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Badgers Block British Broadband Buildout

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the badger-badger-badger dept.

United Kingdom 86

twoheadedboy writes "When BT engineers set out to lay fiber broadband cables in remote areas in North Yorkshire, they didn't think they would have many issues. But they didn't see the badgers coming. They discovered badger setts along the planned route for a cable connecting 450 properties to the local exchange. As it is illegal to destroy or upset setts — badgers are considered an endangered species — BT has had to hold off putting down the fiber until it either gains permission from the National Trust or comes up with fresh plans."

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Hah (4, Funny)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#43874251)

Alliteration x5. Awesome!

Re:Hah (2)

bobdehnhardt (18286) | about a year ago | (#43874409)

Alliterative aspects augment awesome article attributes.

Re:Hah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43875071)

I think that your joke is slightly off, you assonant-hole.

Re:Hah (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43874451)

Biting Badgers Block British Broadband Buildout by BT

Re:Hah (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | about a year ago | (#43874679)

Badgers [youtube.com]

Cute Badgers [youtube.com]

Badgers in the wild [youtube.com]

Mounted Badger [konservatorn.se]

[Taxidermist - Man who mounts animals]

Re:Hah (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43877821)

[Taxidermist - Man who mounts animals]

I knew a man once who mounted animals he definitely wasn't called a Taxidermist.

Re:Hah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43876845)

This is Slashdot. The word I think you're looking for is "illiteration."

Re:Hah (1)

thomst (1640045) | about a year ago | (#43877183)

Badgers?

We don't need no stinkin' badgers!

Re:Hah (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#43878621)

My thoughts on the matter?

Better being bedeviled by badgers blocking bucolic British broadband buildout than buggered bolting blokes being butchered by biting beavers in Belarus [latimes.com] .

Old sketch: Copper clappers [youtube.com]

Easy (1)

Dr. Sheldon Cooper (2726841) | about a year ago | (#43874255)

Go. Around.

UK badger cull about to start!? (2)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year ago | (#43874585)

Something is wrong somewhere because yesterday in the Guardian there was an article about a UK government badger cull [guardian.co.uk] which starts tomorrow to stop the spread of bovine TB due to the large population of badgers. So you can't disturb their setts by digging but it is fine to send out teams of hunters to shoot them?

Re:UK badger cull about to start!? (2)

Stormthirst (66538) | about a year ago | (#43874751)

And yet it has been demonstrated [guardian.co.uk] that badger culls don't stop the spread of TB into cattle. If anything, they make it worse.

Re:UK badger cull about to start!? (1)

Sesostris III (730910) | about a year ago | (#43875575)

Different parts of the country. The badger cull is in the South West (Gloucestershire and Somerset). North Yorkshire is in the North East.

Re:UK badger cull about to start!? (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year ago | (#43893083)

An "endangered" species is one that is in danger of becoming extinct. If there is a healthy population of them living in the south then Badgers are not endangered. You don't get many moose in Yorkshire either (or at least you didn't when I was growing up there) - that does not make them an endangered species. Indeed badgers are not even on the UK list of endangered species [wikipedia.org] .

Re:UK badger cull about to start!? (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#43894377)

"Indeed badgers are not even on the UK list of endangered species."

That's because said list is meaningless, it only lists things where it is, for the most part, already too late.

Hedgehogs for example had a population of around 40 million in the 50s, but now number under 1 million. If that doesn't fit the definition of "endangered" I don't know what does, if something's population is declining that rapidly I'd say it's pretty fucking endangered.

Badgers in contrast are at 250,000. The current trial cull is going to kill 2% of the national population (though concentrated in one area), and remember, it's just a tiny trial so if they go for a full cull it will be much bigger. Whether you deem 250,000 spread across the country endangered or not really depends, but certainly they will be if the full cull goes ahead.

Re:UK badger cull about to start!? (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year ago | (#43901811)

The current trial cull is going to kill 2% of the national population

If that is correct then a cull is absolutely insane. There is little to no evidence to support the claims that it will reduce bovine TB and if the number of badgers are that low we should the leaving them alone or - if there is overpopulation in one area - trapping and transplanting them elsewhere (assuming that works for badgers).

Re:UK badger cull about to start!? (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#43902835)

What's perhaps most interesting is when you see an overlaid map of bovine TB and UK badger populations. It demonstrates pretty clearly that there's no link between the two, in fact, some of the areas in the UK with low bovine TB have plenty of badgers, and there are many areas with bovine TB that have no badgers.

When you see a correlation it doesn't necessarily imply causality but it does provide you a starting point to look for causality, but the problem in this case is there's not even a correlation, not even close, so to make the jump to cry causation like the government and farming unions have is just absurd, it makes no sense.

The problem is I would guess entirely about biosecurity in the South West and West of England, the farmers have done such a poor job of it that TB has become so rife in their cattle that they now can't eradicate it. The government complains that they're paying millions in compensation to farmers so the cull is necessary - that's stupid, what's necessary is to stop paying them any compensation for a problem they've caused themselves so that those who practice poor biosecurity go out of business and the more competent farmers from elsewhere in the UK can take over their land and do it properly.

Here's the map in question:

http://www.deadofnightproductions.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/63572079_badgers_bovine_tb_464.gif [deadofnigh...ctions.com]

The obvious question is if badgers are responsible for the spread of bovine TB then why have all those TB incidences up in the North and East of England and Scotland not translated into greater spreads? This highlights that it's about biosecurity - when TB is found in these parts of the country the farmers are properly dealing with it.

But what's particularly interesting is that if you look at the maps of the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak and the map of CJD occurrences in cattle the maps are not too dissimilar though for these two there are greater incidences in the North of England. I'd wager that after these incidents the North of England's farms upped their game, whilst the Western and South Western farms did not. I'd be surprised if it's a coincidence that time and time again this same section of the country sees farm animal disease outbreaks, whilst other parts of the country do not - that is a correlation that you could begin to seek causation from, unlike the badger/TB link where there is not even correlation.

We do need to end the compensation culture for farmers though, I'd guess that's in part to blame - making it profitable to have disease outbreaks is just stupid.

Re:UK badger cull about to start!? (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#43894399)

Yes, it's called the farming lobby lobbying to shift blame away from anything but themselves.

Bollocks! (2)

Megane (129182) | about a year ago | (#43874257)

Bloody badgers. Blocking broadband bites.

Re:Bollocks! (1)

game kid (805301) | about a year ago | (#43874391)

British badgers: beautifully badass.

I'm game kid and I approve this story.

Re:Bollocks! (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43874401)

Bleedin' bastards buggered the bunch, bitches.

Re:Bollocks! (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#43874459)

My fav B headline was, "Boehner Bashes Beatle Because Bush Bypassed Books"

This was when John Boehner condemned Paul McCartney for saying, "It's good to have a president who knows what a library is" when Obama was elected.

Re:Bollocks! (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43874509)

My fav has always been line from the exploding whale [wikipedia.org] video where the announcer says "The blast blew blubber beyond all bounds of belief" -- that and watching people running from the falling chunks of whale is just awesome.

Re:Bollocks! (1)

OakDragon (885217) | about a year ago | (#43875849)

-- that and watching people running from the falling chunks of whale is just awesome.

Did any one say "Oh! The huge manatee!" ?

BBBBB (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#43874283)

Bring Better "B" Banners, Buster! Bad Banners Bring Boredom. Brilliant Banners Bask & Beam.

Mushroom mushroom? (5, Funny)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about a year ago | (#43874301)

Just use snakes. Everyone knows badgers are afraid of snakes. Oooh-ooooh.

Re:Mushroom mushroom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43874593)

American badgers eat pretty much anything smaller than them including snakes, squirrels, rabbits, prairie dogs, mice, birds, gophers, house cats, chihuahua, toy poodles... as far as I know they are not an endangered species here... yet.

Re:Mushroom mushroom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43874749)

You sound young. Or wayyyy old.

Re:Mushroom mushroom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43882029)

I'd say way old as his spelling and grammar doesn't follow the pattern of a young kid.

Re:Mushroom mushroom? (1)

OakDragon (885217) | about a year ago | (#43875889)

... and especially RABBITS!

Re:Mushroom mushroom? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#43879043)

American badgers eat pretty much anything smaller than them including snakes, squirrels, rabbits, prairie dogs, mice, birds, gophers, house cats, chihuahua, toy poodles...

Are American badgers fat, by any chance?

Re:Mushroom mushroom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43875413)

Untrue. It's widely known that they don't care.

Re:Mushroom mushroom? (0)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about a year ago | (#43875839)

Maybe if they built a large wooden badger...

Re:Mushroom mushroom? (1)

OakDragon (885217) | about a year ago | (#43875909)

And to get rid of the snakes, we'll send in the gorillas. That's the beautiful part. When wintertime rolls around, the gorillas simply freeze to death.

Headline is pretty good, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43874315)

Bloody Bureaucrat-Beloved Badgers Bollix Bitchin British BroadBand Buildout is better.

Damn Badgers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43874325)

You've just given BT an excuse to be incrediby lazy and avoid laying fiber down for years.

Re:Damn Badgers (1)

Stormthirst (66538) | about a year ago | (#43874945)

This is BT. They don't need an excuse.

Endangered, but... (1)

fatgraham (307614) | about a year ago | (#43874347)

They still get in the way and need a cull once in a while. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22614350 [bbc.co.uk]

Are they really endangered? (Getting offtopic...)

Re:Endangered, but... (2)

Shimbo (100005) | about a year ago | (#43874809)

Are they really endangered?

No. However they are protected under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 [legislation.gov.uk] . It's more to do with trying to prevent badger baiting than rarity.

Re:Endangered, but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43876401)

You need to understand that the UK has a long history of being both a nation of animal lovers and bloodthirsty idiots.

The former come from all walks of life, living in both rural and urban areas, and often have very little in common other than a love of animals.

The latter come from opposite extremes of society, that is to say the landed gentry and the chavs. They often accusing the former of being "townies" or "not understanding the ways of the country," which presumably means "possessing a suspiciously above-room-temperature IQ."

Re:Endangered, but... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#43879433)

You need to understand that the UK has a long history of being both a nation of animal lovers and bloodthirsty idiots.

History... mmmm!

The consensus at our meeting was that it was only the urban intellectual middle class who worry about the preservation of the countryside because they don't have to live in it. They just read about it. Bernard says their protest is rooted more in Thoreau than in anger.

... apparently, there is no badger colony in Hayward's Spinney. Apparently, the wording of the report says: "The last evidence of badger habitation - dropping, freshly-turned earth, etc. - was recorded eleven years ago".

Re:Endangered, but... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#43878999)

Are they really endangered? (Getting offtopic...)

Well... the minister doesn't really need to know [wikipedia.org]

Badgers badgers badgers! (1)

Mattsson (105422) | about a year ago | (#43874359)

Here's a film depicting the problem:
Badgers badgers badgers! [youtube.com]

Re:Badgers badgers badgers! (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#43876711)

It took me over 20 years to figure out this joke. It wasn't until I went through the AFI 100 greatest list a few years back.

Fiber Pull Coming Through? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#43874377)

British badgers don't care.

Re:Fiber Pull Coming Through? (1)

abarrow (117740) | about a year ago | (#43876665)

It's Honey Badgers that don't give a shit.

British badgers just aren't terribly bothered.

Re:Fiber Pull Coming Through? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#43876741)

British badgers would never be so crude as to simply not "give a fuck." British badgers press on with steely resolve and a stiff upper lip.

Endangered except... (3, Insightful)

TonyJohn (69266) | about a year ago | (#43874383)

"badgers are considered an endangered species" except where it's been decided to kill lots of them [bbc.co.uk] .

I won't comment except to say that it seems very inconsistent. J

Re:Endangered except... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43875243)

We already have enough scientific evidence to know that culling badgers won't reduce TB in cattle. But farmers are saying to the minister: ‘If you don't start culling badgers, you aren't doing anything for us and we'll not just stop voting for you, we'll turn this into a big media circus about how the government doesn't care about its hard-working people.’ So the minister lets the culls go ahead.

Re:Endangered except... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43876669)

Nature magazine has already poo-pooed the "farmers" complaints, all the evidence is against them, but the UK government gives them the rights to wipe them out. After badgers have been cleared from areas, the cattle still have TB problems. The simple solution is to inoculate, but the farmers are terrified it will effect their misguided prestige of the "British Beef" label. The reality is, the shopper doesn't give a shit, they only want cheep beef.

Re:Endangered except... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43877713)

The simple solution is to inoculate, but the farmers are terrified it will effect their misguided prestige of the "British Beef" label.

The problem is the TB test. Vaccinated cattle would test positive too so after vaccination it would become impossible to isolate the actually infected animals.

Re:Endangered except... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878889)

Which is not a problem in any way if you simply vaccinate all cattle.

Re:Endangered except... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#43879085)

Or if you know which ones you've vaccinated.

Re:Endangered except... (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year ago | (#43875247)

"badgers are considered an endangered species" except where it's been decided to kill lots of them [bbc.co.uk].

I won't comment except to say that it seems very inconsistent. J

Just the ones that refuse to purchase a broadband package.

Re:Endangered except... (1)

BitwizeGHC (145393) | about a year ago | (#43875271)

Meet the Australian White Ibis [wikipedia.org] . Their natural habitat has been threatened, but these greedy, stinky, noisy birds have made themselves quite at home in municipal areas rummaging through people's garbage. Accordingly, the Australian Government isn't sure whether to consider them an endangered species or a pest.

Awesome alliteration, asshole. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43874443)

Bite big badger balls, buddy.

Badger, badger, badger (2)

stevegee58 (1179505) | about a year ago | (#43874487)

Mushroom

Re:Badger, badger, badger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43874613)

Oh, it's a snake!

We don't need no stinking Badgers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43874497)

We don't need no stinking Badgers. I've lived in an area where Badgers are all over....a mean nasty little animal. Hate to be the boring crew that pissed off one of those animals.

Re:We don't need no stinking Badgers (1)

Optali (809880) | about a year ago | (#43877001)

Well, we don't need no stinking nerds ;) These little stinky critters with fat asses and glasses. Hate them. Unfortunately they use to be rather soft, not good for using them as heavy bag for training. Maybe they would be a nice alternative for vivisection experiments :)

Maybe it's just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43874511)

...but why would Badgers need broadband?

Re:Maybe it's just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43875519)

to watch the B(adger) B(roadcasting) C(orporation) of course

Because vector animation has become chopped liver (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43875655)

why would Badgers need broadband?

Because newer devices don't support Flash, and converting a Flash vector animation to H.264 would bloat it by several times. It's possible to download a Weebl animation such as "Badgers" over dial-up in a minute and a half, but downloading an H.264 conversion would take so long that the viewer would lose interest.

Re: Because vector animation has become chopped li (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43879877)

Honey badger don't give a fuck. He's all "I'll just start downloading now and come back and watch it later after I eat a snake. Honey badger don't care, he'll use dial up if he has to.

UGH. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43874781)

I have always hated that awful flash movie. It is bad.

Re:UGH. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43874925)

I have always hated that awful flash movie. It is badgers.

Lord No (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43875151)

> "BT has had to hold off putting down the fiber"

No backup plan? Clearly the dumbasses didn't hedgehog their bets.

Re:Lord No (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about a year ago | (#43884463)

Weasel see if you're correct.

Just infect them with Bovine TB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43875157)

simple , then the UK law will insist they are shot immediately, the cull starts today

I kid you not

in short: (1)

jalvarez13 (1321457) | about a year ago | (#43875179)

BBBBB

Q. Why didn't the badger get BT Fiber? (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about a year ago | (#43875245)

A. It already had a good sett up!

Remote Areas (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about a year ago | (#43875543)

The whole point of living in remote areas is to get away from civilization. If you want infrastructure live in a town. Leave the remote areas alone and enjoy them for what they are.

Re:Remote Areas (1)

J'raxis (248192) | about a year ago | (#43876177)

But no matter how far away from civilization you go, you still have to deal with government bureaucrats telling you what you can and can't do.

Offer the badgers free broadband, problem solved (1)

Maj Variola (2934803) | about a year ago | (#43876033)

FIOS for rodentia!

To be specific... (1)

J'raxis (248192) | about a year ago | (#43876157)

The badgets are not blocking the buildout, bureaucrats are.

I guess the British are unfamiliar with the American landowners' credo: Shoot, shovel, and shut up.

Yorkshire badgers don't care about BT fibre (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about a year ago | (#43876479)

They're just crazy. They don't give a shit.

.

Bloody Badgers Becoming Bothersome (1)

Optali (809880) | about a year ago | (#43876945)

Give them free access, this will solve the issue

Badger proof cable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43877475)

My incoming BT broadband cable is 17 feet off the ground. It's remarkably free of badgers, so far.

But they do like to snuffle around in my 'food waste' bin. Cuuuuute!!!!!

Badgers Block British Broadband Buildout (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43877651)

Bollocks!

I have a brilliant idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43879293)

Have the badgers lay the fiber!

Route survey (1)

kylegordon (159137) | about a year ago | (#43879869)

Surely this should have been discovered during the route survey, rather than during the engineering works? Typical of BT maybe? What's a route survey??

Re:Route survey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43884847)

Surely this should have been discovered during the route survey, rather than during the engineering works?

I don't think you can conclude that from the article - "engineering work" could mean anything, you can't expect journalists to properly distinguish between the survey and the actual build.

"But they didn't see the badgers coming." (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year ago | (#43881999)

Nobody expects the stinkin' badgers!

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