Installation of high-speed internet causing concerns with homeowners

Local News

DESOTO CO., Miss. (localmemphis.com) – Mississippi lawmakers and others petitioned to get fiber-based, high-speed broadband in DeSoto County, especially in areas where internet is slow, but homeowners say crews should be able to install it without busting gas lines or tearing up yards.

Homeowners across the county aren’t necessarily thrilled over the groundwork happening that will bring bring C Spire’s one gigabit high-speed internet to their communities. Complaints on social media detail utility line breaks, torn up yards, and heavy equipment left parked on lawns.

Benny Babbs received that surprise. 

“I just got home about 10, 15 minutes ago and they were just parked there,” said Babbs. “I don’t know what’s going on with it.”

What he saw in his yard was in fact boring equipment crews contracted by C Spire use to dig trenches to lay down the high speed internet fiber. Paint markings are required by law when digging around for projects like this.

You’ve heard the saying “call before you dig,” it’s so paint and flags alert workers so they don’t interrupt your services. A spokesman for C Spire says those crews have, and will, unintentionally rupture water and power lines. C Spire says that’s because utilities don’t always update records when new lines are laid.

Atmos Energy says crews have repaired several lines damaged since the C Spire project began, although they couldn’t give an exact number. 

“Personally, I don’t have any problem with the internet I have right now,” said Babbs.

With the internet powering our lives these days, C Spire says customers will see an instant difference with faster streaming TV and digital calls if your yard and utilities can stand the installation process.

C Spire wants you to call them if you’ve got an issue related to the internet project, whether it’s your damaged grass or unwanted equipment around your yard.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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