RealTime IT News

IT Infrastructure Re-Building Will Top $15 Billion

Carlsbad, CA-based Computer Economics estimates the cost of building the information technology infrastructure damaged last week in New York and Washington will be close to $15.8 billion.

The estimate includes about $1.7 billion spent to keep disrupted operations going in the short-term in work that will involve as many as 125,000 IT workers.

Beyond that, the company estimates $8 billion will be spent replacing the necessary telecommunications and data communications support, including servers, computers, workstations, terminals, printers and other equipment.

As much as $6 billion may be required to re-build the telecommunications infrastructure supporting these operations.

Greg Olson, senior director of product line management at Eden Prairie, Minn.-based data recovery firm OnTrack Data International, warns that some of the most valuable resources, the data, may be irreplacable.

"Most of the Fortune 500 companies will have off-site storage, alternative facilities," Olson explained. "But small and medium companies will probably not be as well covered. And for those firms it comes down to how much it costs to recreate data if it isn't possible to recover it."

"Our network is designed to provide back-up systems, and that redundant capability kept service up for many customers who might otherwise have been out of service," said Larry Babbio, Verizon vice chairman and president. "A good example is New York City's 9-1-1, which is completely redundant and has been working throughout this tragedy."

However, Verizon, whose West Street facility contains four call-processing computers serving 200,000 access lines and the equivalent of 3 million data circuits in lower Manhattan, sustained serious equipment losses. Babbio said that while some circuits that serve the Wall Street area go through the building, the company was attempting to by-pass the West Street facility for these circuits.

Amazingly, telco rival AT&T Corp. said Wednesday that its local network switching equipment, which routes telephone calls, was located in the basement of the World Trade Center towers and survived the implosion of the building.