Rats! Freak outage shuts down New Zealand Stock Exchange

Rats! Freak outage shuts down New Zealand Stock Exchange

The New Zealand Stock Exchange was forced to close for several hours on Monday after rodents apparently chewed through a fibre-optic communication cable, leading to the collapse of the country's telecoms network.

Rats are thought to have chewed through a main communication cable on the country's North Island. Services were then routed to different parts of the network, but at the same time a Telecom New Zealand worker accidentally damaged a second main cable in another part of the country, causing the national telecoms infrastructure to collapse.

Trading on the New Zealand Stock Exchange was halted at 11.01am due to the network failure and didn't start up again until 4pm, although the exchange stayed open for an extra 30 minutes until 5.30pm.

The outage also disrupted the national eftpos network, although the Bank of New Zealand told reporters that the systems failure had not affected or delayed overnight settlements between banks.

The network failure has raised concerns about the resilience of the national telecoms infrastructure, but the New Zealand government downplayed the problem, with Communications Minister David Cunliffe saying the two accidents were a "freak occurrence".

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