The Australian infrastructure service provider NBN has a problem: Animals regularly damage certain cables and connectors, thus putting important high-performance Internet connections at risk.The culprits: cockatoos.

Cockatoos Are Disturbing Internet

As the operators of the so-called National Broadband Network announced in Australia, they have a highly curious problem from a European perspective. Until a while ago, nuts, fruits, and cereals had to suffer from hordes of cockatoos, because they were destroying the corresponding plantations and fields. Now cockatoos are after the power and fiber optic cables at the interfaces between radio and radio operated by NBN Landline.

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The birds are gnawing through the cables, thus severely damaging the expensive infrastructure that is actually vital for the rural regions of Australia. In total, NBN operates almost 2,000 corresponding so-called fixed wireless towers. So far, the NBN Co technicians have encountered eight towers on which cockroach cables have been stripped and thus rendered useless. It has cost more than about 80,000 Australian dollars to replace these cables alone. NBN estimates put the potential number of damaged fixed wireless towers at up to 200.

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The reason for the predilection of the cockatoos for the cables of the equipment of the communication interfaces is due to the fact that their beaks grow constantly and therefore must be constantly “maintained” and thus worn out in order to perform their duties flawlessly. Because the damaged hardware is special cable, each replacement costs around 10,000 Australian dollars.

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According to NBN, other telecommunications providers in Australia are also affected by the sometimes massive damage caused by cockatoos, which causes millions of dollars a year. It is not the active cables that are used, but rather replacement cables that are attached to the towers of the network operators.However, this makes it almost impossible to actively investigate any damage. In the event of a failure, it is sometimes only possible to detect a defect in the replacement cables, which then leads to additional costs and delays.

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The least preliminary solution to the cockatoo problem is basically simple: NBN now creates small plastic enclosures in which the cable ends are to be protected from access by the birds. Each of these small boxes costs about 10 euros, so it should, therefore, be very easy to finance, in order to avoid permanent damage in the end.

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