Funny Coincidence

Robert E. Seastrom rs at
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> 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
> locations.
> 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
> installation.
> 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
> Verizon.
> Funny.
> --chip
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