone service outages across the region hit by Sandy, with some carriers performing better than others depending on the location, are giving those debates new urgency.
In the East Village and Greenwich Village neighborhoods of Manhattan, where power has been out since Monday night, signals on the AT&T Inc.’s T -0.46% network were hard to find during walk-throughs conducted by The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday and Thursday. Verizon Wireless’s network performed a bit better, with calls going through in much of the area.
In interviews, several residents corroborated those findings, saying that Sprint NextelCorp. S +1.60% and T-Mobile USA signals were elusive as well and that they used their neighbors’ Verizon phones when they had to make calls.
Sprint and AT&T were completely down for about 5 days in the areas hardest hit (where we happen to live and work). Verizon was up most/all of the time.
Update: Power is restored in 2 out of 3 Adafruit location in NYC (no internet or heat in all locations yet, but we’re thrilled to have power!). Our factory now has power, 2 of the 3 internet connections are down but our high-speed microwave dish based internet is up and running. The building is cleared for our staff to safely return and we will resume shipping soon once we assess any damage to the facility. Right now it looks like we’re out about $100k in revenue from orders being canceled and/or less orders during the downtime. We had some server downtime, but we’re back now too. This is the first time we’ve been able to get in our factory in over 5 days. Most/all staff will be coming in to ship orders as fast as possible and we’ll be working around the clock to resume all operations.
Thank you for patience during this event, the kind words and support from everyone continues to fuel us!