Wireless broadband users in Canterbury have seen their services disrupted by some unwelcome interference.
After investigating, Kent-based ISP Vfast discovered the culprits – cable thieving vermin.
That’s actual vermin by the way as in the four-legged kind, not the type usually nicked for their cable-lifting antics.
Read Recombu Digital’s reports on Broadband Cable Theft and BT’s anti-theft RABIT technology
On Twitter, Vfast revealed how “most of Canterbury and surrounding areas” lost services “due to rat damage on fibre spine cable,” posting the above image once BT engineers turned up to repair the damage.
Rats can and will gnaw through broadband cables unless they’re properly armoured. In a chat with ISPreview, VFast’s Darren Brown revealed that the company was unsure whether Openreach has protected this cable or not (they clearly hadn’t). Brown also detailed plans to set up wireless backhaul to run in tandem with fibre backhaul, should the rat problem rear its head again.
Normally, BT engineers are notified of any incidents of this nature thanks to a different kind of rodent. The RABIT (Rapid Assessment BT Incident Tracker) software has helped engineers locate and patch up network problems such as this and in some cases of human pests stealing cable out of the ground, arrest those responsible.
Vfast supplies wireless broadband with speeds of up to 50Mbps across the majority of Kent, although as it the case with wireless broadband, terrain and line of sight are factors as to whether you can actually get it or not.
The areas of East Farleigh, East Malling, Marden, Staplehurst, Wateringbury and West Farleigh will be able to sign up for Vfast broadband this Spring. The Vfast coverage footprint extended to Wickhambreaux near Wingham earlier this month.