ICANN57 in Hyderabad hit by Hamburg containership fire

While much recent focus has been on the extent to which the “old economy” is vulnerable to cyber attack, the cyber-economy is equally vulnerable to events in the physical world as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) has discovered to its cost.

The fire on 9,000 TEU containership CCNI Arauco had ICANN’s public meeting technical equipment on board in one 40ft and one 20ft container.

The ship had departed Helsinki, Finland after ICANN56, and the equipment was bound for Hyderabad, India via Mumbai, where ICANN57 is to be held.

The larger container sustained no damage and was off-loaded to another ship to continue its journey to India, where it is due to arrive on October 18th. However, the smaller container which held printers, remote participation computers, camera kits, digital signage equipment, and all network hardware and wireless equipment, including over five miles of cabling, was detained in Hamburg because of its proximity to the fire.

ICANN said that, due to maritime law, inspections by German authorities and the shipping company’s insurance adjusters, moving this equipment could take between several months and several years. “This means that even if the equipment is undamaged, this container will not arrive in time for ICANN57”, the organization said

ICANN said that it had  a detailed inventory of the 27 cases in the container and had immediately begun replacing the equipment. As of September 26th it had purchased all replacement equipment that it deemed to be critical for ICANN57.

“In this worst-case scenario, our equipment vendors have committed to us to provide the critical replacement equipment for ICANN57.”

Two services will not be available as a result of the fire: Interactive Remote hubs and the Content Delivery Network (CDN) service.

Without the latter, attendees will still have Internet access, but might notice slower response times for select downloads.