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Fl. County Halts FTTP Until Installation Is Safer 468

Posted by timothy
from the what's-a-little-sewage-compared-to-a-fiber-line dept.
celerityfm writes "Warning: Deploying Verizon's new Fiber To The Premises (FTTP, see previous) in YOUR neighborhood may involve geysers of raw sewage spewing onto your front yard or sinkholes opening and swallowing moving vehicles. Well, Hillsborough County, host to one of the first FTTP trial sites, has ordered Verizon to stop deployment of FTTP until they can figure out how to stop creating sinkholes that open up under minivans with children inside. No word on whether SBC is having similar problems with their fiber roll-out."
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Fl. County Halts FTTP Until Installation Is Safer

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  • FS (Score:3, Funny)

    by SEWilco (27983) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:33PM (#10844972) Journal
    First Sinkhole.
    • by HDlife (714246) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:50PM (#10845208)
      The problem is that there are 2,000 workers busting pipes that the county has to fix. Even if the county can bill Verizon later, the county certainly doesn't have the staff to play cleanup to Verizon's contractor.

      This is probably a great deal for the diggers; the cost of paying the county to fix the breaks is probably less than preventing them. Therfore, the only stick that the county has is to say STOP! No more digging until you clean up your act!

    • Re:FS (Score:5, Funny)

      by swordboy (472941) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:55PM (#10845267) Journal
      Right, but can you get it to open only for minivans with children in them?
      • Re:FS (Score:5, Funny)

        by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @03:02PM (#10845353) Homepage
        Right, but can you get it to open only for minivans with children in them?


        Or SUV's with idiots in them?

        Super-bling neon's with engineered wings and neon lights?

        Oh, the possibilities are endless.

        • Re:FS (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bombadillo (706765)
          Unfortunately it would be more accurate to say, " SUV's with an idiot in them".
          I am amazed at the number of SUV's that only have 1 person in them. If you need a vehicle that big then that's fine. However, 95% of the population does not need an SUV. Unless you have more than 3 kids or haul things around there is no reason why you need an SUV. I guess those people have a lot of air to haul.
  • by Skye16 (685048) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:33PM (#10844976)
    >> Warning: Deploying Verizon's new Fiber To The Premises (FTTP, see previous) in YOUR neighborhood may involve geysers of raw sewage spewing onto your front yard or sinkholes opening and swallowing moving vehicles.

    Still sounds like a pretty fair deal to me!
    • But wait a minute, this is Florida, seems like it would be a story if sewage and sinkholes weren't opening up everytime someone dug a hole.
    • by ArsonSmith (13997) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @03:49PM (#10845930) Journal
      Yea, most Cable companies put geysers of raw sewage right in peoples living rooms.

  • by Kenja (541830) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:34PM (#10844987)
    "Verizon crews installing fiber optic lines have hit nearly 200 water and sewer lines, costing almost $103,000 in repairs."

    This takes incompetence to a whole new level. I mean, its just a cable. I've installed lots of local and wide area networks without hitting even one sewer line.

  • by kngthdn (820601) * on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:34PM (#10844994) Homepage
    Verizon: Delivering the wrong sort of fiber.
  • by codergeek42 (792304) <peter@thecodergeek.com> on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:35PM (#10845005) Homepage Journal
    thank God! We didn't want Joe Q Public running their own unpatched IIS servers, did we?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    figure out how to stop creating sinkholes that open up under minivans with children inside.

    Well that's easy, drive your kids around in a different type of car, like an SUV.. problem solved!

  • by raider_red (156642) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:35PM (#10845010) Journal
    I've had all that happen at my house, and I still don't have fiber! That just isn't fair.

  • bah (Score:3, Funny)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@NOSpam.gmail.com> on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:36PM (#10845014) Homepage
    until they can figure out how to stop creating sinkholes that open up under minivans with children inside.

    Luddites.
  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:36PM (#10845025) Homepage Journal
    Verizon's getting their money's worth.

    next on news 10, more sh!t than usual with your internet connection...

  • "Verizon also is looking at other means, including using ground-penetrating radar and other technology, to locate lines before crews dig."

    Don't they have maps to locate lines, sewers and such? Don't tell me they're digging blindly...

    "County auditors examine the cause of each break and determine whether Verizon or water department officials are to blame. The responsible party is billed, said Rich Cummings, section manager for line maintenance for the water department."

    It seem that Verizon will be paying t
  • DigSafe (Score:5, Informative)

    by syphax (189065) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:37PM (#10845048) Journal
    It's called DigSafe [digsafe.com]. I just learned this is a New England (sans CT) thing- what the hell do the rest of you do?

    These guys have scoped out my lot two times in the past month, due to the start of a new addition, an (unrelated) emergency oil cleanup...
    • Around DC, it's Miss Utility.
    • Despite DigSafe, there was a major gas leak this summer during road construction near my work (I think it was related to installing a traffic light). I belive that the conclusion was that the gas main wasn't exactly where the records showed it. I've heard of other similar problems.

      And when you're dealing with infrastructure that may a hundred years old, there simply aren't accurate records indicating where the pipes are.
    • I was talking to one of the guys that was installing some orange fiber tubing in my backyard about the deployment. He sounded like he had a Boston accent, so maybe that's part of the problem [yahoo.com].
  • by GillBates0 (664202) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:37PM (#10845051) Homepage Journal
    It's well known that fiber "bulks up" waste and moves it through the colon more rapidly, preventing constipation and leading to larger, softer stools.

    Large scale deployment of fiber is quite likely to lead to "geysers of raw sewage" if not properly contained.

  • New Ads (Score:5, Funny)

    by SWroclawski (95770) <serge@@@wroclawski...org> on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:37PM (#10845053) Homepage
    Verizon Fiber - Catch The Wave!
  • Stupid News (Score:2, Insightful)

    by OverlordQ (264228)
    The only reason this is news is beacuse it involves FTTP. ANd it's not even Verizon's fault, it's the subcontractors.

    • ANd it's not even Verizon's fault, it's the subcontractors.


      If you're the one funding all the damage, you're also the one that should take part of the blame. It's Verizon's responsibility to hire competent people to dig. Blaming everything on the sub-contractors is beside the point, since Verizon is the one who hired these clowns.
  • by revery (456516) * <charles@NosPam.cac2.net> on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:38PM (#10845065) Homepage
    has ordered Verizon to stop deployment of FTTP until they can figure out how to stop creating sinkholes that open up under minivans with children inside.

    For access to reasonably priced, unmetered high-speed internet access, minivan swallowing sinkholes is an evil that I am perfectly willing to face.

    --

    Was it the sheep climbing onto the altar, or the cattle lowing to be slain,
    or the Son of God hanging dead and bloodied on a cross that told me this was a world condemned, but loved and bought with blood.
    • For access to reasonably priced, unmetered high-speed internet access, minivan swallowing sinkholes is an evil that I am perfectly willing to face.

      Hell, I'd pay extra if they could guarantee a minimum number of minivans swallowed...
  • The real cause of these events, as yet unobserved, can only be the Devil. You see, about 6 years ago, the Great Destroyer attempted to get DSL installed in his humble abode, told that he was more that 5000m from a C.O. His wrath is just now becomming clear as the Horned Goat himself is now eating up babies.
  • local geology (Score:3, Insightful)

    by s4m7 (519684) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:39PM (#10845073) Homepage

    Maybe I'm missing the point here, but don't they have these problems with any kind of underground infrastructural deployments in certain areas? I thought this has more to do with geology than with contractor ineptitude.

    Ok, hitting sewer lines is bad, but in theory, before any dig, the local utilites (including sanitation) would come and mark the ground so that this wouldn't happen. But sinkholes? Aren't those things opening up all over Florida all the time anyway? I thought it had to do with the geological makeup of the soil in the area and the lack of firm bedrock, more than bad digging. Not that digging wouldn't exacerbate the problem.

    Seems to me the county wouldn't have much room to complain if they hadn't accurately marked underground lines before digging begins, as is usually the law (in every place i've lived anyway.) Also seems like if they did do this, then Verizon's contractors got some 'splainin to do.

    • Sinkholes are commonly caused by water seepage - say if you break a water main and wash away the sand beneath the surface, you can open up a big ass hole in the ground.

      Florida is prone to sinkholes, but breaking water pipes all over the place exacerbates the problem.

      Theres really no excuse for this kind of shoddy workmanship. Some contractor must've really low-balled the bid and probably hired some illegal day laborers or other unskilled workers to carry it out. (pure speculation of course)

      And at least
  • Perhaps the submitter could come back and let us know what this has to do with fiber? That'd be great. Otherwise, perhaps we could have some editors remove the sensationalization. It's not like this is the first time a utility company has ever busted up another utilities equipment -- search for NANOG and backhoe on google, for example.
    • You are right, backhoe outages and the like are nothing new.

      But can you find me an example in your Google searches of something as interesting as the fiber to the premises technology deployment causing these problems and THEN the problems being SO BAD that they were covered by major media outlets and then the deployment was BLOCKED by a government agency? What about one involving moving minivans being swallowed by sinkholes and video of cars in other such sinkholes?

      When I woke up this morning and saw the
  • Since the logic of this doesn't make much since, it is easy to speculate that large companies are saying this as a tactic to milk people for all they can at a certain speed and all the ones inbetween DSL speed s and fiber to the house. Typical corporate consumer upgrade strategy.
  • That's why... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Meostro (788797) * on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:42PM (#10845102) Homepage Journal
    ... we have something called Miss Utility [missutility.net] in the MD/VA/DC/DE area. Each member utility is notified and marks their pipes/wires/whatnot, and then you're not at fault if you bust something that wasn't marked.

    Generally, some fella with a metal detector comes strolling through, putting a bunch of fluorescent orange paint stripes on the ground to indicate the general direction/location of underground wires.

    We've only ever had cable/power/tv lines marked on our property, and nothing's been damaged during two septic tank repairs, one new well and two additions. I guess PVC would be a little harder, but this is absolutely ridiculous!

    I wonder how many Verizon lines have been disrupted as a result of these guys?
  • The city just laid new water lines where I live and is putting them in all over the place. They should have run fiber at the same time :(
  • by TimmyDee (713324) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:43PM (#10845122) Homepage Journal
    As if the internet infecting your computer wasn't enough, Verizon is working on a way to infect you.
  • Why on Earth are they digging trenches that might open sewer lines, might hit power lines, might hit water lines when the wise man would get a contract with the city and run the fiber through the water line itself.

    It would be far faster, it would be far cheaper than digging trenches, and it would be fair easier to pop a fitting inside the house to extract the fiber from the incoming pipe than digging an entire trench!

    They have knowledge but they don't have wisdom.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      run the fiber through the water line itself.

      While it's possible, it is a huge hassle. Fiber (and splitters, etc) rated for underwater use is much more expensive. And will you guarantee that nothing bad will leach out of the fiber into the drinking water for the house?

      It would be far faster, it would be far cheaper than digging trenches,

      I doubt it, but it's possible.

      it would be far easier to pop a fitting inside the house to extract the fiber from the incoming pipe than digging an entire trench!

      So
  • by jd (1658)
    ...have Verizon install FTTP to Congress, the White House, ... ? :)

    Seriously, this reminds me of a news story in recent weeks where a company installing cable managed to break open a gas line. Incinerated the workforce and a passerby.

    What is it with negligence and installation, these days? There's no shortage of people you can call to check if there's something nearby you need to avoid. If you prefer to do the job yourself, you can always hire a ground-penetrating radar [rackspace.com].

    (Given that it's cheaper to ren

  • by heldlikesound (132717) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:47PM (#10845165) Homepage
    Because if I can crawl out of a sewage filed sinkhole and download new Slackware ISO's in under a minute, you may have yourself a deal.
  • by DaFallus (805248) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:48PM (#10845176)
    until they can figure out how to stop creating sinkholes that open up under minivans with children inside.

    Good, killing two birds with one stone. I thank Verizon for helping remove more soccer-mom-driven minivans from the road. And as for the children... maybe now I can go seen a R rated movie without having some kid crying up and down the isles.
  • "they can figure out how to stop creating sinkholes that open up under minivans with children inside."

    I think I'd pay extra to have this happen in my neighborhood. Where do I sign up?
  • County workers broke the water line at Lakeview and North Dale Mabry while trying to repair a break in a sewer line caused by Verizon contractors on Friday. That break left sewage spewing beneath the road, opening a hole that nearly swallowed a car.

    Whoops. :) Way to go there, guys.

    -jdm

  • Call JULIE before you dig!

  • C'mon now, sh*t happens. If you are going to dig up the road, things are going to break fromthe old infrastructure. It's a good story for the 6:00 news, but things like this are going to happen anyway. It's only because the name Verizon is involved and they get footage of a car in a hole, that this is newsworthy.
  • Only in florida would people not study the problem with sinkholes in the first place. As if the billboards everywhere saying "lost your home in a sinkhole?" didn't let verizon know that they should do better groundwork checking.

    At least it was in hillsborough county, and not polk county. In polk, sinkholes are such a problem a city called winterhaven claims "land of 1000 lakes." You know where those lakes came from? You guessed it, Sinkholes. Everywhere.
  • by yorkpaddy (830859) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:55PM (#10845260)
    I have worked utility construction, and yes that stuff does happen from time to time. It happens when old lines are maintained too. Any underground work poses those risks. There are standards and procedures for working underground which are generally adhered too. One of the biggest problems is poor marking of old lines (in the ground and on surveys).

    This sounds to me like a complaint of a competitor desperately trying to stop progress.
    • oh, one more thing. When I was working utility construction, we had to dig by hand whenever we thought we were within two feet of a burried pipeline. I worked on one job with a 24 inch Gas transmission main (for a lot of Northern VA) and a 40 year old electrical main (with Really thin insulation). We would have to dig by hand to locate those lines. This was a miserable job, marine clay, standing water all over the place. Often we had no idea where the lines were (despite markings on the roadway) we wou
    • I have worked utility construction, and yes that stuff does happen from time to time...This sounds to me like a complaint of a competitor desperately trying to stop progress.

      From the article [tampatrib.com]:

      Since August, nearly 200 water, sewer and reclaimed water lines have been broken across the county. Those breaks have affected nearly 3,000 customers, leaving some with sewage and water spewing through their front yards, others with ripped-up driveways and streets, and some dealing with a boil-water notice as a he

    • "This sounds to me like a complaint of a competitor desperately trying to stop progress."

      Ummm, there have been over *200 incidents* in the past few months. During the dotcom days in Colorado when Qworst had their Big Yellow Cablefinders out for twelve hour days even on weekends the whole region didn't see that many breakages in the four years I was there. On a side note, when it did happen it was considered pretty entertaining that they were generally tearing through their own cables.

      From the article (I
  • UTOPIA and iProvo (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sadler121 (735320) <msadler@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:58PM (#10845309) Homepage
    I think every time a FTTP article I must mention this, but this is one plus to living in Utah. the fiber based initiative is community owned and NOT owned by the Telcoms and just think, if there is enough of a geek swell to Utah, we could oust Orrin Hatch! :-) OK, that was delusional thinking, but, but, it might work, plus we'll have FTTH, not just FTTC!! :-) (which won't do much good because of the draconian community indecency policies, which effectively outlaws not only porn but anything >= R rated movies...On second thought, perhaps we can live with the telcoms, at least we can still get our porn from them ;-)
  • by JamesP (688957) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @02:59PM (#10845319)
    1 - Dig Hole
    2 - Get covered in sewage
    3 - Minivan full of children sinks in sewage
    4 - ???
    5 - Profit!

  • I work for a Telco (Score:5, Informative)

    by PhraudulentOne (217867) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @03:02PM (#10845346) Homepage Journal
    I work for a telco and we plough cable every day. We do this in populated neighborhoods and new lots. It is extremely rare that we cut a cable (in fact I do not know of one in over a year), but NEVER a pipe. This work is not really Verizon's fault as it seems they are hiring subcontractors to do the work. This is a simple case of incompetence where the subcontractors do not call for a LOCATE (or they get a locate done so far in advance that it washes away or something).
    Also, I'm sure you all realize that this has nothing to do with fiber to the home, it has to do with people not being able to dig properly.. no matter what they are laying in the ground.

  • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @03:04PM (#10845368)
    Okay, so some kids may be lost, but this is fiber to the home we're talking about here! Some sacrifices must be made.

    Besides, it's not like they're taxpayers or anything. Plus, what're they gonna DO, CRY about it? Puh-lease. Stupid cry-babies.

  • by Bastian (66383) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @03:36PM (#10845746)
    If you're ever going out into the wilderness, bring a PVC pipe with you. If you get lost, you can bury it in the ground, and a Verizon crew will be along shortly to break it.
  • by wrenhunter (619413) on Wednesday November 17, 2004 @09:01PM (#10849374)
    "...opened a sinkhole at the worst possible moment"

    Best possible moments for a sinkhole:

    • Right after you've charged the battery pack in your new digicam
    • Just after someone says "What, is the earth going to open up and swallow me?"
    • listless fall afternoons

There is no opinion so absurd that some philosopher will not express it. -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, "Ad familiares"

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