Month: July 2010

Sweet Sixteen

Sweets from Sift for

Yesterday we celebrated’s sixteenth birthday. Founded in 1994 as “Sonoma Interconnect”, the company has seen a lot of change.

From a eight dialup lines connected to a couple Linux boxes, to a network spanning the state. From a few early adopter customers, to over fifty thousand end-users, including 90 Wholesale ISP partners.

The best part is that we have grown from two founders to a dynamic and intelligent team of one hundred really nice people.

Thank you.

Micro-trenching at

As part of our next-generation Fiber to the Home (FTTH) efforts, has been working on various fiber installation methods in an attempt to drive down costs and increase the speed at which fiber deployment can be completed.  Micro-trenching is anticipated to be a part of this in areas where utilities are underground.  

Here are a few photos of some of the early trial work we have done here in Santa Rosa in the past months.

This week I visited Fibrecity UK in Bournemouth in the Southwest of England to see them using the Marais SideCut system in their project. They are currently using three Marais SideCut saws as they build out to serve 80,000 homes in that community.

It was very inspirational to see the Marais saw in daily use there in a production deployment. The Marais solution is fast, cutting about 15ft per minute. (Marais RC50 pictured, Fibrecity actually uses the RT80 model.)

In a parallel universe, Google has been testing micro-trenching techniques as part of their Google Fiber for Communities project. We had heard from common contacts in the industry that Google had held a race, and I was very pleased to see that they have now released a video “Micro-trenching at Google” this last week showing the results.

Google’s video is a nice introduction to micro-trenching, and it’s exciting to see Google also pushing the envelope on new construction methods.