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Designers of fiber networks for electric utilities and communities.

News and comments on community broadband networks, the communities deploying them and the technologies that support them. Published by Denise Frey and Al Bonnyman.

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Some of the topics we cover:

  • ADSS cable technology
  • OPGW cable technology
  • Fiber to the home
  • Powerline broadband
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  • Innovative fiber deployment technologies

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Tuesday, November 25, 2003


Family collects $20 million after electrocution during pole replacement

We've noted previously that pole replacements are complicated and expensive, in part due to their hazardous nature. An Alabama jury has just awarded $20 million to the family of a worker electrocuted during a pole replacement project.

Pole replacements are necessary when adding new communications cables to an already crowded pole. Pole replacement rates on municipal broadband rates can exceed 20% of all poles if the cable is attached in the communications region of the pole. Pole replacements usually cost at least $3,000 per pole.

Attaching all dielectric self supporting (ADSS) fiber cables in the power region of poles reduces pole replacement rates to under 1%.

A typical aerial fiber cable deployment by a municipal power utility involves about 35 poles per mile. If cable TV construction methods are used instead of installing ADSS in the power region, pole replacement costs typically run over $20,000 per mile. For a typical municipal FTTH (fiber to the home) project, that works out to about $400 in additional cost per home passed.


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