Operator says construction to blame for cable outages | AspenTimes.com

Operator says construction to blame for cable outages

John Colson

Been noticing that your cable television connection has been out lately, particularly during the daytime hours?Well, according to the head of the valley’s cable operations, it’s not their fault.Jim Niswender, general manager of the Aspen area’s branch of AT&T Broadband, said this week that the main problem has been with work crews building the new lanes of Highway 82.Oh, and there was the matter of a local Christmas tree operation tapping into AT&T’s power supply at the Aspen Golf Course parking lot, which messed up the cable signal for a couple of hours on Nov. 26, Niswender said.But mostly, he said, it has been workers driving heavy equipment over cable equipment, which caused an outage in the late afternoon on Wednesday. According to Niswender, it was caused by a backhoe running over a cable “pedestal,” a signal amplifier that he said feeds the entire town of Aspen.”Some of these minor outages are going to continue to happen,” Niswender said this week. “How do you prevent accidents and carelessness? I don’t know.”He said AT&T fines construction companies that cut their lines and crush their pedestals, but admitted that doesn’t do much for the consumers.”I understand some of the people’s concerns,” he said, noting that the company has been upgrading its equipment throughout Aspen for months and that it also is moving its lines away from the highway construction zone.”We don’t go out and just shut off our cable system to make people mad,” he remarked, noting that callers seem to feel that is exactly what is happening. “We keep crediting customers, though.”He predicted, however, that over the next few weeks, cable TV viewer should see a decrease in outages.”I think you’ll see less and less outages as we go along,” he said, explaining that the new equipment should be ready to go within a couple of weeks.

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