Backhoe season?


With so much work shut down, I'm curious how backhoe season is shaping
up this year? How do the circuit and fiber outage numbers look?

Bill Herrin

No change from my perspective, have had a few in the last few days, business as usual.

I heard, and am seeing that construction type jobs don't seem to be affected much with the virus shutdown. I mean I see guys building homes and working on roads all around me... furthermore, we've heard of a couple fiber cuts that have brought portions of our network down a couple times in the last week or so.


The house power was taken out, while we’re all WFH, thanks to Detroit Edison and their backhoes


Every country or state may be different. I am in Denmark/Europe and we consider cable digging as low risk work in regards to the virus. It is outdoor and the workers are in groups of two people keeping distance to other coworkers.

Our FTTH buildout is not slowed much at all. We do avoid going inside homes which means the installation is not finished. But we can run cable ducts up to the building, blow fiber into said duct and do the fiber splicing at the cabinet end. We also make new backbone and ready new areas for FTTH.

All of this means we also see the usual amount of damage done to our stuff from other parties. In this case we will do home visits to get someone online again. Internet is considered critical infrastructure, so we must do so.



tor. 26. mar. 2020 18.59 skrev William Herrin <>:

Yeah Darron, we lost some san Antonio connectivity to Houston via dallas or somewhere.... twice in the past few days, affecting different things for us


The outages in Texas are not uncommon at all. Its probably the worst vs other areas of the country. One other problem area is between Ashburn and Atlanta. We have been seeing more underlying LH carrier equipment failures vs fiber cuts in the last year.

Numerous gov'ts and municipalities, which had planned constructions jobs but postponed them to the summer due to heavy traffic volume, have started to implement all those construction jobs, which includes backhoes.


I think there are pockets of construction all over – I have quite a few outages recently with warmer and dry weather all due to various mechanical implements.

Backhoes In Space!

Around here this is what is deemed essential:

- snip -

All gas, electric, telcom, fiber, and MDOT projects are considered "critical infrastructure" and essential under Governor Whitmer's Executive Order 2020-21. ONLY those doing work essential to the needs of our state and our infrastructure should be placing tickets.

- snip -

This means that my fiber construction is ongoing. Plus those crews shouldn’t get closer than 6’ from each other in most cases.

- Jared

Oh dear.

Gubbermints can't tell the difference between "construction" and

While all these are "essential services", the organizations, themselves,
need to determine what that means for them and their employees from a
health & safety perspective. Falling back on, "Well, the gubbermint
didn't tell us that we should only fix breaks and not build new
projects, so we don't see anything wrong" is reckless.

Ah well.


It seems that in France there are alternatives to backhoes (fr: pelleteuse, jargon: pelleteuz) :

(tldr: scissors seem to work well enough in street sheltres)