© Marina Kemp - VWT Raalte 007.jpg

Fibre optics in remote areas

Lots of land and long tree-lined avenues. Green as far as the eye can see, with only the occasional farm. The beautiful Salland region is rightly called an ‘outlying area’. The modest number of connections in the green wasteland also explains why the area has long been ‘forgotten’ by providers. What’s more, some homes and businesses are very cut off from civilisation. When it comes to fast internet, citizens and businesses literally miss the connection. A strong lobby group of residents who were fed up with the low upload and download speeds got the fibre optic highway to this remote region. “That means a huge amount of excavation work,” says the project leader. “Over one million metres in total!”

© Marina Kemp - VWT Raalte 004.jpg

Smart fibre optic laying

Various innovative solutions provide smart fibre optic laying methods that make work in the remote area more efficient. What’s new in North Salland is the use of multifunctional pipes that combine the main pipe with the power supply (14mm) and the customer cable (7mm), which ensures a more efficient roll-out and use of materials, and prevents the unnecessary installation of meters. Cables are also laid at a depth of ‘only’ forty instead of sixty centimetres. And specially developed 96- or 192-fibre cables with a smoother sheath that produce less friction when blasting across long lengths.

Approach to home connections

A smart solution has also been devised for home connections. During the first meeting with a resident, colleagues look at the situation inside and outside their home. We immediately install the fibre termination unit (FTU) or ‘the box’ during that visit. “We’re in the house only once and don’t have to move the cable outside afterwards because the occupant wants the box installed in a different place. This saves a lot on failure costs,” says the project leader.

Complex outlying area

For an area as large as Salland (North and South), it takes a lot of effort to properly inform everyone involved: municipalities, water boards, various landowners and local residents. It’s hard to get everyone on the same page. And with those long distances, lots of water, trees and drillings, logistics is also a challenging issue. Consequently, environmental management plays an important role in this project.