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Fascinating photos and a video showing just how badly damaged Verizon's cable vault is in lower Manhattan: http://www.theverge.com/2012/11/17/3655442/restoring-verizon...

The entire vault was filled with water, and 90,000 feet of copper cable was destroyed.

Interestingly, customers using their FiOS fiber optic service for voice, internet, and TV had their service restored over a week ago.

Water doesn't bother optical cables, but destroyed copper.
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I love that bowels of NY type stuff. Thanks for the link.
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Water doesn't bother optical cables, but destroyed copper.

I hadn't heard of paper insulation in the cables before, and it is the paper wicking the water deeper into the cables that was blamed for destroying them. I suspect that some of those copper cables are pretty old and even non-paper insulation would probably break down with enough time.

Fiber cables are probably newer, and water usually doesn't destroy glass.

The video did say that water destroyed the equipment that terminates the runs of fiber. However, unlike the destroyed copper cables, the fiber cables don't have to be restrung.
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That was one of the rationales I considered when proposing shifting the entire telecom network over to fiber. The long-term benefits far outweigh the short-term costs.
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Salt water can scar the cladding on fiber optic.

And the issue with copper is the junctions short when they get wet more than an issue with the copper itself.

At least that is what the geeks at Corning told me when I worked there.
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The video did say that water destroyed the equipment that terminates the runs of fiber. However, unlike the destroyed copper cables, the fiber cables don't have to be restrung.

Cable is cheap. Any kind - some cheaper than others, but it is almost never a major expense in any system.

Stringing it is expensive.

(Getting space and permission to string it is sometimes even more expensive.)
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