The Importance of FIMT: Beavers cause internet outages after chewing through fiber


To illustrate the importance of FIMT, we want to tell a story. Around 900 people in Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia, lost Internet connection for 36 hours on April the 27th. The reason: cable-chewing beavers. The beavers caused the outage by chewing through an underground fiber optic cable and then using some of the material to build their dam. 

The network operator, Telus, released the following statement after the incident: “Our team located a nearby dam, and it appears 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 beavers first chewed through the conduit before chewing through the cable in multiple locations.” 

The Importance of FIMT 

The incident may seem unique, but it reveals and reiterates the importance of FIMT: resilient tube protection for optical fiber. In March, 2000 people across six towns in western Massachusetts lost service when “a burning tree severed a fiber-optic line on the state’s middle-mile network,” reported by The Berkshire Eagle. 

The world depends on connection, so we need to ensure that the telecommunications companies don’t lag. Doug Dawson, a telecommunications consultant, wrote the following in his blog: “It’s not hard to understand why this happens in rural America. In much of the country, the fiber backbone lines that support Internet access to rural towns use the same routes that were built years ago to support telephone service.” 

Universal Cable: Optical Fiber Protection 

Companies need to upgrade and protect optical fiber connections. But, among many potential natural influences, the protection must be a match for a beaver with its powerful teeth, which has caused Canada’s national animal to develop quite a reputation for causing damage. So you would hope and imagine that the newly relayed optical fiber will have been reinstalled with protection that can withstand in the future. 

This brings us nicely to production at NBG. We produce customizable solutions with varying degrees of resilience to perform in even the most challenging environments. The Universal Cable, for example, is an all-purpose fiber optic solution that is completely rodent resistant. The optical fiber is encapsulated in a stainless-steel tube, steel stranding wires, and a polymer sheath to ensure resistance to mechanical stress and other external influences. 

As a result, we can say with confidence that our Universal Cable is unchewable and utterly immune to a bunch of mischievous beavers. It isn’t the only solution that would do the job, though. We have a wide range of customizable solutions that adapt to each project’s precise needs. Get in touch today and speak to one of our experts. 

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