'NBN' cable replaces rat-chewed Telstra fibre

'NBN' cable replaces rat-chewed Telstra fibre

Summary: Conservative talkback radio station 2GB last week claimed to have discovered an exposed NBN cable on the south coast of New South Wales, only it wasn't actually NBN Co's cable.

TOPICS: NBN, Telcos, Telstra

Last week, 2GB radio host and fierce critic of the Australian government's AU$37.4 billion National Broadband Network (NBN) Ray Hadley claimed to have discovered pictures of an exposed NBN cable on the Minnamurra Bridge on the South Coast of New South Wales — only it wasn't actually NBN Co's cable, but rather Telstra's temporary fix for a cable destroyed by rats.

The "NBN" cable posted on 2GB's website.
(Image: Screenshot by Josh Taylor/ZDNet)

Hadley put the now-removed pictures up on his website on Wednesday, and read out an email from a listener who claimed that it showed how NBN Co is "cutting corners" with the construction of the network.

"It is obviously the NBN cable," Hadley said.

NBN Co told ZDNet last week that the cable wasn't at all related to the NBN. Shortly after 2GB pulled down the photos, Telstra confirmed to ZDNet that it was a temporary cable installed after a rat chewed through fibre and spare dark fibres along the bridge.

"It turned out a rat chewed the cable that runs through the conduit — it's a pipe concreted into the bridge walls on the Minnamurra Bridge. The cable length from one site to the next is 1.9 kilometres. The cable feeds a mobile tower on the western side of the highway, which services thousands of customers," a Telstra spokesperson said.

"The rat unfortunately chewed through the working fibres and all the dark spare fibres. Given the number of customers affected, we made the call to run a temporary cable to restore service to the mobile tower."

The spokesperson said that the conduit that Telstra runs through the bridge is currently blocked, and the company sought permission from the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA), which owns the bridge, and Kiama Council to trench new cable under the bridge and under Minnamurra Creek.

"Work is scheduled to start this week, with the bore under the river starting first. Vermin-proof cable is already onsite today," the spokesperson said on Wednesday. "The work is expected to be completed in approximately three weeks."

Topics: NBN, Telcos, Telstra


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • Shock, Horror

    Who would have thunk it
    IMO a man obsessed with crippling the evolution of Australia's economy into the future who appears to have developed a penchant, nay even a fetish for male bovine excreta, has now branched out into a taste for toe jam.
    Pity someone put him straight, it would have been hilarious to watch the politicians and MSM columnists join the Toe Jam Appreciation Society
    Abel Adamski
    • LOL

      I wonder if there was a full on air apology and retraction, along with an internal working group setup by the station to ensure appropriate controls are in place to fact check and validate before this stuff goes to air?

        RealismBias that is perhaps the funniest thing I have read all week.

        Jake Anderson
      • damage has been done though

        Just as every other shock jock claim thats been easily and clearly refuted, they still float around the masses who can't use their own brain to decide and blindly follow what they are told.

        then every now and then one is used on a forum, hell even the occasional wifi is better still gets used even though the opposition have left that behind to some extent.
        Justin Watson
  • Buffoon

    Why even bother pointing out the error. The only people who heard it are his rusted-on idiot 2GB listeners who probably still think pocket calculators are cutting edge technology.
    • You totally wrong

      For 2GB listeners abacus is cutting edge technology
    • .

      Because I was investigating the story anyway when he first posted the pictures last week. I doubted they were NBN cables and thought I would check.

      If they had have been NBN cables I would have reported the story too. Credit where it is due and corrections where they're due. :)
      Josh Taylor
      • True Josh

        Any rational intelligent individual would immediately suspect it was a temporary service for some purpose, this would not preclude NBN of course, but more likely Telstra as they have most of the installed fibre.
        You took the intelligent path of ascertaining the facts before moving your foot 1mm
        Abel Adamski
  • It's a shame

    It's a shame people as passionate as Ray don't actually get behind worthwhile projects that will benefit the country (like the NBN).
  • hmmmm

    will the rats eat NBN fibre?
    Knowledge Expert
    • Depends

      on whether the sheath is impregnated with poison, but that presents its own toxicity and safety issues. All exchange and telecoms facilities have the ubiquitous tray of Ratsack.

      Simple answer Yes and has to be taken into consideration in the planning

      You would be surprised at what little critturs can do and have done over the decades, especially in powered environments, even slugs and spiders etc shorting electricals. An issue the FTTN cabinets will face more than the passive FFTP nodes
      Abel Adamski
    • Rats will swallow anything

      Much like Mr Hadley's listeners.

      More to the point. Rats or no rats. No one is at fault here but Mr Hadley... for pointing the finger and making BS accusations without even the most minor fact checking.

      Can't even blame Telstra [for a change].
    • yes they will

      Yes they will. But they also eat copper ;->
      One big advantage of the way they are setting up the NBN though is all the larger sections of the network are done in rings, so if a rat did eat through one of the fibres connecting a 3000 home area, everything would keep working through the other half of the ring untill the problem was fixed.
      If a rat took out the line in your street, well you're out of luck ;-> In business areas though they are planning on running "geographically redundant fibre" That is they will connect the business with 2 fibres coming from different "nodes" so even if one was taken out you can remain operational.
      And it won't even die when it rains.
      Jake Anderson
  • What a muppet

    Ray Hadley is a muppet! His time has come and gone - he needs to go to a retirement village to leave the rest of us in piece.
    • Hey!

      What have you got against poor retirement village inhabitants that you would impose a festering bully like Hateley onto them? Send him back to the Dundas Rugby Union 3rd grade dressing sheds (where he rose to his sporting achievement heights) so he can eke out his dotage as a toilet cleaner, something he should actually be good at...
      • toilet cleaner?

        He'd be a terrible toilet cleaner, he's much better at spreading the shit.
  • Echos

    I expect however that the photos will reappear again and get spread around the net by the anti-NBN gang as positive proof of NBNco incompetence for some time to come.
  • take it to court

    This is probably the most clear-cut case of libel I have seen in my life. Reasons not to prosecute?
    • Take it even further

      I agree 100% Karl, however why stop just there, why not refer this issue to ICAC, this after all is a totally incorrect and deliberately misleading statement on the part of Hadley which was calculated to influence his followers decisions on who to vote for in the upcoming election and also influence their financial decisions on what medium they chose to run communications needs. This stinks of a corrupt practice to me.
  • Libel?

    Don't think you can libel a corporation, even if you are Hateley