John, you really are willing to open up the worm can aren't you? If I wanted to make that distinction I would have to go after the TelCo and the CableCo too. The guy who shows up is not usually an employee of the company. They are "trunk slammer" contractors with nothing more than an address the company can mail a 1099 to. I doubt any of these guys are actually licensed. I wasn't even sure the break we gave "utilities" extended beyond the area the NESC controls. We used to give Ma Bell a break because we knew the employee was a well trained union journeyman who was going to work within the bounds of the Bell System Practices book. Now days everyone is a "contractor", usually unlicensed.
Like Greg said, Verizon's new FIOS division is not a part of their regulated utility. They are scrambling to get customers off of their regulated utility side and onto FIOS so that they aren't under the scrutiny (AKA: Regulated utility) rate structures. Once they get a customer away from the regulated side, they intentionally destroy any facilities that connect the building to the regulated network. The customer then falls under the variable pricing structures and loose rules such as those provided by satellite providers. Their installers are instructed to cut the buried drop wire where it emerges from the ground and in the case of aerial service, they are instructed to cut the drop wire down. That doesn't always happen.
I strongly suggest that anyone who subscribes to Verizon's FIOS or at&t's U-Verse service to insist upon keeping at lease one copper phone line so that they can't destroy your connectivity to the regulated network. Once that connection is gone, it becomes a case of anything goes.
Regardless of their being a regulated utility or not, the NEC's utility exemptions only apply to wiring done outside of the building. Everybody has to comply with NEC and other local rules once it comes inside. Verizon has no more authority to do inside wiring than you do and they must comply with the same requirements that you do. They are only exempt from NEC requirements until their cable(s) enter the building.
The State of New York has launched an investigation regarding the shoddy workmanship associated with installations performed by Verion's trunk slamming contractors. In the area where I live, most construction is newer and the utilities are underground for the most part. That has slowed the roll out of FIOS here. With that being said, their installations are still being done by real Verizon employees, not fly by night jack-legs..........For now. In older areas, Verizon can't get that fiber in the air fast enough. They are chomping at the bit to get customers off of their older copper facilities so that they don't have to rebuild or maintain them.
Oh and Greg: Sadly, BSPs are out the window. What was left of the Bell System is gone, as is the quality that BSPs represented. Bell System standards were much more strict than anything that the NEC has to offer, but that was then.....
The can of worms is opened by DCA, and filtered down to me and other AHJ's here in NJ.
Yes, it's going to be a nightmare with getting permit/insp compliance for us.
Yes, we have the utility stops at the demarc rules here, but...try chasing a cable guy. Telco (copper) & cable in new const is done by the EC's; the condos/townhouses are the bad situations with 'cable guys'. Now....I have to look out for Fios.
BTW, the few Fios vans/trucks I have seen are Verizon vehicles.
Also, I have not taken the Fios 'offers' at my home; I want a copper line & I also need to know how much $$$ after the $79 intro period. No copper to remain? No cost after initial intro = no fios for me.
Has anyone else heard of the rumors about Qwest and Verizon trying to pull off a merger? I hope the FCC and SEC won't let that happen, as the results could be pretty damn scary. I've already cut ties with Qwest, over an incident with their "Price for Life" scam.
Even if that doesn't happen, between the two of them they've got control of most of the country's telecom. It's obvious that they have their hands in each other's pockets, as Qwest no longer offers its own Cell service, instead contracting with Verizon. I thought deregulation was supposed to prevent that sort of thing from happening? I guess it only works for a while, until the FBO's start buying each other out.
Other than power, I'm completely "wireless" now; digital antenna TV, cell phone and WiMAX (Clear/Clearwire) internet. Unfortunately, all those things have to use telco wires somewhere...
From a purely electrical standpoint there is really not that much to worry about with comm cabling but you still could be dealing with penetrations and flame/smoke issues depending on what cable they use and how they run it. I agree it would be a nightmare trying to get permits and inspections every time the cable guy comes to your house. That still doesn't do anything for the handyman work. We have low voltage licensing here in Florida and I bet that is the least enforced law in the trades. Most guys who do this don't even know there is a licensing requirement and that is particularly true of telecom "contractors".
I'd like to say no, but it would not surprise me. I was surprised that the at&t/BellSouth merger happened. BellSouth was the last remaining Bell company, bringing on the end of the Bell System. Today, telephone markets have become a commodity and the customers are just pawns.
Last year, Verizon decided that their former Bell Atlantic territories in ME, NH and VT weren't profitable enough so they sold these markets to a little-known company called Fairpoint Communications. After months of start-up delays, they are finally closing the deal, but the customers are suffering greatly. It is taking weeks or even months to get installation orders complete because the new guys don't know what they are doing and Verizon has no obligation to help them.
It is going to get worse before it gets better. A QWest-Verizon merger would make the big two become Verizon and at&t. Quest having more geographical territory, coupled with Verizon's ownership of their Bell Atlantic and GTE territories would make them the clear leader in the race. A merger would likely retain the at&t name for fun, but the customers would be royally screwed in the long run. Let's hope that never happens.
Not that it matters. We pay, we pay, we pay and we can't live without them. Then we go back in time to 1984 and the government starts breaking up "the new at&t" again.
What did the DCA say? Did Suzanne say that Vios is not part of the "Utility" company? If that is so, good luck trying to get them to pull permits. I have a hard time trying to get regular voice/data people to get permits. The alarm people are getting better about permits, but telco people still hate permits in my town.