Local News

Crew Cuts Verizon Cables, Knocking Out Voice, Data Service

Posted January 10, 2007 3:22 p.m. EST
Updated January 11, 2007 12:43 a.m. EST

— Thousands of Verizon telephone lines in the Triangle will be out of service for much of this week after a work crew damaged cables in Durham, officials said.

An out-of-state boring crew working along South Miami Boulevard near the Wake County line drilled through three Verizon cables on Sunday, cutting about 9,0 00 voice and data lines for businesses in Research Triangle Park and surrounding areas, officials said.

The damage occurred about 12 feet below ground. The crew was performing work on behalf of another communications company, and initial indications suggest that they didn't check for the underground cables before drilling, officials said.

“We understand how tough it is to work below ground, but that is why the locate process is so important,” said John Ferrell, Verizon’s Southeast region general manager for operations. “Had that been done properly, as the law stipulates, chances are these businesses would not have had their commerce affected."

Ferrell said Verizon crews are working around the clock to repair the network as quickly as possible. Recent heavy rains that have left the ground saturated have complicated the restoration process, he said.

As of late Tuesday, most affected businesses experienced partial restoration of their data circuits to allow for Internet traffic and online transactions, officials said.

"It's been extremely difficult. It seems like we've had to go back in time," said Carl Holm, manager of the Goodwill Store in the Brier Creek area.

Full restoration of service could take up to five days, however.