We were chatting about the BBC at UltraMAP Towers this week, because of a recent story on the BBC website.
The headline was:
“Paddington station: Passengers face major disruption”
The follow on-narrative began:
“Rail passengers are facing major disruption after a test train damaged power cables near one of London’s busiest stations. Services between Paddington and Slough started running at midday, after 500m of overhead cables were “severely” damaged during a Hitachi train test run last Tuesday night.”
There then followed 200 words from the BBC reporter; fine detail of how ‘this train’ and ‘that train’ were late, and how some trains were stopped altogether.
Now, clearly, this is not a funny story for commuters. But it was slightly humorous for the UltraMAP team.
Seen Versus Not Seen.
Trains (which we can see) hitting cables (which we can see) inconveniencing passengers (which we can see or be) is a real and tangible threat and problem. We can all relate to that.
Things that we can’t see, threatened by things we don’t appreciate, damage to which impact on us in ways we don’t understand are much harder to relate to.
Welcome to the world of subsea cabling.
UltraMAP monitor hundreds of thousands of miles of subsea cables, every minute of every hour – every day of the year.
If things go wrong an entire country’s communications could suddenly stop.
Medical procedures that are happening right now could be interrupted.
That data you’re transferring to set up a new UK branch of your US based business could be wiped.
And, of course, that film you’re watching with your pals might come to an unscheduled end also.
Here at UltraMAP we love what we do. We aren’t phased for a moment by the fact that we look after some very important cables that allow many very important people to do some very important things.
And we also accept that lots of our work is invisible. We are assurance. We stop the bad stuff happening. This is invisible work.
So, whilst it is the job of most businesses to get as much attention as possible, UltraMAP doesn’t expect to be making the headlines any time soon.
In fact – if we ever do – it’s probably because of a story, just like the story about the railways, that you definitely don’t want to be reading.
Here’s a link to the BBC story: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-45885867.