Dear PoPville – Getting Wires Moved/Raised?

Photo by PoPville flickr user Laura_Grageda

“Dear PoPville,

Has anyone had success in getting cable TV / phone lines running from central poles in an alley moved so that they don’t fall across a backyard at head level? Whom do you call at Comcast / Verizon to get this done?”

33 Comment

  • Call whoever owns the line. They shouldnt be there. If they arent responsive the city.

    • They shouldn’t? News to me! I don’t think you can go down an alley in DC and not see this arrangment. But in all fairness, where else can they go?

      • They shouldnt be at head level. In fact, I’ve been in a lot of alleys and I’ve never seen one at head level. Where do you walk around?

        • I read it as the cables being well above head level, but if one were to fall it could be dangling in someone’s backyard with the end at head level.

          I live in Capitol Hill and have cables going from an alley pole to my house (between the 2nd and 3rd level), like most people.

          • That is a LOT of inference. Most wires, if they fell, would end up on the ground.

          • “so that they don’t fall across a backyard at head level”… implies that they are not presently at head level.

          • I dont think thats what they mean. if you are draping something between 2 points and in the middle its too low, most people say “it falls too low”. Its just english, I know its an idiom, but come on, folks.

          • OP here, the cables have indeed sagged to head level, some fine reading comprehension here!

          • ““so that they don’t fall across a backyard at head level”… implies that they are not presently at head level.

            no. it means they are at head level.

        • tonyr

          It’s a recent phenomenon due to the expansion of cable channels. Squeezing 500+ shows down a single wire makes it very heavy and causes the middle to sag. (Apologies to Chris Morris)

    • ah

      Tell Verizon, Comcast, whoever, that their cables are violating the national electric code, which requires them to be at least 10′ off the ground (sometimes 12′ or more). Remind them of their potential liability.

  • I’ve had success getting Comcast to cut old lines out and run new ones to the telephone pole in the alley. But again if the company servicing your lines doesn’t “own” them then technically they aren’t supposed to touch them.

  • If they are really at head level, just start grabbing htem by the handful and pull. They will be out there within hours to fix them

    They won’t come out and just fix them for asthetic reasons. They will only come out to fix them if service is interupted.

  • We had this problem for years with Verizon with lines over a walkway behind our houses. Finally the neighbors put up a series of poles and hooks to take care of it. I know not ideal but we go tired of dealing with Verizon.

    • Agreed. Comcast told me to call the city who told me to call Comcast who told me to call the city so I just took care of it myself.

      • Agreed.

        I called Pepco who told me to call Comcast, who told me to call Verizon, who told me to call the city, who told me to call Pepco…

        No one ever came. Yank’em down.

        • This is what happened for us. We called all up and down and around trying to get someone to take ownership of the wires laying on the fence across ours and several other neighbor’s back yards. Finally, a guy doing some work on the house next door to us just tacked them up all and out of the way and it was done.

  • You have to negotiate the removal with your neighbors. This video provides an excellent overview of the process:

  • Call the tooth fairy. She’ll be more responsive than comcast or verizon.

  • How can we even find out who owns them? We have some that must be for old service (we have Dish)… Do the various providers have some kind of distinctive markings on their cables?

  • We had to do this to make room for a dropped dumpster in the backyard. Called Verizon, they came the same day and moved the line. I kid you not.

  • I had a mess of wires hanging from the pole behind my house, and couldn’t get a response form any utilities. I wrote my council member, and he got both Verizon and Comcast to come out and clean up, via the Office of Cable Television.

  • I have that problem too. I did not call anybody. I cut them after checking that they were old.

  • My neighbor called Verizon, and they put up a brand new telephone pole (in his yard). All the homes served in that alley benefitted.

  • you call one of the 2 to ID the wire – if it’s not comcast it will be verizon etc. i’d call comcast because you won’t be able to get through to anyone at Verizon esp if you’re not an existing customer. then call 311 and ask if the DC city govt services can direct you to the office in DC govt that has contact with all the utlities agencies – am blanking on the name. we called re verizon wires and they were gone the next day.

  • brookland_rez

    When I bought my house, Verizon had phone lines that were connectec to my neighbor’s house, draped across my backyard at head level. I spoke to my neighbor about it, and they called Verizon and had them moved.

  • andy

    just say they fell. they don’t have to be on the ground to have fallen, and no way were they installed at that height.

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