AT&T is embarking on a massive program to replace about 17,000 batteries in power access equipment cabinets deployed in several states for its U-Verse broadband network. The latest move in this ongoing story comes after four incidents of fires or explosions caused by the cabinets, the most recent occurring this past Christmas Day in Wisconsin. AT&T began investigating the battery problems in 2006, and would normally look to work with its supplier to fix problems, but in this case battery supplier Avestor was shuttered by bankruptcy in late 2006. AT&T stopped deploying its batteries shortly thereafter.Â
It was at least 14 months between the first and last of the four explosions, so some might wonder why AT&T took this long to act. Part of the reason, according to Light Reading, is that early on an independent study showed the batteries to have low risk for potential mishaps. The total cost of the replacement project remains unclear.
- see this storyÂ at Light Reading
- AT&T investigated the batteries last year after the first two incidents occurred