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Australian Broadband Has a Cockatoo Problem

Australia’s got a problem when it comes to broadband, namely that internet connections across the country are significantly slower than they are in other developed nations[1]. To fix this, the National Broadband Network is in the middle of a multiyear, multi-billion-dollar project to install more efficient infrastructure across Australia. The cost of which keeps going up as yellow-crested cockatoos have taken to gnawing through the cables with their beaks.

So actually, Australia has two problems: slow internet and birds.

In a post on its website, the NBN notes that current damages ring in at £80,000. That number is likely to rise, given the birds are putting their beaks through spare cables “strung on the towers for future capacity needs.” Meaning a technician has to be on-site to test if the cables are ruined. So far, NBN technicians have found eight damaged towers and estimate that another 200 could also be compromised.

Each tower costs £10,000 to repair. “They are constantly sharpening their beaks and as a result will attack and tear apart anything they come across …

You wouldn’t think it was possible, but these birds are unstoppable when in a swarm,” Chedryian Bresland, an NBN project manager said[2]. “I guess that’s Australia for you; if the spiders and snakes don’t get you, the cockies will.” Ah, nature.

Related

It Only Took One Weasel to Shut Down the World’s Most Powerful Particle Collider[3]

References

  1. ^ namely that internet connections across the country are significantly slower than they are in other developed nations (www.akamai.com)
  2. ^ Chedryian Bresland, an NBN project manager said (www.nbnco.com.au)
  3. ^ It Only Took One Weasel to Shut Down the World’s Most Powerful Particle Collider (nymag.com)

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