previous next 28 images

Fiber Optic Installation By Microtrenching

Installing a University/Metro Network Using Microtrenching and Air-Blown Fiber. The fibre network for OCAD U is part of an overall high capacity Metropolitan Area fibre network composed of several rings that Metro Fibrewerx is deploying in downtown Toronto. Thanks to Alex Smith – President of Connectivitywerx and Metro Fibrewerx and Bill McLean, VP Sales & Marketing

The fibre system at OCAD U in Toronto was designed and installed for Metro Fibrewerx by Connectivitywerx, an affiliated company. Connectivitywerx is a pioneer in the installation of fibre networks utilizing micro trenching and micro duct technologies in the Eastern Canadian market.

The Ditch Witch Microtrencher RT45. In 2010 Connectivitywerx purchased a Ditch Witch micro trencher that has been specifically developed by Ditch Witch for micro trenching. It is the first production unit out of the United States factory.

Microtrencher at work. One of the reasons we selected the Ditch Witch trencher is that it enables us to use the dry cut method of trenching and build fibre networks year round. In fact the OCAD U network was installed during January and February of this year when the temperature in Toronto reached about -35 Degrees Celsius.

Microtrencher at work

The fibres are installed in a micro trench that is 12 inches deep by 1.25 inches wide. The road composition is a combination of concrete base and asphalt surface to a total of 12 inches.

Microtrencher at work - cleaning the groove

Microtrencher at work - following tracks

Microtrencher at work - note the car - not disrupting traffic

Off the road onto a sidewalk

Down the sidewalk. Note how close to the edge the groove is

Down another street

Ducting prepared for installation. The micro ducts in the OCAD U installation are supplied by Lite Access Technologies Inc. of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Laying ducts

4 ducts are being laid in the trench

That’s all the equipment needed to lay ducts

Hand-feeding ducts into the trench

Since the trench is 1.25” (~3cm) wide, the ducts can be fairly large

Making sure the ducts are in the bottom of the trench before filling

Because the trench is so narrow, little traffic disruption is needed

Close-up of ducts in the trench. The restoration method used to seal the trench was developed by Connectivitywerx utilizing a selected list of the best commercially available products. We are continually working to improve our deployment methods not only to achieve higher quality levels in the fibre network but also to speed up the installation time interval.

Placing ducts into a vault

Ducts coming into the vault

Details of the vault

Details of the vault

Cable blowing apparatus - note the small black cable laying on the work surface - the same as the one being fed into the blowing machine

Blowing cable

For more information on fiber optics, go to the FOA website, including our Online Guide with about 1000 pages of technical information and YouTube where we have over 80 instructional videos. For free online self-study programs, see Fiber U.