Aerial fiber Deployment
Aerial cables are preferred and a cost-effective solution in rural or low-density areas, especially, if existing pole infrastructure can be used. Avoiding the high cost of excavated deep trenches, or digging under the road, private properties to bury fiber components.
However, the fiberglass in the aerial cable is fragile. It will strain, sag, bend, and eventually break if it is exposed to extreme wind, large temperature variations, and ice loading. Bird damage can be an issue and if it is close to electric cables it has to be properly insulated. In addition, calculations on the strength of both the cable and poles need to be taken into account when determining span lengths.
Deploying broadband networks to rural and remote areas is a massive undertaking, and often relies on the availability and costs of access to utility poles. It is a good option for the final drop providing cheap labor and material can be obtained. In urban areas, deployment of aerial cable might be destructive this can often cause issues with getting permission from local planning authorities.
Buried Fiber Deployment
Buried fiber deployments are immune to storm and snow damage as they are buried below the layer where the soil freezes. This means that underground deployments are optimal for reliable purposes. The current best practice is to install ducts or channels underground in which fiber cables are installed, allowing for easy capacity expansion and maintenance of the cables with little or no disruption to property owners and the surroundings.
Sandy soils are far easier to manipulate. They can also be excavated by hand and it is easy to create flat bottoms in trenches, making sandy soil perfect for cable and duct solutions.
Clay is much harder to dig and can contain rocky particles. Stones can impinge on both the cable and duct and cause damage after burial. Operators can circumvent these challenges by digging deep trenches and using thicker walled cables or ducts.
Cost and reliability are two crucial factors when it comes to choosing between an aerial or underground approach to fiber installation.
While underground deployment has a higher initial increased cost and hassle factor, it is the preferred method for municipalities and most customers. The cables are buried underground and thus are not susceptible to the elements, it is also more flexible and expandable in the long term which makes them more reliable. The fiber in underground duct solutions is also invisible once installed, so have an aesthetic advantage. FiberKnct offer underground fiber deploy products that used in fiber infrastructure constructions.
Although the downside is cost – deep trenches are expensive to excavate and thicker cable costs more. especially drilling into a hard surface like asphalt or tarmac. However, there are more new users in the urban areas who are willing to pay for fast and reliable broadband access, which add more value to the underground deployment.