Tag Archives: Utility cables

Photo Challenge #402

For 400 weeks, our Photo Challenge has asked: “Where in Westport would you see this?”

Last week, it should have been: “What in Westport is this?”

Jerry Kuyper’s photo showed an alien-looking black object, against a blue sky. That was it. (Click here to see.)

Seth Schachter weighed in first. It was “managing multiple cables/wires from pole to pole,” he said. Marion Pietrowski noted something similar.

Right. Then Dan Herman narrowed it down further: “It’s called a banjo. Usually 2 within a short distance facing each other. They are used to store slack fiber optic cable in a cable run. The slack cable is used in lieu of splicing the fiber optic cable when the cable has to be relocated.”

Who knew?! (Well, Dan did.)

But then Michael Szeto added even more: “This is a loop structure attached to overhead cables between utility poles. There is usually one between 2 or 3 utility poles. You see them all along Compo Road South, and probably other parts of the town as well. In particular, there are 2 such loops between the 2 utility poles next to the Minute Man statue at the bottom of Minute Man Hill. I see them every day when I walk my dog.”

But leave it to Patricia McMahon, to correctly identify it as actually on Soundview Drive.

I don’t know how she knew. But I do know this: “06880” readers know their stuff.

This week, we’re back to “where in Westport would you see this?” If you know, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Ed Simek)

[OPINION] Ugly, Dangerous Cables: The Sequel

In 2018, Marliese Aguele wrote a guest post for “06880.” She decried the ugliness — and danger — of the increasing number of cables on utility lines.

This update was all set to run in mid-March. It got pushed back several times, due to more urgent COVID and other news.

But now — in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias — it seems more relevant than ever. Marliese says:

Westport is invaded, with trucks everywhere installing heavy 5G cables.

Providers like Optimum, Verizon and Frontier compete for contracts to install cables, which is very lucrative for them.

Contracts are outsourced from providers to companies of their choice anywhere in the country. Trucks do not display the name of a company, so no one can reach them after sloppy installation.

This town is overloaded with thick cables, curled-up cables, new black attachments wrapped around the cables, looking uglier than ever, installed haphazardly crisscrossing overhead in all directions.

Low cables on South Compo Road. (Photo/Morgan Mermagen)

There are poles with 17 cables attached. No consideration for esthetics. The town receives generous revenues from cable installation companies. That is all they care about.

Nobody wants to get involved, or has the authority. Driving on the Post Road, I took the liberty of speaking with an installer. He explained that companies are required to get a license/work permit from the state Public Utilities Regulatory Agency.

I spoke to another installer on Long Lots, working overhead from a truck with a New Jersey license plate. I was shown a document headed “Parkside Utility,” with no town or phone number.

I wondered why a license did not require a stamp and receipt of fee that all professionals and companies must pay. Who makes sure Connecticut is not being defrauded of much needed revenues?

I realize it is a difficult task to install the cables. I appreciate companies that make an effort, as best they can. Unfortunately, other firms perform very sloppy work.

Cables crisscross the crowded Post Road/Roseville/Hillspoint intersection.

How many more cables can they attach to overloaded poles? They droop lower and lower. It is only a matter of time before the pole on Kings Highway North snaps in half, killing the driver of a car waiting for the Wilton Road light to change. I make sure never to stop under it.

Frightened, I called the police. I was told to call the utility company.

There must be an end. Visitors are appalled at the ugliness that invades Westport. We deserve better.