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2/11/2020 2:15:24 PM
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Re: Hmm...
It turns out that AFL has a product line called "Skywrap" that does the same thing. Not clear that this invention is novel... that's for the patent examiner to decide.

I admit to being surprised to see that it's durable and safe, but AFL knows what they're doing and have apparently done major projects with it.

Bobby Vassallo
Bobby Vassallo
2/11/2020 12:00:32 PM
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Broadband boss
When it comes to new technologies or procedures, I'm all ears.  While optomistic, I will reserve judgment, hoping Facebook receives a better result than Google at the end of the day.  Major monopolies, meaning major US carriers, will stymie Facebook at every turn.  When city councils around this nation are already co-opted by the major carriers, it makes things difficult for any new (and better) entrant.  

I wish Facebook all the best in this endeavor and in Dallas, we have already been in discussions.  Yet, the City of Dallas councilmen have a horrible record when it comes to going against campaign contributions. 

Bobby Vassallo

Dallas, Texas USA

2/10/2020 3:53:11 PM
User Rank
Re: Hmm...
I had a look at published US patent application 20190250359 APPARATUSES, SYSTEMS, AND METHODS FOR INSTALLING FIBER OPTIC CABLE USING PREEXISTING ELECTRICAL POWER INFRASTRUCTURE Inventors: Yogeeswaran; Karthik; (San Francisco, CA) ; Wiley; Scott C.; (Los Altos, CA) ; Mass; James A.; (Menlo Park, CA) Applicant Facebook Inc. Filed Dec. 20 2018.

What they're doing is lashing a (presumably all-dielectric) 4mm diameter 24-count (bend-insensitive) fiber cable around an electrical conductor with a variant of a lashing machine that pays out the cable instead of steel lashing wire.

What could possibly go wrong?

2/7/2020 12:32:04 PM
User Rank
May I point out that fiber in the medium voltage region of poles is standard practice?

All of the major optical cable manufacturers have a variant on All-Dielectric Self-Supporting cable and attachment hardware. In fact, AFL makes somewhat of a specialty of it, and it's an option in Corning's FlexNAP plug-and-play system (Commscope's offering is at the top of my to-read list). Since there's no metal in the cable, ADSS can be installed in any region of a pole: communications, safety, low voltage, medium voltage, or high voltage. Only trained electrical linemen are allowed to work in electrical regions, so  fiber-only construction contractors need not apply.  On the other hand, ADSS is a lot faster (and cheaper) to install in new construction than typical loose-tube cable lashed over messenger wire. Plus numerous other advantages. And some other disadvantages.

It's pretty common for electric utilities -- mostly rural coops and municipals -- to build broadband services in electrical space. That bypasses the slow, expensive business of make-ready. In fact, I happen to be working on a feasibility study for such a project.

Now it's possible that Facebook has some innovation that's easier or faster or cheaper to install than vanilla ADSS in a plug-and-play/minimally spliced system. I await details with some skepticism. Media companies have no better track record at infrastructure than telecom companies have in media. That Facebook is partnering with an equity firm rather than a fiber company is telling.  But I'd be happy to be proven wrong.

-- Dan Grossman


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