Comcast cut Verizon's line

The cable folks came out today and put in a new imporved line from the street to our house. About three hours later I tried to make a land line phone call. No dial tone. Checked the line at the telephone network interface–no dial tone their either. So the question is, is this going to turn into a big hastle for me. I already called Verizon and they will have someone out here on Thursday (between 8 and 5), really nicely pinpointed there. I called Comcast and they haven’t called me back yet, but I am curious what to expect. This must happen not infrequently. I assume that Verizon will not want to fix comcasts screw ups for free. So is there anything in particular I should do to protect myself, any magic words that will get one company talking to the other about payment, instead of buggin me?

Uh oh. Next week I am getting rid of my Verizon internet and phone service and getting Comcast’s Triple play. I hope they don’t cut my phone line down. I may go back to Verizon in the future.

Well, I was sticking with Verizon for my land line, since it has never ever gone down, in my intire life until today. Googling around I see that when Verizon starts FIOS service, things between the two companies gets fairly nasty. And guess what, they are installing FIOS very close by, although I am not positive my house will be included. I wonder if the might have done it on purpose. Useless speculation however, no way to know.

It’s Verizon’s problem up to the network interface.

I don’t think you’ll have to pay Verizon - they are responsible for all wiring up to the “dmark” (where the wires connect to your house, fancy-schmancy phone talk). But, if the wires were cut inside, then yes, you’ll have to pay. Then you’ll have to take it up with Comcast.

And don’t be surprised if the Verizon tech tries to sell you FiOS (assuming it’s available in your area).

A warning to anyone looking into FiOS:


Once they remove the copper lines, you can’t switch back. And you may not be able to ever switch providers, as Verizon doesn’t have to share their fiber optics.


As pointed out Verizon is responsible for the line from the street to the NW1 (Network interface).

FIOS cables were being put up about a mile from my neighborhood a couple months ago, but not on my street yet.

One of the reasons (although not a main reason) for me going to Comcast is so when FIOS is being offered to me, I’ll be considered a new Verizon customer again and may be offered better deals since I will have no existing Verizon service (or I can put it in my wife’s name if they don’t consider me new).

I guess I’d better make sure when Comcast comes they don’t mess with the phone lines.

If you are not going to Comcast phone service, I see no reason why they would have touched your phone line.

Fixed link.

Ooops. Thank you!

I hope for your sake that Verizon shows up when they claim they will. It took me a week and a half to move my phone service four miles north. They tried to get me to switch my DSL to FIOS every step of the way. They claimed a service person would be out between 8 and 6 on a Friday. No one showed. They claimed someone would be there between 8 and 12 the following day. No one showed. Finally at 3:45 we were graced with a Verizon tech who fixed the problem (with their lines - no cost to us except our sanity).

It took me three weeks to get the DSL back, though.

Good luck!

Well fortunately, we don’t have FiOS here, they are just laying line really close by. It seems strange that some other company can come and cut their lines, and they have to repair them at their expense. I could see it for two companies that might run utilities that don’t compete, and that probably cut each other’s lines about equally, but not in a case where the two clearly hate each other.

And concerning the dmark. I am assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that they will just come and lay new cable, which means they will have to to come into the house to wire it. Wait, I think I get it, they are responsible up to and including wireing of the network interface, but nothing distal to the interface phone jack.

Looking at where the utilities come into the house, the phone seems to be about 18 inches deeper than the cable. My guess is Comcast’s ditch witch cut it when the tunneled under our access road.

Why do you think Comcast has cut your phone lines?

You don’t have to pay for it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Verizon is fixing the lines at their expense. It’s entirely possible that Verizon may bill Comcast for the work, if they can determine that Comcast did, indeed, cut the lines.

If you have read my posts, I do not think that they did it on purpose. But when they come out and fool around next to the phone line, including using a ditch witch, and essentially immediately (I didn’t try to use the phone for about 3 1/2 hours) I have no dial tone, and that includes at the network interface, I think it is absolutely obvious that they cut the line, or accidently did something to it’s connection to the pole, but no was is it simply coincidence. Or do you disagree.

Interestingly enough, I had a Verizon tech come out and hook up my phone service and “accidentally” cut the coax cable that the builders placed for Comcast’s use. When Comcast showed up to turn my internet and TV service on they ended up taking almost a month because of the additional hassle involved in laying a new line. If I didn’t know for a fact that the Verizon tech was the one who cut the line, I’d be very upset at Comcast and my builder.

I’ve heard a few other folks from the Baltimore area talk about Comcast and/or Verizon techs doing crap like this when they’re servicing an address with both lines coming in from the same source. You can look at it as the field technicians working together to guarantee each other work, or you can look at it as underhanded (and almost certainly illegal) anti-competitive practices… but regardless, it’s a pain in the ass and hurts the customer more than anyone else.

The reality is that anybody, including Joe Homeowner, who sticks a digging implement (including a foot powered shovel) into the ground, on his or anyone else’s property, and in so doing damages a buried utility, they are on the hook for the repairs unless they called the toll-free utility locating service in their state and allowed everybody involved the legal amount of time to mark buried service.

I’ve personally torn Comcast and Verizon out of the ground on several occasions with backhoes and ditch witches, where their paint lines weren’t within 3’ of where I was excavating. As such, I paid NADA for repairs. Just to cover my ass, I photograph the jobsite before machines damage paint lines, and always make my contact with PA-1-CALL one week prior to disturbing ground or pavement.

Before they dug, there were two different color paint marks along the path of the utilities. I know the power company was out because I saw them. I don’t know if both colors belong to them, or one represents the telephone company. I do know that the cable “street” box, and the phone company “street” box are about a foot apart, so keeping three feet away is pretty much impossible. I wonder how long we will be without a land line. My guess is that the tech will come out on Thursday, say we need a new line laid, and then we will have to wait to set that up and then they will dig. With all the crews busy laying FiOs nearby, I have my concerns about how long it all will take.

One other question. When I call my landline from my cell it rings and rings and rings. I thought there had to be some kind of electrical connection made for the phone to ring. Exactly when and where is the ring sound generated?

White marks the proposed excavation.
Pink is for temporary survey markings.
Orange is for CATV, telco, and other low voltage systems.
Red is for electrical power.
Yellow is for gas, oil, steam, petroleum, or other gaseous materials.
Blue is for potable water.
Purple is for reclaimed water, irrigation and slurry.
Green is for sewer and drain lines.

The above being per ANSI standard Z535.1

I understand this question completely. The ring sound is generated in the handset when it gets a signal from the line. If you touch the two “live” wires (red and green, IIRC) together at another jack in the house, the rest of the phones will ring. I made my mom think somebody was calling many a time with that trick. :smiley: