September 30, 2013
Power Outages in Colorado Town Blamed on Broadband Work
By Tammy Marie Rose
TMCnet Contributing Writer
A slew of power outages in recent weeks in downtown Taos, Colo., are being attributed to the installation of new fiber optic cable according to Kit Carson Electric Cooperative officials.
Taos has seen several outages in September. On Sunday, Sept. 22, the town went black for about an hour, and before that they saw outages on Sept. 13 and again on Sept. 17. The outages affected around 500 customers from Ranchitos and La Posta roads to Paseo del Pueblo Norte and Camino de la Placitas.
CEO Luis Reyes recently told the Taos News, “There are two poles were all the problems are." He attributed the outages to crews contracted by Kit Carson Electric Cooperative to install new fiber optic line. Reyes went on to explain that cables that were installed near Fred Baca Park were placed too closely to existing electrical lines.
Staff from the contractor, Atlantic Engineering Group, met with utility officials on Monday, Sept. 23 to discuss the recent service disruptions. According to statement made by Reyes a solution to the problem has been determined, but did not specify what the solution was.
Atlantic Engineering Group’s project manager explained that the group was installing aerial cable on the cooperative’s lines, but that they declined to specify on the project’s progress or where crews were currently working.
The work is all part of the Enchanted Light Fiber Optic Project, which is a $64 million initiative that was launched in 2011. The project is to lay new cable for broadband Internet access along the cooperative’s existing rights of way. Officials say that the project is about 35 percent complete.
Questions regarding cable installation are referred to Kit Carson Electric Cooperative and the company notes that they typically call residents to advise them when Atlantic Engineering Group crews work in their area.
Edited by Alisen Downey
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