Thousands of broadband projects in California highways every year, but no one's keeping track

13 January 2016 by Steve Blum
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A push to get Caltrans – the California department of transportation – to play nice with broadband companies and publish information about where it has conduit available is moving forward in Sacramento. The assembly transportation committee voted unanimously on Monday to send assembly bill 1549, authored by assemblyman Jim Wood (D – Healdsburg), onward toward a full floor vote. That has to happen by the end of the month, in order to make legislative deadlines.… More

New effort to unlock Caltrans' trove of broadband assets

11 January 2016 by Steve Blum
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Don’t even think of it.

There’s a huge difference in time and cost between building a fiber optic network from scratch – digging trenches and installing new conduit – and creating one using existing resources. That’s how Lit San Leandro and the City of Watsonville’s municipal dark fiber network came to be. It’s doable when cities like San Leandro or Watsonville track conduit, and make that information available to the public.

Get outside of a city, though, and it’s a completely different world.… More

Faster, cheaper fiber microtrenching gains acceptance

3 April 2013 by Steve Blum
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Verizon’s microduct ready to be installed near Sea Ranch in Sonoma County.

In what could lead to the first large scale urban use of fiber microtrenching in the U.S., Verizon and the City of New York have agreed to test it at 12 sites. Verizon has used microtrenching for other fiber projects, including one last year in a rural part of California.

You can see a video of the process here. It involves sawing a narrow trench – 2 cm wide and up to 30 cm deep – into the roadway, inserting thin, flat microduct, and then sealing it back up.… More