Verizon Installing Boxes On Non-Customer Properties

from the doesn't-seem-right... dept

The Washington Post is reporting that Verizon has sent around technicians in certain areas to install boxes that make the homes “Verizon ready” even if they’re not Verizon customers or have no interest in becoming Verizon customers. In one neighborhood, at least, the technician simply left hand-scrawled notes on the door saying he needed “access to your property” to install this box. Some residents were clearly concerned, wondering if it was a scam – either from some con artists, or from Verizon itself. Verizon claims it’s no scam and people are over-reacting, but it certainly sounds like they didn’t plan the whole thing out very well. The bigger question, of course, is why Verizon feels they have the right to simply install a box on someone’s property when that person isn’t even a customer?

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Comments on “Verizon Installing Boxes On Non-Customer Properties”

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dorpus says:

Underground rights of way

So-called “home owners” often do not own the ground under their homes. Such land is owned by oil and mining corporations, who are (in theory)allowed to suddenly show up with bulldozers, tear down your house, and drill a new hole. Such incidents do occur in so-called libertarian Texas, as well as Pennsylvania.

Another fun fact of life in Pennsylvania are abandoned coal mines that are all over the state — underground coal fires can take centuries to extinguish. Thus, fireballs can spontaneously erupt from the basement and make the house explode like a stack of cards. Or else the home can suddenly sink into the ground due to underground avalanches.

And for the young couple that bought the romantic Victorian home in the secluded countryside, the power of Eminent Domain allows the state to show up with bulldozers and tear down the house also. There are towns today whose entire Main Street shopping strip is razed to make way for highways.

Some people think they can get around this problem by living in house boats. The Coast Guard is allowed to perform search and seizure without warrants, and they sometimes do tear boats to shreds, looking for cocaine. If they don’t find any, well sorry, they don’t have to pay.

But aside from human inconsideration, in warmer climates there are Formosan Termites that destroy a home in 3 days. By the time you feel the rain of sawdust on your forehead, it’s too late.

New suburban housing tracts can try to get around the baggage of old land, but new homes tend to pressurize the land and make it sink. Thus, homes may be declared unsafe by local government and ordered destroyed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Underground rights of way

As typical you have maybe a nugget of truth in an otherwise incorrect spewing of information.

First, this seems no different from the cable company putting up a connection in a new development, above ground.

Okay, not for the OT on the nonsense above:

For “underground rights”, you are referring to “mineral rights”. In most states (but not all), the mineral rights can be severed from the surface rights. The decision to do this is up to the land owner – not a corporation or government -because, you know, we have this thing called “property rights”, where the owner has the right to do with his property as he damn well pleases.

Say some rancher did this 100 years ago. Any time you buy a piece of property, it is the law in these places (like Texas) that you are notified of the mineral rights – if they are included or severed (it is a specific piece of paper that you sign at the closing). Don’t like it? Don’t buy it. This is called “consumer choice”. You can also go down to the courthouse, find out who owns your mineral rights and buy them back to. This is called a “free market”.

If you happen to own the surface rights and someone else owns the mineral rights, Texas courts have held that the mineral rights owner can get to his minerals, PROVIDED he doesn’t take away the use of the surface owner. So the surface owner pretty much holds a trump card to prevent drilling. So what’s evolved is a concept called “damages”, which are paid to the surface owner. Surface owner can hold up drilling until he is happy with the damages he is paid.

As a matter of practicality, someone drilling for oil isn’t going to bulldoze homes and have to pay market value for them. In practice, wells are drilled in the middle of nowhere and the farmer or rancher who owns the property salivates whenever a well is being drilled. The typical negotiation goes something like this (I have done them):

“We want to drill on your land”
“I want a new gravel road”
“And you have to pay me for my crop. I am going to charge above market rates”
“And I need a new water tank, so when when your bulldozer finishes clearing, I want one dug over there”
“And I have to move my cattle over to somewhere else, requiring me to lease property, so I want money for that”
“And a new fence over in that pasture over there”

You get the picture. Ranchers are very happy when the rigs show up in town ’cause money starts flowing. The yuppies in the burbs of Austin, Houston and Dallas don’t have anything to worry about, and if they did, they would just sell their house for a profit.

And I won’t even go into horizonal drilling, which allows mineral owners to get to their minerals from several kilometers away.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Underground rights of way

So-called “home owners” often do not own the ground under their homes. Such land is owned by oil and mining corporations, who are (in theory)allowed to suddenly show up with bulldozers, tear down your house, and drill a new hole.

Bullshit. You’re obviously TOO POOR to ever afford a home, or you’d know about a little thing called EASEMENT.

EASEMENTS are the ONLY places companys can come in to do repair work, etc in. They don’t get a full ride to come in and dig up someone’s yard.

Anyone entering my backyard without my permission has three things to deal with:

1. My shotgun
2. My dogs
3. The cops

And in that order.

dorpus says:

Re: Re: Underground rights of way

According to

In Texas, mineral rights don’t necessarily pass with the sale of land and the surface owner may not have the legal right to stop drilling on his property….Horn understands why some are upset with the noise and disturbance that a 115-foot-tall drilling rig can cause in a neighbourhood because she has experienced it herself at her country home.

As for people intruding on your back yard, it’s not so simple either. Some localities allow hunters to walk through other people’s property, while it is also increasingly against the law to shoot tresspassers. The tresspasser can sue you out of your home.

bill says:

Stay off my land...

I agree with the shotgun defense and calling the cops last. The only differnce is I’d call the coroner before the cops. As a retired law enforcement officer, I can tell you that the ONLY ones that have rights are the criminals. I have kids that think my land is a football field and without asking, come up, play, run down my bushes and newly planted trees, then leave behind all their trash. I put up barriers, which they moved and continued to play.

I called the Sheriff’s Department who refused to help unless it was an emergency. I did get their attention when I notified them that as a county resident, I have the right to walk on my property with my shotgun and confront those foot-ballers. ONLY THEN did they offer suggestions such as putting up no-tresspassing signs (that would look so nice in a neighborhood-NOT), which would then make it a misdemeanor. In other words, according to the Sheriff’s Office where I live, ANYONE at ANYTIME can come upon your property and do whatever they want on it, unless they are told in writing, verbally, or by posting, that no tresspassing is allowed. I think I’ll park my truck on the front of the Sheriff’s lawn…since there’s no sign saying I can’t. Better yet, I’ll take my shotgun and pop a few kids, then go see the Sheriff myself.

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