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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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Tuesday, January 27, 2004


"The Duct Squatters of London"

"You never know what you're going to find when you lift a manhole. Just ask European operator Interoute Telecommunications . A recent inspection of its ducts in London and Paris revealed not only its own fiber, but rogue cables belonging to other carriers. In London the unannounced tenant was Colt Telecom Group plc , while Interoute claims it found fiber in its Paris network belonging to two other unnamed carriers that had been laid without permission. Now Interoute is to conduct a full duct audit in both cities."

A message posted as a follow up to the article notes that duct squatting was common in London, at least in the past.

Well, this is one way to get a network built quickly and without having to pay duct rental fees and high construction costs. We see the same thing sometimes on power poles in the U.S. -- someone attaches fiber cable to the pole without even bothering to ask, let alone compensate the pole owners. These kinds of fly-by-night aerial installations invariably leave behind lots of safety issues and code violations for other pole users to contend with.

If Interoute's allegations are true, I hope they just cut the cables and jerk them out of their ducts.


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