Published in the June 2015 FREMCO FIBER NEWS NEWSLETTER
North America has gained more appetite for fiber networks. After tentative efforts, one of the three largest tele companies in Canada has succeeded in offering fiber to the home - especially in new developments. Now the other companies fall into line in new and existing infrastructure.
USA and Canada have a long tradition of attaching cables to buildings or hanging them in existing masts. However, many supply companies have now seen the advantages of installing ducts in the ground concurrently with the spread of fiber network. Fremco has just visited some building sites in the neighborhood of Toronto. Common feature for all the sites is that supply ducts of all kinds have been buried alongside roads and to the individual households – contrary to the forest of wooden and iron masts seen previously.
With immigration numbers of 500,000 to 600,000 persons per year, in Toronto alone, the need for new house building is quite obvious. When they visited the building sites, winter had just been replaced by spring, and the sites were full of activity.
The primary reason for Fremco’s visit was a special case of reference. It was not in Toronto, but 150 km away in the suburbs of Niagara Falls. A fairly new residential area is being expanded considerably. The existing part of the residential area is equipped with coax cables in pre-installed ducts. Via both the existing and new ducts, they should attempt to blow in fiber cables for both the existing and the new areas.
With the arrival of spring in Toronto, there is extreme activity on many and large building sites all the way around the city.
When the duct layout was designed in the existing area, they did not consider a later expansion. This meant that the layout of the new supply cable was very challenging. Almost 1200 m of cable was to go through two 180° and nine 90° turns. The first 550 meter through a preinstalled 4×10 mm multiduct. The next 150 meter through a new 10 mm microduct in a 1 ½” duct with an existing 20 mm coax cable. And finally 450 meter through a 1 ¼” duct with a new 10 mm microduct.
Using a MultiFlow, (bit.ly/1QTjiV4) the microduct was relined on the last stretch. On the middle shortest stretch, there was not room enough for both the 20 mm coax cable and the 10 mm microduct. They ended up with a solution with a smaller coax cable, which was pulled through the large duct together with the 10 mm microduct. Then they connected all microducts on the full stretch, and the cable was blown all the way through using a MiniFlow RAPID (bit.ly/21Hjc4s). The MiniFlow RAPID machine showed that it can blow 1200 meter of fiber into a microduct with many turns.
Before Fremco was there, two other suppliers had been involved in this extremely difficult job, but they were not able to come up with a solution. To put it modestly, Fremco’s machines and know-how solved this job to the entire satisfaction of all parties involved.
Many theoretical solutions had been discussed prior to the actual working process. To the great satisfaction of the end customer, it was finally proven that it is physically possible to use the existing infrastructure to supply the individual homes with fiber, even without compromising with the solution of installing the ducts in the ground, which only leaves visible lamp posts and a few street cabinets with splice connections.
The tele company can now move on and further develop their methods and focus on the establishment of large scale fiber networks in similar residential areas.
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