Phone line cut by Olympic construction crew

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    By Anne-Marie Mickelsen

    Construction crew members laying fiber optics for the Olympics cut a telephone line at 1230 North and Freedom Blvd. Wednesday, Nov. 15, that caused at least 300 lines to be out of service.

    Businesses located along Freedom Blvd. did not have phone or Internet service for most of the day.

    Michael Frandsen, Utah spokesman for Qwest, said he did not know how many customers were affected because the cut telephone line affected businesses that have numerous phone lines.

    Frandsen said the company is laying fiber optics for the Olympics because they are a sponsor of the 2002 Winter Games. As part of their sponsorship, they are providing telecommunication infrastructure services for various Olympic venues.

    The construction company Niels Fugal Sons Co. was hired by Qwest to lay the fiber optics.

    Matt Ball, an employee of Niels Fugal Sons said the phone line was cut because the company in charge of marking phone lines, STS, did not indicate where the line was located.

    “Construction increases the chances of something happening.

    Cable cuts unfortunately happen too often,” Frandsen said.

    One of the businesses affected by the cut was Big O Tires.

    “We have lost a lot of business because of this. We had to forward all our calls to my cell phone. Now we have one line instead of four lines,” said Steve Gray, manager for Big O Tires.

    James Blaylock, a Certified Public Accountant who has an office at 1675 North Freedom Blvd., said this has happened at least three times in the last eight months.

    He said his biggest frustration is dealing with Qwest.

    “When I called Qwest to tell them my DSL line was down, they told me everything looked fine to them. They said the problem was on my end and that I needed to fix my computer,” Blaylock said.

    He said after something like this occurs, he spends a couple hundred dollars to have a computer repairman come look for the problem only to find out it is Qwest’s fault, not his computer’s.

    “I’d be ok if they told me they were having a problem, but that’s the problem — they never say they have a problem.”

    Frandsen said an investigation as to why the incident occurred is currently underway and will be completed in a few days.

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