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Cable Technology Feature Article

August 19, 2010

Dallas-Fort Worth AT&T, Time Warner Customers Lose Data Service Due to Manhole Theft

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

AT&T U-verse and Time Warner customers in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area may have noticed an interruption in service on Wednesday.

According to CBS reports, the cause of the outage was a data line cut due to a fire when welders were working on a manhole cover on a pedestrian walkway nearby.

The Texas Department of Transportation claims its crew was replacing a stolen manhole cover when the welding activities ignited an old wood structure located under the utility lines.

Reportedly, the flames caught hold, burning or melting a number of fiber optic cables going through the conduit, interrupting data service.

Time Warner and AT&T (News - Alert) responded by re-routing some of the lines, getting customers back in businesses as quickly as possible.

An NBC DFW report highlighted that while most AT&T U-verse customers were back up and running on Wednesday, there are some in downtown Dallas who may experience issues with their phone or broadband services.

The needed repair on the manhole was reportedly the result of theft. Scrap iron fetches a decent price in this market and manhole covers are somewhat easy to steal.A third party construction crew was attempting to cover the open hole to prevent injury to anyone who may not notice the cover was missing.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi