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Cable Technology Feature Article

July 30, 2010

Verizon: Every Digging Project Warrants a Call to 811

By Anshu Shrivastava, TMCnet Contributor

Verizon Communications said that the date “8-11” provides a natural reminder to call 811 to have underground utility lines marked before starting any project that involves digging.

Callers are connected to their local one-call center who then notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig. Company officials said that professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate location of underground lines.

Established in 2005 by Federal Communications Commission “FCC (News - Alert),” the nationwide 811 call-before-dig number help prevent the unintentional strike of underground utility lines while digging.

“Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811,” said Diane McCarthy, senior vice president of global network field operations at Verizon (News - Alert), adding that striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages.

“Whether you're a do-it-yourselfer or a professional excavator, it's important to call 811 to have utility lines properly marked in advance of digging,” McCarthy.

McCarthy is a board member of Common Ground Alliance (CGA). A member driven association, CGA has nearly 1,400 individuals, organizations and sponsors that are committed to saving lives and preventing damage to underground infrastructure by promoting effective damage prevention practices.

“On August 11 and throughout the year, we remind homeowners and contractors alike to call 811 before digging to eliminate the risk of striking an underground utility line,” said Bob Kipp, president of CGA.

Verizon promotes awareness of safe digging by distributing hats, gloves and other promotional items with the 811 logo. When planning a digging project, the company officials said that they encourage to take steps such as planning ahead; confirming with local one-call center that all lines have been marked; respecting the marks if another location is not viable, and avoiding use of mechanized digging equipment near them; and more.

Verizon Communications delivers broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government, and wholesale customers.

Earlier this Month, Verizon reported strong wireless, FiOS (News - Alert) customer growth; increased enterprise revenues; and strong cash flow in the second quarter.

Anshu Shrivastava is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anshu’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi