Detailed Construction Plan for Phase 2 Fiber Build Out
9:15AM August 14, 2017
Phase 2 of the YKC El Campo Fiber Project will continue to expand our services primarily to the community businesses . Before services can be installed at the customer premise, several steps must be completed. Below is a detailed list of the processes that will be occurring over the July to December 2017 timeframe.
Planning & Design
Detailed distribution plans must be developed to determine the most efficient locations for the equipment that powers the fiber optic network. These plans determine the size and location of cables and which customers can be connected. The YKC design supports the necessary elements to provide various broadband speeds up to Gigabit level services. Maps of these zones can be found at elcampofiber.com.
Backbone & Distribution Construction
To accommodate the additional equipment needed for the Phase 2 Project, we are developing an environmentally controlled equipment site centrally located in El Campo. All distribution facilities will originate from this equipment site. Conduit paths must be established to place cable providing connectivity from electronics to locations where customers will connect into the YKC fiber network. Crews will use a process called directional boring to place 1 to 4 orange and blue flexible pipes within city and state rights-of-way. At various points along the routes, underground or above ground boxes that we call handholes or pedestals, will be placed to access the flexible pipes for the purpose of pulling cables and providing locations for splicing the fiber optic cables. About 2 miles of distribution cable is proposed in this phase.
Placing Distribution Cables
For each of the zones defined on the map, there is a single point of connection, called a cabinet, where distribution fibers connect to the network backbone. Distribution cables are engineered and sized to provide a direct fiber connection from each subscriber location back to the cabinet. Over 6 miles of distribution cable is being placed in this phase.
Once the cables have been placed, splicing fiber cables is required at the equipment site, cabinets and any other points where cable sizes change. Although there are other methods of connecting fibers, we fusion splice our cables to provide the most dependable connections. This typically takes place in a controlled environment, such as a trailer pulled behind a splicing truck. After preparing each end of the fiber for splicing, an electrical current is passed across the ends to melt the glass and fuse the ends together. A test is then run on each splice to make sure the quality of the splice is within specifications. Depending on the number of fibers to be spliced, it is not unusual for single splice location to take 1 to 2 days.
Service Installation & Activation
Once distribution cables have been placed, spliced, and tested, the network is ready to be extended to the customer's premise. When a request for new service is processed, it is forwarded to our engineering department. A site visit is made to determine the best location to place the fiber terminal at the customer’s home or office. The type of service requested (voice, broadband internet, or both) helps determine if an inside or outside location best supports the connection to the YKC fiber network. Engineering designs an installation plan and schedules construction of a 0.75” flexible duct to pull the fiber cable inside. We are required to wait 48 hours while various utility lines are located that conflict with the planned construction. Once the customer's fiber is in place, a splicer is scheduled to connect the customer to the YKC fiber network. An installer is then scheduled to mount the fiber equipment, make the connection, and any required wiring. Once the fiber equipment is ready a technician will contact the customer to schedule a time for activation and testing of the services. The typical timeframe for this part of the process takes about 2 weeks.