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PPC blog

Minimizing install time with micro trenching

Posted by Martin Gossling

minimising install time with micro trenchingDigging up roads and pavement to install new networks of any sort is never popular. Local residents dislike the disruption and the noise while municipalities have to deal with increased congestion on busy roads, particularly if works overrun.

Installers, therefore, aim to get the job done as quickly as possible to minimize disruption and costs.

However, there's a growing need to install new broadband networks, particularly in congested urban areas, extending them all the way to individual buildings themselves.

This last 200 feet can be particularly difficult to deliver, with obstacles above and below ground to navigate around. And difficulty increases installation time and consequently cost.

Micro trenching is, therefore, a means of quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively connecting properties or base stations to the main fiber network.

This involves cutting a small trench, often as thin as 20mm wide and 80mm deep, along the street with a diamond circular saw. Microduct is then installed within the shallow trench and fiber pushed through to the premises. The whole trench is quickly sealed and the deployment is complete. This minimizes disruption and cost without impacting the quality of the installation.

Micro trenching delivers enormous benefits, but can only be successful if the cable and microduct used meets key criteria:

• It has to be extremely tough – able to withstand the 400° degrees F (204° C) of the sealant used to make the surface good and capable of resisting the enormous pressures (above 2900psi) of the ground/road above

• The microduct has to be small enough to fit in the trench itself

• To make it easy to push fiber through the microduct it has to have a very low friction coating on its inside, avoiding the need to use expensive blowing equipment

• Coupled with this, the microduct needs to be flexible so that it can be routed around obstacles under the ground.

At PPC, our range includes products designed specifically for micro trenching. With an outside diameter of 10mm our direct bury products can fit into the thinnest micro trenches, without sacrificing strength or flexibility.

Pushable fiber makes FTTP installations fast and affordable

Topics: Design and Install, Fiber to the home

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