Cow Steps on Fiber- Knocks Out Cell Tower
September 17, 2014 Leave a comment
In one of those moments unique to rural telecommunications, a cow stepped on some fiber optic cable that was exposed during some maintenance work last month in a pasture near the Cold Water area along the Snake River. The weight of the cow hoof kinked the fiber optic cable and temporarily knocked out service to a nearby cell tower, which was served by the fiber optic cable.
Matt Farr, engineer for Directcom explained: “Usually our fiber is safely buried 4 feet underground, encased in conduit, and protected in vaults with 20,000 lb load ratings, but unfortunately a cow came along just at the wrong time. Our crew was preparing for some scheduled maintenance later that night and had laid some cable slack out on the ground. The cows in these part seem to know when and how to create the greatest amount of havoc for the bipeds, which made it even more difficult to explain to the customer, a big national carrier, that a cow was responsible for taking down their tower. They have very strict standards and procedures regarding downtime and it’s a big deal if tower service is ever affected. Cows don’t really figure into their equations.
It all worked out in the end as our crew, out of necessity, had to start and consequently compete their maintenance work ahead of schedule. Not a method of expediting a project that I would recommend, but sometimes in rural Idaho you have to run with the stampede.”