Economy

Bird attack: cockatoos feast on NBN cables

The latest post from NBN Co - the zany company tasked with rolling our our nation's new National Broadband Network - is a little lighter in tone than usual, although it does still manage to point the finger at someone other than itself. The plan to bring fiber-optic broadband Internet to every Australian has been pared back in its ambitions, with a shift to a fiber backbone between "nodes" and distribution over copper wire or cable networks to the majority of users.

The broadband network itself has come under fire for poor service and slow speeds, with customer complaints spiking almost 160 per cent this year, according to government figures released last month.

Australia's average Internet speed of 11.1 megabits per second ranks 50th in the world, according to the most recent State of the Internet report by Akamai Technologies, an IT company specialising in Internet speed technology.

In an attempt to improve Australia's internet speed - now lagging behind many developed countries at 11.1 megabits per second - a national telecommunications infrastructure project has been instigated and is due for completion in 2021.

"Cockatoos usually go for wood, or strip the bark off trees, They don't usually go for cables". So far, they say, they have spent A$80,000 ($61,500, £47,000).

NBN has had to replace power and fibre cables at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars each time.

Rather than targeting active cables protected by ribbed plastic, the cockatoos are biting at spare wiring strong on towers for future needs, and means that technicians only discover the damage during site checks.

She suggested the colour or the position of the cables could have attracted the birds.

"They are constantly sharpening their beaks and as a result will attack and tear apart anything they come across".

"That's Australia for you".



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