An anonymous reader writes "Drat! It was the rat! Telephone, mobile and Internet access in New Zealand was disrupted over four hours after rats were found gnawing through cables. More than 100,000 customers were affected and even the country's stock exchange came to a standstill. Powerless to take action against the rats, Telecom New Zealand is seeking compensation from the electricity company it says is responsible for knocking out another pipeline which eliminated backup services. Nothing like a backup plan."