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ActewAGL/Telstra – let’s play the blame game

By 7 May 2014 8

I am new to this site, so not sure how best to attack this but some friends told me to use this forum to see if others are experiencing similar issues?

Quite a few months back we had ActewAGL in our street & backyard changing over the poles, we had a wooden one & now there is a fibreglass one in its place. They were there all day and my power got disrupted. As they were leaving I noted to the workmen that there were still cables hanging off the pole and asked when they were returning to fix it. They pretty much told me that that was Telstra’s and TransACT’s issue and promptly left. I enquired at this point about any potential safety issues and was told to take it up with customer service(I got the feeling that they did not even care). I did just that and was told by the lady on the phone that it was no longer ActewAGL’s issue and to speak with the telephone company, again I don’t think she was at all concerned by this potential safety issue.

A few weeks passed and I had a visit from more workers and they worked on one lot of the cables. Again as they were leaving, I enquired why they hadn’t finished the work and was told that it was a Telstra’s issue, and that they were from TransACT.

After a few weeks, nothing happened, so I started making phone calls as to when this issue would be fixed. First to ActewAGL, they told me to call Telstra as there was nothing they could do about it. So I called Telstra, and got an offshore call centre with “We would look into that and as my telephone line was still working that it was not an issue”. I tried to explain that it was a safety issue, which I believe that it is, as my kids (a 3yo, 5yo & 10yo) all regularly play in the backyard. I have had to stop them from playing outside by themselves, as I am scared that these cables will fall down and hurt or electrocute my kids. There is a big white box thing that is hanging way out from the pole that when it finally breaks off and swings down could hit one of my kids on the head. I have stopped letting my kids friends come around to play as I don’t want a families child to be put in danger & I have also had to start using my dryer on a regular basis as the cable that runs from the pole to my house is hanging very low over my clothes line, and if that falls down and rips off, and I am hanging out my washing, I am scared of being electrocuted!

This now means that my electricity bill has gone through the roof over the past few months. This is probably why ActewAGL don’t want to do anything about it!

The person on the phone did not at all seem concerned by any of this & told me there is nothing to worry about and it would be looked into – NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT!! My kids lives are in danger and there is nothing to worry about! I then see an ad come on TV that Telstra care about their customers. This is b******t all they care about is filling their pockets with more money and they don’t care about their customers or their families lives.

Then about a week back I looked down the street and noticed there are more poles that look like this & speaking with friends they have mentioned they have seen this as well & when enquiring they are getting exactly the same response.

Why do Telstra not care? What exactly is the money from our telephone bills going to if they can’t even provide an adequate service to us? I know the CEO’s back pockets are just like the politicians!!!!

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8 Responses to
ActewAGL/Telstra – let’s play the blame game
Kellamity 9:41 am
07 May 14
#1

Please don’t panic!
It sounds like the first workmen did the cabling for the high voltage electrical wires, and left the telephone and cable tv wires for the appropriate companies to hook up when they get around to it.

The cables that are still hanging are likely to be fibre optic and CATV cable, and they CANNOT electrocute you!

I cannot tell you for certain without seeing the pole, but it is extremely unlikely that a cable that carries electrical current was left unattached.

This is from the Actew website regarding fibre optic cable (which it is most likely to be):
Less risk of injury – Because no electricity is sent through these cables, there is no risk of electrocution or burns when handling or accidentally cutting through fibre-optic cables. There is also less risk of the cables themselves causing fires.
http://kids.actewagl.com.au/education/communications/Television/Subscription/AdvantagesOfFibreCables.aspx

Of course, if a cable does come down, don’t go playing with it. COAX can carry current in some situations (in this one, I don’t know for sure) but it won’t slash around wildly sparking like a power cable would.
*opinions are my own*

niftydog 11:40 am
07 May 14
#2

If your power, phone and internet is all working then there really is nothing for you to worry about. There’s just no way that ACTEW would be so stupid as to leave live power lines unterminated and dangling from the pole. It simply would not happen.

The power cable from the pole to your house is actually no more sinister than an extension lead. It’s an insulated cable carrying 240 volts, just like any appliance cable in your house. It is also easy to identify; it connects to your house separately from the other cables – often via a post sticking out of the roof with one or more ceramic ‘pots’ attached to it.

Any other cable suspended over your yard is almost certainly a telecommunications wire and presents no danger to you or your family. These connect to your house by a simple hook screwed into the fascia board below the gutters.

JesterNoir 11:41 am
07 May 14
#3

Kellamity said :

Please don’t panic!
It sounds like the first workmen did the cabling for the high voltage electrical wires, and left the telephone and cable tv wires for the appropriate companies to hook up when they get around to it.

The cables that are still hanging are likely to be fibre optic and CATV cable, and they CANNOT electrocute you!

I cannot tell you for certain without seeing the pole, but it is extremely unlikely that a cable that carries electrical current was left unattached.

This is from the Actew website regarding fibre optic cable (which it is most likely to be):
Less risk of injury – Because no electricity is sent through these cables, there is no risk of electrocution or burns when handling or accidentally cutting through fibre-optic cables. There is also less risk of the cables themselves causing fires.
http://kids.actewagl.com.au/education/communications/Television/Subscription/AdvantagesOfFibreCables.aspx

Of course, if a cable does come down, don’t go playing with it. COAX can carry current in some situations (in this one, I don’t know for sure) but it won’t slash around wildly sparking like a power cable would.
*opinions are my own*

+1, You have nothing to worry about, there’s no electricity going through the comms wires so you can’t be electrocuted from them.
There’s also nothing ActewAGL can do to make Telstra fix them any quicker, so that debunks your conspiracy theory of them wanting you to use more power.
Your kids are fine to play outside, and you’re fine to hang out your washing, without fear of being electrocuted.

I’d keep bugging Telstra, though, as I’m pretty sure they’re supposed to attach those lines within a couple of weeks of them being put in.
Disclaimer: I’m not an electrician.

1967 1:03 pm
07 May 14
#4

JesterNoir said :

Kellamity said :

Please don’t panic!
It sounds like the first workmen did the cabling for the high voltage electrical wires, and left the telephone and cable tv wires for the appropriate companies to hook up when they get around to it.

The cables that are still hanging are likely to be fibre optic and CATV cable, and they CANNOT electrocute you!

I cannot tell you for certain without seeing the pole, but it is extremely unlikely that a cable that carries electrical current was left unattached.

This is from the Actew website regarding fibre optic cable (which it is most likely to be):
Less risk of injury – Because no electricity is sent through these cables, there is no risk of electrocution or burns when handling or accidentally cutting through fibre-optic cables. There is also less risk of the cables themselves causing fires.
http://kids.actewagl.com.au/education/communications/Television/Subscription/AdvantagesOfFibreCables.aspx

Of course, if a cable does come down, don’t go playing with it. COAX can carry current in some situations (in this one, I don’t know for sure) but it won’t slash around wildly sparking like a power cable would.
*opinions are my own*

+1, You have nothing to worry about, there’s no electricity going through the comms wires so you can’t be electrocuted from them.
There’s also nothing ActewAGL can do to make Telstra fix them any quicker, so that debunks your conspiracy theory of them wanting you to use more power.
Your kids are fine to play outside, and you’re fine to hang out your washing, without fear of being electrocuted.

I’d keep bugging Telstra, though, as I’m pretty sure they’re supposed to attach those lines within a couple of weeks of them being put in.
Disclaimer: I’m not an electrician.

I’m not an electrician either, but I am a telecommunications technician, (18 years at Telecom/Telstra and 13 years with TransACT/iinet).
I can assure you that there’s nothing in that cable that will harm you.The worst possible thing would be an ISDN service, (they carry a little higher voltage), but in a residential area that’s unlikely.
The white box is a cover for the joint, and is fairly light weight, also, it should be tethered to the joint to prevent it from falling when the joint is being worked on, so you should be safe there.

If it’s bothering you and Telstra wont come to the party complain to the Telecommunications ombudsman, they’ll get onto it.
http://www.tio.com.au/
Remember, if your in an area where the NBN is rolling out service then Telstra won’t be too interested in spending a lot of money on infrastructure that they’re about to pull down.

Good luck.

Sandman 7:56 pm
07 May 14
#5

Same thing happened when they did our pole. I reckon it was 3 months till everyone had been and done their thing. Worked well for me as we were doing renovations in between and i got the guys to do a bit of cable shifting while they were here to better suit our new setup.
The hanging stuff is perfectly safe, Actew won’t take risks like that (their service guys don’t even do power attachments 2 stories up anymore).

Grrrr 1:13 pm
08 May 14
#6

Kellamity said :

Please don’t panic!
It sounds like the first workmen did the cabling for the high voltage electrical wires, and left the telephone and cable tv wires for the appropriate companies to hook up when they get around to it.

The cables that are still hanging are likely to be fibre optic and CATV cable, and they CANNOT electrocute you!

Of course, if a cable does come down, don’t go playing with it. COAX can carry current in some situations (in this one, I don’t know for sure) but it won’t slash around wildly sparking like a power cable would.
*opinions are my own*

Power cables wildly lashing around on the ground is only in the movies.

There is no Coax in canberra – we do not have Cable (HFC) here. It is highly unlikely that there are any ISDN services on the POTS in residential areas today. We only have DSL over POTS. Most poles don’t have fibre between them, just copper pair bundles (Cat5 in TransACT’s case.)

reepy 9:52 pm
08 May 14
#7

A photo might help. Link it here and tweet it to them.

Buddy14 8:09 am
14 May 14
#8

Thanks everyone for the responses, it is nice to know that there is not major risk to me or my family, but it does seem to highlight a major inefficiency on Telstra’s behalf with another person noting that it took about 3 ½ months for them to send people out to fix the issue & I have already been waiting over 3months

Sandman said :

Same thing happened when they did our pole. I reckon it was 3 months till everyone had been and done their thing. Worked well for me as we were doing renovations in between and i got the guys to do a bit of cable shifting while they were here to better suit our new setup.
The hanging stuff is perfectly safe, Actew won’t take risks like that (their service guys don’t even do power attachments 2 stories up anymore).

As I said new to this site and how it all works, I have been on at Telstra again to try to get some answers from them & it is like I am just being ignored as my phone line is working, I keep getting told that there is no issue.

1967 said :

JesterNoir said :

Kellamity said :

I’m not an electrician either, but I am a telecommunications technician, (18 years at Telecom/Telstra and 13 years with TransACT/iinet).
I can assure you that there’s nothing in that cable that will harm you.The worst possible thing would be an ISDN service, (they carry a little higher voltage), but in a residential area that’s unlikely.
The white box is a cover for the joint, and is fairly light weight, also, it should be tethered to the joint to prevent it from falling when the joint is being worked on, so you should be safe there.

If it’s bothering you and Telstra wont come to the party complain to the Telecommunications ombudsman, they’ll get onto it.
http://www.tio.com.au/
Remember, if your in an area where the NBN is rolling out service then Telstra won’t be too interested in spending a lot of money on infrastructure that they’re about to pull down.

Good luck.

I have heard that NBN has been put on hold for a few months so does this mean that I will be having to wait a few more months to get any type of answer if they have stopped repairing the telephone network? Then if NBN does go ahead how long will it be after that till the cables are put back on the pole? From what I can gather & have seen I am not the only person with telephone cables hanging loose from the pole, I don’t think that NBN will be able to get around and have everything fixed in a few days, I am guessing it will be many more months till it is fixed, why can’t Telstra just fix it all now, given that they expect us to keep paying our line rental, why is that we cant expect a level or service from them in return?

Overall irrespective that the cables may not carry voltage that may cause harm to me or my family, the lines are very low and when I can touch go into my backyard and almost touch them I see this as a danger
This is unacceptable Telstra and you should start using some of the money you make from us to maintain your network
Shame on big corporations yet again not servicing the little people who pay their wages

Can someone tell me how I post a photo to this site, as I said quite new to it, and I am not sure. Thanks everyone for help with putting my mind at ease!

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