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Mr Matt

Eustis, FL
·Embarq Now Centu..

1 recommendation

Do your homework

In years past most utilities were installed in the back yard between lots on telephone poles. This was particularly popular where homes were built back to back. That allowed one cable run to serve twice as many proprieties as placing utilities in the front of homes. Eventually the Federal Government required that all utilities be buried. That resulted in a problem when the property owner dug up their back yard for any reason and cut cables. In recent years many developers have chosen to place all utilities at the front of the property. The advantage is that the service personnel do not have to go into the back yard of the home to connect or disconnect service. These problems can be resolved if one does their homework.
1) Check with the building department that serves your area to determine what size an object, installed in the utility easement must be, to be considered a structure. Structures fall under different regulations than cable terminals boxes and telephone poles. In some jurisdictions the location of equipment larger than a specified size must be review and approved before it can be installed.
2) Check the survey of your property to see if the equipment is installed within the utility easement. If it is installed extending beyond the easement the property owner can force the service provider to remove it or move it. This is particularly important when the footprint of the cabinet is larger than the utility easement.
3) If this is new route for a new service, find out if the utility easement is still in force on your property. In some cases a former property owner has obtain a release of easement from all utilities currently providing service in the area. If the release is recorded on the deed the utility easement is no longer in force and can no longer be used by utilities without permission or compensation of the homeowner. In the mid 80's a Cable Television Company attempting to compete against the incumbent CATV Company, had to abandon their efforts when they found that the routing of many of their cables passed through properties where the easements had already been abandoned. The company found that there was no way to determine if easements had been abandoned without reviewing the deed of every property along the route. The fiasco resulted in many lawsuits against the competitive cable company for damage to homeowners properties by contractors installing the new cable system.
4) Contact your local governmental representatives and ask them to pass regulations regarding the size of equipment installed in utility easements. A representative from a homeowners association can more easily obtain cooperation from the local government since the represent a large voting block. Remind the officials that if property values go down so does the property tax than can be levied on the property.


Austin, TX
Most of what you said is valid, except the federal government did not require that all utilities be buried. I can see at least one location from my house that has aerial power, catv, and telephone. However, all utilities are buried on the rear easement of my property.

Also, it depends on how the easement is written and negotiated, I have seen 12 x 24 buildings placed on a easement.

Downingtown, PA
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Mr Matt
There are a couple of problems if you read the article. At least some of the work is being done in the "right of way".

"Any time work is being done in the right-of-way there are going to be unintended consequences," said Andrew Johnson, spokesman for Comcast.

I can't say for FL but in PA your property ends at the right-of-way. It is not an easement. It's not your property.

As for your local officials, it also states:

"The state Legislature removed cities' powers to negotiate TV service franchises in 2006 when it passed the Digital Infrastructure and Cable Competition Act. That power was given to the state to streamline the deployment of new video technology. In the process, cities lost some leverage in dealing directly with cable TV and telephone companies.

"The utility companies have fairly broad rights to put what they want there," said Eric McHenry, the city's chief technology officer."

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." - Albert Einstein