Funny Coincidence

Chip Fetrow tacos at
Fri Nov 9 23:32:43 CST 2012

I was out for a walk Wednesday evening and saw something odd by the  
bike path.  I took out my flashlight and had a look.  It was a utility  
box with a power meter on "top" which was knocked over.  It was  
separated from the conduit coming out of the ground, and the power  
wiring was exposed.  It was marked Verizon and had a Toll Free number  
on it "in case of emergency."  So, I called the number.  A recording  
announced that it was a Verizon number, which was not in use.  This  
same number was on the SLIC "cabinet" next to the power box, in two  

To call this a SLIC is a bit of an understatement.  It has fiber from  
the Central Office going into it, and copper coming out.  I heard  
something several decades ago that 2200 phones were run off this  
equipment, but I suspect it is many more.  A few years ago, Comcast  
ran a flow mole through some cables, two Verizon cables and two  
Verizon fiber bundles (not in conduit).  I suspect those cables were  
installed in late 1982 as the road was extended in that time frame.   
Anyway, Verizon dug those cables up (and it was one of the cleanest  
holes I have ever seen) and there was one 5000 pair cable, a 2000 pair  
cable and two fiber bundles -- I have no idea how many strands, but  
they were each about 1 inch in diameter.  This leads me to believe  
there are more that 2200 customers on this SLIC.

Years ago, I drove by and Verizon had a truck there.  I stopped and  
put my head in the hatch.  This thing is only 8x10 feet out of the  
ground, and only a foot high.  i was flabbergasted when I saw inside.   
It must be over 1000 square feet, and is essentially a computer room.   
The reason for the 8x10 "roof" is so it can be lifted off and big  
equipment moved in and out.

Anyway, I was directed to call 1-800-VERIZON by the recording.  Great.  
I have to talk to someone who works from a script.  Now, normally I  
wouldn't bother but,I my POTS line (which is needed for my alarm  
system) operates from this thing.

Well, the woman on the phone did not disappoint.  She asked me three  
times for the number that needed repair, She asked me three times for  
the address of the facility.  Out of frustration I told her that I  
believed it doesn't have an address, but if it does, Verizon didn't  
bother to post it.  She also wanted ME to call the "power company"  
because it appeared to her to be their problem  This was repeated  
three more times, and I finally told her, for the third time, it is  
marked Verizon and I had already spent 15 minutes on the phone with  
her and I wasn't going to play the same game with Dominion Power.  I  
told her she should call them.

I did give her a phone number so someone could call me back if they  
couldn't figure out the problem.  Yesterday, an automated system  
called me to tell me my phone was working properly.  FUNNY!  It is a  
VoIP phone and I have nothing connecting me to Verizon on that  
"line."  I drove by the installation and it was still broken.

Fast forward to me going to the VCDL meeting last night.  I stopped at  
Mac's Steak House for their $1 un-sweet tea.  There was Verizon sedan  
in the parking lot.  I looked around and no one was wearing anything  
with a Verizon logo on it, but there was a guy leaving with food who  
looked like he had a bell shaped head.  He went to the car so I  
followed him.

I told hem of the problem and he seemed amazingly interested.  He knew  
exactly what I was talking about, equipment wise, and he nodded when I  
told him it is amazing inside.  He just wasn't familiar with that  

He said he would get someone on it in the morning.  Then he said, "You  
got to the right guy.  I am in charge of all the engineering for  



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