"My cable encountered a frisky beaver and soon I experienced packet loss."
^ What the headline should've been.
The Canadian town of Tumbler Ridge – population 2,000 – had its internet-bearing cable chewed through in the early hours of Saturday. Beavers were the culprits in this crime against rural information distribution as they got their sizable incisors into the 4.5-inch conduit connecting the town on the edge of the Rocky Mountains …
If you only have one cable feeding the town then this is going to happen. It would be more reliable if they setup multiple feeds instead of just hoping that the one cable will never break or get eaten. On the other hand, they are out in the beautiful countryside, technology is fun but walking around and listening to the birds singing to each other in the countryside is much nicer than tweeting on the internet.
It's a town of 2000 people and 900 ISP account holders were affected according to the article. It's at a Y junction of two relatively main roads looking at Google Maps, but it's basically in the middle of nowhere. They may have more than one horse there but that might be open to opinion as to whether the other one is still alive. I doubt any of the utilities have more than one feed into town.
Kind of. There are actually three $TELCO routes from San Jose to San Martin/Gilroy, and have been for 80 years or more. One takes the obvious Highway 101 corridor. Another runs West of that, through the Almaden Valley and then past Chesbro Reservoir and into South San Martin/North Gilroy. These two mostly follow old rail rights of way.
The third runs up Highway 17 to Redwood Estates, follows the backbone of the Santa Cruz mountains to Corralitos, and then Watsonville, and then 152 over to Gilroy. This right of way is a remnant of coastal defenses during WWII and later used through the Cold War.
The fiber cuts of 10ish years ago caused the widespread outages in South Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties and North Monterey and San Benito Counties was because of a lack of properly configured redundant highspeed hardware, not lack of fiber.
The last part of this post is the most accurate. I lived in Tumbler Ridge for six years. The population peaked at 5 000 when the two major coal mines were operating. It's now fading away. There are three roads in (one was paved when I lived there -- I think two are now) and it's not at all surprising that there's only one fibre line. The surprising thing is that there are ANY fibre lines.
It's an absolutely beautiful area. Some of my best memories are of four-wheel-driving, swimming in the rivers and Flatbed Creek, and carousing at the pubs (yes, there were two at one time).
You don't need the internet there. Good beaver.
"We don't often get the opportunity."
If the hand-wringers and namby-pambys have their way, this might be the last time. If this is your kind of thing, enjoy it while you can.
I'm 98.5% certain ElReg has had hate mail about this from humo(u)rless idiots. Sad.
"I never went to Quebec."
Think France that never grew up, and refuses to at the top of it's lungs. On the other hand, Montréal doesn't smell nearly as bad as Paris. But they are working on it. Give 'em a couple more centuries.
Did you know that beavers is an anagram of Eve's bra?
Not that that matters either, of course ...
Rodents chewing cables can be a really serious problem causing accidents that could potentially become fatal.
On 2014, on a railway line on southern France, a train collided with the rear of another train after the second one had received a wrong green light. The end cause was that rodents chewed the signalling cables with so much misfortune that instead of cutting them (which would had caused the signal to fall back at danger) it put on contact two different wires that signalled the track circuit* as free of any trains while it was still occupied.
*Actually, there was no track circuit properly named but a system, called BAPR, where a train is detected between signals and the previous signal is cleared after the next one is passed by a train with the same number of axles.
Beaver at the confluence of James Creek and the North Fork of Big River (bottom of Seven Mile Hill on Hwy 20, between Fort Bragg and Willits in Mendocino County, CA) took out the telephone line into Fort Bragg in the late '80s, effectively destroying all communications in or out for a week or so. The town now has functional redundant lines.
 Three poles, actually. There is no word on the crittter's opinion of pressure treated lumber.
Canadian Geese are easily subverted. I have a couple nesting pairs living here year-round. All they need is fresh water, fresh lawn, safety from predators and they will happily renounce their Canadian citizenship. Or maybe it's the weather.
Beavers don't care a lick about borders. Mercs, the lot of 'em.
The only surprise is that the burrowing rodent is one people actually find "cute". As a refugee from 30+ years in the telecom/cable industry, I can tell you that gophers are the reigning champ of buried cable issues.
First we buried insulated cable - they would chew right through it.
Next we tried armored ('armoured' across 'the pond') cable, but they would chew to that and then short out the grounding of the cable.
Last I saw was a double-armored cable - outer PVC, then flexible metal conduit that electrically 'floated' followed by more PVC-type stuff insulating yet another flexible metal shield, then the actual sheath of the cables (twisted pair, coax, fiber, et al)!
The second most common cause of a cable break was an IWBH - Idiot With Backhoe...
Here in Northern California, ground squirrels are the winner in that sweepstakes, followed by rabbits, and then the ubiquitous (and ravenous) Backhoe Beast.
There are a few critters that are dangerous to Humans working on these things out in the field ... Here in N. Ca, Black Widow spiders, rattlesnakes and deer ticks top the list.
"Idiot With Backhoe..."
We've had that problem here in Australia with the NBN, several times. The last time that it happened - less than 6 months ago, we had intermittent problems and slow data transfer speeds for almost 4 weeks, as the technicians had to repair the Optical Fibre lines, one at a time, as well as use redundant links just to get the towns on the lines a basic connection. Currently it's working great, thankfully. I just hope that we don't have any problems for the next couple of years.
We had a site go down because of rodent infestation in the room where the FOBOT is.
Before leaving, we told the building manager to get an exterminator in ASAP because, judging from the size (and quantity) of the rat poo, it was not a "small thing". Did he listen? Heck, no, he did not.
Guess what happened? The next day, the same link went down.
He got the message (and the bill for BOTH repairs) and got an exterminator in BEFORE the repairs were completed.