Update by user Nov 07, 2012
I Live Chatted somebody at ATT to help me find a physical mailing address to send a complaint letter to. Ricky was super nice and scheduled the re-bonding of the demarc, free of charge.
The technician is scheduled for tomorrow night.
I\'m not sure how he can re-bond the demarcation point without moving it, so we\'ll see how this goes. I\'ll keep this post up-to-date as best I can.
Original review posted by user Nov 07, 2012
While crawling under my house to insulate some pipes, I noticed that my service demarcation box was bonded to the metal cold water pipe for grounding. However, this metal pipe never touches earth; it connects to PVC before diving under my lawn to the city water main. Thus, my home phone is not grounded.
A lightning strike to any pole in a neighborhood sends hundreds of thousand of volts down the lines. Normally it is sent to the ground at the nearest pole, but these grounds may not be necessarily maintained, in which case it is grounded at each homes demarcation point. Mine is not grounded, so it would enter the house and seek ground through my home phone and networking gear (DSL modem, router, switches, access points, any wired PCs, etc).
I called AT&T and asked to have them re-bond their demarcation point. While they were at it, I asked that they move the demarcation point to above the main electrical panel for proper grounding. This is their 30-year-old hardware, owned by them, installed on the side of my house improperly; I didn't think I was asking for very much. They said it would be $55 for the first 15 minutes, and then $30 each 15 minutes after to fix their work. I refuse to pay for them to fix their installation mistakes on their hardware. They did not budge, insisting that they would have to charge me to fix it.
Instead, I called my DSL provider, cancelled with them, then placed a cancellation order on my home phone service. I cannot risk over $5000 in electronics and networking damage because they refuse to support their own company-owned equipment and reasonably protect it from lightning strikes.
If they were to move their equipment and properly ground it, I would reactivate service, but not until then. I called Comcast to connect their cable so I have internet service. Comcast installed their demarcation box above my main electrical panel and bonded it properly before I purchased the house. I'll be researching VoIP alternatives so we can maintain a "home" phone in the meantime.
Monetary Loss: $22.