• TheCPUWizard (unregistered)

    BS the fiber would have been in a conduit at the very least. Most likely (given 3 miles) fairly short conduit runs in tunnels between pits.

  • Ex-Consultant (unregistered)

    Well, in that day and age nobody would recognize an optical fibre cable and would know what to do (and NOT to do) with it.

    When visiting a large tech company one of the VPs told us the story that in the 80'ies one worker by mistake cut an optical cable and tried to "fix" it by "rewiring" it with duct tape.

    Fortunately they had bought a special fault localizer for optical cables and could pinpoint the fault to within a few meters. Otherwise finding the problem in their VERY long cable tunnels would have been no fun...

  • RSS user (unregistered)

    Hey, I don't know why, but none of this week's posts appear in the RSS feed. Is there a problem?

  • I dunno LOL ¯\(°_o)/¯ (unregistered) in reply to TheCPUWizard

    All the fiber conduit I've seen is plastic. It would be about as easy to break with a backhoe as the fiber.

  • (nodebb)

    Did they just run a fibre optic between the two buildings, or did they actually work the fiber optics into the internal wiring of the building? I am asking because those fibers don't like bending much and need expensive repeaters to get around tight corners.

  • bvs23bkv33 (unregistered) in reply to RSS user

    looks like there are fiber excavations between WTF and RSS

  • Zappes (unregistered)

    TRWTF is a company boss that doesn't only want geeky toys but who also spits out the budget required to do it properly. Most bosses would probably not shell out the dough for burying the cables but would tell the poor admin to just hang them from existing lightpoles without asking for permission. And they would go for fishing line instead of actual glass fiber because they look almost the same and are a lot cheaper.

  • Carl Witthoft (google) in reply to kurkosdr

    My guesses are that either they got lucky with the routing or that the carrier frequencies at that time were so low (compared with modern 25GHz-spaced multiplexers screaming along) that a chunk of lossy bends left enough signal for the short 5-km run's receivers to operate cleanly.

  • PedantsRUs (unregistered)

    TRWTF: Where's the frist?

  • IP-guru (unregistered)

    Nothing supprising here. utility companys are always cutting fibers or cables they should not.

    Gass board dug up my front lawn to replace gas main & took out by home cable connection.

    2 days later deespite reminding them to take care when re-filling he trench I watched them dump a bucket full directly on the splice for the prevous fix.

    My worst case was when a group of workmen cust through the mains cable just as I was replacing a "Hot Swapable" cassett into a customers PBX. just as I made contact withthe back pane all lights went out & the UPS's started to screem. that was a moment of panic as I saw the MD rushing toward the comms room then someone said "the whole estate is down".

  • Bear (unregistered)

    This story looks like the WTF I sent in about a month ago.... Cleaned up but it follows the story line of mine to the T. Including the anchor for the power pole driven right threw the fiber line to our corporate headquarters. Just saying. Oh btw it is a true WTF in that sense ... I lived it.

  • (nodebb) in reply to TheCPUWizard

    Although I never saw them in progress, there were some works in my area whereby a very thin slot was cut in the pavement and later filled. I'd assumed that fibre was laid at the bottom of the slot, although later when some traditional works crossed the slot there was no cable to be seen, so I've always wondered whether the second set of contractors unwittingly destroyed that section of fibre.

  • Glenn (unregistered) in reply to RSS user

    Yeah, I noticed that too!

  • (nodebb) in reply to urkerab

    Ditto. Some of my downtown area has these slots cut into the sidewalks, caulked/grouted, with little labels every meter indicating that there is a buried cable there.

    Fortunately the cable is owned by the city, so when their contractors dig it up, they know who to bill.

  • sunnyboy (unregistered)

    Wait. The boss not only pays for the toys he wants, but then listens to the tech when he's told the city utilities cut the cable and then vents at the appropriate people? Something is definitely fishy in this story...

  • Herby (unregistered)

    The biggest mistake of this is not putting a nice BRIGHT ORANGE ribbon about 6 inches above the buried fiber cable. In my local area they have plastic gas lines from the street to the side of the house, and the ribbon is there so the 1d10t backhoe operator will have a nice visual indication.

    The good part of the story is that since the lines were marked, the digger is responsible for fixing the problem, coming that close to the fibers. If you haven't marked things, the local people are supposed to give out a nice STOP WORK order. The biggest problem with communication lines (telephone, cable TV, fiber) is that they rarely give out signals that indicate a fault. Electric mains, and gas lines are a bit more indicative of a fault with either a steady hiss, or nice sparks.

  • Bear (unregistered) in reply to Herby

    When they put in the new pole they did not drop the pole on the fiber cable rather they put the pole anchor (which comes down at an angle) thew the fiber. There was indeed tape there but since the anchor comes down at a 45 deg angle it missed the tape.

  • Sam (unregistered)

    Funny, they dug up my front yard last year for AT&T home fiber and their contractor went right into a gas line. Exactly where it was marked.

  • Explosive Solution (unregistered) in reply to Herby

    So what you're saying is all comm wire should be surrounded in gas and electric lines so that they'll know when they hit it! Genius!

  • Sean (unregistered)

    Contractors are hit and miss regarding quality of their work. There was an incident a few years ago here when Google Fiber was being installed in our neighborhood. The contractor cut into a sewage line across the street from us, which caused raw sewage to flood into the neighbor's house. She had just had her place remodeled, too. Whether or not the sewer lines were marked clearly, I don't know. I do know that the same contractor had caused a very similar downtown KC not that long ago. Something tells me a competent contractor would not have made that kind of mistake twice.

  • DJRWolf (unregistered)

    If you get to bring one item with you to a deserted island it should be a decent length of fiber cable. Then you just bury it and wait for the backhoe to come by and dig it up. Then leave with the backhoe.

  • Another RSS user (unregistered) in reply to RSS user

    My RSS feed is showing this article (and all others this week) just fine. Try troubleshooting your feed.

  • foxyshadis (unregistered) in reply to Herby

    You have to be notified that work is happening first, if you want to be able to put in extra safeguards. Obviously that didn't happen here. Anyway, I wouldn't trust a hanging cord at an active construction site, it would probably end up getting knocked down quickly anyway. Spray-painting the lines is a quick and semi-permanent measure.

  • one more RSS user (unregistered) in reply to Another RSS user

    It's fixed now. I had the same issue until a few hours ago.

  • jmm (unregistered)

    Try having someone put in a large pole for some equipment next to where the cable for the telephone/IT service is... they then get the brilliant idea of pouring concrete around the whole thing to make the plug that holds up the pole (and which now embeds it onto the IT cable)

    Fast forward ten years to when the pole is taken out by a different crew, and it takes a couple of hours to figure why the internet no longer works.

  • (nodebb)

    "Nothing supprising here. utility companys are always cutting fibers or cables they should not."

    I think the culprit is municipalities not having a clear map of where all the cables, pipes and other utilities run through underneath. The construction crews don't have the ability to see through soil (if they did, they 'd be hired by Exxon Mobl for a crazy amount of cash) and hence when construction they dig, they basically make an educated guess on where the utilities may run through based on whatever little documentation they have and their hunch. Did this fiber-optics-enthusiast boss inform the municipality about the installation? Probably not.

    There is a related term called "modern archeology", which is basically performing "archeology" on relatively modern infrastructure and buildings for which so little documentation exist that it's as if they are ancient (and if they are of cultural significance, same methods applied on ancient ruins have to be applied)

  • (nodebb) in reply to kurkosdr

    I think the culprit is municipalities not having a clear map of where all the cables, pipes and other utilities run through underneath.

    Nobody has that map. They've got theoretical maps showing approximately what is going on, but those can sometimes have very little to do with what is actually in the ground. If you think this is a problem for comms, you should see the scale of trouble it makes for water companies; all those little unexpected extra bends can make for radically different behaviour when you turn off part of the water network for maintenance…

  • (nodebb)

    I assume everyone immediately knew what was coming when they read "some irritating utility work slowing down traffic" on the way in?

  • Sabre (unregistered) in reply to Scarlet_Manuka

    Chekhov's Backhoe

  • Axel (unregistered)

    Seymour would have sussed the reason for the outage on the way in to the office, but the utility worker waved him on through, saying, "Nothing to see here, folks, just a little foreshadowing."

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