Construction of a fiber network is a complex process involving numerous contractors and is dependent on a number of variables that include the length of the circuit, terrain and soils, weather, and other external factors. Most distribution lines are a mix of overhead and underground construction. Construction is divided into six phases for an overhead distribution project.
Step 1: Make Ready Engineering – 2 to 4-Week Process
The project begins with the design of the fiber build. Once the design is set, field engineers determine if modifications to any poles are required to support the fiber and the steel strand that accompanies it. Poles may need to be moved to make more space, or they may need to be replaced with stronger or taller poles. During the first phase, inspectors will also “ride out” the build, visiting every location throughout the project area and making notations of changes that may need to be made. During make-ready engineering and assessment, we also make sure every member in the territory is included in the build. This phase can take two to four weeks.
Step 2: Make Ready Construction – 4 to 12-Week Process
The timeline for make-ready construction can vary widely, typically from one-to-three months. During this phase, crews make the changes necessary to accommodate fiber. Line crews change poles, move transformers from one side of the pole to another, move wires on the pole, add new anchors to the poles, and perform other work to allow the ﬁber to be placed during the fiber construction phase.
Step 3: Fiber Construction – 4 to 8-Week Process
Fiber crews will begin the process of adding fiber-optic cable and steel strands to pole lines throughout the community. This process can vary whether electric lines are above or below ground. If underground, asphalt and concrete driveways will be bored under. A pedestal may be placed next to a transformer or junction box to allow for a service drop. Fiber construction can take four to eight weeks in the designated zone.
Step 4: Main Line Splicing – 3 to 6-Week Process
Once both the strand and ﬁber are placed and secured, splicing can begin. Splicing can take three to six weeks for the main lines. In this phase, splicing technicians splice the necessary cables at each end and tap point and mount them in enclosures secured to the distribution poles or in pedestals.
Step 5: Service Drop Construction
Service drop construction may be done simultaneously with some of the previously mentioned steps, or it may not be done until after the mainline fiber is in place. In this phase, the drop crews extend the ﬁber from the nearest splice point to the structure receiving service and leave coils of ﬁber in each location.
Step 6: Drop Splicing
Drop splicing is the next to last step of the process. The splicing technician connects the last length of the ﬁber at the tap point and mounts a network interface device (NID) at the structure with the ﬁnal splice inside it.
After drop splicing is completed, the network is now ready to be turned over for in-home installation to start receiving service.
Step 7: Installation
One of our subscriber representatives will contact you to schedule your in-home install. During installation, the fiber is connected to a fiber jack inside your home or office, where it’s plugged into the Optical Network Terminal (ONT) we provide. Once the installation is complete and tested, your service is ready to go. Welcome to the world of high-speed internet!