North American Network Operators Group

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Re: The Backhoe Summit

  • From: William Allen Simpson
  • Date: Sun Sep 24 06:04:30 2000

Sean Donelan wrote:
> > >   "For competitive reasons we can't tell you the location of our fiber."
> > >
> > > - An anonymous representative of a very large telco
> >
> Ask them for a map.
> Yeah, I know a lot of folks have resorted to calling OneCall, getting the
> street painted orange, and making their own maps.

Yeah, had that experience here (refusal to provide a map).  Indeed, a 
little FOIA research got the official explanation that they won't even 
provide the city with a map.  The city only has the generic plans 
listed when they apply for permits to tear up specific streets or 
cross city property. 

On the MCI lay that I personally watched, I compared the actual to the 
plan, and the actual is at least 40 feet away from where it is listed 
as going thru a city park.  I watched the contractor carefully note 
location and depth measurements, but those as-builts were never filed 
with the city.

In the ensuing years, there have been several more lays along the same 
general route (a lot of relocation of power and phone for an upcoming 
bridge replacement where the power and phone ducts were embedded in 
the bridge deck), and the city also added ducts for traffic controls.  
The orange MCI poles have long since been run over by later equipment, 
and markings have been haphazard at best.

The result: Edison hit the MCI ducts last spring, and they had to dig 
40-50 feet down near/under the river for the repair.  An amazing crater, 
with a lot of pumping and dams to avoid diverting the river.  Weeks 
of traffic disruption and inconvenience for neighbors.

I've come to the conclusion that a lot of these problems could be 
avoided with a bit of enforced cooperation.  Recent ordinances require 
competing cell providers to licence or share existing towers before 
new tower permits are allowed.  We don't allow multiple rows of 
telephone poles in the same easement.  Why do we allow unconstrained 
underground work?  The rampant "competition" just isn't tenable.  

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