New Zealand is a long, thin country, divided into two main islands amusingly known as the North Island and the South Island. Driving from the tip of the North to the tip of the South would take two or three days human time*, so our population of a tad more than 4 million is well dispersed.
That kind of geography, which includes a liberal scattering of mountains down the middle and a notorious stretch of water known as Cook Strait between the two islands makes infrastructure a bit tricky.
So the other day when a rat chewed its way through one of our main communication cables at the same time as a worker accidentally severed the other main cable hilarity didn’t ensue.
Telecom networks were paralysed for five hours, knocking out mobile and internet communications and causing major disruption for retailers, financial markets and banks.
Telecom here is the name of our biggest communications provider so those of us who use Telstra Clear and Vodafone were less affected. It does explain though why although my Internet connection was working fine I was unable to send some emails through my normal server for a few hours and unable to reach some websites in the South Island which I just knew wouldn’t have disappeared.