In the Bahamas, the biggest network threat isn’t hackers, it’s birdshot

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The Bahamas Telecommunications Company has a pigeon problem — or more specifically a pigeon hunting problem (hat tip Telegeography). The Bahamian internet and wireless provider says that two of its recent service blackouts were caused by pigeon hunters shooting through the BTC’s fiber optic cables. The most recent outage was Tuesday.

As reported in the Tribune 242, Kendrick Knowles, senior manager for Family Island field operations, advised pigeon hunters not to shoot at birds perched on communication cables or power lines. A quick scan of the Tribune’s web site and the BTC’s statements indicate that the poor telco not only suffers from hunters shooting at birds on its wires, but also from copper thefts and anchors cutting through the underwater cables connecting the islands.

The problems faced by the BTC may sound odd, but in fact these are the sorts of quandaries that keep the people who plan out our communications and computing infrastructure up at night. For example, Peter Norvig, the director of research at Google also has a problem with hunters taking out power lines, as he told a conference in 2011. And we all know how vulnerable those underwater cables can be. Looks like island living isn’t as chill if you’re an infrastructure provider.

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