I’ve long been a critic of my local utility monopolies because they’ve put their own profits ahead of doing right by customers and taxpayers. Last night was another example of this.
The top of a utility pole owned by electric monopoly Eversource caught fire around 6:00 p.m. due to their lack of attention and maintenance to their infrastructure. The pole was replaced sometime overnight but the communications cables were still attached to the old pole.
Eversource’s solution was to cut the top and bottom off the old pole and tie it with a rope to the new one. I kid you not. The communications backhaul for me and thousands of Comcast and Frontier customers literally hangs by a few threads.
Eversource owns the pole so they won’t reattach the communications cables. Comcast and Frontier outsource most of their fiber optic line work to contractors and lack the staff to actually deal with it in a timely manner. And they can conveniently point to Eversource as being uncooperative. Who knows if Eversource even tried to coordinate with Comcast and Frontier that evening to get the pole fixed correctly?
Part of the problem is that none of these companies shoulder any responsibility. It’s so much easier to pass the buck – their mutual customers be damned.
And this pole is not alone in my neighborhood.. Five poles down and this is what you’ll see:
It’s been strapped together like this for at least a year or two. The power company added a second pole for power but nobody ever took the communications cables off the old one. Frontier was even coming through here running fiber and left everything on the old pole.
The kicker here is that these monopolies are granted access to public and private property to run the wires that they profit from. In fact I have utility pole on my property and wires running underneath my driveway that go to other homes with a right of way they can use for free in perpetuity.
It’s time these companies put the needs of their ratepayers first and fix this mess. Enough of the finger pointing. For more on why Eversource is the worst company ever see my analysis piece here: