Tag: construction

Micro-trenching at Sonic.net

As part of our next-generation Fiber to the Home (FTTH) efforts, Sonic.net 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.

Napa deployment complete

Napa

All: FlexLink Green/Yellow: Fusion (approximate)

We are now taking orders for our next generation carrier services in the Napa area. This new network brings an awful lot of bandwidth through Napa because it’s on our big new fiber ring. Consumers and small businesses can get products up to a max of 30Mbps now in many areas in Napa.

I’m guessing that a lot of Napa area wineries may be interested in reviewing their current Internet connections.  The new network brings long range T1 products online at aggressive new pricing, as low as $229/mo.  For a business in a more remote location, this is a great product and price!  For details, contact us!

San Rafael deployment complete

San Rafael

All: FlexLink Green/Yellow: Fusion (approximate)

We’re now taking orders for new Fusion Broadband and FlexLink Ethernet & T1 services in the main San Rafael SNRFCA01 central office.  This site is one of our big new fiber signal regeneration sites, so it’s got an amazing amount of bandwidth passing through.  Scoop some of it up for yourself as it passes by if you are located in the San Rafael serving area.

Cotati, Sonoma Fusion/FlexLink availability

We have deployed equipment in two new central offices on our new technology platform. Both Fusion and FlexLink products are now available to customers served by the Cotati and Sonoma central offices.

Cotati and Sonoma were left out in the initial wave of deployment last year because both are awkwardly situated with relationship to many of the customers in the serving area. For example the Sonoma central office is actually in Agua Caliente, and this limits the availability of Fusion services for many Sonoma residents. (Agua Caliente residents on the other hand are very well situated.)

That said, for our business clients, broad FlexLink availability is important, so it’s nice to have wrapped these two locations up. Many wineries in the Sonoma area for example have previously had only expensive T1 or wireless options available, and can now take advantage of the speeds and low prices of FlexLink symmetric products.

These two offices complete our near term Sonoma County coverage, and we are now focusing construction efforts in Marin, Napa and the East Bay.

Cable lacing introduction

One of the arcane arts of telco is cable lacing with wax string. I’ve been given a crash course by Juston, and I managed to demonstrate on some test cables and ties that the CEO hasn’t lost his knack.

Here are a couple examples of some simple cable lacing used to manage a set of large cables. Yup, I tied these myself. The third image is a cable end itself, with an AMP Champ tool and the connector just after termination.

Check out Wikipedia’s cable lacing article out for more infomation. For additional info, tools and supplies (you can do this at home!), see Tecra Tools.

Wrapping up new network

Forestville under construction

New vehicle livery, at Forestville CO


We started construction in Forestville today. It’s the last of our initial nineteen offices slated for build-out during this initial phase. All of the other locations are nearly done, with just a few loose ends to be tied up over the next few weeks.

Forestville was last on the list, as it’s the smallest town we will be initially serving on the new network. Despite it’s small size, Sonic.net today serves a surprising amount of DSL there, and I’m personally hopeful that it does well. As it’s my home town, I’ve got a best of a vested interest. (No, to answer the obvious question, we didn’t build out an entire CO because the CEO lives nearby. I’m well served today with very fast wireless access.)

Here’s a photo taken late today as the light faded, the central office in the background. What do you think of our new livery?