After our engineers create the basic fiber line design, field stakes go to each pole to determine what modifications are required to support the fiber and meet clearance requirements of the National Electric Safety Code (NESC). Line crews will install taller poles, move transformers from one side of the pole to the other, move wires on the pole, and add new guy wires and anchors to the poles all to prepare for future ﬁber installation. In addition to creating the design, the next steps include obtaining VDOT and/or Railroad permits, staking, coordinating with Miss Utility, finalizing ROW easements, and procuring material … all of these must be done before fiber construction can begin. This work has the widest variance in time of all construction phases. The make-ready construction phase can take 5 months or more to complete.
The construction team will string fiber pole to pole or bury fiber cables underground to connect your neighborhood to our fiber network. This process can take up to another 3 months. You may see us digging holes and plowing in fiber during this stage. When we’re done, we will return all green spaces to the way we found them. Fiber construction in this step can take 4 to 8 weeks on each line.
Once the ﬁber cable is installed, a technician will splice all fiber at each cable end and tap point. They will splice the necessary cables and mount the splices in enclosures secured to distribution poles or in pedestals. This splicing work can take another 3 to 6 weeks for main lines.
The next step is service drop cable installation. This work can be done in parallel with some of the earlier work, or it might be done after the main line ﬁber is in place. Drop crews will extend ﬁber from the nearest mainline splice point to the structure receiving service. This crew will also leave coils of ﬁber at the main line and the structure.
The ﬁnal outdoor step of ﬁber drop construction is the splicing of the drop. The splice technician connects the last length of ﬁber at the tap point and mounts a network interface device (NID) at the structure with the ﬁnal splice being made inside the NID box. The service is now ready to turn over to EMPOWER Broadband for scheduling in-home installation.