As the saga of deficient utility poles in my town continues I’m pleased to say that some progress has been made!
First the roped together pole at the end of my road was fixed – it likely would not have been had I not raised a stink. I learned that the only thing the power company does to coordinate with the other companies is put the pole in a database. No phone calls, no other coordination.
I’ve since been passing information about other deficient poles over to our state regulator. A few of the worst offenders have already been addressed but they still have a lot of work to do.
So far Frontier the phone company dealt with this tri-pole monstrosity that was blighting my beautiful small town for years:
Frontier also addressed a very dangerous looking strapped together pole that was looming over main street. This one had been like this for the better part of two or three years. They recently put new fiber on the pole even though it was about to fall into the road!
What is clear throughout this mess is that the utilities are not coordinating with each other on pole replacements. Wouldn’t it make more sense to get everyone on site and do it at once? Sure, but only if customers mattered to these monopolies.
The utility companies of course cry poverty complaining they can’t possibly fix all of these problems and meet their minimum guaranteed profits. But if they addressed these issues when they happen vs. letting them rot for years they wouldn’t have the deferred maintenance. This issue also exposes how utility companies have gutted their workforce and rely mostly on contractors to do the bare minimum maintenance required.
I’m working on an op-ed with some solutions that I think will light a fire under utilities to refocus their attention on customers. Stay tuned!