Speed Reading — Broadband Cables - Level 5 — 400 wpm

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Try the same text at a reading speed of 500 words per minute.

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Australia's high-speed, broadband network is being attacked by thousands of birds. The country's ubiquitous and colourful cockatoos have taken a liking for chewing the broadband cables that cross Australian towns and cities. This is causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. The National Broadband Network (NBN) that maintains the fibre-optic cables spends around $60,000 each time it is called out to fix the cables. The birds' handiwork is also causing frustration to Internet users across the country. Users have reported Internet outages and painfully slow speeds.

Cockatoos are a type of parrot. They normally eat fruit, nuts, wood and bark. An NBN spokeswoman said she was puzzled why the birds liked chewing the cables. She guessed that it was the colourful plastic that the broadband cables are inside. She told reporters: "They are constantly sharpening their beaks and as a result will attack and tear apart anything they come across. Unfortunately, they've developed a liking to our cables." She joked: "These birds are unstoppable…I guess that's Australia for you; if the spiders and snakes don't get you, the cockatoos will."

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