North American Network Operators Group

Date Prev | Date Next | Date Index | Thread Index | Author Index | Historical

Re: Is your ISP Influenza-ready?

  • From: Michael.Dillon
  • Date: Wed Apr 19 07:33:45 2006

> Uhh... I think, I _hope_ that we are talking about 40% of your
> workforce NOT SHOWING UP TO THE OFFICE for days or weeks, not
> dropping dead, not even necessarily getting sick.

During the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, and estimated 20 to 50
million people died worldwide. Every year, ordinary flu kills
between 1/2 and 1 million people. Nobody really knows how many
people the next flue pandemic will kill, and they don't really
know when it will come. It could be next winter's flu season.
Or it could be 10 or 15 years from now.

Also, the impact of the flu is not just deaths. Many more people
will be sick and will recover. But they won't be able to work.
Many people will not be sick but they will want to stay home and
care for their sick family members or friends because they know that
this time, the flu is a SERIOUS ILLNESS. This is where the figures
of 25% to 40% of the population come from. It includes all those
who stay home through illness or through the desire to care for an
ill person. What can't be predicted is how many will stay home through
fear. In any case, if systems are in place to work from home, then
the impact is reduced to those who are actually ill.

In addition to percentage of people impacted, there is the timeframe.
They estimate that the pandemic will last 3 to 5 months.

And then there are the actions of local governments. In my city
they plan to prohibit sporting events, conferences, theatre performances
and similar events which attract crowds. They may shut down the public
transport systems in whole or in part. This is where you need to 
coordinate your company's activities with local governments. Does your
company's continuity planning department really know who are the 
critical people and what support they need? What if somebody needs to
go to a PoP to replace cards in a router? Will the police let that
person travel? Is that person registered as a critical employee who
needs to be supported, not hindered? What if your mayor declares that
the police will not allow anyone on the streets without a facemask?
Will your critical employees have the facemasks that they need or will
the police force them back into their cars at gunpoint?

You need to work through various scenarios with your continuity planning
people and make sure that they liaise with local officials. Everyone
knows that the telephone company is important, but it is not as 
widely known that Internet infrastructure is as important.

--Michael Dillon