AT&T fiber installation not sitting well with Durham man
Posted March 15, 2016
Durham, N.C. — 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.