April 25, 2012

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Spring Cleaning Means Squirrel Damage for Time Warner Cable

No matter where you live April is a time when many of us do our spring cleaning, both in the inside of our homes and outside on our yards and landscaping. Time Warner Cable (TWC) does its own spring cleaning this time of the year by repairing damaged lines and burying drop cables in the ground.

The largest spring cleaning task for TWC is to bury “drop lines” (or “drops”) in the ground.

Drops are cable lines that run from a cable pedestal by the road or backyard into a person’s home. Time Warner Cable runs thousands of drops into current or new customers’ homes during the winter months. In many markets the drops aren’t buried in the ground from mid-to-late November through March because the ground is either frozen or covered in snow.

In Central New York alone 2,700 drops have been buried since January, despite the mild winter they experienced this year. Time Warner Cable generally has all of its customers’ drops buried in the ground by mid-to-late May.

We also have to examine our existing fiber-optic cablelines and replace the damaged ones. You might not believe this, but squirrels do a tremendous amount of damage to our fiber-optic network by chewing through the lines.

When this occurs, the fiber optic cable lines’ protection is compromised and therefore susceptible to rain and other natural elements.

“Squirrel chews” caused us to replace more than 87 miles of cable during 2011 in Western New York alone, costing Time Warner Cable hundreds of thousands of dollars.

You might say that Time Warner Cable is in one way like the U.S. Postal Service, we deliver our state-of-the-art, high-tech products and services, “whether rain, sleet or snow,” and in this case, despite many hungry squirrels.


  1. Frank Rizzo's reply

    If there’s an insulating layer that protects the cable, adding some rat poison to the insulator should be industry standard. Either that or a bitterant that will make the various rodentia stop chewing when they hit that layer.

    I have worked in the cable industry before, and I believe the overhead cables, sleeved with a guide wire, have some kind of sticky goop along with the shielding and cable. Always wondered what that consisted of.

  2. Squirrel Master's reply

    Rat Poison??? ^^^^ don’t be a d-bag. The bitter tasting chew deterrent, much better idea.

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