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ISPs Recover From Weekend Storm
As Frontier Has Generators Stolen During Repair Efforts
by Karl Bode 06:15PM Monday Jul 02 2012
Between lightning strikes and the leap second bug, the weekend saw a few stumbles on the Internet connectivity front. Major incumbents Verizon and Comcast are still working to restore service fully across some portions of the east coast after the weekend storms knocked down numerous trees and power lines. The storms, which appear to have been at their worst across DC and parts of Virginia, left 2 million homes without power, and an unspecified number without broadband or phone service. In some areas, 911 services were down for an astounding 48 hours. Frontier Communications is also working to get things back to normal, though they're having a slightly harder time of it since someone stole backup generators from the company while they were busy working on restoration efforts.

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Matt7

join:2001-01-02
Columbus, OH
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·Insight Communic..

Ohio too.

Still over 122,834 without power in the Columbus OH area also.. at the height of the storm had over 200,000 people in just the Columbus area without.

Driving around town on Saturday AT&T had portable generators parked next to UVerse vRADs powering them.

CaptainRR
Premium
join:2006-04-21
Blue Rock, OH
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..

Re: Ohio too.

I always grumble about never being able to get any kind of broadband from at&t in my area but with all the distruction around my part of Ohio my phone in the last 10 years has never quit! A matter of fact even though my Verizon wireless phone was still up no calls were coming in and I was using my old POTS line. The main reason why I keep it now that I have cell serve.

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:4

1 recommendation

Sad story...

... with all that everyone has lost, some twits feel entitled to steal a generator that is powering a lifeline network.
this sort of crime IS looting and should be punished the same way.

boogi man

join:2001-11-13
Jacksonville, FL
kudos:1

Re: Sad story...

yeah that's pretty jacked up. Hopefully the thieves will be found and severely punished.
--
my site
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
I bet the people who steal generators also are the same people who after a big damn storm are the first ones on the phone crying their internet doesn't work ten minutes after their power just came back on.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports
moes

join:2009-11-15
Cedar City, UT

Re: Sad story...

or they are people needing to keep somebody in there house alive. Not condoning the theft, just looking at it from another angle.

Mikey

@frontiernet.net

Re: Sad story...

Not buying it. If they needed help, go to the nearest hospital. My wife works the ER and many show up. All were welcomed regardless of needs. Many came with their oxygen concentrators just to plug them in and sit in the lobby. Stil stealing and possibly preventing a person that needed help from dialing 911.
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
said by moes:

or they are people needing to keep somebody in there house alive. Not condoning the theft, just looking at it from another angle.

In which case they should already own a generator. by stealing one tied into the phone systems they may have knocked out telephone service for a whole block or more. They are now on the line for not only possible grand theft(depending on generator value) but if someone dies because a 911 does not go through they can go to prison for some flavor of homicide charge.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports

elios

join:2005-11-15
Springfield, MO
there not there ones who out that night stealing any down lines for there crack addiction
they dont have money for internet in the first place
or power id bet
they ether took them to sell or use to power there crack lab

Smith6612
Premium,MVM
join:2008-02-01
North Tonawanda, NY
kudos:24
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL
·Frontier Communi..
What's funny is Frontier in my area doesn't even run DSL when the power's out. The remotes are wired to give battery only to the POTS system. The DSLAMs? They crash and shut down and don't get power even from the generators the techs haul to the remotes during extended outages. When power is restored it takes the DSLAMs a few minutes to boot and start training lines. Fiber circuits stay right up though! For Verizon, that's another story. Some of their remotes run DSL and phone if the remote loses power, others just kill DSL and run phone after a few seconds on battery.

Either way though, who'd steal a generator from Frontier. An idiot would, of course. If it was a life or death situation to get power from a company's equipment, I could maybe understand but even then a lot of people have generators and the person doing it should have been prepared. Due to how often the power gets knocked out in some parts of my area and for how long, many people have invested in generators for their home if they have a critical need for power (oxygen pump for example), whether it's a typical Briggs and Straton genset ran off of gas built-in to the house or a natural gas or propane generator, or heck, even a generator built-in to an RV. They were prepared.
rifleman69

join:2006-04-12
Beaverton, OR
said by tshirt:

... with all that everyone has lost, some twits feel entitled to steal a generator that is powering a lifeline network.
this sort of crime IS looting and should be punished the same way.

Not putting it past Frontier to drum out a little "goodwill" publicity, they probably lost it themselves!
nanaki333

join:2010-08-11
Chantilly, VA

i'm in northern va

my condo complex did not lose power at all during the whole fiasco. my fios was out for at least 4 hours, so it may as well have been out!

my in-laws are STILL without power at their house. unfortunately, they have well water, and no power=no water pump=no water.

it was pretty damn crazy the next morning. looked just like a hurricane went through. trees split everywhere.

Mannus
Premium
join:2005-10-25
Fort Wayne, IN
Reviews:
·Frontier FiOS
·Vonage

I am lucky...

100K+ people without power here after the storm came through on Friday. That number is now around 47k residents. I am one of the very few who was lucky enough to still have power and internet access. My brother who lives 2 miles SE of me is still out. Total power restoration is not expected until after Wednesday night.
jwblake

join:2010-06-23
Fairfax, VA

1 recommendation

phone down still!

My landline phone service has been down since Friday night. On Sunday I finally got a dial tone but still today I can't place any outgoing calls.
I am really irked that 911 service was down for so long. That is unacceptable. I don't know what kind of backup power scheme Verizon has but it obviously needs to be reevaluated. Hopefully our elected officials will ask tough questions.

TransitMan
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-05
Dayton, OH
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

1 recommendation

Re: phone down still!

said by jwblake:

I am really irked that 911 service was down for so long. That is unacceptable. I don't know what kind of backup power scheme Verizon has but it obviously needs to be reevaluated. Hopefully our elected officials will ask tough questions.

Has it ever crossed your mind that maybe, just maybe, that the phone lines got pulled down and/or damaged in such a way as to interrupt 911 service?
The infrastructure in WVA as well as in OH and other places suffered, and I know that in my area, 911 service was out due to the storm and damage.
Utility companies can only work as fast as clean-up crews can clear an area for it to be safe to restore services, including 911 service.

The elected officials will not investigate because mother nature does what she wants and nothing, not even elected officials can do anything about it.
jwblake

join:2010-06-23
Fairfax, VA

Re: phone down still!

said by TransitMan:

said by jwblake:

I am really irked that 911 service was down for so long. That is unacceptable. I don't know what kind of backup power scheme Verizon has but it obviously needs to be reevaluated. Hopefully our elected officials will ask tough questions.

Has it ever crossed your mind that maybe, just maybe, that the phone lines got pulled down and/or damaged in such a way as to interrupt 911 service?
The infrastructure in WVA as well as in OH and other places suffered, and I know that in my area, 911 service was out due to the storm and damage.
Utility companies can only work as fast as clean-up crews can clear an area for it to be safe to restore services, including 911 service.

The elected officials will not investigate because mother nature does what she wants and nothing, not even elected officials can do anything about it.

If the 911 system was indeed taken out by trees falling on lines, why are there not geographically seperate phone lines feeding the 911 system? I am hearing that the failure of both Prince William and Fairfax County's 911 systems was at least partly due to a power and backup generator failure in Arlington. Why does so much rely on the continued operation of one building? Why were additional generators not brought there immediately when the primary backups failed?

No need to run the utilities underground either, just cut all the nearby trees down to below the level of the power/phone lines.

TransitMan
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-05
Dayton, OH
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Re: phone down still!

said by jwblake:

If the 911 system was indeed taken out by trees falling on lines, why are there not geographically seperate phone lines feeding the 911 system? I am hearing that the failure of both Prince William and Fairfax County's 911 systems was at least partly due to a power and backup generator failure in Arlington. Why does so much rely on the continued operation of one building? Why were additional generators not brought there immediately when the primary backups failed?

No need to run the utilities underground either, just cut all the nearby trees down to below the level of the power/phone lines.

If you have the money, the proper permits and right-of-ways, why don't you go in there and run a separate set of phones. The problem is, you can't. You have to rely on the infrastructure already in place. No getting around it.

As for the next question, having everything in one building reduces costs and concentrates personnel where they are most needed.

You do realize (or maybe you don't) that the generators for the buildings are special built, specifically for that buildings/government electrical needs. You just can't bring in another generator and expect it to carry the load, provided you can find at all. Generators for 911 systems are spec'ed out for each system and you can't just willy-nilly go out and buy a generator from Home Depot or Lowe's or wherever and expect it to work for the required needs.

Generators are mechanical machines. When they get tested (be it weekly or monthly) and they test out OK, it doesn't mean that the next test it will work. Nor does it mean it will work when needed. Mechanical things break down. You can't get around that. And as for why don't they have a back-up to the back-up? It comes down to money, where to place it and is it really necessary?

As for cutting the trees down to below the power/phone lines. Why? You do that, you take away the beauty of the city or the county or whatever. Nature is as nature does. We have to adapt, not nature. It was here before us, and it will be here after us.

And even IF you run the utilities underground, you still run the chance of a failure. Not as much as those hanging from the poles, but still a chance.

Understand this, I've been through power and phone outages. Mother Nature can be a bitch when she wants to be, and can slap us back into reality anytime she wants. So grow up, get over it and move on. A little suffering is good for the soul, and an educational experience for those who thought they had planned for all contingencies of an emergency.
jwblake

join:2010-06-23
Fairfax, VA

Re: phone down still!

said by TransitMan:

As for the next question, having everything in one building reduces costs and concentrates personnel where they are most needed.

You do realize (or maybe you don't) that the generators for the buildings are special built, specifically for that buildings/government electrical needs. You just can't bring in another generator and expect it to carry the load, provided you can find at all. Generators for 911 systems are spec'ed out for each system and you can't just willy-nilly go out and buy a generator from Home Depot or Lowe's or wherever and expect it to work for the required needs.

Generators are mechanical machines. When they get tested (be it weekly or monthly) and they test out OK, it doesn't mean that the next test it will work. Nor does it mean it will work when needed. Mechanical things break down. You can't get around that. And as for why don't they have a back-up to the back-up? It comes down to money, where to place it and is it really necessary?

As for cutting the trees down to below the power/phone lines. Why? You do that, you take away the beauty of the city or the county or whatever. Nature is as nature does. We have to adapt, not nature. It was here before us, and it will be here after us.

And even IF you run the utilities underground, you still run the chance of a failure. Not as much as those hanging from the poles, but still a chance.

Understand this, I've been through power and phone outages. Mother Nature can be a bitch when she wants to be, and can slap us back into reality anytime she wants. So grow up, get over it and move on. A little suffering is good for the soul, and an educational experience for those who thought they had planned for all contingencies of an emergency.

I don't expect the 5kw generators bought at home depot to be usable for a CO. I was thinking more along the lines of one of these:
»www.cat.com/cda/files/173187/7/L···4-04.pdf

Is it necessary to have a backup to the backup? For the 911 system, I would say yes, particularly in an urban setting. And maybe that backup to the backup is having one of those containerized or trailer mounted generators ready to bring in on short notice.

I know most people will complain when a utility wants to trim the trees near their right-of-way. I am not one of those complainers. You say it would remove the beauty of the city. Perhaps. But you are also looking at the utility poles anyway, which are hardly beautiful. And I think if you asked the millions of people who sit and sweat in their homes in the middle of a heatwave while power and phone are out if they cared more about the beauty of the city or their power coming back on, they couldn't care less about how the trees near powerlines looked.

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast

Generator theft

You would think that generators for telephone company/ISP facilities would be permanently installed standby type generators and not portable/trailer type generators.

Portable generators are much easier to steal as you just shut them down and unhook them while standby generators are hooked to a NG or propane gas line (making the process dangerous) and electrical knowledge (even more dangerous) and requires special tools and hoisting equipment to take them out.

As for the cable and telephone companies, I am sure they are not going to be allowed in to repair their facilities until the power crews have done their job.
vzguy

join:2008-10-12

Re: Generator theft

Portable generators are taken to remote terminals that feed important circuits, like cell sites.
civicturbo

join:2009-11-08
USA

Retards need to bury the services, it's not that hard

I saw this time and time again in the midwest, every winter the ice storms would add tons of weight to the wires thrown up on toothpicks and tear it all down. Services in my neighbor hood are all buried and it's Not a new development. The last time my water or gas went out.......Never both buried, funny in the early 1900s some of those two were on poles, laughable today, so should power and phone.
hga

join:2008-05-09
Joplin, MO

Re: Retards need to bury the services, it's not that hard

Are you willing to pay more than double for your power and phone? Because that's what it would cost to put those lines underground and keep them working. It costs a lot of money to bury them and they last a fraction of the time (wet, subject to critters chewing on them, etc.).
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

Re: Retards need to bury the services, it's not that hard

In a nearby town, the liberal landed gentry class pushed through under-grounding, for aesthetic purposes, at $50K/parcel, regardless of who it harms.

In our town, the city council uses under-grounding as yet another reason to rail against the power utility, while they secretly celebrate the opportunity to jack AND tax power rates, like their hero in the White House.

Never mind that they don't allow the power utility to replace their "green" transformers that last half as long as the toxic ones, never mind that the cable company has re-wired three times in a decade, and between Verizon and AT&T, they've dug up the street three times in ten years to pull fiber we can't access.