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Frontier Communications asks: Has anyone seen our cable?

March 1, 2012

The copper bandits in West Virginia have been busy little beavers.   It must be awful smokey up there in Mingo County.

Let’s take a look at some recently reported thefts.  The most recent one being worthy of it’s spot at the top:
Date 2/27/2012
Matewan, WV 25678 US
370 feet of 600 pair/22 gauge copper.

[BulldogPI note: This is a very large, thick, and heavy cable.  Frontier Communications no longer appears to be reporting estimated values or copper weights.  Maybe they’re not fond of my blog discussing them.]


Now I need to do some calculations if I want to estimate losses.   Luckily the loss on 02/22/12  helps simplify that problem.  Based on the estimated value of the 2/22/12 theft,  the 02/27/12 heist sounds like  over 17,000 dollars worth of copper!

 BulldogPI, how ya figure?

(Well, let’s do some quick PI Math.  The 02/22/12 theft implies that 200 pair cable weighs approximately one pound per foot.  Remember the total estimated weight of the loss that day was  approximately 700 lbs.  I’m reasoning  600 pair wire of the same diameter (22gauge) would yield three times the copper per foot  [all other factors being equal]  If you then multiply 370 feet of copper times 3 lbs per foot, we’re talking around 1,100 lbs of copper. That’s about half again the yield of 02/22/12’s theft in Harts, WV.   Multiplying  the estimated value of  that theft by 1.5  should put me somewhere in the ballpark.   So, I’m figuring  between 18 and 20K worth of copper.  Pretty good wages for the day if you ask me.   That amount of cable and weight wasn’t just lugged away by bubba in a pickup truck.  He’s good, but not THAT good.  Bubba must of had a helping hand or two…)

Also, keep in mind the value of the copper is only a fraction of the total expense of replacement.  They must still dispatch trucks, crews, and time to replace the damaged lines.

Other reported losses:
Date 2/28/2012
Summersville, WV
300 Feet of 300 Pair 22 Gauge Aerial Telephone Cable

Date  2/27/2012 
Milton, WV
500 Feet of 300 Pair Aerial Telephone Cable


700 feet of 200 pair/22 gauge copper.
Estimated 650-700 lbs of copper.
Estimated value: $12,000.00
[Already mentioned]

500 feet of  50 pair/19 gauge copper
Estimated Value: $4,300.00

Branchland, WV
250 feet of aerial telephone cable 100 pair/22 guage copper.
Estimated Value: $2200.00

200 feet of aerial telphone cable. 200 pair/22 guage copper. 
Estimated 150-200 lbs of copper.
Estimated Value: $3500.00



  1. Wow. For that much of a loss, l think I’d be hiring me some security. Aren’t there a few hundred unemployed former vets up in your area?

    • I have no idea what the deal is with Frontier. They supposedly have security, but things don’t seem all that ‘secure’ to me. There is a name mentioned in my previous blog entries who is supposed to oversee preserving the integrity of the transmision lines. It appears to me however that what is really going on, is that the company continues to take it on the nose (as acceptible losses) and goes along just filing reports with the sheriff’s department in the counties of concern. As you can see from my postings, that isn’t exactly cutting the mustard.

      The bottom line is that it doesnt exactly take a rocket scientist to predict who ultimately pays for the stolen copper cables and installation fees. Ultimately, the expenses associated with the thefts are passed on to the consumer. Making matters worse, the situation has deteriorated to the point that 911 service and other crucial communications have been disrupted on multiple occasions in the targeted areas. That could make for some interesting lawsuits, based on the premise that Frontier knows there is a major problem yet fails to address it effectively. I believe in legaleese that translates to Fronter’s customers being entitled to a’due diligence of care’ by their telecommunications provider. However, as I am not an attorney and am not construing legal advise, that personal opinion should be taken with a grain of salt (and researched by victims in the effected areas.)

      Ignoring the situation certainly is not the solution.


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