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


Hold up, let me find my torches. NOT of the tiki, variety, mind you.


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.

Children of Lake Wobegon, represent!


So true. I’m in PA, where for years the response to copper wire repair calls was to push an upgrade. They finally got me a year ago after a group of wires were taken down in a storm. Complaints from hospitals, people with medical devices, and security companies - anyone who would lose service during a power outage - were ignored. Their goal is to minimize regulation by the Public Utility Commission:


The right-of-ways that phone and cable companies have are extremely valuable. I wonder if there’s anything buried in the original documents with a “use it or lose it” clause?


Wires and metal boxes do not rot, they corrode.

“Countless” states beside Minnesota. There aren’t so many states that one cant count them. Counting counties might be harder.

I kind of miss language arts now. Thanks for that.


When I’m living in Bumblefuck Southern Illinois the local landline loonies don’t mark their boxes so the county mowing crew has great fun bush-hogging the damn things. It does look like a lot of fun. There are parts, wires and twisted metal all over the place plus it makes a great racket when they shred them. Both sides claim to be pissed off cause the boxes have to be replaced at great expense and it sometimes takes the county hours to get all the shit untangled from the bushhog. I suggested to the landline loonies that if they put explosives in their boxes the county might be more cautious. Do you think they even offered me a thank you for the suggestion? Of course the county boys think its too much trouble to chain onto the boxes and drag them out of the ground so it’s an impasse. What a bunch of dumbshits.


Wire casing and insulation will rot. Also, there are at least 30 states. That’s higher than billions of people in the U.S. can count.


Is your power supplier some flavor of Edison, by chance? We get those letters, too, and I’m equally sure they’re BS.


Thanks. My old neighborhood (1930s) is even more behind than I thought. Go me, 3 Mbps!


Related: I Was A Cable Guy. I Saw The Worst Of America.

The points: Every job’s assigned a number of points — 10 points for a “my cable’s out” call, four points to disconnect a line, 12 to install internet. We needed about 120 points a day to make our monthly quota.
A cut cable line was worth 10 points, whether we tried to fix it or not. We could try to splice it if we found the cut. Or we could maybe run a temp line. But you can’t run one across a neighbor’s lawn or across a sidewalk or street. That’s what happened with the guy who was adding a swimming pool. The diggers had cut his line. I knew before I walked in. But he still wanted me to come stare at the blank cable box while we talked.

Edit: Fixed the link.


There’s a battery in the box, good for about 8 hours IIRC.

Which is literally impossible unless you had ten new installs all on the same block. :roll_eyes:


I see dat! :joy:


I once complained to Verizon that my land line wasn’t working (this was about 20 years ago) and they said the earliest they could have someone out to look at it was 30 days from then. Of course, if I signed up for Fios, someone would be there straightaway. I called my cable company and ditched Verizon.

These days, I’m Credo with no landline.


Copper without voice service is not economically viable, and PSTN over copper is not technically viable: all the switch manufacturers (Nortel, Lucent, Alcatel) went bankrupt or shut down their landline switch divisions two decades ago, and there is no upgrade path. The POTS network is running on borrowed time and cannibalized parts, and at some point in the near future will pass the tipping point where it can’t be run at all. That’s why Verizon sold off its copper assets—they don’t want to be left holding the bag when it all blows up. Frontier knows full well it will go bankrupt and be liquidated when that happens, they’re just milking it for all it’s worth in the interim.


Thanks. It even did pulse dial, at least outgoing.


Nope – but I wouldn’t be surprised if they ALL do.


Gagh! Like ALEC, but for “shaming” not freezing to death. And here I thought monopolies loved maximizing profits. :thinking:


The article (I fixed the link now) expounds on the difficulties and why the author gave up on being a cable guy. The intention is to make the quota attainable with good luck and a following wind (and accessible toilets) by a proportion of the workforce, so that the rest can be freely beaten until morale improves.

I imagine that it is just feasible to travel from location to location and fix a cable (or do something that gets it working for long enough to report “Job done”) 12 times in a day, say, half the time, however long the day might turn out to be.


Maybe they’ve decided they can make money faster investing their capital elsewhere. If they spent it on infrastructure, it would take too long to realize a profit.

All conjecture on my part; IANAEconomist.


Although YOU, not Verizon are responsible for replacing it. And mine seems to need replacing every few years.