Remember dial-up? 19.2 kbps Internet access was a dream. 9.6 was more the norm. Pages loading in the time it takes to drink a beer. Good for Bud. Bad for Netflix.
Over the years the sclerotic wires connecting our homes to the local telco point of presence have grown up into tall, vigorous, broad bands of high capacity pipes carrying multi-megabits of broadband traffic to your Internet destination of choice. And we're running out of places to put the wires.
Wikos - The dreamy lead in The Blob knew exactly what to do. Naturally, the hell and fury of the US armed forces had no effect on the pulsating, all-consuming extraterrestrial. After Steve led his co-star, Jane, into ever more dangerous encounters with the blob ending when they were trapped in a diner surrounded by creature, Steve got the bright idea to zap it to death. And it worked. Try it again, I say. This time in London. Launched Steve's career, maybe good vehicle for another B actor!
Scare the Shit Our of Them - One of the most effective ways to lose weight is to live in terror. Jillian Michaels did that every week for years on The Biggest Loser. Fatbergs are organic, making them susceptible to the same trimming psychology that Jillian used. Bear those ice-cold eyes down on a berg and watch it melt away, freeing London's sewers for a new feast of broadband gluttony.
Lots of bandwidth requires thick wires. Well, unless you count cell phones. But let's put them to the side for the moment. A problem for another day.
Anyway, there's only so much room on telephone poles, and city poles are already clogged up with lots of stuff. Things like power lines, cable television lines, telephone wires, rodents scampering along, some sampling the insulation of the power cables and plummeting to their deaths upon discovering that there's a healthy reason for the soft coating around the crunchy nugget snuggled inside. So, lots of activity happening above our heads out there, some of it a dance of death.
Our allies across the pond have come to the rescue with a solution that mines our least desirable asset. In London they're stringing fiber in the sewers, which are filled with standing water that hasn't moved in over a century. Seems fitting given that the vast majority of broadband access is used to satisfy our basest instincts.
According to SSE Enterprise Telecom director of service solutions Mike Magee “With an ever-increasing demand for connectivity, network infrastructures require higher resiliency and improved diversity.” Also, cables don't care where you lay them. Couriers don't care for the smell.
According to ComputerWeekly, SSE's venture "should also be physically more secure – the Thames Water network sits up to 10 metres underground." Evidently they didn't get the memo about the large turds that are floating around in London's sewers. Called "fatbergs", some of these ancient balls of excrement and household waste weigh as much as eleven double decker buses and are up to 200 yards long. They have blocked segments of the London sewer and, like the blob, are threatening to grow endlessly until checked by a military response.
Broadband is resilient and reasonably tolerant of reckless use by children and careless adults. But, even with the stiff-necked fortitude of the Brits, is apt to fall to its knees when confronted with its first fatberg. London's years of organic bergs are apt to choke the fibers that SSE is so joyfully deploying.
What can be done to overcome the menace?
Eyes from Hell
Brute Force - If subtlety doesn't vaporize the bergs try some retro force. This might not look like much, but it knocked out a death star, which is more than enough juice to clear London's sewers. And you don't even have to have good aim! Excellent collateral uses too - it's small enough to zap that unwanted body hair that keeps coming back. Quick, precise, albeit more painful than over the counter exfoliates and waxing.