A squirrel’s apparent appetite for fiber-optic cable drove internet users at Roanoke College absolutely nuts last week, reports the Roanoke Times. The trouble started on a telephone pole on the west side of campus, where a cable piped the internet into the school. About noon on Jan. 28, something chewed through the cable. "It looked to be a squirrel," said James Dalton, vice president for information technology. Connections to the web, eMail, and instant messaging were lost for about nine hours. "It made us go back to those face-to-face conversations," said Teresa Gereaux, a college spokeswoman. With students still out on winter break, she said, mostly college staff were affected. After testing located the site of the chewed cables, the college’s internet provider patched the lines at no cost, a procedure Dalton said was similar to stitching up a vein. Service was restored by 9 p.m., though the odd feeling that a single squirrel could knock out the internet for a campus full of users still lingered days later. "You can plan on all the electronics in the world to be the best they can be," Dalton said. "Then a squirrel chews through your fiber."

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