Robert E. Seastrom
rs at seastrom.com
Sat Nov 10 06:42:51 CST 2012
It's called a Controlled Environment Vault, or CEV.
The "box" you saw above ground is just a hatch and AC.
They're all over the place, you just have to tune your eye for 'em.
Chip Fetrow <tacos at fetrow.org> writes:
> 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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