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AT&T fiber installation not sitting well with Durham man

Posted March 15

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— Across the Triangle, contractors for Google and AT&T are racing to be the first to upgrade to fiber, which promises Internet speeds 100 times faster than existing connections.

But the groundwork it takes to create the infrastructure is not sitting well with homeowners, including Artie Kamiya.

"I put a lot of time and effort into that, and they just tore up my yard," he said of an AT&T crew that installed lines in his Durham neighborhood.

Kamiya said he was not happy with what was left behind, and captured cell phone video of damage caused by crews using a small device with wheels that left marks in his grass.

"I'd say at least 20 feet into the front yard," he said.

According to Deputy City Manager Bo Ferguson, Durham has received about 200 complaints related to property not being returned to a resident's satisfaction since AT&T started installing fiber last summer.

"We have inspectors who go behind AT&T to make sure it meets our expectations and the resident's expectations for that repair," Ferguson said.

Ferguson said it is AT&T's responsibility to correct all work, but when concerns became so great, they decided to suspend the work last fall.

"We did have a shut down at one point when we refused to issue any other permits and required that AT&T go back and work on fixing complaints," Ferguson said.

While Ferguson says the city has followed up with Kamiya about getting AT&T to come make repairs, the homeowner says he wishes it had never happened in the first place.

"It could have been handled more properly," Kamiya said.

7 Comments

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  • Matt Gross Mar 17, 2016
    user avatar

    We have a similar problem. AT&T crews hit two gas lines in our neighborhood, one of which was in front of our house. They had to jackhammer part of our driveway to fix it. We've been left with a hole just filled with gravel. The crews left a week ago and no one from AT&T is getting back to me about fixing our driveway.

  • Steve Faulkner Mar 16, 2016
    user avatar

    First world problems....

  • John Palmiter Mar 16, 2016
    user avatar

    This is also happening in Raleigh. Two weeks ago I contacted WRAL with similar issues and was ignored by them. WTVD sent out a crew and we got results from the City and AT&T. The issue is AT&T has contractors working OUTSIDE of the city right-of-way and the city is NOT holding them accountable. If AT&T is in YOUR yard (Not in the right-of-way) you can stand up to them and force them to stop work yourself. Force the city to enforce your property rights!!

  • Hessian Diesel Mar 16, 2016
    user avatar

    Suggested reading; 'Right of way easement' and/or 'Imminent domain.'

  • Edward Anderson Mar 16, 2016
    user avatar

    Same complaint, different year. Every time AT&T "improves" their network, they completely ravage my front yard. I've given up on even trying to find someone to complain to, it doesn't help. They are *NOT* good corporate neighbors.

  • Pope Yam Mar 16, 2016
    user avatar

    They drove through our yard in Cary it has taken months to get a response in the form of a note on our door saying they are aware of the problem and will fix it. No date given.

  • Ororo Munroe Mar 16, 2016
    user avatar

    "Poor feller" - Native Americans