UK’s internet infrastructure at risk from future flooding

July 31, 2015

Lumison, one of the UK's leading business-class ISPs, has warned of the implications of current flooding and the industry’s wider sensitivity to risks in the future, and that future floods in vulnerable areas could put the entire country’s internet infrastructure at risk.

The chief executive officer of Lumison has reported that the potent combination of flood risk in the Thames gateway, potentially affecting London Docklands, together with datacenter pricing rising by almost 300% in 18 months, means that we need a fundamental rethink. There is no doubt that the costs of decentralising the UK internet infrastructure will be far outweighed by the implications of doing nothing.

With key internet peering points, such as LINX, all based in London, and many smaller ISPs entirely reliant on a handful of neutral datacenter operators in the Docklands area of London, the company warns that we may suffer a national network disaster should the worst happen. With the flooding incidents around the country in June and July of 2015, and the ageing Thames barrier reaching the end of its natural life, this prospect may not be as far fetched as it may seem.

Many climate experts believe that London is likely to suffer as a result of rising sea levels, with major exchanges becoming especially vulnerable. The recent floods in the UK affected only a handful of providers to a minor degree. However, the effect of such an event upon an area like London cannot be ignored.

timyeo

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