Sep 14 2016   10:51AM GMT

Newts move home in search of faster broadband

Alex Scroxton Alex Scroxton Profile: Alex Scroxton


Frustrated at the slow state of broadband in their area, a family of newts has moved house to take advantage of the opportunities provided by superfast fibre.

A BT Openreach engineer found the newts getting comfortable among the telephone cables down a manhole in Coldingham in Scotland.

Steve Jones, who is a reptile and amphibian enthusiast, recognised the manhole’s new occupants immediately as great crested newts. They are a protected species and it is illegal to disturb, hurt or kill them.

The species is uncommon in Scotland, and unknown in the area where they were found, so it remains something of mystery as to how they got there.

With help from an environmental consultant, the Amphibian and Reptile Trust, and a local herpetologist, the manhole was drained of water, and a more suitable nearby pond was found for the critters to move into.

For the sake of the newts’ ability to fully participate in the UK’s burgeoning digital economy, Downtime hopes the pond is close to a fibre cabinet.

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