Monday, April 29, 2013

Telephone Pedestals and the Second Amendment

            Once upon a time when telephone companies provided service via wires these companies secured free rights of way to install equipment and lines.  In many locations the companies replaced telephone poles with underground conduits.  When telephone companies needed to splice a service line to a home or business they installed a pedestal above ground.  These metal or plastic pedestals do not have a pleasing appearance even with the use of forest green coloration.  They were necessary splice points where telephone company technicians connected and disconnected service.

            Now that telephone companies want to provide anything but wireline telephone service it strikes me that they should lose the rights of way granted to them by state public utility commissions.  If a company does not provide common carrier telecommunications services, then surely it has no public utility right to take a portion of my property for their use free of charge.  Right?

            I mean if a telephone company no longer wants to serve as the carrier of last resort—or first resort for that matter—then they in effect should be deemed to have abandoned their right to secure a property interest in my land.  As information service providers, like VoIP service providers, former telephone companies no longer should have the right of eminent domain granted by states to bona fide public utilities.   It seems straightforward to me: if a common carrier opts to abandon its common carrier duties, then it should lose its rights of way over private property for lines that no longer provide common carrier services, and possibly won’t provide anything at  all.

            So when my telephone company terminates PSTN service access on my property, they can pull out their copper and by the way be sure to pull out the pedestal while you’re at it.  Oh and by the way, I don’t want to ever see you again on my property.  Going forward you would become a trespasser and I reserve all my Second Amendment rights to brandish a weapon to encourage one of your few information service contractors or employees to leave.

             Gee . . maybe the Tea Party, the National Rifle Association and I have something in common.

1 comment:

David Aylward said...

Love it! Touche, Rob