In the original 1968 movie Planet of the Apes, Charlton Heston and other astronauts crash land on a planet inhabited by apes with human intelligence and emotions.  A classic story of struggle, with man as the underdog against apes.

A somewhat similar story is playing out in ancient holy city of Varnasi, India.   Network engineers in India are matching wits with hungry macaque monkeys.

Monkeys are steadily chewing through fiber optic cables that are part of an $18 billion national plan to lay more than 430,000 miles of fiber.

The city of 2 million people cannot accommodate installation of underground cables so installers often hang the cables telephone poles.  This makes for easy meal for the monkeys. And wreaks havoc with high-speed internet.

While this situation certainly seems unique.  But when I used to sell Lucent fiber optic cable to Canadian telecom carriers, we were promoting various levels of armoured cable to protect against hungry mice, squirrels and ground hogs.  The animal world does clash with the information superhighway…and sometimes win.

To see another perspective on this story, see


Planet of the Apes

Monkey at home on telecom cables

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