No this particular hunt for fiber involves Google (who else) but it has a twist. Google’s idea of fiber is having a network that will support (maybe even become?) the backbone of the Internet someday. Either that or it may become a private network if you have enough cash to get on it but that’s another story.
Apparently some of that fiber is run the old fashioned way, which is above ground, in certain parts of the country. That opens the door for “fiber hunters”. While it is fun to think that this group was hired by competitors to hunt and kill Google fiber I doubt it is the case. IT News Australia reports
Google has revealed that aerial fibre links to its data centre in Oregon were “regularly” shot down by hunters, forcing the company to put its cables underground.
The search and advertising giant’s network engineering manager Vijay Gill told the AusNOG conference in Sydney last week that people were trying to hit insulators on electricity distribution poles.
The poles also hosted aerially-deployed fibre connected to Google’s $US600 million ($A635 million) data centre in the Dalles, a small city on the Columbia River in the US state of Oregon.
“What people do for sport or because they’re bored, they try to shoot at the insulators,” Gill said.
“I have yet to see them actually hit the insulator, but they regularly shoot down the fibre.
“Every November when hunting season starts invariably we know that the fibre will be shot down, so much so that we are now building an underground path [for it].”
Now that’s funny. Stupid but funny. These good ol’ boys are just looking for some fun in the woods and Google will now need to spend its hard earned Adwords take to put that fiber underground.
The techs that brave the elements have to get on cross-country skis and carry some pretty sophisticated stuff through the backwoods of Oregon just to carry out their work. All the while they might be mistaken for a deer or something (heck if these guys will shoot at insulators they’ll shoot at anything that is actually moving I suppose).
So the moral if this story is that maybe too much fiber isn’t good for you.
(Note: The Hunter S. Thompson caricature comes courtesy of Slate)