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Beat-up communications box could use a proper burial: Fixer

Why is it that big communications companies don’t seem to care when their on-street equipment looks like junk?

For many years, we’ve been writing about “pedestal boxes,” mostly owned by Bell and Rogers, which contain wiring for phone, cable TV and internet service.

The boxes take a beating from vehicles that run into them, kids that like to give them a boot and life on the street, which can’t be blamed on companies that are responsible for them.

But we’ve consistently found that communications providers are not very interested in repairing damaged boxes, at least on their own. They jump if we report it to them, but they could never be described as proactive.

So it’s no surprise that we continue to get complaints about battered pedestal boxes, of which there are so many that fixing all of them could be a full-time job.

A reader told us that he first noticed a smashed box on the south side of St. Clair Ave. last fall, next to a fence surrounding a large cemetery, west of Warden Ave.

The reader said he figured it wouldn’t be long before it was fixed, but after a while he started to wonder if the company responsible didn’t know it was broken, so he reported it to us.

Clearly, he doesn’t know how it works.

We went there and found a box that looks like it was mowed down by a vehicle, with wires protruding from it that may or may not be live; there’s no way to tell for sure, and damned if we’ll bite into them, just to see if there’s a current.

To add to the mystery, we couldn’t find anything on the box or inside it to identify the company responsible. And given their lack of concern about damaged boxes, we can’t help but conclude that it’s deliberate.

If it was up to us, the owner would be required to have its name stamped into the metal or plastic box cover, to make sure that damage could be reported to the right company.

STATUS: Without any identifying markings, we not sure who to report it to. So we’ve asked the city if it can check its records to see if it can come up with a name, so we can ask the company responsible to fix it.

What’s broken in your neighbourhood? Wherever you are in Greater Toronto, we want to know. To contact us, go to thestar.com/yourtoronto/the_fixer or call us at 416-869-4823 email jlakey@thestar.ca . To read our blog, go to thestar.com/news/the_fixer . Report problems and follow us on Twitter @TOStarFixer.