The Importance of Rodent Protection in Fiber Optic Cables

The Importance of Rodent Protection in Fiber Optic Cables

In August 2011, Level 3 Communications reported that 17% of the damage to their 84,000-mile fiber optic cable network was done by squirrels.

In the same year, Time Warner Cable reported that they suffered heavy damage to fiber optic cables: squirrels chewed through their lines and made them replace 87 miles, incurring hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses.

One of the most constant dangers in fiber optic cables today is being exposed to rodents. The characteristic trait of these mostly small animals is that they have ever-growing teeth which compel them to chew on anything they can to keep their incisors from overextending.

When biting the cable’s outer sheath they tear through the fiber, dealing serious damage when exposing them to the environment.

Fiber optic cables can be deployed in a lot of different environments, and it is important to also know that due to the wide variety of rodents there are, most types of outside plant cables are susceptible to being damaged: in the countryside, gophers can bite through underground buried cables, and squirrels, aerial installed cables in posts and poles on the side of the road; when we move to an urban context, rats are present in both types of installations.

Modern solutions against this problem need expert knowledge in how to adapt fiber optic cables, while also keeping production costs and installation difficulties to a minimum.

That’s why WAVEOPTICS®, a company with over 10 years of experience in fiber optic cable development, uses the latest equipment and the highest quality processes to help its product development team to offer many solutions available for you, that can protect your inversion and deal with any ever-chewing creatures that could damage your fiber optic cables:

Loose Tube Flat FRP Dielectric Armored Double Jacket Cable

Fully dielectric cable, its flat FRP armor allows it to keep a metal-free structure that would require grounding, highly reducing labor in this type of installations.

  • Fully dielectric design.
  • Great performance against tension.
  • Great impact resistance.
  • Its structure doesn’t require bonding.

The WAVEOPTICS® Armored cable couples its structure with a chrome and corrugated steel alloy, that is highly resistant and offers exceptional performance against compression, corrosion, and rodents. 

  • Support to highly elevated tension efforts.
  • Available double jacket configurations.
  • Ideal for underground installations.

Corrugated steel armor makes a rugged cable and offers exceptional performance against compression. A double-armored triple jacket design offers the best rodent deterring.

  • Support to highly elevated tension efforts
  • Great impact resistance

Prevention is vital, for fiber optic networks, this means being ready for any kind of problem or setback that can jeopardize their proper operation, in this case, of fiber optic cables being damaged by animal forces, especifically from the ones that love to bite off the protective sheathing of those deployed in the open.

The interruption of communication services can be devastating, and WAVEOPTICS® products that are thought out to combat this issue can help you protect your network installations, and your investment with them.

References via:

  • Madrigal, Alexis C. (2011). Squirrels Do 17% of the Damage to Fiber Optic Network.


  • Shruti. (2018). Unprecedented damage by a seemingly harmless rodents.


  • Lutkevich, Lars (2020). Rodents: the biggest threat to fiber optic access networ cabling?

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