> FOCUS BY JEFF GRIFFIN
Fiber goes underground
THE CONTINUING DEPLOYMENT
of fiber optic cable is newsworthy in
industry trade publications and the
consumer press. Serious home-internet
users want more bandwidth to download, upload and stream online video.
To meet that demand, some service
providers offer gigabit speeds, which
means direct connection to fiber. By
late 2015, a Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH)
Council Americas survey found that
more than 12. 3 million U.S. homes are
connected directly to fiber and that 26
million have been “passed,” meaning
they are in locations where fiber is close
enough for them to be connected.
Some are describing FTTH deployment as a construction boom, but it’s
one in which few electrical contractors
(ECs) with communications divisions
are involved—project owners for that
work are the major carriers or builders of small private networks in areas
where the big providers don’t go. Such
work is very competitive, and margins
are typically low.
However, many ECs are actively
involved in deploying fiber. For years,
contractors with low-voltage and
telecom divisions have completed
projects that call for outside construction of aerial and underground fiber
deployment to business complexes,
government facilities, educational
institutions and other organizations.