Exclusive Photos: Fire to the Node, Part II

Last week, Light Reading broke the news that AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has set out to replace the 17,000 Avestor batteries providing backup power to its U-verse network equipment cabinets in neighborhoods all over America. (See AT&T Begins Massive Battery Replacement.)

The carrier's decision came as a shock for two reasons. First, AT&T's actions fly in the face of the independent test it used to claim that the batteries in its VRAD (video-ready access device) cabinets were safe and stable. (See AT&T: Defect Caused VRAD Explosion.)

Second, though AT&T had previously suggested the incidents involving its equipment cabinets in Houston were isolated events, our reporting uncovered two more incidents -- a fire in Cleveland and a violent explosion in a Milwaukee suburb. After four incidents in two years, AT&T is finally addressing the public safety concerns raised in the first battery explosion of October 2006.

The most recent equipment incident occurred on December 25, 2007, when a cabinet at the corner of 64th Street and North Avenue in Wauwatosa, Wis., exploded and burned violently, according to city officials and a blog post on SaveAccess.

Light Reading has obtained the photos of the Wauwatosa equipment explosion, as well as witness statements and fire department reports. These exclusive photos include some pictures of the fire in progress, as photographed by an alert resident, and several pictures of the charred remains of AT&T's gear.

To begin the photo slideshow, click here:

To skip straight to the photos of the damaged cabinet taken from inside AT&T's storage yard, on December 26, 2007, start the slideshow here:

For photos of the new, replacement cabinet, start the slideshow here:

For our earlier slideshow in this series, which included exclusive photos of the October 2006 equipment cabinet explosion in Houston, please see: Exclusive Photos: Fire to the Node.

— Phil Harvey, Editor, Light Reading

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opticalwatcher 12/5/2012 | 3:49:23 PM
re: Exclusive Photos: Fire to the Node, Part II You're suprised that AT&T is replacing the batteries? The report basically stated that they are perfectly safe, except for the fact that some of them are defective and blow up.

No doubt their lawyers let them know what the cost would be if one of these boxes resulted in some small child getting killed or a house getting burned down, compared to the much, much cheaper cost of replacing all of the batteries.
DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 3:49:21 PM
re: Exclusive Photos: Fire to the Node, Part II What do you think the cost of the replacement will be nationwide?
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