ISPs and contractors are being urged to consider smaller and more remote rural communities under the new £5bn Project Gigabit scheme which was extended earlier this month.
The reminder comes from Paul Churm, Fibre Optic Specialist at REHAU, whose organisation is working relentlessly to develop innovative cabling infrastructure products that are designed for longevity and to create efficient installations, halving time and engineer workloads.
Paul continues: “More redundancy means more cable, which means more installation time, and ultimately more risk of things going wrong – particularly when situated in large remote areas. Solutions that are robust and easy to install are therefore critical to minimise inconveniences in these scenarios.”
Some of the most common barriers to implementing fibre cables in rural locations are long horizontal directional drills or direct bury applications without sand bedding. Micro duct design is therefore an important factor in a fibre installation project, yet designs can vary significantly, either enabling or hindering the installation process.
Most micro ducting requires additional materials (i.e., waterproof seals or containers) to cover up connections or break out points, however new generation designs, such as RAUSPEED from REHAU, come with thick-walled micro ducts which means they can go straight into the ground.
RAUSPEED’s success in rural areas has already been demonstrated across the continent, with one such success story coming from a project in Switzerland, whereby the micro ducts used produced great blowing-in results in Europe’s highest valley. The project involved installing high-speed optical fibre connections for a remote village located in the mountains. Naturally, this presented unique challenges associated with rural areas, such as the lack of infrastructure and the practical limitations of laying the miles of cable required, through difficult terrain. These challenges were overcome by using a 288-fibre count cable in a RAUSPEED 16/12 micro duct, which achieved a record single blow length of more than 5 km.
Paul added: “You only have to look at the Switzerland case study, which enabled fibre connections with a length of over 80km, to see that choosing appropriate technology with positive properties proves beneficial for any challenging project. With innovations like this, we hope ISPs and contractors can feel empowered to go beyond the low hanging fruit of Project Gigabit.”