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By: MarkJ - 13 October, 2011 (6:54 AM)
uk fibre optic cable installationratCable giant Virgin Media UK reports that several hungry rodents with a strong appetite for its delicious fibre optic cable have managed to trigger sporadic broadband, phone and TV service outages across several parts of Scotland (brings a new meaning to the phrase "fibre in your diet").

Reports on The Register suggest that a number of areas including Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes and Leven were affected by the problems between Monday morning and Tuesday evening.

Virgin Media Statement

"The loss of service was due to rodent damage to some underground cabling. On Monday morning our engineers were on site as soon as possible and worked at the highest priority to repair the damage, with service restored early evening on Monday.

Further damage was incurred on Tuesday afternoon and our engineers returned to repair the damage. We've now put additional measures in place to prevent further damage to our cables."

Virgin's mascot, Speedy Gonzales, has not been implicated in the damage as he is an animated caricature of a mouse and not a rat (in case you were wondering, which you probably weren't). He's also Mexican and probably can't get a visa for the UK anymore.

Anyway it might surprise some readers that rodents are actually one of the most common causes of damage that can lead to cable failure. Lightning strikes, overloads or surges, installation problems and shovels (building / digging damage) are the other common causes.
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