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Microtrenching: The Future of Fiber Optics

microtrenching and fiber optics

With the huge demand for high-speed internet connections, it’s no surprise that companies are investing heavily in fiber optic capabilities. One way urban developers and internet providers are meeting people’s demands is through microtrenching. It’s an incredible development that is further driving innovation and interest in fiber optics. 

However, with new innovation comes new government regulations to control and manage the technology. With Agenda Discovery’s legislative tracking software, we put the power of transparency and knowledge in your hands. Stay current on what’s happening in your industry and act accordingly. Read our article below and learn more about microtrenching.

What is Microtrenching?

It’s a technique that deploys cables from broadband networks at a lower cost than traditional methods. Typically it involves a cutting wheel that saws a 0.5-2 inch wide trench with a maximum of 2-foot depth. Once a microtrencher (the cutting wheel) cuts the slot on the side of the road, broadband installers will lay the cables’ protective ducts through which they pull and push the fiber optic cables. 

Once in place, the applicators will pour resin into the microtrench with two layers. One that is dyed orange to act as a safety indicator and a top layer that is pigmented to match the color of the road. 

The Benefits of Microtrenching

The advantages to this technique are tremendous, and communities who adopt it benefit greatly. New York City adopted microtrenching back in 2013 and now requires it unless there is good reason to use other techniques. Not only is this due to being a cost-effective alternative, but it requires a lot less labor. There is a significant amount of labor that goes into traditional trenching and lots of potential hazards that occur. This is especially true when developing trenches for broadband networks. Microtrenching reduces the amount of labor needed to build these fiber optic trenches while increasing broadband efficiency. 

More Local Municipalities are Adopting the Technique

As we’ve seen with New York City, microtrenching has become an excellent alternative to traditional techniques. In fact, more cities are adopting it into their own broadband networks. Cities such as Austin, Texas; San Francisco, CA; San Antonio, TX; and Charlotte, NC have all followed suit and are benefiting from it. Their city planners and engineers are using the technique to leverage overcrowded utility corridors in effective ways. This is resulting in high-speed broadband services that are meeting their people’s needs. 

As fiber optics becomes more available across the United States, it won’t be surprising if all cities adopt microtrenching. It’s incredibly beneficial and meets the high demands people want in their internet services.

Track Microtrenching Regulations with Agenda Discovery

With the huge demand for quality broadband services, cities are enlisting in microtrenching techniques to enhance their fiber optic infrastructure. With more and more cities adopting the technique there may be new regulations that could impact its usage. 
With so much data to monitor and analyze, it can be difficult to stay current on the latest discussions happening in local offices. That is why we’ve created the Agenda Discovery tool, an innovative solution to help business owners stay current on developing policies that may impact their industry. Request a demo today and learn how our software will benefit you.


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