FiOS out for fifth time in seven months, but …

This time it's at least possible that Verizon is not to blame; both my wife and I are leaning in the charitable direction … although the conspiracy-minded may think otherwise.

In either case, my family didn't get to watch a big Red Sox game, I didn't get my customary early-morning jump on blogging, and my wife, Julie, had to do the always-annoying wait-for-the-serviceman thing (after cancelling a hair appointment).

These disruptions have happened so frequently of late -- this is at least our fifth major FiOS outage since mid-March -- the details no longer matter. All I know for certain is that our TV, telephone and Internet services went dark (is that what they mean by triple play?) and only returned 24 hours later after separate visits from two Verizon techs.

At least the first one spotted the cut cable and the second did the necessary splicing, which I'll get to in more detail in a moment.

Now, I've been accused by a Verizon exec of wanting to "take down" the company, and by a reader of harboring a vendetta -- actually, "Can you spell VANDATTA???" was the verbatim charge. Neither is true. And, while I will cop to knowing a human-interest/misery story when I experience one, at this point I'd just as soon be denied any more fresh material.

I'm also keenly aware that my family is by no means the only to experience FiOS-related distress. I've written about the fires, and the smoke, and the busted gas lines, and even the sewage so often in recent months that I can't really blame my colleagues for joshing about retribution or that reader for wondering if I might have a "vandatta."

I really don't. It's just that stuff keeps happening.

Like the day prior to this latest outage. Have I mentioned the smoke and flames -- maybe they were just sparks -- from the pole across the street? Definitely not Verizon that time. Julie called me at the office to report that an Nstar electric company worker in a cherry picker had somehow done something that produced a visible plume of smoke. Our daughter, Emma, said she saw flames, too, although she's only 6 so it's possible she mistook sparks for flames (but again with the details). Anyway, Julie suspected we might be in for some electrical problems, but the day and evening passed uneventfully.

Next afternoon we get the FiOS triple play. Might there be some relationship between the Nstar plume and the Verizon cable cut? New homes are being built in our neighborhood and there are enough utility and construction trucks driving about -- both Nstar and Verizon were around that day -- to make any scenario possible.

What we know for sure is that someone or something cut the Verizon cable that feeds into our house -- and only our house, apparently -- at cherry-picker height between two poles, realized what had happened (we're presuming it was unintentional -- honestly), coiled the flapping ends and taped them to their respective poles.

Then Red Sox ace Josh Beckett shut out the Angels on four hits while I heard only bits and pieces between the static on AM radio.

Julie says the Verizon guys did a good job putting things back in order. And we're not bitter. Just sick of it.

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Maybe Verizon ought to stick to phones


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