Resident Fights to Remove Exposed Cable Line

For weeks, Fort Worth's Esther Raya tolerated an unsightly exposed cable line that stretched the length of her front and back yards.

She says she came home Halloween night and saw workmen in front of her home and assumed they were with a utility company. No one knocked on her door or left a note explaining why they were there.

In the morning, she found a bright orange cable stretching the length of her front yard, snaking beneath her gate into her back yard. The cord continued through her back yard, behind a corner cactus garden, then threads through the fence, under the fence and into a neighbor's back yard.

Raya learned through a series of phone calls that the exposed line belongs to Charter Cable. And she doesn't even have Charter cable. Her neighbor behind her does.

"I got phone numbers from the web and I called," Raya said. "They told me many times someone is going to be there in 48 hours."

Days passed, but no one came or called. Finally, she said someone from Charter called her back.

"I talked with someone and he told me it's going to take two years to fix," said Raya.

That’s when Raya contacted NBC 5 Consumer Specialist Deanna Dewberry, who contacted Charter. Spokesman Brian Anderson said Charter had to install this temporary line "after an existing underground line in the neighborhood was damaged by someone who was installing fence posts."

The day after the call, Charter repaired the underground line and took the temporary line out of Raya's yard.

This is the second time in as many months that viewers have reached out to us concerning exposed Charter cable lines. A Mansfield family tolerated a line across yards and driveways for three months.

"It wasn't until I contacted NBC 5 that actually something started happening," Mansfield resident Phil Worobey said.

A crew made repairs the day after we called.

"I'm glad that it's being resolved,” said Worobey.

In the interest of full disclosure, it’s important to note that NBC 5 is owned in part by a cable company - Comcast Cable.

Anderson said the company maintains more than 10,000 miles of cable and sometimes a temporary line is necessary to maintain service.

"Charter strives to remove or bury these cables within two weeks of installation," he said. "But, before digging can begin, Charter must obtain the necessary construction permits and identify a clear path so as not to damage other underground utilities in the area. Weather, especially rain, can hinder the process."

In Raya's case, one of her neighbors was having a fence installed and damaged the line. Charter reminded residents to call 811 before digging.

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