Before You Dig

Before You Dig

This guide outlines steps for safe digging to prevent damage to buried fiber cables, including calling 811, respecting marking areas, digging safely, and reporting any damage.

Engaging in any excavation or construction work without knowing what's beneath the ground can be dangerous and costly. To protect our fiber network and ensure your safety, please follow these steps before you dig:

What is 811?

811 is the national call-before-you-dig phone number. Anyone who plans to dig should call 811 or go to their state 811 center’s website before digging to request that the approximate location of buried utilities be marked with paint or flags so that you don’t unintentionally dig into an underground utility line.


When do I call 811?

You should call 811 or use your state 811 center’s website a few business days before you begin any digging, including common projects like planting trees and shrubs or installing fences and mailboxes. The specific amount of advance notice that you are required to provide varies by state.


What info do I need before calling 811?

You will need to know the address of where you plan to dig, including the county and nearest cross street, as well as the type of project you’re completing and the exact area on the property where you’re planning to dig. Whether you call 811 or make your request online, you’ll need the same info.


After I call 811, what do I do?

You need to wait a few days to allow utilities to respond to your request and ensure that all utilities have indeed responded to your request before breaking ground. Once all utilities have marked their buried lines, you should dig carefully around any utility marks and consider relocating projects that are close to buried utilities.

Step 1: Plan Your Project

Know the details of your project, such as depth and location of digging, type of work, and duration of the project.

Step 2: Call Before You Dig

In the U.S., dial 811 to reach the local one-call center. This call is a legal requirement, not just a suggestion. It's a free service and must be made a few days before you plan to dig.

Step 3: Provide Information

When you call, provide detailed information about your digging project. The operator will inform utilities in your area about your plans. Within a few days, they will send locators to mark the approximate location of underground lines with flags or paint.

Step 4: Respect The Marks

Respect the markings and dig carefully around them. Hand digging is recommended within two feet of marked lines to prevent damage.

Step 5: Dig Safely

Proceed with your project. Remember to dig safely, avoiding the marked areas where utilities are located.

What To Do If You Damage A Fiber Cable

In case of an accidental cut or damage to a fiber cable:

  1. Don't attempt to repair it yourself: Fiber cables can be hazardous if mishandled.
  2. Report the damage immediately: Call us at 713-272-4600 or report online at

Safety should always be your top priority. Please follow these guidelines to help prevent service disruptions and ensure the safety of everyone involved.

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