Qwest Communications has a costly reminder for careless gardeners who dig too deep this spring: you’ll get a bill if you cut the cable. The phone company’s Michael Sadler says it’s a common problem.County workers and highway-construction crews may fail to call for cable location or get inaccurate information, and cut the cables of Qwest and other utilities. He says it’s not as big a problem in Iowa as it is in other states, since state law lets the company charge all the cost of repairs to whoever did the damage. And that bill could be an eye-opener.It can depend on the size of the cable, like a major pipe to a big corporation could run into thousands. He explains any phone cables damaged or cut will require material and costly overtime to repair, and someone will be billed for that cost. Add the loss of service to phone-company customers, whose business is on hold while they wait for repairs, and it can get expensive. Sadler says homeowners will also be billed for the cost of repairing cables they cut or dig up accidentally. Sadler says gas and cable tv lines also fall victim to construction workers without the right directions, and even wintertime didn’t stop it since mild weather let more work proceed.
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