29 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for August 12, 2011
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Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2011 10:48:27 -0700 From: AES <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Google residential Gb fiber installation v1 Message-ID: <siegman-76B334.email@example.com> In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "John F. Morse" <email@example.com> wrote: > But I've never seen underground fiber inside a manhole. > > How is the maintenance slack loop ran? Around the manhole wall a couple > of times, or is there some kind of rack used to hold the extra length? Not exactly what you where asking, in a separate thread, but the following may be of interest . . . As of a week ago, our Google 1 Gb fiber connection has been installed as far as a "flower pot" connection point at the back of our lot, just outside our back fence. On this particular segment of their larger installation, they used a fancy guided underground boring setup to drill a subsurface hole extending for a half mile or so along an open area behind a dozen houses (no trenching). At the same time a couple of guys with shovels dug a 3 or 4 foot deep pit down to the bored hole behind each house, and then installed conduit from pit to pit. (I actually didn't see whether they inserted the plastic conduit for the entire run as one pull, then dug down and cut the conduit, or whether they dug the pits first and pulled conduit a hundred feet or so from pit to pit. In any case, the conduit had a couple of foot gap in each pit.) They then bored a T connection with a side conduit running from each pit a couple of meters over to a buried plastic "flower pot" (that's what they called it) with top at surface level, one for each house, just outside our back property lines. (My pit was actually located at the back corner of my lot and a neighbor's lot and so served two pits, one for each of us.) They then pulled fiber all along through the main conduit and split off a single fiber for each house. Unfortunately I didn't get out to see how they split off our fibers, or how they joined the conduits or boxed up the T junction down in the pit; but the pit is now filled up, with no access down to the T junction except by hand-digging down to it. They may not have had to do any splicing at the T junction, just peel off two fibers, since my understanding is that each house has a home run back to the head end (??). OK, now we've got two buried flower pots, maybe 12" diameter and 12" tall, much like the boxes for subsurface water valves, with a single fiber with 4' or 5' of extra length, and single plastic covered 12-gauge (?) copper wire (a ground wire?), coming into each one (mmy fiber is green, my neighbor's is blue). Also, we have an installer guy who has a black plastic "alligator box" (that's what he called it) which looks like a super heavy-duty oversized shipping box for a CD, about an inch thick, maybe 6" diameter, opens on a hinge at one side; plus a black fiber pigtail a meter long with a twist-lock-type fiber connector factory installed on one end (I assume it was factory installed He slides a couple inch long segment of heat-shrink tubing onto the pigtail; uses what looks for all the world like a plain old wire stripper to strip the insulation off an inch or so at the ends of the pigtail and of the fiber pulled up out of the flower pot; sticks the ends into slots on top of his grungy-looking small shoebox sized splicer unit and flips two covers down (the splicer box is powered by a cable running to his pickup truck); punches some buttons; and, voila, the pigtail is spliced to the fiber, faster than I could have soldered wires together. Then he slides the heat-shrink section over the splice; puts it back in another slot on the splicer; and cooks it down. Then he coils the spliced section and 6" or 8" of fiber on each side of it into a circular groove around inside the open alligator box; secures the fiber with several what look like standard plastic cable ties; closes the box; and dumps the fiber slack, the box, and the pigtail down into the flower pot. Tunneling, trenching, or boring the 80' or so from the flower box across our back garden to our utility closet comes later. Whether that will be conduit or micro-trenching or what, we don't know. If anyone is interested, I can keep you informed.
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2011 18:45:28 -0700 (PDT) From: Lisa or Jeff <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Verizon strike Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> I'm surprised no one has mentioned this. It shows how much the world has changed. Today, Vz's unionized employees represent only a small part of its workforce, and everything today is highly automated. In my own humble opinion, as a Vz customer, I think Vz has cut back service quality too much in its landline operations and that is a factor in their loss of landline subscribers. Some installation has been outsourced to independent people. Business, repair, and traffic (operator) offices have been consolidated and it's difficult to get a hold of a human. When I have gotten a landline employee (that is, a traditional "Bell Telephone" person), the quality of service is far higher than what I get from Vz's more modern units, such as wireless or their sales departments. article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/11/technology/sagging-verizon-landline-division-is-at-the-heart-of-strike.html?_r=1&hp History note: In 1947 there was a phone strike and it was disruptive. The post office and Western Union both had to add people to handle extra volume. In NYC, while 90% of the phones were dial, 10% were still manual*--that meant an operator was required to complete every call. Likewise, all toll calls required an operator, even city- suburban calls. Subscribers in manual areas were asked to make emergency calls only. (In the early 1950s dial was added to quite a few places and calls could be dialed between city and suburb.) * All of Staten Island, outer edges of Queens and the Bronx. Also almost all of suburban Long Island. The city's manual exchanges could be dialed from dial phones with the Panel Switch PCI interface to manual "B" boards, except of course during the strike. Suburban towns had old style manual numbers, ie "Babylon 354". I shudder to think of the massive clerical cost for such 10-15c short haul toll calls. An operator had to write up a toll ticket and time the call. Then a clerk had to calculate the charge, then post it to the customer's phone bill. Sitting there going through a pile of toll tickets calculating charges by hand all day long, under the watchful high of a strict supervisor, isn't my idea of a fun job. I wonder when they first got a real electronic computer and what kind it was.
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