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Thread: What are these things?

  1. #1
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    What are these things?

    What are these things? ( The stainless steel looking can) I see them along the road, usually at the base of a power pole.

    It had two pieces of conduit coming out of the bottom, running into the ground.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    It houses repeater electronics for the telephone company. Telephone T1 lines can only be run for so long before the signals get weak so they have electronics to amplify and extend the lines.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. That makes sense.

  4. #4
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    Rather unsightly, aren't they?

    When my youngest daughter and her husband bought a small acreage, one of the first upgrades was power. My sil is an electrician and easily managed to bury power and phone to the utility pole.
    I know because I dug the 24" deep trench the 20 some feet from the house to the pole.
    So much nicer having utilities uderground.
    Wish mine was. As it is I can't plant a tree in our back yard where it needs a big shade tree.
    Someday......

  5. #5
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    I suspect that more and more of these you see along the way are abandoned at this point since fiber optics have taken over most of the kinds of connections that used to be used over copper, such a T1 circuits as someone mentioned. They are repeaters. The communication companies don't tend to remove old stuff when it's depreciated so it molders on the poles...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
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    The communication companies don't tend to remove old stuff when it's depreciated so it molders on the poles...
    If it has been depreciated for tax purposes, they can not even sell if for scrap without being on the hook for recapture. The tax collector will want the depreciation benefit back.

    So removal would be a way of spending money to in order to lose money. For financial reasons it is cheaper to leave it in place.

    If it gets to the point of the scrap appreciating beyond the depreciation enough to cover removal those things will likely be gone fast.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Jobe View Post
    Rather unsightly, aren't they?
    yeah, but hardly noticeable compared to--
    ct1.jpg


    But at least, there is a viable fix--
    ct2.jpg


    --maybe they should throw a few xmas wreaths around those repeater cans...


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    If it has been depreciated for tax purposes, they can not even sell if for scrap without being on the hook for recapture. The tax collector will want the depreciation benefit back.

    So removal would be a way of spending money to in order to lose money. For financial reasons it is cheaper to leave it in place.

    If it gets to the point of the scrap appreciating beyond the depreciation enough to cover removal those things will likely be gone fast.

    jtk
    While I am not an accountant, I don't think this is completely accurate. Even if the asset has been depreciated down to zero, that just means that any money made on the sale of the asset would be taxable. If it costs money to remove and ready the item for sale, that would be netted against the sale price to determine the taxable gain. So, if it were profitable to recover and sell these things, the tax issue would reduce the net profit but not eliminate it. Am I missing something?

  9. #9
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    Ever notice how trees are trimmed to minimize failures in the electrical lines but not the telephone lines? Could it be that the phone companies are struggling to survive against the competition while the power company has no competition so it will remain profitable?
    NOW you tell me...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Anderson View Post
    Ever notice how trees are trimmed to minimize failures in the electrical lines but not the telephone lines? Could it be that the phone companies are struggling to survive against the competition while the power company has no competition so it will remain profitable?
    Of course, there is very limited competition. One reason that the "traditional" phone companies don't do a lot with the old infrastructure is because most, if not all of that "copper" infrastructure was installed pre-breakup and it was subsidized by the government. Most, if not all, services that use it are tariffed even today and the infrastructure must also be "shared" with third party CLECs because of the former subsidies " n the interest of competition". The same companies, wanting to break free from that. have been installing different infrastructure using fiber optic cable and wireless technologies that are free from tariffs. They do pay a lot more attention to that new infrastructure, even if it appears they do not, and for those opting for wireless going forward as 5G comes into play, there is a lot less to worry about along the right-of-way. In some areas, they've abandoned putting their fiber on their own poles in favor of renting space on power company poles to take advantage of the regular tree trimming or opted for below ground installation which is virtually maintenance free, despite the higher initial installation cost. (easier these days with advanced horizontal boring and other things, however)
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Nuckles View Post
    While I am not an accountant, I don't think this is completely accurate. Even if the asset has been depreciated down to zero, that just means that any money made on the sale of the asset would be taxable. If it costs money to remove and ready the item for sale, that would be netted against the sale price to determine the taxable gain. So, if it were profitable to recover and sell these things, the tax issue would reduce the net profit but not eliminate it. Am I missing something?
    If there is a profitable means of reusing or selling the equipment, then it would have likely been taken down soon after it was out of service. It is quite possible many of those mystery pods are still in service.

    Even if the system has been switched over to mostly fiber the service to the house in many areas is still copper. In my area we also have high speed DSL through our copper phone lines. My understanding is the fiber runs to within a mile of our home and there is a field switch to bring the copper the rest of the way.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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