El Paso

West EP homeowners fed up with AT&T fiber optic project

West EP homeowners fed up with AT&T...

EL PASO, Texas - Residents of a West El Paso neighborhood are fed up with an AT&T project that's been going on for nearly two months and left many of their yards dug up.

The neighborhood nuisance is located in the Wind Song area off Belvidere, specifically along Tierra Alta and Wind Song streets near North Mesa.

"Apparently AT&T is paying these people to lay fiber optic cable and they have run into some very serious problems trying to get the cable in," Wind Song resident Sandy Boswell told ABC-7.

The contractor, OKTEX, has been struggling to complete the project for AT&T after running into rock and difficult digging conditions in their neighborhood.

ABC-7 asked OKTEX workers for answers and was told "the boss is on the way." The boss, however, never showed up.

ABC-7 contacted AT&T about the problem and received the following statement: "With launch of the 100 percent fiber network in June 2016 we've helped position El Paso as a gigabit city by bringing customers our fastest internet speeds."

That upgrade has left residents in an uproar.

"My yard is a huge mess," Boswell added. "I don't know when its ever going to be restored."

"They have been cutting the roads so it is a noisy process," added resident Marcus Kern.

"I'm concerned about what it looks like when they're finished, more than anything else," resident Ed Ely told ABC-7.

A resident on Tierra Alta did not want to appear on camera, but told ABC-7 contractors broke a water line in front of his home, a water line in front of the next home and a gas line in front of the next home, prompting him to put up an AT&T sign on his mailbox with a red line through it.

"I wish they'd go away," resident Anna Borchers said with a laugh. "But I don't know when they'll go away."

ABC-7 followed up with AT&T, asking a number of specific questions in an email, including why it's taken so long and when will the project be completed.

AT&T send the following reply: "Our goal is to minimize impact on residents before, during and after construction and to keep them informed through a variety of means throughout the network expansion process," wrote AT&T Senior Public Relations Manager Charles Bassett. "If construction related issues occur,  we work quickly to resolve and restore any impacts."

Meantime, residents are left dealing with the mess.

"I would like them to get out of the neighborhood and fix everything the way it used to be," Boswell said.

Residents said OKTEX is not the first contractor that's worked on this AT&T project. They added the approach has changed several times, initially going through yards and sidewalks, it appears they are now laying cable in the street.

It's unclear whether other El Paso neighborhoods will be affected.

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