February 1996. A half-ton bomb planted in a small truck near South Quay Station close to the recently renovated commercial district of Canary Wharf. The bomb detonated around 1900 hours, bringing down a six story building, and severely shaking Canary Wharf Tower and other buildings around the Docklands area. The area, home to much of the telecommunications interconnection capacity connecting the UK and Europe to the rest of the world, is severely damaged and all surrounding activity disrupted.
Today the Docklands area continues to support many important, high density communications interconnection points, including Telehouse Europe, the London Internet Exchange (LINX), and the London Network Access Point (LONAP) - in addition to individual nodes and facilities operated by European and other international telecommunications carriers.
This includes companies operating submarine fiber optic cable systems. These densely interconnected areas are referred to as telecommunications "SuperNodes," or if the facilities are located at individual facilities, "Carrier hotels."
The worst case scenario - a strong earthquake strikes California, disabling the carrier hotel at One Wilshire, disrupting operations at submarine cable landing stations in both the Los Angeles area and central California, with a resulting tsunami hitting Hawaii, Guam, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan.
Communications are severed to most of the South Pacific, and severely degraded to allow for only emergency services and national defense usage within the west coast of the United States. Financial and government communications are disrupted and severely limited into Japan, Hong Kong, and China.
Telecom carriers in Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, China, and Australia work frantically to restore cable, Internet, and telecom capacity from the Pacific submarine cable systems through the Indian Ocean to Europe and the US east coast. Seattle and San Francisco still have some connectivity, however cable systems from Grover Beach to San Diego are inoperable, limiting connections to those which were designed with automatic rerouting through North Pacific cable systems.