Rats will chew through a cable if they can, and they’re not fussed whether it’s data or power, copper or fibre. It’s a known hazard that has to be protected against.
If you don’t protect against vermin, it’s likely that you’ll experience damage it at some point, taking down your connection for hours or days.
A cable can be housed in a duct but that won’t help protect the cable if a rat can get into the duct. Either the duct has to be vermin proof or the cable does. Direct-buried cables are less vulnerable because the rat has to find it first, but damage is still possible.
Cable armouring is the best protection although it adds to the cost and the bulk of the cable, increasing the installation time. Steel-tape armoured (STA) cable offers good protection; Lynx Networks cablers have seen the outer jacket of STA cable chewed through but never any damage to the steel tape or the conductors.
Our advice is to have STA cable installed where there’s any possibility of a rat having access to the cable. This isn’t necessary in risers and under floors inside buildings if you’re sure that vermin aren’t present.
If a cable has been damaged, then a section of the cable will need to be replaced, however if the join(s) add too much loss to the link then the entire cable (or a section back to one end) might need to be replaced.
An example of steel-tape armoured fibre optic cable.
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