Minnesota AG's report reveals big telcos are literally letting their infrastructure rot

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/01/10/we-cant-have-nice-things-2.html


This shit just infuriates me. I work for a gas utility and i could not imagine working for a company that doesn’t give a damn about their infrastructure. If they don’t care about that they definitely don’t care about their customers or employees.


Don’t blame the workers. As of the 1990s, Bell technicians took pride in a job well done - I assume it’s still that way. They would be happy to work overtime at time-and-a-half, and do a good, careful job. But then the supervisor would get fired, or worse, promoted.


If the infrastructure is no longer in service but has been abandoned, could the telcos be charged with littering?


Lori Swanson is on fire lately. I think Keith Ellison will do a great job, but I’m sad to see Lori go!


This seems ripe for some sort of “But Her Emails…” style treatment. Maybe “But My Free Market…


Nah i wouldnt blame the workers, this is clearly lack of good management/leadership. They just want to focus on profits instead make sure everyone is doing the best job they can, i do believe in a company being profitable but that should never come at the expense of quality of service and infrastructure. Any company that can’t figure that out doesn’t deserve to be in business.

And i know you know this, i’m just very annoyed at this news and seeing pictures of literal rotting infrastructure.


The FCC’s take on this is that the competition to copper is either cable or cellular for both voice and data, so no regulatory action is either necessary or appropriate.

Why, yes, I managed to type that while gagging only twice. Why do you ask?


Wait, the definition of broadband is 25 Mbps? I knew Centurylink sucked, but damn. Where’d I leave that pitchfork?


Have you not see what PG&E has done? They incinerated a neighborhood San Bruno with a gas leak. Then they burned down wine country and the following year set off the largest fire in California burning the entire town of Paradise killing 85+ and burning down 150K acres. Can’t imagine ? You don’t need to imagine just watch the news.


They brought it up from 10 Mbps a few years ago. I wanna say it was actually like last year and Pai was taking credit for something that had been set up since the mid-teens, something like that?

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I don’t disagree with the article, but the pics are not showing the full, uh, picture.

For one thing, until somebody complains the telcos have no idea there’s a problem. It’s not like they send crews out to check every line once a year.

And some of these pics are obviously vandalism, and some are due to incomplete power pole replacements, which are not the telcos responsibility at all.

So I’m not saying the AG is wrong but surely they could come up with better examples!


We get letters from electric power and gas showing us how we compare to our neighbors. We are always higher. I suspect all our neighbors get similar letters. We are all above average. Ecology minded? Hell, they just don’t want to waste CEO bonus money on infrastructure buildout.

I’m tempted to send a letter to the CEOs comparing their salary to that of their typical employees’ and suggest ways they could make things more equable. Of course it would be laughed at and put right in the trash – if any of ever even saw it.


Letting the copper based PSTN rot in the ground is just this side of a sin. It was one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century, and at this point, with modern switching and some fiber adjuncts, should be a mature, reliable backup to more modern up and coming technologies. I was extremely grateful to still have my fully functional landline in the 2004 Florida hurricane season, when power was out for almost a month combined and some cell towers for a couple of months.

The worst part is that the telcos are barefaced about their desire to abandon the infrastructure so they can move on to forcing consumers into the less regulated more profitable areas of their business.


Is your comment connected to mine in any way?


Maybe the rich telecoms need a big tax cuts?

(I suspect the telecoms see the writing on the wall and know that soon all wired infrastructure for everything will be obsolete. Either that or the current owners of this industry are milking the industry dry before they off load it on the taxpayers.)

I switched my landline from copper to cable a few years ago. It worked during power outages (don’t know that works). Recently switched to a cell. I can see why they are not putting money into copper:

Happened to me about 10 years ago. My copper phone lines became very unreliable. If it rained the phones would go out for hours. After repeated calls they admitted that they were no longer fixing the copper and were just switching one pair for others as they failed. They were in the middle of a FIOS buildout. A year of pain but now everything is on fiber even if you only get a landline.

A lot of the copper in post war subdivisions is rapidly failing. In my area the fiber will not last that long as 5G,6G or 7G will make it obsolete before the infrastructure wears out.

@Boundegar is speaking of the front line workers who have no power or influence over PG&E policy.
Sure, blame the executives and the actual slow AI that entices sociopaths into it’s boardrooms, makes managers treat profit as more important than humanity and uses up it’s “human resources” like they’re worthless, but the workers, especially the lowest in the hierarchy, are not generally at fault.


This is the “deregulate everything dream” though. Cut down labor, cut taxes, and externalize every cost onto the public and/or environment that is (potentially) possible. The idea that self-regulation is actually considered legitimate by the very serious people in positions of power is crazy making! Ok then, let NFL teams ref themselves, let pickpockets turn themselves in, blah-blah. The ideologues are truly running this world into the ground.