District Hardens Fiber Optic Cable After Squirrel Attacks

A local school district has beefed up the protection of their fiber optic cable after a squirrelly situation.

Brighton Area Schools Superintendent Greg Gray on Friday sent out his weekly newsletter about the district’s happenings and related an ongoing concern about animal interference with the district-wide optical fiber network. Gray says that early last month, stormy weather dislocated the district’s fiber from a stretch of poles between the Hawkins Elementary and Scranton Middle Schools. While they were able to have the line re-hung without an interruption of service, another issue popped up October 18th just as school was releasing. Gray says Scranton lost network connectivity, with the indicators pointing to a break in the fiber. He says their fiber repair vendor was onsite within hours and able to quickly determine the location of the damage as well as the return of the likely culprit, which were once again squirrels.

An emergency splicing was performed to restore the network. But this time, the contractor returned the following day and made a more permanent repair, installing a 2,000 foot section of armored fiber. Gray says while a functioning fiber network is important to the ongoing connectivity and performance in the district, including all data and voice services, it is also important to other agencies. Gray says that significant sections of the BAS share of the greater Livingston County fiber network also carry Livingston County Government services, including Fire, Police, EMS, and 911 communications. “So, while maintaining the efficacy of our fiber network is important to the teaching and learning and overall functions of Brighton Area Schools, it’s critical for the operations of the county government as well.” (JK)


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