back to article Meet the slimeballs who are openly sabotaging Virgin Media

Snails attacked a Virgin Media broadband cabinet in Shropshire, UK, resulting in sluggish broadband services. The escargot slid into a cabinet on Wednesday and were subsequently flambéd after being electrocuted by the battery. According to an incident report by the Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, a call was received on …

  1. hplasm
    Happy

    Mmmm-

    Tasty! Unlike most network fiddlers- who should all be incinerated on site. (sic)

  2. JimmyPage
    Mushroom

    Exploding rodents ...

    Many years ago, I worked for the predecessor to TransCo (or whatever they are called these days).

    Most common call out for the telemetry guys was a loss of signal caused by rabbits and/or squirrels nibbling into power cables which were armoured.

    By their very nature, high-pressure grid offtakes and junctions are a *long* way from population centres.

    <- nibble, nibble, BANG

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: Exploding rodents ...

      ^---- nibble nibble BANG

      which begs the question - how are wabbitses/squirrels being able to nibble through armoured power cables? I mean the armour must be harder than their teeth?

      Or is it just a case of the wabbit/squirrel nibbling patiently away at the same spot for weeks on end?

      1. Phil W

        Re: Exploding rodents ...

        I assume you've never had a pet rabbit/hamster/gerbal/guinea pig/other rodent. I think you'd be surprised at the piercing ability of rodent teeth. It's not just about the hardness of the teeth but also the sharpness and the surface area combined to jaw muscle power ratio which is surprisingly high.

        Armoured cables are in general intended to withstand strikes from tools and digging equipment, a spade driven by a human or a mechanical digger may be powerful but the power is spread over the whole surface of the digging implement.

        Also I think in a lot of cases when builders damage armoured cable, it's not so much the initial impact that damages the cable but also the pulling and torsional stress as the digging implement tries to pull the cable out of the ground along with the surrounding earth. A squirrel on the other hand can't really apply much force to the cable as a whole.

        Not to mention it has to be possible to cut the armour with something, otherwise how would you ever get the correct length of cable :)

    2. Mike Moyle Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Exploding rodents ...

      While related, technically rabbits are lagomorphs, not rodents.

      Just sayin'.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Exploding rodents ...

      Apparently the US listening station at RAF Menwith Hill had big problems with rabbits eating their cables. The ex-GCHQ bod who told me the story thought it was hilarious that British bunnies were munching the cables of our Yank 'cousins'.

  3. Putters

    Zapped Mouse

    Back in the days when Metronet were the PPP contractor for maintaining a large chunk of the London Underground, we suffered a major signal main failure at South Kensington.

    On removing a cover from the transformer a very very frazzled and very very deceased mouse (of the four legged variety, not the unitesticular variety that then were attached to the PCs) was revealed.

    I remember the incident well, being the bod that worked out the £679k it cost them in contractual penalties ...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ultrafast broadband? Has nobody learned from USB naming scheme ( full speed, high speed, ludicrous speed )?

    What happens when we run out of adjectives?

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      What happens when we run out of adjectives?

      Then Marketing will just invent some more, even less plausible, ones.

      "Erotofast broadband, for all your personal video needs."

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Megaphone

        It can be done. Finish have just brought out a dishwasher tablet called Quantum Platinum Ulitmate Plus.

        1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

          a dishwasher tablet called Quantum Platinum Ultimate Plus.

          I once had a dishwasher that was definitely quantum - I never knew whether the plates were clean or dirty without opening the box. :-(

    2. Chez

      We can start tacking adjectives together. "Ultrasuper speeds!"

      There are plenty of possible combinations out there, might as well just start picking from a hat.

    3. MAF
      Childcatcher

      Teutonic approach

      We go for the German compound word approach like Ultra-Ultrafast Broadband.

      There's a similar problem in Biology when someone announced Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)....

    4. Paul 195

      Orwell already solved it, with Newspeak. Good, plusgood, doubleplusgood... and so on.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Shropshire echo?

    1. Alien8n

      Probably the same company as the Shropshire Star. It's not uncommon for local newspapers to sell under multiple names.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Coat

      The Shropshire Echo

      The Shropshire Echo

      The Shropshire Echo

  6. Stratman

    Wot, no garlic?

    Snails need garlic.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Wot, no garlic?

      What about red wine and herbs instead?

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Wot, no garlic?

        What about red wine and herbs instead?

        Why spoil it with snails?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wot, no garlic?

      I was just thinking, some French script on the cabinet, and a whiff of garlic, and those escargo will be heading the other way at 0.000001 mph!!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dire puns

    Weirdness of the story aside, Virgin Media sort of undermined the hassle caused for customers with those terrible snail puns.

    Should have left them to us!

    1. The Bloke next door

      Re: Dire puns

      Virgin media's service literature and help guides are littered with infantile language. They think we all "hip".

      And don't get me started on the awful choice in music they play whilst waiting on a call....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dire puns

        I worked there briefly, and I stress briefly, as it was NTL when I started and VM in my last two months.

        The internal 'culture' was as fake as you get as a customer. It was fortunately a while ago and it's been many brain cells killed since, but the forced jollity was particularly obscene considering they made loads of stage redundant and closed I think Swansea's support center down.

        Obviously, nobody is fooled, but it was exactly the same, or worse, on the inside.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meet the slimeballs

    I saw a BT Infinity van in the area, you know... And the driver was carrying this empty box WITH HOLES!!!!

    Inifinity v. Virgin, round 2016...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I know this one cool trick that for gettting online that Virgin will hate me telling you.

    Zebedee said to Brian.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Coat

      Re: I know this one cool trick that for gettting online that Virgin will hate me telling you.

      Is that because Zebedee is too cheap to spring for a few quid a month?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I know this one cool trick that for gettting online that Virgin will hate me telling you.

      And that one trick... 'your Virgin user neighbour's wifi password is Password321'

  10. salamamba too

    What's their excuse in the South East?

    What's Virgins excuse for their intermittent service in the South East this week?

    Unless the snails are migrating using Virgin cabling?

    1. DJV Silver badge

      "Unless the snails are migrating using Virgin cabling?"

      Probably, as they usually go by train.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Unless the snails are migrating using Virgin cabling?"

        They only go by Virgin train when the snails fancy a relaxing trip via the scenic route with plenty of rest stops. Just as a break from their comparatively blistering pace.

    2. PhilBuk

      Re: What's their excuse in the South East?

      I presume it's the same excuse for my sister's non-functional VM service - they're crap.

      Phil.

    3. P. Lee Silver badge

      What's their excuse in the South East?

      Existing communications infrastructure was fried (with garlic).

      They'll have to switch to wires.

  11. 0laf Silver badge

    DOSS attack

    Denial of Service Snail attack.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: DOSS attack

      Launched using a shell script...

      [I'm sorry, I appear to be suffering from Friday Afternoon Pun Syndrome.]

      1. cd

        Re: DOSS attack

        If it was wearing a hoodie, would it be a gnome shell?

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: DOSS attack

          Well, it weren't no powershell after the battery frazzled.

  12. IPTMan

    Open Invitation

    If you area is anything like mine (South of Gatwick) many of the Virgin roadside cabinets have their green metal doors hanging open/off for all to gather around and poke/prod the innards. My local school mummy-gathering point is in fact right by one of the said flasher-style cabs with plenty of human rodents (children) itching to infest the unusual cabinet of delights.

    By virtue of moving house I am soon to become a customer of the once Branson-run conglomerate and fear for the inevitable shiteness that I am about to unleash myself unto. TTB FTTC has served me well so far but the female element behind this house-move has her choice firmly set. I may seek some 'backdoor action' and install a secondary service suitably disguised :p

    1. Red Bren
      Joke

      Re: Open Invitation

      "I may seek some 'backdoor action' and install a secondary service suitably disguised"

      Did you mean to post that on Ashley Madison?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Open Invitation

      Check out the Virgin support forums before committing to a contract - my 70Mb connection is lucky to hit 7Mb at peak load times - every evening !

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Open Invitation

        I'm relatively ok with the service.

        I only get two speeds - the 70Mbps they advertise, and zero when it breaks down.

        They have finally decided to swap out the kit in the cabinet after a multitude of breakdowns, so hopefully the periods of nada will cease.

  13. hi_robb

    Oh dear

    This reminds me when I was younger and had a racing snail!

    I thought taking it's shell off would make it go faster, but it just made it sluggish....

  14. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Don't give snail mail any ideas

    Hush, the snail mail service may get ideas about using escargot to hinder the competition.

    1. bikerwales

      Re: Don't give snail mail any ideas

      Must be a few of these loose in my "Super Hub" (sic) and Tivo Box too - and I don't thnik I'm, the only judging by the Virgin forums

  15. Martin Summers Silver badge

    You lot with your puns... Lol you snailed it good and proper.

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Oh dear, that was shellish

  16. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    I'm in ur wiring cabinet sliming up your infrastructures.

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