“The rats ate the fibers”: in Lagny, residents without internet for 4 months

In Orly Parc, a priority city neighborhood in Lagny-sur-Marne, rats have been piling up for years at the feet of garbage cans. they are attacking car cables and in early June 2022 fiber cables. ©JG

“The rats ate the fibers!” »laments Ouassila, tenant of Habitat 77 in Orly Parc, Lagny-sur-Marne. At home, like other accommodations, there has been no internet for 4 months. The situation seems to have been resolved after two meetings, but residents are skeptical. Rodents have been present for year and cause extensive damage to pipelines, residents’ cars and already fibers.

We don’t have a phone anymore, we don’t have TV anymore, we don’t have internet anymore. It’s hard for kids, they don’t just do that, they love screens. And today, you have to connect for everything and the Internet on the phone, it’s expensive when I pay a subscription.

Ouassila, resident of Orly Parc

Rats love fiber cables

Where does this cut come from? According to Orange, the network owner in the district, rats are the source of the problem:

The cable cover is bio-based and made from starch, which rodents love


With the cupboards open, all that was left for the rats swarming the neighborhood was to sit down to eat. Why is not the problem still unresolved, 4 months after the incident? “We cannot intervene until the deratization is done for the safety of the responders. It is contractual”. However, the burden of demolition falls on the landlord, Habitat 77.

4 months without internet

On September 30, the town hall organized a meeting to solve the problem: “Everyone is waiting for everyone and nothing moves,” sighs the mayor, Jean-Paul Michel, annoyed by recurring problems in the neighborhood. But the owner was not present. “The decision-makers were mobilized each at the KLM congress and that of the mayors”, answers Habitat 77. However, it is the main player in this file.

In the absence of the lessor, the municipality wipe plaster :

Garbage, poor maintenance, mice, lint… there it is, disaster.

Ali, local resident

“The cut dates back to June 2, it’s been 4 months! When do we take care of it? Ouassila exclaims with a general nod of the head during the meeting.

place the number of apartments disconnected from the Internet it is not visible. When residents evoke several dozen houses, Orange lists only 7 affected houses, all operators together. “Without a centralized complaint response, it’s hard to know,” asserts the mayor.

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The third extermination in three years

During the meeting he announces:

The city will take responsibility for exterminating the rats from its side (Marcel Rivière place, editor’s note), the rest is up to the landlord, but it needs a coordinated operation to be effective. If Habitat 77 does not intervene, we will take care and bill them, but it is not our responsibility.

Jean-Paul Michel, mayor of Lagny-sur-Marne

What does the landlord do? Two representatives finally attended a second meeting, organized the following week, on October 7. “We were notified by Orange on July 19. That same day, we intervened to empty and exterminate the technical room. This does not prevent tenants from connecting as the ADSL network is still available, excluding 4G. “A solution which, if it were temporary, could be suitable:” 4 months 4G, it’s expensive! “, residents are outraged.

Habitat 77 also states that it has carried out a preventive annihilation operation… at the end of September 2022. The lessor also notes the situation of the district:

This problem has been recurring since taking over the apartment. The general framework of the country may explain the situation. Heavy works, the presence of the dicaster road that “traps” rats… This group of factors combined with the behavior of residents who leave garbage bags at the foot of the building or throw food waste through the windows have been reported. by the experts.

Apartment 77

Habitat 77 has intervened every year since 2020 more than €32,000not to mention 21 thousand euros for the pipes after the damage caused by rats.

Waste and public sewage

But if the residents know him persistence of irresponsible behavior On the part of some tenants, the second meeting made it possible to ascertain the lack of trash cans. The result: waste accumulates around overflowing trash cans.

In an effort to eradicate rats from the neighborhood, a coordinated rat extermination operation between the municipality and the owner was announced on October 7. However, residents will have to be patient: with 5 scheduled visits, the operation should last a month. Only after that, Orange will be able to start the intervention. To avoid any risk of cuts, the company has even announced that it will install one new type cable, without starch sheath. “You’ll be the first to try them.”

Despite these positive announcements, residents show themselves the skeptics at the end of the meeting. “It is long and we are waiting to see. It is not the first time that we are promised to get rid of rats”, they say. Beyond fibers, the spread of rats is a public health problem.

Sometimes I visually block my children because there are rats in the gutter when we go to school. They are everywhere!


The grassy areas at the foot of the buildings are full of burrow holes. So much so that some tenants put cobblestones over them in an attempt to block them.

Finally a long-term action?

“There are two things, quick action and medium-term action,” explains Jean-Paul Michel. Indeed, in addition to demolition, Sietrem (waste manager), present at both meetings, planned an inventory it will be done with Habitat 77.

Sietrem will provide all the necessary additional bins, they can be turned into containers and therefore less exposed to rodents.

Sietrem (Joint Union for the removal and treatment of household waste)

At the same time, an awareness campaign should be carried out. The first was done by SMS, the landlord assures. Basically, skeptical residents hope to be wrong. It continues.

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