Cut Cables Cost Everyone

INDIANAPOLIS - Cut cables usually mean that communications or utility services are out in the neighborhood, affecting thousands of homes and businesses. Indiana's utilities have been affected not only by the recent spate of severe storms and tornadoes, but also by cables that people have cut while removing debris.

Hoosiers should contact the local utility office and request removal of above-ground cables that have been knocked down by storms or accidents. And before doing any digging, contractors and residents should call the toll-free hotline, 1-800-242-8511, to arrange for Verizon or other utility companies to mark the location of buried telephone cables, wires and pipes. The hotline operates 24 hours a day.

"Every year, area residents have their telephone service needlessly interrupted because someone didn't call before starting a construction project, even one as simple as digging a post hole for a mailbox," said Michael Flynn, Verizon's director-customer operations for Indiana. "Calling the hotline is the surest and safest way to avoid damaging underground cables and interrupting telephone service."

A severed cable can be costly to the person or company responsible for causing the damage, and even more hurtful to someone who needs to make an emergency call but can't because the phone line is cut, said Flynn. He also noted that a severed gas or electric cable could cause grave injury to persons nearby.

Verizon advises customers and construction crews that, under state law, they must provide utility companies with advance notice of at least three working days before beginning any household chore or commercial project that involves digging.

Anyone who fails to comply could be liable for repair costs, if any, or civil penalties.

Buried telephone cables frequently run along the shoulder of the road or along the edges of property. Cables that provide service to a specific residence or business often run directly through the lot.

Citizens involved in cleanup efforts following storms, should refrain from cutting cables and check first with the local utility company.

Verizon Communications

A Dow 30 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $68 billion in annual revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.