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Cable Cut in Sydney's Central Business District

Many Will Be Without Phone, Mobile and Internet Service For Possibly a Week

1 min read
Cable Cut in Sydney's Central Business District

The Australianreported today that last night that contractors working for Energy Australia cut through a bundle of Telstra copper wires and some multiple-fibre optical cables near the corner of York and Erskine streets in Sydney's central business district (CBD). At first thought, over 10,000 business and residential customers were thought to be affected, but the Sydney Morning Heraldreports that about 2,000 are now thought to be without phone, mobile, or Internet service. 

Some customers will see their telecom services return in the next day or so, but many won't until next week, Telstra said. The company also said that it cost AU$1 million, but that likely doesn't include compensation costs for those affected.

Last year, a fiber optic cable belonging to the telecommunications company Optus was severed by a contractor causing a major land line, mobile phone and Internet shutdown for more than one million people in Queensland and Northern NSW.

As in that episode, the next thing to watch for is the blame game. While Energy Australia has apologized for the mishap, no doubt someone will say that the infrastructure maps showing where the cables were and or their depth were out of date or inaccurate.

Telstra probably wasn't happy that this happened at all, but especially after yesterday's demand by the Australian government for it to voluntarily break itself up - or else.


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An IBM Quantum Computer Will Soon Pass the 1,000-Qubit Mark

The Condor processor is just one quantum-computing advance slated for 2023

4 min read
This photo shows a woman working on a piece of apparatus that is suspended from the ceiling of the laboratory.

A researcher at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center examines some of the quantum hardware being constructed there.

Connie Zhou/IBM

IBM’s Condor, the world’s first universal quantum computer with more than 1,000 qubits, is set to debut in 2023. The year is also expected to see IBM launch Heron, the first of a new flock of modular quantum processors that the company says may help it produce quantum computers with more than 4,000 qubits by 2025.

This article is part of our special report Top Tech 2023.

While quantum computers can, in theory, quickly find answers to problems that classical computers would take eons to solve, today’s quantum hardware is still short on qubits, limiting its usefulness. Entanglement and other quantum states necessary for quantum computation are infamously fragile, being susceptible to heat and other disturbances, which makes scaling up the number of qubits a huge technical challenge.

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