More on fibre problems

You might recall that I gave you some weekend homework on Saturday. All about the guys that do the undersea cable repairs on… er… undersea cables.

And then you might recall that just yesterday I used the phrase:

Where else in the world except South Africa would you see the paragraph at the bottom of this post?

Well, here’s a thing that ties both those things together.
Because it relates to fibre optic cables, and it also is surely only a thing in South Africa.

And “smoked” isn’t some slang term for “sold” or “recycled”. The thieves in question are actually smoking the glass from the cables. Like, literally burning and inhaling them:

We were always assured that because of the zero metal content of fibre optic cables, and therefore their lack of value at the scrap metal dealers – as opposed to electric cables with their high copper content – they were relatively safe from the bad guys. Now it turns out that the bad guys are stealing them for a whole different reason.

Quite why ground glass is a good bulking agent is beyond me, but when you look at what else you are likely to find in our local street drugs:

Nyaope is a highly potent drug compared to other well-known drugs; while it frequently contains substances such as ARVs, cannabis, heroin, rat poison and detergent, it is worthwhile to denote the chemical makeup of nyaope has been shown to also vary and may change over time.

…maybe some powdered glass isn’t so bad after all.

There are plenty of other things in there which are going to cause you plenty of other problems anyway. So why not pack it out with some fibre optics? Maybe the hit gets to your brain faster: 200Mbps or something.

As long as a trawler hasn’t inadvertently dragged its anchor through a local undersea cable again, of course.