back to article Scottish rats scoff optic fibre, take down broadband

Strong-jawed rats brought down broadband services in the east of Scotland this week by chewing through fibre optic cables, Virgin Media told The Reg today in a statement. Virgin Media phone, television and broadband customers in the Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes and Leven areas suffered outages and intermitent coverage for a period of …

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I'm torn

Between "The cables cannae take it cap'n" and something about the perils of deep frying...

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Coat

Adds a new meaning to Trouble with Tribbles?

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Boffin

Reg Units

A bite strength of 10 pounds is hard for me to visualise. What's that in Mouse Button Clicks? I know how hard I need to push a button on a Microsoft Mouse.

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Coat

rodents?

Seriously, rats?

They should deploy CAT-5....

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Anonymous Coward

Unsurprised the sweaties

didn't consider the possibility of anything eating fibre and coming back for seconds.

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Just ...

... a light snack.

(sorry)

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Anonymous Coward

oh RATS....

its VM doing a CUT' Price advertising camPAIN up north...

with all you can eat for under 10 Pounds ;p

sounds tasty...

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The attraction of 'new'

Rats love new cables. They probably only chewed the existing cables so they would get some new cables. It's probably that 'new' smell that new plastic gives off.

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Coat

Is the Haggis out of season then?

Seriously, catch and breed these little buggers and then flog them to the MOD ... weaponized rattus rattus with an appetite for fibre could take out your adversaries communications capabilities before they even know they're under attack!

OK, I'm stuffing one in me pocket and dashing off to file a patent!

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Boffin

It's more likely

rattus norvegicus (norway/sewer rat) as opposed to rattus rattus (ship rat/black rat) found mainly in docks.

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Coat

Jezzz!

Now I gotta re-file the patent!

Seriously - this is why I love this place!

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Simple solution

Since these are presumably Scottish rats - the additional measures consist of a healthy fruit and vegetable coating.

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I didnae know you could deep-fry fibre!

/coat

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Pint

Deep Frying, got to be

VM engineers now busy making up a new batch of batter with added <insert rat poison of choice>. All they now need to do is keep the locals away......

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Joke

Disclaimer: I'm also Scottish but from a different part of the country

"VM engineers now busy making up a new batch of batter with added <insert rat poison of choice>. All they now need to do is keep the locals away......"

Keep the locals away? Surely it'd be better to let them eat it too :-)

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Coat

There's not much that can stop them - rats have been known to gnaw their way up through three inch thick concrete. Many mouths make light work. Cables don't taste too bad - that's the problem - we need cables that taste awful. This icon means "they've shredded my coat".

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Anonymous Coward

Rats?

It was clearly a Siberian Hamster.

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Joke

It's Siberian filigree hamster.

AKA a bleedin rat.

Just bring in the Scottish terriers and be done with it.

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Anonymous Coward

Cabling chewed by rodents

Use CAT 6. Cats One, Two, Three, Four and Five are already well fed and snoozing by the fireside.

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Unfortunate title

At first I thought Gordon Brown was involved.

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Childcatcher

Did they run out of Whisky?

and started on the cables?

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Holmes

Have you seen the size of the blending / bottling plant / bonded warehouse in Leven? Those would be very pissed rats. "That's grattychewed for ye", as we say in the Kingdom.

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DJV
Holmes

Small mammals!

Well, that makes a change from larger, human sized mammals mistaking fibre-optic for copper...

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Go

The Chinese have a rat poison that's so good ...

it's banned as too dangerous in several countries.

It's an innocuous looking white powder which easily satisfies a rats reluctance to eat new things without a day or two sampling period, then it zaps them but good!

Available in many Chinatowns to discrete shoppers. You can also get white 'chalk' fatal for cockroaches.

Just make sure you wash your hands afterwards, very, very carefully!

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Mushroom

Don't explain my my Cable has been down since 8am Friday morning a engineer not visiting and having to rebook one for tomorrow... and no I am not in Scotland I am in Liverpool.

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Joke

New breed of rodent

Pikey Rattus ?

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Alert

Rats? - You were lucky!

In Australia telcos have to deal with wombats sampling their armoured comms cable. The bite of a wombat will almost certainly be many times more forceful that of a rat.

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Anonymous Coward

Local User

This isn't a new problem for VM. It was already known about when they were still Telewest in the Fife area.

This sort of incident has happened several times in the past. There are several issues involved and I can't pretend to know about all of them.

1) The rodents appear to LOVE the insulating Gel used in Fibre Optic Cables.

2) They (Telewest at the time) didn't use Sub Ducting to protect their network when it was built. It was deemed to be too expensive and therefore not necessary.

3) VM appear to have stopped the Stop Gap solution Telewest used. Getting guys to go out and put Rat Poison in the access points. Low-tech but it did work to some extent.

4) The latter is probably linked to the fact that part of the maintenance of the network was outsourced to contractors rather then being done "In House"

I just hope that

"Further damage was incurred on Tuesday afternoon and our engineers returned to repair the damage. We've now put additional measures in place to prevent further damage to our cables."

Means that they might put in sensible long term solutions in place

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