LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens — It’s an eyesore that has existed for years at the Ravenswood Houses in Long Island City, a New York City Housing Authority development: on the exteriors of the 31 buildings hang cable TV wires belonging to Spectrum.
The wires are supposed to be in the metal boxes mounted on the brick exteriors. But the doors on almost every box are wide open with the wiring spilling out, in some cases covering tenants’ windows. Birds and squirrels make nests inside the boxes, and the squirrels can and do eat through the cable wiring, causing outages in service.
“Half the people can’t open their windows because the squirrels climb up the wires and go into their apartment” says Edwin Cadiz, a tenant leader and community activist.
In addition, the wind blows the hanging wires against the residents’ window, breaking them.
For many years, Time Warner Cable was the only cable TV provider at Ravenswood. Time Warner wired the buildings on the inside through a series of conduits that run along the hallways and into the apartments. However, after Spectrum bought Time Warner, the wiring was moved to the exteriors, inside metal boxes.
We asked a Spectrum spokesperson why was the company didn’t use the existing indoor wiring conduits. The company did not respond to any of our questions.
For three years, Cadiz has been appealing to government agencies and politicians for help in forcing Spectrum to do something about the ugly mess its wires and open boxes have created.
He said the company will make spot repairs for individual problems, but does not address the major issue of the exterior boxes.
A few years ago, Verizon Fios began offering cable at the Ravenswood Houses and installed it’s wiring inside the buildings. Spectrum also uses indoor wiring at another nearby NYCHA development, the Queensbridge Houses. There, you won’t see wiring hanging and boxes mounted on the exteriors.
After PIX11 contacted Spectrum and NYCHA, the cable company sent out repair crews to clean out the boxes and close the doors. However, they are still working on getting the wiring into the boxes.
The residents would like to see Spectrum’s wiring moved inside. The company would not comment.
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