Why Fibre Optic?
Fibre-optic broadband offers huge advantages over other connection services such as ADSL, SDSL, wireless, satellite, since it is currently the fastest way of delivering broadband signals to homes and businesses. The optical nature of the signal means that there will never be a faster way of connecting to the Internet, literally at the speed of light.
For Rotherhithe, fibre-optic cables would be contained in ducts or conduits buried underground. BT has to share its ducting so this could be used or new ducts could be dug. The fibres themselves are only about the diameter of a human hair at 125 microns, but they are protected and carried in plastic sheathing, allowing for many to be bundled together. Not all the available fibre is used at any one time, so the capacity for future use is there. This is referred to as ‘dark fibre’.
Digging the fibre into the verge, road or the pavement doesn’t usually necessitate the closure of roads and disruption of services, since this can often be accommodated by the use of mole-ploughing and micro-trenching (slot cutting). The equipment required is compact and there are versions available that can be hand driven, into which slots the cable is laid and made good at rates of up to 1200m per day with a small crew.
Each premises served requires a cable to be run into the property. How this happens is dependent on the property itself, although the intrusion is kept to an absolute minimum.
For the end customer, a new modem router will be required, to handle the signals that arrive at the premises via the fibre-optic cable. This can then be distributed throughout the property in the normal way via Ethernet network cables or wireless.