Engineering Today’s Telecom Fiber Routes

Posted by Karen Smith


Engineering Today's Telecom Fiber Routes


At the recent PGA Championship in Charlotte this weekend, 200,000 spectators were snapping and sharing photos of their favorite golfers to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Everyone was connected to WiFi and no one questioned how it worked.

With the evolution of smart phones, tablets, apps, and search engines, consumers expect to share content real-time.  Few stop to think that their wireless connections are actually wired-fiber connections with a short hop to a wireless hand-off.  The majority of voice and data connections travel through miles of underground fiber.  New long haul fiber routes are continuously being evaluated, designed, overbuilt, and then maintained so that consumers and businesses can stay connected.  Malls, venues, and many restaurants, all equipped with WiFi, are fed by backhaul fiber.  An explosion of data centers dot our landscape housed with precious photos and data, also fed by backhaul fiber.

Although demand for fiber spiked and plummeted in the early 2000s, the current market is promising.  Fiber and transceiver vendors have announced plans to increase capacity and report that demand is exceeding supply.  Telecoms and engineering consultants can’t design and build the fiber routes fast enough. As consumers and businesses adopt smart solutions on smart devices, the need for bandwidth to share all of this data continues to expand.

In the early days of building out communications super-highways, engineers and techs struggled with gathering the right data to take to the field.  With paper records and inaccurate field notes, engineers and techs spent several trips to the field, sharing files for permitting, and then cobbling data together to produce a work package for construction. Over time, consultants and engineers gradually improved the civil engineering process with better GIS data, accurate GPS, and powerful mobile field tools.  But engineers and telecom companies still struggle to streamline the process from feasibility to laying fiber in the ground.

The ‘experts’ in the industry talk about bringing the field to the desktop.  But our engineering partners say ‘Heck no! Bring the office out to the field.’ So pack your bags, your GPS, and grab your Clearion tablet and let’s go build those fiber routes!  Do you agree?

We’ll meet you out at the golf course to discuss it.