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I've been inside of a few NOCs in my time, and almost without exception, there are a couple of big screens playing these channels. Why?

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closed as not a real question by John Gardeniers, Ben Pilbrow, Iain, jscott, Massimo Feb 21 '11 at 19:38

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4 Answers

Well, it does get boring in there sometimes, and I bet if the CIO saw us watching COPS instead of working it wouldn't go so well... :)

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... and the weather channel is somehow less boring? I assume the sound is off... –  Mark Henderson Feb 21 '11 at 5:09
    
Actually @mark, some of the shows they have like Storm Stories etc aren't half bad :) –  BenGC Feb 21 '11 at 5:11
    
your weather channel must be different to ours then. The ones I've seen just have 24/7 weather maps with sleep-inducing background music and the occasional live weather report. –  Mark Henderson Feb 21 '11 at 5:23
    
Hmm... I guess so. In the US we actually have a station called "The Weather Channel" and while a majority of the program is the weather they do have other stuff: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… –  BenGC Feb 21 '11 at 5:43
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Weather can affect many things, as can major geopolitical events, that could affect the operations of a network. At least, that's the "business reason". The actual reason is exactly what BenGC said - that it's boring as all hell to watch a bunch of monitors that 99% of the time are normal.

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Bang for buck. You need to get as many colour graphs and cool looking statistical lines onto the screen at the same time as possible. Preferably with sliding news reels and weather information for added real time data awe. This is mostly to convince management types that important things are being done. I know this sounds sarcastic, but it sadly isn't as much as it should be.

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Hahaha.. I think this may be the real answer :) –  duffbeer703 Feb 21 '11 at 18:50
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I'm working at a support center of a French ISP, and we do need those informations for various reasons:

  • Weather:
    • Rain: old copper cables (local loop) are sensible to water.
    • Thunderstorms: Low-end routers and modems have weak power supplies.
    • snow slows down our Field engineers :(
    • Some RF links are also affected by bad weather. (fortunately no laser/optical links)

Other events that I can remember of:

  • 2010 Haiti earthquake: several customers impacted
  • 2010 Chile earthquake: customers & backbone (routers, links) impacted
  • 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake & tsunami: several submarine communications cables down

But we do have also some customers in countries like Irak or Afganistan, were geopolitical situation can increase difficulty to repair. Green zone for example, is a restricted area where our Field engineers have to go...

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