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Verizon FIOS
Old 10-08-2007, 12:07 PM   #1
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Verizon FIOS

So Verizon is laying in their new fiber optic cable in our neighborhood. Been wondering how they do it, now I know. They hand dig (pick and shovel!) 3 foot deep 2x4 foot holes every 30 to 50 feet, then use a power drill type device to thread the thick fiber optic line, about 6" diameter, from hole to hole. The line itself is very thin, the rest is just cushioning and protection. They work fast, and are doing 2-3 blocks per week with a crew of 10-15. After they finish the installation they recover the holes and put grass seed down.

In our particular 'hood I'm sure many of the people who are now getting the cable installed will soon be back to protesting the influx of immigrants who are digging the holes.
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Old 10-08-2007, 12:21 PM   #2
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Are you saying they don't put in conduit? Just fiber in the dirt?
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Old 10-08-2007, 03:08 PM   #3
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Are you saying they don't put in conduit? Just fiber in the dirt?
No, what I meant was, they thread the conduit that contains the fiber from hole to hole. The fiber itself is very thin (couldn't see that), but it's inside the thick conduit that I estimated as 6", but after looking again I think it's more like 3" diameter.
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Old 10-08-2007, 03:16 PM   #4
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Sounds cool. I'd like to bury some utility cables near our place, but the cost of trenching is pretty high.

I'm having trouble visualizing how they drill that sideways 30-50' trench. And guide it to the next hole.
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Old 10-08-2007, 03:41 PM   #5
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I'm having trouble visualizing how they drill that sideways 30-50' trench. And guide it to the next hole.
Directional Drilling

We specify this installation/construction method for a lot of fiberoptic traffic signal systems. Costs of directional drilling are 3x that of open trenching in general. However in built up environments (such as urban areas) it is often more cost effective and quicker to direct drill instead of open trench. Especially under driveways or roadways where cutting/replacing asphalt or concrete is undesirable. The public is much more pleased w/ the direct drill end result in general (less torn up yards, mud, poorly reseeded grass, torn up landscaping, etc).
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Old 10-08-2007, 03:53 PM   #6
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I'm having trouble visualizing how they drill that sideways 30-50' trench. And guide it to the next hole.
We already have underground utilities, so they are using what's known as trenchless digging. The holes expose the existing telephone conduits every 30 to 50 feet. They use the existing conduit to pull a strong thin cable through from one hole to another. Once the cable is through, they attach it to a header that acts like a static drill bit, which is then attached to the fiber optic conduit. The other end of the cable is run to the drum of a strong machine that pulls the cable through the dirt from hole to hole, then they repeat the process at the next hole.

Edit: Just read Justin's post about directional drilling. That's not what they are using here, but I think that would work for an initial underground installation if you didn't already have underground utilities.
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by SoonToRetire View Post
So Verizon is laying in their new fiber optic cable in our neighborhood. Been wondering how they do it, now I know. They hand dig (pick and shovel!) 3 foot deep 2x4 foot holes every 30 to 50 feet, then use a power drill type device to thread the thick fiber optic line, about 6" diameter, from hole to hole. The line itself is very thin, the rest is just cushioning and protection. They work fast, and are doing 2-3 blocks per week with a crew of 10-15. After they finish the installation they recover the holes and put grass seed down.

In our particular 'hood I'm sure many of the people who are now getting the cable installed will soon be back to protesting the influx of immigrants who are digging the holes.
At around $7 a foot, they make good money.........
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