Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Aerial fiber offers lower deployment cost, superior connectivity vs. radio-based technologies

Rural America Is Building Its Own Internet Because No One Else Will - Motherboard: The board has established a "dig once" initiative, where any time roadwork or repairs are being done in the area, county workers are obliged to lay fiber at the same time. It's also looking into innovative techniques for connecting along the highway, such as micro trenching, where the fiber optic cable is embedded a few inches into the road and blacktopped over. "It cuts down your chances of animals taking your line down, or car wrecks that take it down, or storms that take it down," Brown said.
It's true that buried fiber conduit is more protected from outages caused by environmental factors. But in some areas, it's not economically cost effective. Blacktop road surfaces particularly in rural areas may not be thick and stable enough to support microtrenching, a lower cost method of installing buried conduit.

That however should not leave substandard, shared bandwidth radio-based technologies such as those discussed in this article as the only cost justifiable alternative for delivering advanced telecommunications services to premises. Aerial fiber -- hung on existing and perhaps some new poles that currently carry electrical distribution cables and legacy twisted pair copper telephone and cable TV lines -- provides a technically superior connectivity option over radio-based technologies at far lower cost than buried fiber. Consistent with "dig once" policies mentioned above, buried fiber should in some areas be a long term objective with aerial fiber plant providing the necessary rapid deployment of advanced telecom infrastructure decades late in coming to the United States.

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