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Badgers Block British Broadband Buildout 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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Badgers Block British Broadband Buildout

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  • Hah (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sparticus789 (2625955) on Friday May 31, 2013 @11:44AM (#43874251) Journal

    Alliteration x5. Awesome!

  • Go. Around.
    • Something is wrong somewhere because yesterday in the Guardian there was an article about a UK government badger cull [] 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?
      • And yet it has been demonstrated [] that badger culls don't stop the spread of TB into cattle. If anything, they make it worse.

      • Different parts of the country. The badger cull is in the South West (Gloucestershire and Somerset). North Yorkshire is in the North East.
        • 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 [].
          • by Xest (935314)

            "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 go

            • 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).

              • by Xest (935314)

                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

      • by Xest (935314)

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

  • Bloody badgers. Blocking broadband bites.
    • by game kid (805301)

      British badgers: beautifully badass.

      I'm game kid and I approve this story.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Bleedin' bastards buggered the bunch, bitches.

    • by Tablizer (95088)

      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.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        My fav has always been line from the exploding whale [] 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.

        • by OakDragon (885217)

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

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

  • by Tablizer (95088)

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

  • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Friday May 31, 2013 @11:48AM (#43874301)
    Just use snakes. Everyone knows badgers are afraid of snakes. Oooh-ooooh.
    • Maybe if they built a large wooden badger...

    • by OakDragon (885217)

      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.

  • They still get in the way and need a cull once in a while. []

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

    • by Shimbo (100005)

      Are they really endangered?

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

    • by Anonymous Coward

      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 abo

      • by c0lo (1497653)

        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".

    • by c0lo (1497653)

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

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

  • Here's a film depicting the problem:
    Badgers badgers badgers! []

    • 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.

  • British badgers don't care.

    • by abarrow (117740)

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

      British badgers just aren't terribly bothered.

    • 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.

  • by TonyJohn (69266) on Friday May 31, 2013 @11:54AM (#43874383) Homepage

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

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

    • by Anonymous Coward

      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.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        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.

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

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

      Just the ones that refuse to purchase a broadband package.

    • Meet the Australian White Ibis []. 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.

  • by stevegee58 (1179505) on Friday May 31, 2013 @12:01PM (#43874487) Journal
  • > "BT has had to hold off putting down the fiber"

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


  • A. It already had a good sett up!

  • 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.
    • by J'raxis (248192)

      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.

  • 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.

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

  • Give them free access, this will solve the issue
  • 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??

  • Nobody expects the stinkin' badgers!

"It says he made us all to be just like him. So if we're dumb, then god is dumb, and maybe even a little ugly on the side." -- Frank Zappa