Broadband Communities

JAN-FEB 2014

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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42 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 COMMUNITY BROADBAND will have a swift, reasonable make- ready process to prepare the poles for the new fber bundle attachments. 4 In most communities, poles are privately owned by phone and electric companies, which have control over both fees and time frames for new fber attachments to their poles (and which may be reluctant to facilitate the attachment of entities that will then compete with them to provide communications services). Localities, however, have relationships with the pole owners that frequently allow them some infuence. Tis infuence can be used to encourage pole owners to facilitate rather than obstruct the process of the new broadband provider attaching to the poles. Some broadband advocates believe new network buildout can be eased through state or local requirements that new entrants be allowed to attach cables to privately owned poles. 5 Indeed, some cities require shared use of facilities in the localities' rights-of- way. 6 From a technical standpoint, such shared access opportunities would assist both localities and their private partners in cost-efectively and quickly constructing new broadband facilities. Whether by choice or by law, pole owners should maximize attachment opportunities for new entrants. To this end, pole owners ideally should ofer a swift negotiation process and reasonable make-ready costs. In addition, they should commit to a reasonable schedule for the make-ready process. Even better, pole owners can plan ahead to alleviate the need for make- ready by ensuring that poles have adequate room for new attachments. Tere are a number of simple means of accomplishing this. First, as poles are replaced, the owners can reserve vertical space of 12 to 16 inches for future attachments. Second, pole owners can consolidate their own infrastructure on the poles and remove unused cables to make room. (Tey can also require other users of their poles to do the same.) Tird, pole owners can allow use of extension arms – metal or fberglass extensions that jut out from the side of the pole and thus expand pole capacity horizontally. Fourth, the owners can require attachers to build their facilities in a way that allows other companies to "overlash" – to lash their fber bundles over the existing bundle, a technique that does not require make- ready. With any of these strategies, new service providers can easily and swiftly attach new fber to the poles without the need for any make-ready process. Te beneft can be enormous. In CTC's experience, eliminating the time and costs of make-ready can reduce the average cost of aerial fber construction from $10 to $15 per foot to $2 to $5 per foot. FACILITATE IN-BUILDING ACCESS One signifcant barrier to new network providers is gaining entry into a building or development. A government can improve services to its residents and businesses if it requires by code – or creates an incentive for developers to build – additional pathways from the public rights-of-way to a demarcation point in the building and then requires internal, standards-compliant building cabling or cable pathways in new construction or major renovations. Developers and builders are already accustomed to providing pathways for telephone, power and cable TV from the property line to a room designated for utility services within a new building. Ensuring the availability of spare conduit into buildings would reduce installation time, risk and barriers to entry for new providers. Te incremental cost of an additional conduit for public fber optic cable at the time of construction would be minimal. Te conduit would originate in the room designated for utilities and follow the same path as telephone and cable TV conduit. At the time of construction, an innerduct can be used to create cells within the conduit for spare capacity. Te incremental cost to a developer of a 200-foot conduit path from the utility room to the property line would be approximately $2 per foot for labor and $2 per foot for materials. Tis would total approximately $1,000 in additional construction costs for the outside-plant portion of installing conduit. In contrast, the cost for new construction of the same route can be $1,500 to $10,000 if a network provider needs to create a new entry path. Te higher cost is realistic if the right-of-way is on the opposite side of a major road, if the provider needs to cross under a parking lot or driveway and if restoration (both outdoors and in the building) is sensitive and expensive. In addition, constructing a new route into a building may involve days or weeks of delay for permitting, engineering, design, utility location and coordination with the building owner. Indoor cabling also presents one of the largest costs and areas of uncertainty for a network service provider. Tis problem is especially pronounced in apartment buildings and ofce buildings, where the provider must cable long distances before reaching individual customers. A local government can reduce costs and speed deployment by requiring in its code that developers or building owners place cable pathways or standardized cabling as part of construction or renovations. Installing fber optic cabling inside an apartment building can cost Utility pole owners can accommodate fber deployers by using several strategies that avoid the necessity of expensive, time-consuming make-ready processes. BBC_Jan14.indd 42 1/27/14 1:45 PM

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