Broadband Communities

AUG-SEP 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 | | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014 COMMUNITY BROADBAND that the process works and is safe. Some cities even specifcally request microtrenching solutions. In addition to ease of installation, Malone points out, microtrenching ofers much lower maintenance costs than traditional trenching. If a fber is cut, workers can easily locate the cut, pull the fber cable out, reconnect the duct with airtight connectors and push the fber back through the reconnected duct. "Tat's one truck roll instead of three," Malone says. M2fx's Tuf Duct is microduct designed to be placed in microtrenches – it fts into the smallest trenches yet can tolerate tight bend radii and high crush forces and cope with the 270-degree temperatures it experiences when covered with road sealant. Once microduct is installed, Minifex pushable fber can be pushed or pulled from the manhole to its destination without expensive blowing equipment or specialized skills. Municipal staf can complete the majority of deployments in Loma Linda, with the city electrician deploying fber to the premises. Preconnectorized fber cables and m2fx distribution patches further reduce the time per deployment. Using m2fx products and microtrenching cut Loma Linda's last- mile costs from an anticipated $50 per foot to between $12 and $18 per foot – a savings of between 64 percent and 76 percent. BENEFITS All the medical facilities in Loma Linda are now connected and can share patient records digitally and carry out remote diagnoses. Staf can even review patient information from home. In a tough business climate, Loma Linda has been able to attract investment and new employers – even beyond the health care industry – because of its network. Te network also supports city functions that range from fre and rescue to police, utilities and CCTV. Each trafc light has a wireless access point, enabling city employees to operate digitally and more efciently. Konrad Bolowich, Loma Linda's assistant city manager and director of IS, says, "Our fber network is at the heart of Loma Linda's growth, attracting new businesses and increasing municipal efciency. Without it, the recession would have been catastrophic for the city. … Without [m2fx] pushable fber and microtrenching, our deployment would simply have been impossible economically." Microtrenching to lay fber cable minimized the disruption to Loma Linda city streets. Lake County, Minn. A new municipal fber network was just lit in Lake County, Minn., an area until now more renowned for its natural beauty than its technology amenities. Te county, located close to the Canadian border on the shore of Lake Superior, has fewer than 11,000 residents in more than 2,000 square miles. Until recently, its access to broadband was very poor. Even more important, there was only one backhaul artery, so the entire region could be, and periodically was, cut of from all communications. What Lake County did have was a broadband champion – the late Paul Bergman, then a member of the county Board of Commissioners. When the broadband stimulus program was announced, Bergman, who saw the lack of broadband as a barrier to economic development in Lake County, urged incumbent providers to apply for funding. When none did, he pushed the county government to take matters into its own hands. Bergman used to say the county was noted for three T's – timber, taconite (iron ore) and tourism – and it needed a fourth T, telecommunications. When he died in 2013, Lake County was well on its way to getting the fourth T. CREATING A NETWORK Te county government applied for broadband stimulus funding, and it received one of the largest stimulus awards: $66 million in federal loan and grant funding, which was supplemented by about $3.5 million from Lake County's reserve fund. Te resulting network, Lake Connections, will make broadband service available to nearly all households and businesses in Lake County and to a roughly equal number of premises in neighboring St. Louis County. St. Louis County, whose county seat is Duluth, has a population of

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