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26 Apr, 2021 13:32

‘Uniquely Canadian’: Beavers temporarily cut off remote town from the outside world by chewing through fiber optic cable

‘Uniquely Canadian’: Beavers temporarily cut off remote town from the outside world by chewing through fiber optic cable

A small, remote town in British Columbia, Canada was practically plunged into the dark ages this past weekend, after a marauding mob of beavers gnawed their way through fiber optic cables supplying phone, TV and internet.

Some 900 customers in the Tumbler Ridge community in northeastern British Columbia were largely cut off from the outside world for a period of 36 hours as Telecoms workers scrambled to identify the source of the outage.

Their investigations led them to a local beaver dam, conspicuously crowned with the orange protective tape which normally surrounds underground fiber optic cables. 

In their rush for some home improvements, the beavers simultaneously disrupted local cell phone and cable TV service from provider Telus.

“Beavers have chewed through our fibre cable at multiple points, causing extensive damage,” said Telus spokesperson Liz Sauvé.

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Sauvé added that “the beavers dug underground alongside the creek to reach our cable, which is buried about three feet underground and protected by a 4.5-inch thick conduit.” 

The inconsiderate eager beavers chewed through the conduit before severing the critical cable in multiple locations in the early hours of Saturday morning, ruining many residents’ weekends in the process.

Several clever residents who were out of town during the Beaver insurrection put their heads together and rediscovered an ancient technology known as a “landline” telephone to spread news the “old fashioned way.”

Telus engineers and work crews battled “challenging conditions” and worked “around the clock” to restore service just before 6:30pm ET on Sunday. 

Telus apologized for the disruption to service but acknowledged the “very unusual and uniquely Canadian turn of events.”

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