Blackout hits IT data

An electricity blackout in Sydney's central business district (CBD) last week highlighted system vulnerability for a number of IT departments in the city.

The CBD, Darling Harbour and Pyrmont were without power for up to two hours on the afternoon of October 12.

Eric Aubert, a spokesman for Energy Australia, said: "No power company can guarantee 100 per cent supply at all times and we recommend that businesses and consumers who need that 100 per cent guarantee . . . get their own backup systems."

Allegiance Mining, based in York Street, Sydney, lost data after its computer systems shut down and is now considering implementing an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) unit, according to a company spokesperson.

Brenton Halligan, a law firm based in Kent Street, also suffered an IT shutdown that lasted for about 20 minutes.

"We're very busy with lots of deadlines and we really didn't need the computers to go down," staffer Genevieve Kentish said.

The Elizabeth Street store of retailer David Jones was closed for the blackout's duration and network hubs had to be switched off until power was restored, Sean Wain, the retailer's IT manager, told Computerworld. At Australia Post's Castlereagh Street branch computers shut down as a result of the blackout, but no loss of data occurred.

Aubert said Energy Australia is unlikely to compensate customers affected by the blackout. "We pass [all claims] on to our insurer and in most cases we won't compensate simply for loss of supply."

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