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Methods of Fibre Deployment

Public Group active 1 day, 5 hours ago

Discussion including duct sharing, wrapping cable over power lines, soft dig through fields and even hard dig through roads / paths.


  • Chris Bagshaw joined the group Methods of Fibre Deployment   1 day, 5 hours ago · View

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  • Phil Thompson posted an update in the group Methods of Fibre Deployment:   4 months ago · View

    Verizon in the USA use overhead fibre from poles, they replace copper phone lines with fibre and stick to the same access mothod (overhead or undergorund)

  • Phil Thompson joined the group Methods of Fibre Deployment   4 months ago · View

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  • John Colton posted an update in the group Methods of Fibre Deployment:   4 months, 2 weeks ago · View

    Hi Chris,
    It’s a good question. Overhead on poles can be the lowest cost solution, but has maintenance costs to consider too, and never looks good although people grow to ignore it.
    My personal preference would be underground, but overhead on powerlines where the poles are existing is attractive.
    For drop cables to homes, an overhead cable, or catenary wire, is screwed to the wall of the home, but I believe the security of the fixing is the responsibility of the organisation installing the cabling. This is an important issue because the tension on the cable, or support wire, can pull a stone or brick out of a wall.
    Where overhead cables cross roads they must be high enough to avoid the tallest vehicles, and allowing for some sag in the cable.
    Underground cables have issues too, but possibly not as many.
    As regards securing the cable along the boards near the gutter, in some countries the gutters have been used to support the cables! This is cowboy cabling, and I would never encourage it, but I have seen it done more than once!

  • Paul Griffiths posted an update in the group Methods of Fibre Deployment:   4 months, 2 weeks ago · View

    Hi all,
    Helen mentioned this idea to me and as I was in Hexham over christmas, had the opportunity to do a little experiment on a nearby wall (not Hadrian’s) I made the following observations
    1) not all walls are as dry as they were when they were first built - damaged sections have often been repaired with cement and many sections are fused with moss and age.
    2) Northumbrian Walls, unlike their cumbrian cousins are built in three layers (like the eifel tower) with stone ties (like midriff capstones) at the third heights.
    3) In many places, cows seemed to be the greater risk than trees.
    4) particularly in the corners of fields broken walls are often patched with barbed wire and wooden posts, supported by the fallen stones.
    5) Walls do not cross streams
    6) where a wall meets a building the two merge seamlessly.
    however, I found a suitable section of wall and removed a couple of meters of cap stones, the stones below them that were mostly single thickness and the first layer of midriff ties. below these the wall was two large facing stones with moss soil and gravel in-fill in which a cable (old rope in the experiment) could easily be laid. In doing this I took great care to replace all stones in exactly their original position (despite some opposition from individual stones who shall remain nameless).
    the whole task took about 1 hour to complete a 1m section (though this would be substantially faster if working a pattern from one end to the other) and though the wall was solid at the end, will no doubt be weakened and may take some years to settle.
    The rope was undamaged (this could have been done with a fibre) in the process but my thumb was less fortunate.
    in many places, water pipes - to feed cattle troughs - had been tied to the wall with steel wire and in some places these pipes had simply been ’tucked in’ behind loose rubble and vegitation at the base of the wall - these would both seem to offer simpler solutions to deploy and are exposed only to the same risks of damage.
    On the matter of Gates; the solution for water pipes was almost invariably to choose a route that avoided them - even if this meant going round the other side of the field (though this option is made easier when reaching for the undefined location of a cattle trough).
    I found one case where a pipe had been lifted clear over the gateway on posts at either side.
    I hope some or all of that may be useful.

  • chris conder posted an update in the group Methods of Fibre Deployment:   4 months, 2 weeks ago · View

    Hi John, would it be a daft idea to use aerial fibre just to save money and time?
    Our village is full of wires already, phone lines zigzag all over the place, and there are loads of satellite dishes and tv antenna on massive poles to try to get the limited signal. I have this vision of getting rid of the lot and just having hidden fibre, wouldn’t it be fantastic to have all the comms through one pipe? We were thinking of running it along the boards under the gutters… we keep thinking of all different ways, but we come back to a ring round the outside of the village and fibre up the back garden… we have a few folk ready to dig once we get the feed in. I just wonder how many hoops we will have to jump through to cross over the road, and whether doing it overhead is just being lazy?

  • Paul Griffiths joined the group Methods of Fibre Deployment   4 months, 2 weeks ago · View

  • John Colton posted an update in the group Methods of Fibre Deployment:   4 months, 2 weeks ago · View

    Hi Chris,
    You’re right walls would need to be stable without threat from trees and stock. Many would not be suitable as you say, but it could help in some spots.
    Overhead cables are normally more vulnerable, for a variety of reasons, but as you say the fibre cable can be supported by a catenary wire, or an All Dielectric Self-Supporting (ADSS) cable can be used, but is not designed for underground use. If possible underground is the best way to ensure the cable is protected and not an eyesore.
    If there is any significant overhead cabling, then AFL have a new wrap cable for the 11 kV lines that could be very useful.

  • chris conder posted an update in the group Methods of Fibre Deployment:   4 months, 2 weeks ago · View

    When we went through gateways we went deeper and we threaded the fibre through an extra layer of protection. We have many stone walls on our farm and on neighbours. I would never deploy fibre within them, as they are constantly being knocked down when stock try to jump them and the cable hasn’t got electric or barbs on to discourage stupid sheep hanging themselves on it. (sheep are born with a death wish) (bullocks are just daft) Stock would just rive their way through it and bend/break the glass. Stone walls often fall down in frost or when tree roots shake them in gales. They aren’t a permanent thing, they are very organic and have minds of their own. The life of fibre far outlasts a stone wall. They are constantly maintained even though only the farmer knows this. A wall can be repaired easily in a day whilst everyone is at work and they won’t even know its been done.
    Putting fibre under the capstone is a brilliant idea, even though I don’t think it will work. It is a possibility for drystone garden walls though…
    …but not for farm ones.
    We have just watched fibre being laid in our village as part of a university project. They brought it out of the ground and with a gradual slope protected by metal ducting fastened it up a wall. It wasn’t armoured cable it was blown fibre, through a double sort of duct. I am guessing we could do the same up a pole to get over an obstacle?
    We also used a very strong wire to jump between buildings with ethernet in the past, - we could fasten fibre to that too couldn’t we?
    Back to our walls…
    … I don’t see stones falling off a wall being a problem to fibre if it is at the right depth in the ground next to it, unless it is near a drinking trough where the soggy ground and heavy animals/tractors could press the stones in deep enough to cause damage. Again, if I was burying fibre in that sort of terrain I would slip an extra protective layer on or over that bit of it. I think a lot of this fibre laying lark is get the layers trained (or pay a professional like we did) and treat it with a dose of common sense. If you ever need any advice there are many professionals appearing on this forum. This is groundbreaking stuff we are attempting, so no question is stupid and brainstorming answers may drag info out that solves a problem.

  • chris conder joined the group Methods of Fibre Deployment   4 months, 2 weeks ago · View

  • Helen Jeffrey posted an update in the group Methods of Fibre Deployment:   4 months, 2 weeks ago · View

    Hi John thank you for your reply and the practical points you make too. I imagine there are methods for transitioning fibre, from the ground up to poles for example, that might be hepful - I was approaching the gateways question with the idea of going up and over… but Im not sure if that’s practical either. Finding someone with dry stone wall skills to ask might be helpful - and perhaps set-up a test.. any ideas?

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      John Colton · 4 months, 2 weeks ago

      Hi Helen,
      My dry stone walling skills are only ever admired by close family, and others are merely polite (at best). So I think that rules me out as a proper waller.
      You’re right cables do transition from underground to go up poles, but this is done with a bent piece of duct sometimes known as a ’hockey-stick’ to ensure the cable is not bent too tightly. None-the-less, the bend would not be good on a long cable run, and the transition from undergound to up pole is often near to a manhole so distances are short. My main thought was the transition from horizontal cabling under capstones, to out of the wall and then vertical to underground. This does not appear so neat an area, but if anybody wants to try this it could be fun to see what we could achieve and I may be worrying unduly…
      Whenever somebody thinks up something new there are a dozen or more people who will tell you why it will not work, and then somebody finds a way to make it happen!

  • John Colton posted an update in the group Methods of Fibre Deployment:   4 months, 2 weeks ago · View

    Hi Hellen,
    It could work, but would probably require a cable with sufficient armouring that kinks are discouraged. This could mean that the route under the capstones would need to be quite level, or the cable could make the capstones unstable.
    This is however a very interesting idea. I’ve been thinking that for the remotest properties the cable could be laid over the ground initially and dug-in gradually. The cable would most likely be by a wall so as not to be driven over by tractors in the field, but then stones falling off the wall would be a threat to an unburied cable.
    Putting the cable under the capstones would protect it from tractors and falling stones, but may not be easy. Inparticular, I am struggling to imaging a good, seemless, transition from underground to ’in wall’, which could be necessary at field gateways.
    There’s certainly no shortage of stone walls in these parts, so if anybody has any good ideas to address the problems there could be an opportunity.
    A small duct attached to the wall is possible, and no more of an eyesore than wire fencing which we have grown used to supplementing dry stone walls.
    These solutions are not as good as burying the duct or cable, but could be used as appropriate for remote properties.

  • Helen Jeffrey posted an update in the group Methods of Fibre Deployment:   4 months, 2 weeks ago · View

    I have been thinking about fibre deployment to the most remote premises in rural areas (the ‘outliers’) given the cost issues around poles and digging long trenches, I have been wondering if there might be another option worth looking into in some cases… using existing infrastructure - the dry
    stone walls.

    If there were a way of running ducting under the capstones, or attached to the wall in some way, could this work?

    It may be completely impractical (!) but; would not impact on the beauty of the area, walls seem to be being maintained (some new ones have I think been built too), they seem common in places, and durable. We witnessed a dry stone walling competition in the summer and the construction seems standard. An additional benefit could be supporting/employing local skilled crafts people…

    I’m not sure if this is an idea worth pursuing, one that has already been considered and rejected, or if it’s just too ‘off-the-wall’.

    Anyway I wanted to put the thought out there for a ’sense check’. Does anyone have the required knowledge to assess this one way or the other?

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      Guy Jarvis · 4 months, 2 weeks ago


      Very drole :)

      Funnily enough NextGenUs is researching this very specialist application, electric fence combo anyone?

  • Helen Jeffrey joined the group Methods of Fibre Deployment   4 months, 2 weeks ago · View

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