AT&T could have about 200,000 miles of lead-coated phone cables throughout the US.

An nameless reader quotes from an Ars Technica report: AT&T’s legacy telephone community It might have almost 200,000 miles of lead-coated cables.In response to AT&T estimates filed in court docket filings. “Primarily based on its data, AT&T estimates that lead-clad cables signify lower than 10 p.c of the roughly two million coated miles of copper cable, the overwhelming majority of that are in energetic service,” AT&T wrote within the lawsuit filed yesterday within the U.S. District Court docket for the Jap District of California. “Greater than two-thirds of lead-clad cables are buried or in conduit, adopted by aerial cable, and with a really small portion that runs underwater. Set up, upkeep, and removing prices fluctuate by cable kind (aerial, buried, submerged, submerged).

“AT&T is telling us its whole publicity is 200,000 street miles or much less,” monetary analyst Raymond James & Associates wrote in a analysis observe in response to the court docket submitting. With about 2/3 of the lead cables buried or put in within the conduit, “the implication for AT&T information is that we consider 3.3 p.c (or much less) of the route mileage that must be repaired rapidly,” the analyst wrote. AT&T’s new court docket submitting was filed in January 2021 by AT&T’s Sub-Pacific Bell in a lawsuit filed by the California Sportsfining Safety Alliance (CSPA). A gaggle of sports activities fishermen sued AT&T over cables it mentioned had been “faulty and leaking lead into Lake Tahoe.”

The 2 submarine cables run a complete of eight miles alongside the west aspect of Lake Tahoe. AT&T “argues that it stopped utilizing the cables in or across the Eighties, that the treatments had been terminated and that the defendant not owns the cables,” based on the November 2021 settlement. AT&T agreed to that settlement to take away the cables however now says it’s “at odds” with the CSPA over the removing. “On this case, AT&T has all the time maintained that lead-clad telecommunications cables pose no hazard to those that work and play within the waters of Lake Tahoe, however by 2021 AT&T has agreed to easily take away them to keep away from litigation prices. […]

AT&T’s place that it will not be eradicating the Lake Tahoe cables anytime quickly is stunning to the plaintiff. “AT&T confirmed in court docket data final week that AT&T is ready to start the removing course of on September 6, 2023, topic to State Park’s approval of the brand new allow request it submitted to State Parks in Could,” CSPA mentioned in court docket filings final week. AT&T’s submitting mentioned the corporate by no means “confirmed” that it was prepared to start the cable removing course of on Sept. 6. CSA argues that lead-coated cables “proceed to leach lead into the waters of Lake Tahoe, and the sort of leaching might pose a major danger to human well being.” Final week, a Wall Road Journal investigation revealed that the inventory worth of US telcos that greater than 2,000 lead-coated phone cables had been put in, because of the improve, might value the telecom business $60 billion.

When members of Congress stress For telecom corporations to take motion, AT&T seems to be taking new steps because of the investigation. “AT&T is working with union companions so as to add a voluntary testing program for any worker who works with or works with lead-coated cables,” the corporate mentioned in a letter to the plaintiff yesterday. AT&T mentioned it’s conducting new assessments and website visits at sure places.

AT&T inventory sliding to a 30-year low Following the information.

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